An analysis of three principal errors of Vatican II: Personalism, a false notion of the Church, and collegiality.
In beginning a series of articles on the “magisterium” of the Second Vatican Council and the encyclicals of John XXIII, we shall strive to explain and refute the principal errors contained in it and to point out the logical link that unites it all.
The conciliar “magisterium” can be summarized in three principal errors from which all the others flow.
The principle and foundation of Vatican II is the personalist error (the cult of man) from which flow the two others. This error of personalism is contained in a specific way in Gaudium et Spes, no. 22, promulgated on December 7, 1965 (but which was introduced in Lumen Gentium, promulgated November 21, 1964, and by Pacem in Terris of John XXIII, of April 11 1963), and has been amply developed by John Paul II in Redemptor Hominis. This error consists in a type of christological pantheism in which man and God are confused and identified because of a false notion of the dignity of the human person.
The second error is a false notion of the Church of Christ (Lumen Gentium no. 8) which, owing to personalism, is presented to us as something more extended than the Catholic Church. Such an error is taken up again and developed by John Paul II in his speech to the Roman Curia in December, 1986, where he spoke of the Church as the “symbol of the unity of the human race.” Connected to this error is that of the collegiality of bishops, which substantially alters the nature of the Catholic Church.
The third error is a practical consequence of the first two, and is that of religious liberty (Dignitatis Humanæ of December 7, 1965 no. 14 especially), according to which, again owing to personalism, it is necessary to grant rights in the external forum to every imaginable personal conviction, even if it should be erroneous and even if it only asks for the Roman Church a respect for its right to exist.
In this article I will treat of the errors of (a) personalism, (b) the extension of the Catholic Church (“subsistit in”) and (c) collegiality. Of the error of religious liberty we shall not here speak, as it has been discussed at length in other treatises.
“Human nature, by the very fact that it was assumed, not absorbed, in him [Christ], has been raised in us also [eo ipso etiam in nobis] to a dignity beyond compare. For, by his incarnation, he, the Son of God, has in a certain way united himself with each man.” (Gaudium et Spes, no. 22)
In order to comprehend completely and without any possibility of mistake or of attributing to the document an unfavorable meaning which the text does not explicitly contain, let us examine the authoritative commentary made by the “magisterium” of John Paul II in Redemptor Hominis in which he speaks about Gaudium et Spes no. 22 and explains its implicit meaning.
The words, “in a certain way,” are capable of many interpretations. The expression could be interpreted in an orthodox manner to mean that the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity united Himself to every man in potency, that is, He desired the salvation of all men, but not all men will be saved. In other words, not all men are united to him eternally in act.
John Paul II, in his first encyclical Redemptor Hominis (March 4, 1979) intervenes and specifies the meaning of Gaudium et Spes in an unambiguous manner.
First of all, we ask ourselves, in what way did Christ unite Himself to every man? What has this union done for man?
Redemptor Hominis no. 9 answers: “God in Him [Christ] comes close to every man by giving him the three times Holy Spirit of Truth.” The Holy Ghost, sanctifying grace, and divine life are the effect of the union of Christ with every man.
“The dignity which every man has attained in Christ is the dignity of divine adoption.” (Redemptor Hominis, no. 11)
But we ask ourselves again: grace and divine adoption are offered to every man, but not all accept it, or if they do accept it, can they not then lose it? Redemptor Hominis (no. 13) responds: “We are not speaking of man in the abstract, but of real, concrete and historical man, we are speaking of every man, because...with each man Christ has united Himself forever.” [emphasis added]
But do we then conclude that every man is in act united to God by the grace of God? And is he so united independently of whether or not he corresponds to the gift of God? Redemptor Hominis (N. 13) responds: “For this reason man — every man without any exception — has been redeemed by Christ, because with man — every man without any exception — Christ is in some way united, even when man is not aware of it.” And it is thus, even if he does not know it, and therefore does not want it, they are in act united to God by sanctifying grace forever! Saint Augustine must have made a mistake when he wrote: Qui creavit te sine te non salvabit te sine te — He who created you without you will not save you without you.
But from what moment does the Word unite Himself to man, to every man? Perhaps John Paul II reassures us by telling us that it happens at the moment when man will say to Him, “Yes, I will it.” Not at all. Redemptor Hominis (no. 13) responds: “...the mystery [of the Redemption] in which each one of the four thousand million human beings living on our planet has become a sharer from the moment he is conceived beneath the heart of his mother.” [emphasis added] It is the dogma of the Immaculate Conception and of the impeccability of man! This is why Paul VI on December 7, 1965 in his closing speech of the Council said, “We more than anyone else have the cult of man.” The cult of man is precisely, according to Saint Pius X, the distinctive sign of the Antichrist! (E Supremi Apostolatu)
And Montini continued in this famous discourse: “The Religion of God made man has met the religion of man who has become God. What happened? A shock, a fight, an anathema: all this could have happened, but in fact did not happen...”
The Catholic Doctrine
The Word in incarnating itself did not unite itself to the universal human nature and therefore to every man, but rather to a single human nature, the nature of Christ. The Word divinized, by the hypostatic union, only this individual nature which He assumed and not the universal nature, nor every man.
Gaudium et Spes therefore makes the Redemption superfluous: in fact every man having the human nature, by that very fact, is divinized, and no longer has need of the supernatural order.
Saint Thomas teaches the exact opposite of Gaudium et Spes. In the Summa Theologiæ (IIIª q. 4 a. 5) the Angelic Doctor writes: “It was unfitting for human nature to be assumed by the Word in all its supposita.” If the Word had assumed the universal human nature, there would be a single (divine) Person in whom subsists all human nature and there would not be the various human persons distinct from one another. Consider what St. Thomas says in IIIª q. 2 a. 5 ad 2: “Neither can it be said that the Son of God assumed human nature as it is in all the individuals of the same species, otherwise he would have assumed all men.”
