The Profession of Faith
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
diocese, under the direction of their bishop.
Finally, it belongs to the sacramental nature of ecclesial min-
istry that it have a
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”
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. . . .”
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
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.”
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.”
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.
“The office of bind-
ing and loosing which was given to Peter was also assigned to the
college of apostles united to its head.”
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.
22; cf. CIC, can. 330.
22 § 2.