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The Profession of Faith

233

within the episcopal college, in communion with the bishop of

Rome, the successor of St. Peter and head of the college. So also

priests exercise their ministry from within the

presbyterium

of the

diocese, under the direction of their bishop.

878

Finally, it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial min-

istry that it have a

personal character.

Although Christ’s ministers act

in communion with one another, they also always act in a personal

way. Each one is called personally: “You, followme”

397

in order to be

a personal witness within the common mission, to bear personal

responsibility before him who gives the mission, acting “in his per-

son” and for other persons: “I baptize you in the name of the Father

and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit . . .”; “I absolve you. . . .”

879

Sacramental ministry in the Church, then, is a service

exercised in the name of Christ. It has a personal character and a

collegial form. This is evidenced by the bonds between the episco-

pal college and its head, the successor of St. Peter, and in the

relationship between the bishop’s pastoral responsibility for his

particular church and the common solicitude of the episcopal

college for the universal Church.

The episcopal college and its head, the Pope

880

When Christ instituted the Twelve, “he constituted [them]

in the form of a college or permanent assembly, at the head of which

he placed Peter, chosen from among them.”

398

Just as “by the

Lord’s institution, St. Peter and the rest of the apostles constitute a

single apostolic college, so in like fashion the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s

successor, and the bishops, the successors of the apostles, are

related with and united to one another.”

399

881

The Lord made Simon alone, whom he named Peter, the

“rock” of his Church. He gave him the keys of his Church and

instituted him shepherd of the whole flock.

400

“The office of bind-

ing and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the

college of apostles united to its head.”

401

This pastoral office of

Peter and the other apostles belongs to the Church’s very founda-

tion and is continued by the bishops under the primacy of the Pope.

397

Jn

21:22; Cf.

Mt

4:19. 21;

Jn

1:4.

398

LG

19; cf.

Lk

6:13;

Jn

21:15-17.

399

LG

22; cf. CIC, can. 330.

400 Cf.

Mt

16:18-19;

Jn

21:15-17.

401

LG

22 § 2.

1484

552, 862

553

642