John Paul II took up again the theme of Gaudium et Spes in other encyclicals which came after Redemptor Hominis. In Dominum et Vivificantem (no. 50) he writes:
“The Word became flesh.” The Incarnation of God the Son signifies the taking up into unity with God not only of human nature, but in this human nature, in a sense, of everything that is “flesh”: the whole of humanity, the entire visible and material world. The Incarnation, then, also has a cosmic significance, a cosmic dimension.
In no. 54 he states explicitly:
...he [God] is not only close to this world but present in it, and in a sense immanent, penetrating it and giving it life from within. [emphasis in original]
John Paul II writes furthermore in Dominum et Vivificantem (no. 50):
“The first born of all creation,” becoming incarnate in the individual humanity of Christ, unites himself in some way with the entire reality of man, which is also “flesh” — and in this reality with all “flesh,” with the whole of creation.
This is an explicit profession of pantheism. For pantheism, the world and God make a single thing. Acosmic pantheism (mystico-religious pantheism) is the reduction of the world to God. The world is absorbed in God, and is nothing more than an ensemble of manifestations of God which have no permanent substance distinct from God. Thus God is the substance of “Soul of the world.”
“One speaks of the emanation of the world from God or of a hypostatic union of the world with God: either the world subsists in the divine personality or God is immanent in the world. (Sciacca, “Panteismo” Enciclopedia Cattolica). [emphasis added] We find here described the very same doctrine as that of Karol Wojtyla — word for word.
Philosophical Origins of Personalism
The roots of personalism are to be looked for in immanentism or the denial of the transcendence of God. (“...he [God] is not only close to this world but present in it, and in a sense immanent, penetrating it and giving it life from within.” — Dominum et Vivificantem, no. 54).
But one could object here that immanence is not the same thing as immanentism. Something is immanent if it is internal in a being (e.g., God with regard to the world) without necessarily excluding transcendence. God would be, the objection goes, both immanent and transcendent, inasmuch as the universe exists by the power of God. The transcendence of God implies therefore immanence as a mode of presence. On the other hand, immanentism is that doctrine which excludes the transcendence of God in the world. Therefore John Paul II is speaking only of immanence, but not of immanentism.
The response to this objection is that the doctrine of Karol Wojtyla, being pantheism (as has been demonstrated), is a derivative of immanentism and not of immanence or the mere presence of God in the world. (cf. Summa Theologiæ Iª q. 8).
“The term of presence as opposed to immanence expresses the progress of the christian conception, which is founded on the absolute transcendence and liberty of God.” (Fabro “Immanenza,” Enciclopedia Cattolica). Sciacca distinguishes, on his part, between the presence of God in the world (the christian concept) and modern immanence, which flows into pantheism. Karol Wojtyla, with his doctrine of christological pantheism, espouses the latter doctrine.
The principle of immanentism was already implicit in the cogito ergo sum of Descartes (d. 1650), that is, in the primacy of thought over reality. Thought for Descartes does not depend on the real, the object of thought being thought itself, and not reality. Thought is separated from the real and is sufficient unto itself. Spinoza (d. 1667) goes much further: for him “God is the immanent cause of all things” [emphasis added] (Ethics, 1, 48). Kant (d. 1804) makes from the principle of immanence the fundamental rule of knowing: thought is an a priori synthesis (subjective a priori forms).
Post-kantian idealism takes this principle to its ultimate conclusion. It denies the objectivity which Kant conceded to the phenomenon. Fichte (d. 1814) said, “The thing is what is posited by the Ego.”
Finally comes Hegel (d. 1831) with his absolute idealism, which criticizes and goes beyond even that of Fichte, inasmuch as the Ego of Fichte is still something objective, while for Hegel everything is becoming and affirms itself by denying (dialectic). Modern thought from humanism all the way to Vatican II displays its immanentistic bent even to the total elimination of religious transcendence.
While the various currents of human thought both in the past and at the present have tended and still tend to separate theocentrism and anthropocentrism, and even to set them in opposition to each other, the church, [the conciliar church — cn] following Christ, [the cosmic Christ — cn] seeks to link them up in human history in a deep and organic way. And this is also one of the basic principles, perhaps the most imposrtant one, of the teaching of the last council. [emphasis added]
We can say that the philosopher who is the animator par excellence of the immanentistic tendency of the conciliar “magisterium” is, without a doubt, Hegel. For him, in fact, the problem of God is the true problem of philosophy. Hegel is the supreme pontiff of modern philosophy. “Philosophy has no other object than God.” (Hegel, Aesthetics).
Religion and philosophy for this reason have, according to Hegel, the same object but they do not perceive it in the same manner: religion understands God through myths and images, whereas philosophy understands God by means of the concept. The God of the preconciliar religion is only a preliminary and imperfect moment of the life of the spirit. The higher levels of the spirit are three: (1) art, which grasps God by means of sensible images; (2) religion, which grasps God by means of myths and stories, and (3) philosophy, which grasps God on the level of the rational concept.
The rapport between religion and philosophy is one of overcoming: philosophy overcomes religion and renders it useless inasmuch as it brings it to its perfect realization.
Religion becomes demythologized and purified.
In fact religion [the pre-conciliar religion — cn] remains on the level of dualism between finite and infinite; only philosophy [and the magisterium of Vatican II — cn] effects the reconciliation [cf. Dives in Misericordia], because it no longer seeks God outside of the world, but in the world. (“God is immanent in the world and vivifies it from within” — Dives in Misericordia, 1). A God different from the world would be nothing for Hegel. God for Hegel is no longer a transcendent person, a creator distinct from the world.
