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Evil triumphs when good men do nothing - Edmund Burke

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter - Pope John Paul II

The Bishop of Rome, the Successor of Peter

The Church is also Catholic in the sense that all of Christ's followers have to share in her world-wide mission of salvation by means of each individual apostolate. But the pastoral activity of all, and in particular the collegiate activity of the entire episcopate, attains unity through the ministerium Petrinum of the Bishop of Rome. 'The bishops,' says the Council, 'while loyally respecting the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own proper authority
for the good of their faithful, indeed for the good of the whole Church (Lumen Gentium 22). And we should add, again quoting the Council, that if the collegiate authority over the whole Church attains its particular expression in an ecumenical council, it is 'the prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke such Councils, to preside over them and to confirm them' (Lumen gentium 22). Thus the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the head of all, as the principle of unity and communion.

For the Successor of Peter, it is not a matter of claiming powers such as those wielded by the earthly 'rulers' of whom Jesus speaks (cf. Matthew 20:25-28), but of being faithful to the will of the Church's Founder, who instituted this type of society and this mode of government to promote communion in faith and charity.

To respond to Christ's will, the Successor of Peter must in a spirit of humble service and with the aim of assuring unity, assume and exercise the authority conferred on him. Even in the historically diverse ways of exercising it, he must imitate Christ in serving and reuniting those who are called to be part of the one fold. He will never subordinate to personal ends what he has received for Christ and for Christ's Church. He may never forget that the universal pastoral mission cannot but entail the deepest association with the Redeemer's sacrifice, with the
mystery of the Cross.'


Jackie Parkes MJ said...

He's not looking so happy Brett! What did you say to him? lol

Smiley said...

Papa Benedict is wondering what will happen when he meets Jackie in UK later this month.

Marco said...

Great Blog!! Good to see fellow 'orthodox' Catholics out there! I surfed in from google looking for quotes from St Jose Maria Escriva,..

Smiley said...

Thank you Marco and welcome to the blog.