Friday, May 13, 2016

YOUCAT Commented through CCC - Question n. 141 - Part II. .

YOUCAT Question n. 141 - Part II. What is the Pope’s responsibility?

(Youcat answer - repeated) As successor of St. Peter and head of the college of bishops, the Pope is the source and guarantor of the Church’s unity. He has the supreme pastoral authority and the final authority in doctrinal and disciplinary decisions.           

A deepening through CCC

(CCC 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" (LG 23). "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" (LG 22; cf. CD 2,9).    

Reflecting and meditating 

(Youcat comment) Jesus gave Peter a unique position of preeminence among the apostles. This made him the supreme authority in the early Church. Romethe Local Church that Peter led and the place of his martyrdombecame after his death the internal reference point of the young Church. Every Christian community had to agree with Rome; that was the standard for the true, complete, and unadulterated apostolic faith. To this day every bishop of Rome has been, like Peter, the supreme shepherd of the Church, whose real Head is Christ. Only in this capacity is the Pope “Christ’s Vicar on earth”. As the highest pastoral and doctrinal authority, he watches over the transmission of the true faith. If need be, he must revoke commissions to teach doctrine or relieve ordained ministers of their office in cases of serious failures in matters of faith and morals. Unity in matters of faith and morals, which is guaranteed by the Church’s Magisterium, or teaching authority, with the Pope at the head, is one reason for the remarkable resilience and influence of the Catholic Church.

(CCC Comment)

(CCC 936) The Lord made St. Peter the visible foundation of his Church. He entrusted the keys of the Church to him. The bishop of the Church of Rome, successor to St. Peter, is "head of the college of bishops, the Vicar of Christ and Pastor of the universal Church on earth" (CIC, can. 331). (CCC 937) The Pope enjoys, by divine institution, "supreme, full, immediate, and universal power in the care of souls" (CD 2).    

(The next question is: Can bishops act and teach against the Pope, or the Pope against the bishops?)

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