To conceive God as a personal object is to remain on the level of representation and of division [of the pre-conciliar religion — cn].
Only philosophy [and Vatican II — cn] arriving at this reconciliation between finite and infinite succeeds in comprehending the identity of God and man, of God and the world (“theocentrism and anthropocentrism, God and man are a single center, one single thing” — Dives in Misericordia, 1). God is the human conscience which has freed itself of its limits.”
Professor Martinetti wrote concerning Hegel: “In Hegel’s system, in which one speaks of God continually, God is not to be found anywhere.”
In fact Hegel (the true father of modernism, even more than Kant) wanted to alter the nature of and abolish Christianity in a painless manner, not by combating it, but by playing with it; thus Paul VI, John Paul II and Vatican II speak continually of God, but their God is man or the teilhardian cosmic-Christ which unites the finite and the infinite (“fecit ex utraque unum”). It is a type of christological pantheism derived from hegelianism.
In order to eliminate God, Hegel does not follow the route of violent killing, but that of euthanasia by means of assimilation; he does not say “God does not exist,” but instead only says, “God exists because everything is God.”
Accentuating the Christian motive of the incarnation, Hegel divinizes the world and history: inasmuch as the infinite has incarnated itself in the finite (cf. Gaudium et Spes, no. 22), God and man united in Christ are coessential.” [emphasis added]
Road to the Personalist Error: John XXIII’s Pacem in Terris.
Already in 1963 (a year before the promulgation of Gaudium et Spes) John XXIII wrote:
Any well-regulated and productive association of men in society demands the acceptance of one fundamental principle: that each individual man is truly a person. He is a nature, that is, endowed with intelligence and free will. As such he has rights and duties, which together flow as a direct consequence from his nature. These rights and duties are universal and inviolable, and therefore altogether inalienable. (Pacem in Terris, 1, 11 April, 1963) [emphasis added]
A little further on he states:
It is always perfectly justifiable to distinguish between error as such and the person who falls into error — even in the case of men who err regarding the truth or who are led astray as a result of their inadequate knowledge, in matters either of religion or of the highest ethical standards. A man who has fallen into error does not cease to be man. He never forfeits his personal dignity; and that is something which must be always taken into account. (Pacem in Terris, 5) [emphasis added]
We find here the personalist error, which confuses the dignity of the person considered radically (i.e., who preserves his essence or human nature even if he errs) and the dignity of the person considered totally (i.e., the person preserves his total dignity only if his acts are ordered to the true and good, otherwise, although he might preserve the radical dignity of the human nature, he loses the total dignity of person in actu secundo, that is, in his activity).
Permit me to elaborate. The radical dignity or root of the dignity of the person is the human nature, which the person always preserves even when he errs. The total dignity is the human nature in actu secundo or in action. The person preserves human dignity only if his action is ordered to the true and good. If, on the other hand, he adheres to error or does evil, he loses it. Proof of this is what we find in Holy Scripture: “God hates both the sinner and his iniquities.” (Wisdom 14:9), and in the solemn magisterium of the Church, which teaches that if the sinner dies in the state of mortal sin, he goes to hell for all eternity, he and his sin.
God does not make a distinction — like “Good Pope John” does between the sin and the sinner. This doctrine is de fide divina catholica: cf. Benedict XII, Dogmatic Constitution Benedictus Deus:
Moreover, we declare that according to the common arrangement of God, the souls of those who depart in actual mortal sin immediately after death descend to hell where they are tortured by infernal punishments...(Denz. 531).
The ordinary magisterium of the Church has also pronounced on this subject through Leo XIII:
If the mind assents to false opinions and the will chooses and follows after what is wrong, neither can attain its native fullness, but both must fall from their native dignity into an abyss of corruption. (Immortale Dei)
Finally, Saint Thomas gives the theological reason for it (IIa IIæ q. 64 a. 2 ad 3):
By sinning man departs from the order of reason, and consequently falls away from the dignity of his manhood, insofar as he is naturally free, and exists for himself, and he falls into the slavish state of the beasts...[emphasis added]
The doctrine of Pacem in Terris is at least erroneous, that is, it is opposed to a doctrine which is theologically certain, and in its conclusions lead to pantheism.
Lumen Gentium: A More Explicit Affirmation
Lumen Gentium (21 November 1964) restates the personalist error of Pacem in Terris and introduces the more explicit affirmation of Gaudium et Spes, no. 22:
In the human nature united to himself, the Son of God, by overcoming death through his own death and resurrection, redeemed man and changed him into a new creation.
In this text, there is neither mention of a specific or particular human nature (and thus the point remains ambiguous) nor of cooperation on the part of man. In contrast to Gaudium et Spes, no. 22, Lumen Gentium speaks of the death and resurrection of our Lord. The interpretation of Lumen Gentium is totally clear only under the light of the entire conciliar “magisterium” (particularly Redemptor Hominis, Dominum et Vivificantem, and Dives in Misericordia).
By itself, the text of Lumen Gentium is only ambiguous or male sonans: that is, two readings are possible, by reason of the improper terms used, and therefore is able to be interpreted in a heterodox manner. In the light of all of the conciliar “magisterium” we can say that Lumen Gentium, 7 is sapiens hæresim (smacking of heresy), that is, the heretical meaning is that which has been sought, of which we have moral certitude in the light of what we have explained at the beginning of this article.
Just as “by the Incarnation the Son of God united himself in a certain way with every man” (Gaudium et Spes, 22), “forever, without any exception, even when man is not aware of it” (John Paul II, Redemptor Hominis), the Church of Christ is not only the Catholic Church, but rather extends far beyond it. We find this consequence of the personalist error plainly declared in Lumen Gentium, 8:
This is the sole Church of Christ...This Church...subsists in the Catholic Church.
