A consultative and deliberative assembly of the bishops, certain other prelates, and clerics, which should be convoked in each ecclesiastical province at least every 20 years to discuss and decree whatever may appear conducive in its particular territory to the growth of the faith, the moderation of morals, the correction of abuses, the concluding of controversies, and the maintenance or introduction of uniform discipline.
The metropolitan, or, when the metropolitan see is vacant or its incumbent legitimately prevented, the senior suffragan bishop, after consulting the fathers who have a deliberative vote, determines the place of assembly, giving preference to the metropolitan city, provided there is no reason for convening elsewhere: he also convokes and presides over the council.
Upon its termination the president forwards to the Holy See all the acts and decrees, which are not to be promulgated before they are examined and endorsed by the Sacred Congregation of the Council.
The method of their promulgation and the time at which they go into effect is determined by the council itself.
The decrees oblige throughout the province, nor can the local Ordinaries dispense from them except in particular cases and for just cause.
In remote preparation the metropolitan or the senior suffragan, as above, must call a meeting of the local Ordinaries of the province at least every five years to determine what should be done in their dioceses for promoting the good of religion and to make ready the matters that ought to be treated in a future provincial council.
New Catholic Dictionary