Forgotten Truths
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The Bishops College Must Obey the Pope
on Faith, Government & Discipline

Many theologians of Vatican II have defended that the ensemble of Bishops - their College - is the true heir of the College of the Apostles and, as such, has the plenitude of power in the Church. Pope Francis has echoed this wrong doctrine in several symbolic gestures, decisions and statements.

Below is the clear Catholic teaching on this topic expressed by Pius IX along with the First Vatican Council. In the Constitution Pastor Aeternus he puts to rest any pretension that the College of Bishops has greater power than the Pope.

Pope Pius IX

We therefore teach and declare that the Roman Church, by the Lord’s will, possesses the primacy of ordinary power over all others; and that this power of jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff is truly episcopal [universal] and immediate.

To this power are obliged, by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, the Shepherds and faithful of any right or dignity, whether each one in particular or all as a whole, not only in matters that refer to Faith and customs but also in regard to the Church government and discipline disseminated in the whole world ….

Such is the doctrine of Catholic truth, from which no one may fall astray without despising his faith and salvation.


Blason de Charlemagne
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(Pius IX, Pastor Aeternus, of July 18, 1870, in DR 1827)
Posted January 4, 2014