Subsists in: “Found in, but not Exclusively Identified with”
What does this formula “subsists in” actually mean? It was chosen deliberately in order to deny that the Church of Christ is only the Catholic Church. “Subsistit in” means, in fact, that the Church of Christ is found in the Catholic Church, but is not exclusively identified with the Catholic Church.
“The change of est (Pius XII) to subsistit (Gaudium et Spes) took place for ecumenical reasons,” explains Fr. Mucci, S.J. in Civiltà Cattolica (December 5, 1988). And Fr. Louis Bouyer writes that thanks to the “subsistit” introduced by the Council, one has sought to “propose again the idea of the one Church, even if it is presently divided among the diverse Christian Churches, as if among many branches.” This idea was taken up again by John Paul II in Canterbury. Furthermore Cardinal Willebrands, on May 5th and 8th of 1987, held some conferences in which he affirmed that the “subsistit” supersedes and corrects the est of Pius XII (cf. Documentation Catholique, January 3, 1988). While the Council was in progress, Bishop Carli (then Bishop of Segni) and Fr. Aniceto Fernandez, Master General of the Dominicans, vigorously intervened to request the correction of Lumen Gentium by using the word est instead of “subsistit,” in order to unequivocally reaffirm the Catholic Faith. But the ecumenical choice — or better, the heretical choice — prevailed. Fr. Congar writes:
The problem remains if Lumen Gentium strictly and exclusively identifies the Mystical Body of Christ with the Catholic Church, as did Pius XII in Mystici Corporis. Can we not call it into doubt when we observe that not only is the attribute “Roman” missing, but also that one avoids saying that only Catholics are members of the Mystical Body. Thus they are telling us (in Gaudium et Spes) that the Church of Christ and of the Apostles subsistit in, is found in the Catholic Church. There is consequently no strict identification, that is exclusive, between the Church of Christ and the “Roman” Church. Vatican II admits, fundamentally, that non-catholic christians are members of the Mystical Body and not merely ordered to it. [emphasis added]
In fact Pius XII, in Mystici Corporis, teaches that the unique Church of Christ is (est) the Catholic Church. Lumen Gentium, on the other hand, changes the est to subsistit because it no longer identifies (est) the Church of Christ with the Catholic Church. This is to say that the Church founded by Christ exists in the catholic Church, without excluding the other “separated churches.” (The conciliar magisterium uses capital C for the “separated Churches”)
In short, the Mystical Body of Christ has a greater extension than that of the Roman Catholic Church.
And why do they assert this? It is simple: just as each man is divinized by the very fact that the Word became incarnate, it is inconceivable that only Catholics are members of the Mystical Body of Christ, but as well the sects and all men are united in an indissoluble manner to Christ and form a part of His Mystical Body. (Cf. John Paul II, Speech to the Roman Curia, December, 1986: “The Church as Symbol of the Unity of the Human Race”)
Correct Interpretation of “Subsists in”
But here it may be objected that this interpretation of “subsistit in” is factious and extremist, and that, ultimately, such a phrase could be interpreted in an orthodox way by seeing it “in the light of tradition.” The very “conciliar magisterium,” however, taken as a whole, gives us the “authentic” interpretation of the phrase.
Lumen Gentium continues:
Nevertheless, many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible confines [that is, outside the Catholic Church]. Since these are gifts proper to the Church of Christ, they are forces impelling towards Catholic unity. (no. 7) [emphasis added]
This means that elements of truth and holiness, proper to the Church of Christ, exist also outside the Roman Church, that is, they subsist in her, but do not coincide with her. These elements are found in the Catholic Church as they are found in sects, as they are found in every man united to Christ by the very fact of the Incarnation!
John Paul II himself intervened to further explain Gaudium et Spes on May 29, 1982 in Canterbury, where he gave a speech in which he said:
The Church of our time is the Church which participates in a particular manner in the prayer of Christ for unity...The promise of Christ fills us with confidence in the power with which the Holy Spirit will heal every division introduced into the Church in the course of the centuries since Pentecost.
As you can see, for the conciliar “magisterium” the Church of Christ is not one (i.e., the Catholic Church), but is divided and subsists or is found in the various sects and in every man and therefore also in the Catholic Church.
John Paul II Explains:
“Identification of the Human Race with the Church of Christ”
John Paul II, in an address to the Roman Curia, speaks about the pan-christian ecumenical day of Assisi (October 27, 1986) and says that:
Such a day seemed to express, in a visible manner, the hidden but radical unity which the Word has established among men and women of this world... the fact of having come together at Assisi is like a sign of the profound unity of those who seek spiritual values in religion... The Council has made a connection between the identity of the Church and the unity of the human race. (Lumen Gentium 1 and 9; Gaudium et Spes, 42)
Therefore every man, inasmuch as he is united to the Word by virtue of His Incarnation only, is a member of the Church of Christ. The Church of Christ is nothing else than the whole human race without any exception! John Paul II goes on therefore to explain that the divine order is that of the unity of all men who seek values in religion, while the differences of faith and morals which as yet remain, are the effect of the human order which has corrupted this divine order; therefore his goal is to make the human element with its differences disappear, and make the divine — or pantheistic — element become ever more apparent. Let us cite his speech:
Religious differences reveal themselves as pertaining to another order. If the order of unity is divine, the religious differences are a human doing and must be overcome in the process towards the realization of the grandiose design of unity which presides over creation. It is possible that men not be conscious of their radical unity of origin and of their insertion in the very same divine plan. But despite such divisions, they are included in the grand and single design of God in Jesus Christ, who united himself in a certain way with every man (Gaudium et Spes, 22) even if he is not conscious of it.
