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234

Part One

882

The

Pope,

Bishop of Rome and Peter’s successor, “is the

perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of

the bishops and of the whole company of the faithful.”

402

“For the

Roman Pontiff, by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, and as

pastor of the entire Church has full, supreme, and universal power

over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise

unhindered.”

403

883

“The

college or body of bishops

has no authority unless united

with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head.” As such,

this college has “supreme and full authority over the universal

Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement

of the Roman Pontiff.”

404

884

“The college of bishops exercises power over the universal

Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council.”

405

But

“there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at

least recognized as such by Peter’s successor.”

406

885

“This college, in so far as it is composed of manymembers,

is the expression of the variety and universality of the People of

God; and of the unity of the flock of Christ, in so far as it is

assembled under one head.”

407

886

“The individual

bishops

are the visible source and founda-

tion of unity in their own particular Churches.”

408

As such, they

“exercise their pastoral office over the portion of the People of God

assigned to them,”

409

assisted by priests and deacons. But, as a

member of the episcopal college, each bishop shares in the concern

for all the Churches.

410

The bishops exercise this care first “by

ruling well their own Churches as portions of the universal

Church,” and so contributing “to the welfare of the whole Mystical

Body, which, from another point of view, is a corporate body of

Churches.”

411

They extend it especially to the poor,

412

to those

persecuted for the faith, as well as to missionaries who are working

throughout the world.

402

LG

23.

403

LG

22; cf.

CD

2, 9.

404

LG

22; cf. CIC, can. 336.

405 CIC, can. 337 § 1.

406

LG

22.

407

LG

22.

408

LG

23.

409

LG

23.

410 Cf.

CD

3.

411

LG

23.

412 Cf.

Gal

2:10.

834, 1369

837

1560, 833

2448