My Dear Readers: The honor of the last post in the Year of Our Lord 2021 goes to Joanna From Poland as my guest poster. This week, Joanna tackles the heresy most overlooked in the Vatican II sect; collegiality. Thanks to Joanna, I am able to spend time with family and friends at Christmas. Please feel free to comment as always, and I'll be checking in if anyone requests an opinion or answer specifically from me this week. I pray the new year brings great graces to your families and you, my readers, wherever you may reside! God Bless you all---Introibo
Equally Supreme? Vatican II Collegiality And The Destruction Of Papal Authority
By Joanna From Poland
Among the four heretical doctrines taught by Vatican II, the false notion of collegiality tends to be the one that is discussed least. The other three, namely the new ecclesiology (the Roman Catholic Church is not identical to but merely subsists in the Church of Christ), false ecumenism, and religious liberty have been discussed extensively in the post-Vatican II era by Catholic Traditionalists, both laymen and clerics. However, the issues concerning Church governance, technical though they might seem, are no less perilous to the minds of Catholics, infested with a false understanding of the divine constitution of the Church.
In his article “Vatican II, the Pope and the Mass”, Bp. Donald Sanborn answers the following question:
6. What false doctrine does it [Vatican II] teach concerning collegiality?
The teaching of Vatican II concerning collegiality alters the monarchical constitution of the Catholic Church, with which she was endowed by the Divine Savior. The doctrine of Vatican II, confirmed by the 1983 Code of Canon Law, which states that the subject (the possessor) of the supreme authority of the Church is the college of bishops together with the pope, is contrary to the defined doctrine of the Council of Florence and of Vatican I.
Chapter III (On the hierarchical structure of the Church and in particular on the episcopate) of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium, promulgated by Paul VI on November 21, 1964, states:
#22 The order of bishops, which succeeds to the college of apostles and gives this apostolic body continued existence, is also the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church [emphasis mine], provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.
The 1983 Code of Canon Law reiterates this erroneous teaching in can. 336:
The college of bishops, whose head is the Supreme Pontiff and whose members are bishops by virtue of sacramental consecration and hierarchical communion with the head and members of the college and in which the apostolic body continues, together with its head and never without this head, is also the subject of supreme and full power [emphasis mine] over the universal Church.
One might think that heresy is too big a word for these, seemingly innocent, passages. After all, both Lumen Gentium and the 1983 Code of Canon Law declare explicitly that bishops exercise their power only with the Supreme Pontiff as their head. Orthodox though it may sound, this is just a cunning stratagem, employed by the Modernists to divert one’s attention from that single yet crucial word, which is falsely applied to the power of the episcopate. The word in question is “supreme."
It doesn’t take a theologian to explain the basic meaning of that word. The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines supreme as being “highest in rank or authority,” “highest in degree or quality," “ultimate, final." Therefore, can supreme, that is highest, or ultimate, authority belong at the same time to two separate entities, that is to the Pope as the Supreme Pontiff, and to the bishops under the auspices of the Pope?
Let us consider the infallible teaching of the Vatican Council in the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ Pastor aeternus, promulgated on July 18, 1870. The Catholic Encyclopedia (1911) splendidly expounds the traditional Catholic teaching regarding the power and authority in the Church, infallibly promulgated by Vatican I:
In the Constitution “Pastor Aeternus," cap. 3, the pope is declared to possess ordinary, immediate, and episcopal jurisdiction over all the faithful:
We teach, moreover, and declare that, by the disposition of God, the Roman Church possesses supreme ordinary authority over all Churches, and that the jurisdiction of the Roman Pontiff, which is true episcopal jurisdiction is immediate in its character (Enchir., n. 1827).
It is further added that this authority extends to all alike, both pastors and faithful [emphasis mine], whether singly or collectively. An ordinary jurisdiction is one which is exercised by the holder, not by reason of any delegation, but in virtue of the office which he himself holds. All who acknowledge in the pope any primacy of jurisdiction acknowledge that jurisdiction to be ordinary. This point, therefore, does not call for discussion. That the papal authority is likewise immediate has, however, been called in question. Jurisdiction is immediate when its possessor stands in direct relation to those with whose oversight he is charged. If, on the other hand, the supreme authority can only deal directly with the proximate superiors, and not with the subjects save through their intervention, his power is not immediate but mediate. That the pope's jurisdiction is not thus restricted appears from the analysis already given of Christ's words to St. Peter. It has been shown that He conferred on him a primacy over the Church, which is universal in its scope, extending to all the Church's members, and which needs the support of no other power. [emphasis mine] A primacy such as this manifestly gives to him and to his successors a direct authority over all the faithful. This is also implied in the words of the pastoral commission, "Feed my sheep". The shepherd exercises immediate authority over all the sheep of his flock. Every member of the Church has been thus committed to Peter and those who follow him.
That the pope's power is truly episcopal needs no proof. It follows from the fact that he enjoys an ordinary pastoral authority, both legislative and judicial, and immediate in relation to its subjects. Moreover, since this power regards the pastors as well as the faithful [emphasis mine], the pope is rightly termed Pastor pastorum, and Episcopus episcoporum.