We see how John Paul II explains the unity of the Church of Christ by the union of the human race (even if unconscious of it) with the Word, by the sole fact of the Incarnation. All men, therefore, form the Church of the Cosmic Christ! (A prefiguration of the reign of Antichrist) John Paul II continues: “To this catholic unity of the people of God all men are called, to this unity belong, in diverse forms, the catholic faithful and those who look with faith towards Christ and finally all men without exception.”
“Those Who Look With Faith Towards Jesus”
Lumen Gentium itself in paragraph 9 explains yet more clearly the meaning of “subsistit” when it affirms: “ All those, who in faith look towards Jesus...God has gathered together and established as the Church...”
In order to belong to the body of the Church founded by Christ, it is no longer necessary (as at one time, before the Council) to be baptized with water, to have supernatural faith, to submit to the legitimate pastors and particularly to the Roman Pontiff, and not to be excommunicated or schismatic, but rather only to “look with faith towards Jesus.” Nevertheless, he who “looks with faith towards Jesus,” but who does not believe in the Immaculate Conception or in the dogma of the infallibility of the pope, is still a part of the Church of Christ, which is larger than the Catholic Church, that is, it (the Church of Christ) subsists in her (the Catholic Church) but is not exclusively the Catholic Church.
Such a phrase, in itself, is at least male sonans. Taken in the ensemble of the “conciliar magisterium,” however, it is sapiens hæresim, that is, probably heretical, or in other words, the meaning intended by Gaudium et Spes is properly heretical.
In fact John Paul II affirms that the Church of Christ is divided since the time of Pentecost, while Pius XI in Mortalium Animos teaches:
They [the heretics] deem, in fact, that the unity of faith and of government, which is one of the marks of the one, true Church of Christ, has never existed up to now, and today does not exist.
Pius XII in Mystici Corporis wrote:
They wander away from divine truth those who imagine the Church as if one could neither find it nor see it, as if it were a spiritual thing, through which many communities of christians, although separated by faith, would be nevertheless joined together by an invisible bond.
Pius XII in this same encyclical says that the Mystical Body is the visible and hierarchical (Catholic) Church, and that only those who are baptized with water are part of the Catholic Church, and that, on the other hand, excluded are the excommunicati vitandi, apostates, heretics, and schismatics. Those baptized with baptism of desire or blood belong to the soul of the Church, but not to the body of the Church.
The Catholic Faith and the Conciliar Heresy
The truth that only the Roman Church is that which was founded by Christ is de fide. Whoever denies it is a heretic. Indeed the Church which Christ founded is hierarchical, monarchical, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. But only the Church of Rome is hierarchical, monarchical, one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. Therefore only the Church of Rome is the Church which Christ founded and in which one can be saved. (Extra Ecclesiam nulla salus).
That the Church of Rome is hierarchical is de fide definita by the Council of Trent, session 23, canon 6: “If anyone should say that in the Catholic Church there is not a hierarchy by divine institution, let him be anathema.” (Denz. 966). The same truth is taken up again by Vatican I, session 4, canon 3 (Denz. 1828, and Code of Canon Law, can. 108 § 1 and can. 329 § 1).
That the Church of Rome is monarchical is also de fide definita. The Council of Florence defined that the pope is the successor of Peter:
We likewise define that the holy Apostolic See, and the Roman Pontiff, hold the primacy throughout the entire world; and that the Roman Pontiff himself is the successor of blessed Peter...” (Denz. 694)
Vatican I repeated this doctrine in session 4, canon 2 (Denz. 1825). That Peter has a true primacy of jurisdiction is de fide definita by Vatican I, session 4, canon 1 (Denz. 1823) and session 4, canon 2 (Denz. 1825):
If anyone says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema.
Therefore the assertion of Lumen Gentium, taken in its complete meaning as given to us by all of the “conciliar magisterium,” is heretical.
To assert this is to blaspheme and to deny the Catholic Faith. Protestant “churches” lack the following things:
(a) essential sanctity (i.e., in the causes which brought them into being). The four causes of the protestant sects are deprived of sanctity. But the effect does not surpass the cause. Therefore the Protestant “churches” cannot be holy. Let us prove this statement. With regard to the efficient cause, Luther, Calvin, and Henry VIII are heresiarchs and all taught and practiced immorality. With regard to the final cause: it is the absolute liberty of the person without any restraint, which ends up in license. With regard to the formal cause: there are heresies with regard to both faith and morals. With regard to the material cause: the “faithful” are abandoned to their caprice with regard to their sanctification. The Protestant “churches” also lack:
(b) active sanctity (i.e., in their dogmatic and moral principles). Their principles stray from truth and sanctity (“pecca fortiter sed fortius crede” — sin boldly but believe more boldly); thus such sects do not have efficacious means of sanctification. In fact, with regard to dogmatic principles, God — for the Protestants — is the author of sin! Man is not free to not sin; God positively predestines certain people to hell through no fault of their own, even if they live well and do not commit sin. With regard to their moral teaching, they hold that good works are not necessary, that chastity and indissolubility of marriage are impossible to observe, even with grace. But those who “interpret Vatican II in the light of Tradition” will object: nevertheless there are certain elements of sanctification instituted by Christ (e.g., the sacraments) which the protestants have still kept, Baptism, Matrimony, and the “Eucharist,” for example. The response is simple: they maintain Baptism but do not think that its wipes away original sin; and for this reason the Church redoes them sub conditione. Matrimony for the Protestants is not indissoluble, and therefore they separate what God has put together. The “eucharist” is a corruption of the Sacrifice of the Mass, which Luther called a “diabolical artifice.” (De abroganda Missa privata, 1).
On the other hand, with regard to the eastern schismatic churches (the other lung of the Church of Christ, as John Paul II calls them):
(a) essential sanctity: their cause (that is, their schism) is the refusal of obedience to the pope, who stands in God’s stead on earth; it is the perpetuation for centuries of the non serviam of Lucifer.
(b) active sanctity: these schismatics, in refusing the supreme and infallible living magisterium, no longer have a sure guide assisted by the Holy Ghost in the adherence to truth, and are slaves of the temporal authority, which is today atheistic and materialistic, to which Christ has not promised assistance.
(c) passive sanctity: Photius, their founder, was condemned by the council as “pervasorem et adulterum.”
Therefore outside of the Roman Church, there are not principles of truth or sanctity. It is not to say that there is total error, but there is not, nevertheless, the whole and pure truth. But “bonum ex integra causa, malum ex uno defectu.” Therefore if some member of a non-catholic sect sanctifies himself, he owes that to the grace of God which “blows where it will” and touches him despite the false principles of a sect in which he finds himself through invincible ignorance. But heresy and schism as such are not able to have elements of truth and of sanctification, being by definition error and disobedience. Therefore to say that the sects separated from Rome have, in themselves, elements of truth and sanctification is certainly opposed to the Catholic Faith, and is, in short, heretical.
From the foregoing we conclude the Conciliar Church is not the Church founded by the Incarnate Word. It is — by its own explicit affirmation — the universal temple of the whole human race united mysteriously to the Cosmic Christ, to the Grand Architect of the Universe.
After the subsistit in, which is the first error of the conciliar “magisterium” on the nature of the Church of Christ, which no longer coincides with the Catholic Church, but which is much more extended than it, inasmuch as it identifies itself with the entire human race or the people of God, we study collegiality or the College of Bishops as a permanent group.
Paragraph 22 of Lumen Gentium affirms:
The order of bishops is the successor to the college of the apostles in their role as teachers and pastors, and in it the apostolic college is perpetuated. Together with their head, the Supreme Pontiff, and never apart from him, they have supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff. The Lord made Peter alone the rock-foundation and the holder of the keys of the Church, and constituted him shepherd of his whole flock. It is clear, however, that the office of binding and loosing which was given to Peter, was also assigned to the college of Apostles united to its head. [emphasis added]
According to Catholic doctrine, the subject of the supreme (highest), full (total, i.e., capable of everything by himself), and universal (over the whole Church) power of teaching and of jurisdiction is the pope, who, when he wishes, may associate with himself the body of bishops, for a determined period of time. The pope by himself is able to exercise the supreme, total, and universal power of teaching and jurisdiction without having to unite to himself the body of bishops.
In Lumen Gentium no. 22, however, the usual, permanent, and ordinary subject of supreme, full, and universal power of teaching and jurisdiction is the College of Bishops with Peter at its head. Such a doctrine avoids the heresy of “episcopalism” or conciliarism, which confers on the body of bishops alone, without its head, the supreme power of jurisdiction; but it wanders away from Catholic doctrine which has never spoken of a permanent and necessary college of bishops, even if it should be cum Petro and sub Petro.
Lumen Gentium no. 22 nevertheless says, “Just as, in accordance with the Lord’s decree, St. Peter and the rest of the Apostles constitute a unique apostolic college, so in like fashion, the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, and the bishops, the successors of the Apostles, are related with and united to one another.”
The doctrine of Lumen Gentium no. 22 was hotly contested in the course of the conciliar discussions to such an extent that it was necessary that it be “corrected” with the addition of a Nota Explicativa Prævia (!) which sounds like this:
The College of Bishops as subject of supreme, total, and universal power exists all the time, but does not always act in full act.
Thus with addition of the Nota Prævia (!) the College of Bishops is a permanent group which necessarily and always includes its head, that is, the pope (“Necessario et semper cointelligit caput suum”). The addition of the Nota Prævia did not correct the error, but simply made it more disguised and therefore more dangerous. In fact, even if the College of Bishops does not act always in full act, it exists always in actu primo. (Nota Prævia). It is to say that the pope can act on his own, with regard to the supreme power of teaching and jurisdiction, but he does it as the head of a permanent college which exists always and necessarily in actu primo, even if it does not always act in actu secundo.
Romano Amerio in Jota Unum, writes:
The Nota Prævia removes from collegiality its classical interpretation, according to which the subject of the supreme power in the Church is the pope alone who shares it when he wishes with the universality of bishops called by him in a council. The highest power is collegial only through the communication ad nutum of the pope...One does not know if the inclination of Vatican II to free itself from the strict continuity with tradition and to create for itself forms and procedures which are atypical, should be attributed to the spirit of modernization which empowers it and directs it, or to the mind and the influence of Paul VI. Probably the tendency is to attribute it partially to the Council and partially to Paul VI. The result was a change of the very being of the Church....What leaves something to be desired is the singularity, if even formal, of the Nota Prævia. In the first place, there is no example in the history of councils of a commentary of this type affixed to a dogmatic constitution, which Lumen Gentium is, and attached to it so as to make an organic whole. In the second place, it seems unexplainable that, in the very act in which the Council promulgates a doctrinal document, after so many consultations and amendments, there emanates a document so imperfect that it must be accompanied by an explicative note. There is finally this curious singularity concerning the Nota Prævia: it should be read before the constitution to which it is attached, when in fact it is seen printed at the end of it.
The error of collegiality has been repeated by the decree Christus Dominus of Vatican II (October 28, 1965) concerning the pastoral office of bishops. We cite it: “The order of bishops is the successor to the college of the Apostles in their role as teachers and pastors, and in it the apostolic college is perpetuated. Together with their head, the Supreme Pontiff, and never apart from him, they have supreme and full authority over the universal Church, but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff.”