It is frequently objected by writers of the Anglican school that, by declaring the pope to possess an immediate episcopal jurisdiction over all the faithful, the Vatican Council destroyed the authority of the diocesan episcopate. It is further pointed out that St. Gregory the Great expressly repudiated this title (Epistle 7:27 and Epistle 8:30). To this it is replied that no difficulty is involved in the exercise of immediate jurisdiction over the same subjects by two rulers, provided only that these rulers stand in subordination, the one to the other. [emphasis mine] We constantly see the system at work. In an army the regimental officer and the general both possess immediate authority over the soldiers; yet no one maintains that the inferior authority is thereby annulled. The objection lacks all weight. The Vatican Council says most justly (cap. iii):
This power of the supreme pontiff in no way derogates from the ordinary immediate power of episcopal jurisdiction, in virtue of which the bishops, who, appointed by the Holy Spirit [Acts 20:28], have succeeded to the place of the Apostles as true pastors, feed and rule their several flocks, each the one which has been assigned to him: that power is rather maintained, confirmed and defended by the supreme pastor (Enchir., n. 1828).
The following paragraphs from chapter III (On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff) of Pastor aeternus reinforce the Catholic doctrine on the delegation of power in the Church, whereby the bishops are subordinate to the Roman Pontiff in their exercise of authority:
6. Furthermore, it follows from that supreme power which the Roman Pontiff has in governing the whole Church, that he has the right, in the performance of this office of his, to communicate freely with the pastors and flocks of the entire Church, so that they may be taught and guided by him in the way of salvation. [emphasis mine].
8. Since the Roman Pontiff, by the divine right of the apostolic primacy, governs the whole Church, we likewise teach and declare that he is the supreme judge of the faithful, and that in all cases which fall under ecclesiastical jurisdiction recourse may be had to his judgment. The sentence of the Apostolic See (than which there is no higher authority) [emphasis mine] is not subject to revision by anyone, nor may anyone lawfully pass judgment thereupon.
Although Pastor aeternus is mostly credited for defining the dogma of papal infallibility, the scope of the entire dogmatic document is, as the title says, the constitution of the Church. In no paragraph is the supreme authority in the Church attributed to both the Pope and the bishops. On the contrary, in the above-quoted paragraph #6 we find a clear refutation of the heretical doctrine of “supreme” authority of the college of bishops in union with the Pope, since it is not only the faithful (“flocks”) but also the episcopate (“pastors”) that are “taught and guided” by the Supreme Pontiff unto salvation.
This Catholic doctrine, however, has no place in the Vatican II sect. One of the most prominent Novus Ordo heresiarchs in America, “Cardinal” Donald Wuerl in his keynote address at the annual convention of the Canon Law Society of America, October 10, 2016, had this to say about the role of the bishops in relation to the Pope [source: https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/library/on-collegiality-and-synodality-1257]:
Bishops are not agents of the Pope or servants of the Curia; the Curia is at the service of the Pope as head of the College of Bishops. And while the Pope is the head of the College, he does not govern apart from the bishops but with them. [emphasis mine] In the classic formula, the Church is governed by the bishops cum et sub Petro — “with and under Peter.” The governance of the universal Catholic Church includes both the authority of the College of Bishops and the special authority of the Pope.
The former “archbishop” of Washington continues:
Consequently, there are two loci of supreme authority in the Catholic Church. [emphasis mine] First, there is the supreme authority of the Pope. The College of Bishops, however, is also the ‘bearer of full and supreme power over the universal Church."
I can’t help but wonder whether any of the participants asked Wuerl a simple question: Which of these two centers of power is “more” supreme, and under what circumstances? The answer to that query might probably make for a dozen doctoral theses in the fuzzy Novus Ordo canon law.
Both Pastor aeternus and Lumen gentium bear the name of a dogmatic constitution; both are concerned with the nature of authority in the Church. However, it is the former that reiterates and strengthens the true Catholic teaching on the supreme power in the Church, while the latter perniciously bestows that same supreme authority (which belongs to the Pope alone) over the bishops who are subject to the successor of Peter, in the name of “collegiality," thus ridiculing the divinely-instituted monarchic constitution of the Holy Roman Catholic Church.
After all, it was “St.” Montini who paraded in the late 1960s in a wicker tiara, thus mocking the centuries-old Catholic symbol of the three-fold papal power to teach, rule, and sanctify, after having got rid of that reactionary item by donating it to “the poor of the world” a few years earlier [see: https://novusordowatch.org/2019/01/paul6-wears-wicker-tiara/].
Interestingly, his abandonment of the papal tiara came just nine days before the promulgation of the heretical Lumen Gentium. Granted, Montini could not renounce what he already did not possess. Nonetheless, his perfidious act of recanting the alleged “human glory and power," done “in the new spirit of the Church purified”[source: nationalshrine.org/blog/a-moment-in-history-the-papal-tiara-at-the-basilica/], was a mockery of true papal authority exercised by legitimate Roman Pontiffs who find the immediate source of their papal power in Jesus Christ. Judas, who hypocritically scolded St. Mary Magdalene for having anointed Christ in anticipation of his burial with mightily expensive oil and thus not helping “the poor,” would indeed be proud of Montinian “charity."