The New Code of Canon Law (1983) in Canon 336 repeats the same doctrine in these terms:
Collegium Episcoporum cuius caput est Summus Pontifex cuiusque membra sunt episcopi...una cum capite suo et numquam sine hoc capite, subiectum quoque supremæ et plenæ potestatis in universam ecclesiam existit.
Even the most conservative theologians have ended up by accepting such a novelty as collegiality. Cardinal Palazzini affirms “the mission of salvation, the duty to baptize and to preach is of itself not confided to each of the Apostles, but to the apostolic college with Peter at its head. The episcopal college, with the pope at its head, succeeds that apostolic college and is in the Church a permanent hierarchical organ of divine right.”
Even Professor Ludwig Ott, in his compendium of dogmatic theology, presents the collegiality of the episcopacy as a sententia certa. “The concept of a college according to the Nota Explicativa Prævia (no. 1) must not be taken in a strictly juridical sense, to be a group of equals who have asked for their power from him who presides, but in the sense of a permanent group (cœtus stabilis) whose structure and authority must be deduced from revelation.” [emphasis added]
The bishops are by divine right a body constituted in the Church even if they should be dispersed in the world, but are not a college in act. In fact a body is an ensemble of persons which has a particular organic bond among them, and a bond with the public authority (e.g., a body of lawyers, of magistrates, of engineers...). In the Church there are bishops, and they are bound one to another and with the pope, and thus form a body.
A college is different from a body. A college is a moral person which has power inasmuch as it is a moral person. That is, the subject of power is only the moral person, and not the singular physical persons which form the college.
But the episcopal body, or the episcopate dispersed throughout the world, is not necessarily and always (as Vatican II affirms) a college, namely a moral person which acts only in a collegial manner, inasmuch as it is a moral person. But sometimes (extraordinarily) the episcopate or episcopal body becomes a college, for example, during an ecumenical council; the episcopate united in council deliberates, defines, and promulgates at that time as a college, collegially, because Peter has desired to unite the episcopal body in a council and made it become a college in act for a certain time. But even when the body of bishops is united in council, it forms a college sui generis, because it has a head (the pope) from which it derives its being and activity.
One cannot understand, therefore, how the above cited Romano Amerio, who had nevertheless singled out the anomaly of the doctrine of collegiality could write: “ The Nota Prævia repudiates also the doctrine according to which the subject of the supreme power of the Church is the College united with the pope and not without the pope, who is the head of it, but in this way, that when the pope exercises even by himself the supreme power, he exercises it inasmuch as he is the head of the College.”
Absolutely not! The Nota Prævia says exactly the contrary. “The College is a permanent group…The College is said as well to be the subject of supreme and full power over the whole Church…The notion of the College necessarily includes its head.” The Nota clearly states that the College always exists, is the subject of supreme and full power over the universal Church, but is not always in actu pleno.
While for the Catholic doctrine the bishops habitually and per se are a body and only extraordinarily and per accidens do they become a college. Only the pope can and is free to erect as a college the body of bishops (when, for instance, he convokes a council) without being necessitated to it by a divine institution, as the conciliar “magisterium” says.
The body of bishops has an aptitude or a capacity to be constituted as a college; but an aptitude or passive potency does not indicate necessity as Lumen Gentium would like. In the same way man has a passive, obediential potency to be elevated by God to the supernatural order, a passive potency which is something more than a simple possibility or non-repugnance (which non-being has to become something under the action of the creative omnipotence of God) but which is not the need or the right or the active capacity to arrive necessarily at the supernatural order (as man has the active capacity to see by opening his eyes): man, in fact, has only the passive capacity to receive grace, and to be elevated to the supernatural order in the same way that wood has the passive capacity to receive the form of a statue given to it freely by the carver.
Thus the body of bishops has only this passive capacity to receive the form of a college, by being united freely by the pope in a council ad tempus. Such a doctrine is proxima fidei, and he who denies it is close to heresy. And just as aptitude is not need, it can very easily remain in a state of potency without being actuated, without undergoing any injustice (just like wood that is not formed into a statue).
Such has been the case of thousands of bishops who in twenty centuries have not been called by a pope into a council, and have not received, in act, the form of a college, which they were able to receive, however, in potency (just as wood was able to become a statue).
The celebration of a council is not of divine right, but is only of pontifical right, because it is the pope who decides if a council should take place or not; the council is not therefore demanded by the esse simpliciter of the Church, but only for its melius esse. The pope, therefore, puts in act collegiality for a time, when he considers it opportune, by convoking a council, but it is false to say — as Lumen Gentium does — that collegiality exists “always and necessarily” by divine institution, and that therefore the pope even when he acts alone, acts as the head of a college that is always existing in actu primo.
According to the conciliar “magisterium” of Lumen Gentium, together with its Nota Explicativa, the answer is yes.
Collegium non intelligitur sensu stricte iuridico, scilicet de cœtu æqualium, qui potestatem suam præsidi suo demandarent, sed de cœtu stabili, cuius structura et auctoritas ex revelatione deduci debet. [emphasis added]
The college is therefore presented to us as a permanent group whose structure is deduced from revelation. Therefore, according to the “magisterium” of Vatican II, the idea that the body of bishops is a permanent college is connected with revelation. Lumen Gentium therefore alters the nature of the Church of Christ. In fact it presents to us as connected with revelation the existence of a college of bishops as a permanent group, which “necessario et semper caput suum cointelligit…qui licet semper existat, non permanenter actione stricte collegiali agit.” For the conciliar “magisterium” the nature of the Church is collegial “necessario et semper” even if it does not always act collegially. But this is impossible for Catholic doctrine! The body of bishops has only a passive potency (de iure divino) to receive from the pope — temporary at that — the status of being a college in act (de iure pontificio). The conciliar “magisterium” not only alters and corrupts the divine nature and constitution of the Church, but also in the Nota Prævia it presents this new collegial structure of the Church as connected with revelation! Also Karol Wojtyla in his book Alle fonti del Rinovamento — a study of the implementation of the Second Vatican Council — asserts: “The principle of collegiality demonstrates the principle of the primacy in that both come forth from the institution of Christ.”
Lumen Gentium introduces a sophistic and false notion of the subject of the power of teaching and jurisdiction in the Church, and therefore alters the divine structure of the Church. In short, the nature of the “Church” presented to us by Lumen Gentium is essentially different from the Church instituted by Christ.
The Catholic doctrine that the college of bishops exists only virtually (i.e., when constituted by the pope) is at least proxima fidei: he who denies it is therefore close to heresy. (Cf. Abbé Berto, La Sainte Eglise Romaine, Editions du Cèdre, pages 217–280).
The Apostolic College and the “Episcopal College”
The Apostles form a college in the broad sense of the term. It is therefore licit to speak of the apostolic college.
The Gospel and the Acts teach us that the Apostles were chosen in order to live together with Our Lord, in order to receive together their teaching, in order to live together as witnesses of the Passion and Resurrection, in order to be elevated together to the plenitude of the priesthood. The expression “apostolic college” is licit and even sacred, but it is necessary to point out that the Apostles were not a college in the strict sense, that is, a moral person endowed as such with powers that no physical person who would be a member of it (each of the Apostles) would have by himself. In Sacred Scripture, there is not a single word about this moral person or college in the strict sense, nor is there anything found in the magisterium. All of the texts prove that the Apostles were a college in the broad sense. The expressions which Our Lord used in the plural to address the Apostles do not prove anything. In fact the plural is not necessarily collegial, and not even collective; rather it can often be distributive. When, for example, a teacher says to the students “Do your homework,” such an action is not to be done in a collegial manner, but by each of the students. In a similar way, when Our Blessed Lord said to the Apostles: “Do this in commemoration of me,” he did not desire that they celebrate collegially, or that they “concelebrate.” And when he said to them, “Going, therefore, teach ye all nations and baptize them,” He did not desire that the magisterium or the priesthood be exercised collegially; the gospel accounts and the acts give us the proof of this: the Apostles act collegially only at the Council of Jerusalem. We do not ever read in the gospels or in the acts that the Apostles heard confessions, baptized, or taught collegially.
With regard to the “episcopal college,” therefore, it is false to say, as Lumen Gentium says, that the “college” of bishops succeeds to the college of the Apostles. In fact the Apostles were elected to receive together the gospel, to receive together Holy Orders, and they form a college in the broad sense. But the first bishops were not instituted by the apostolic college, but by a single apostle. (Timothy and Titus were chosen by St. Paul) Not even the first bishops were established to be and to form a college. Titus and Timothy were not invited to form a moral person or college by Saint Paul.
In Sacred Scripture there is not a single word which permits us to affirm collegiality. Rather in it there is an implicit negation of it. The subject of the decisions to be made is not a college, but Titus and Timothy. “Singuli episcopi singulos greges” (Vatican I): single bishops or physical persons govern each one his own flock and not collegially.
Collegiality and the Church as “People of God” according to Joseph Ratzinger
Joseph Ratzinger is one of the “theologians” of Vatican II who, together with Karl Rahner, insisted most on collegiality. He wrote a historical article in the first issue of the well-known review Concilium in 1965 entitled “The Pastoral Implications of the Doctrine of the Collegiality of Bishops.” In it he affirms “ The bishops are the successors of the Apostles, and therefore they as well are constituted collegially as the college of bishops and as the succession to the college of the Apostles and, just as every Apostle only had his function through his belonging to the others who form with him the apostolic continuity, so the bishop does not possess his ministry except by the fact that he belongs to the college which represents the post-apostolic prolongation of the college of the Apostles.” (page 36)
A little later, desirous of giving an explanation of whether the term college should be taken in the strict or juridical sense, Ratzinger affirms: “The lovers of precise definitions [scholastic theologians — cn] wanted to know (in the course of the conciliar debates) if the term college was a community of equals; now the college of bishops in whose bosom is found the primacy of the jurisdiction of Peter, cannot be obviously a community of equals. Therefore one cannot speak of a college in the sense of Roman law.” The explanation given is in line with Nota Prævia, avoids the conciliarist heresy, that is, the pope is not a primus inter pares, the college of bishops should not be taken in the proper sense of Roman law. But it does not avoid the error that the college of bishops succeeds that of the Apostles, and is by nature permanent.
Ratzinger continues: “But despite this, the college is more than a non-binding moral sense or moral deferment to the unanimity of bishops. It rests on a reality that is not deducible from other systems already given…The concept of collegiality must not, therefore, be taken in a profane juridical sense, but much less ought it to be relegated to insignificance as a simple flower of rhetoric.”
Ratzinger, as a good immanentist, has a horror of “those who love precise definitions,” and gives only extremely vague ones which define absolutely nothing, but which succeed in establishing a new “thing.” What exactly this college of bishops is, is very difficult to say if we only base ourselves on this last “definition.” Nevertheless Ratzinger here and there makes his thought a little more clear: “The primacy of the Pope cannot be understood on the model of an absolute monarchy, as if the Bishop of Rome were a monarch without the restriction of a supernatural communal entity, the Church with a central constitution.” (page 43)
“The attempts excessively in vogue of founding the primacy of the pope upon a political philosophy based on Plato and Aristotle, according to which monarchy is the best form of government are doomed to the extent that they attempt to describe the Church with categories of monarchy that are not proper to it.” (page 52)
The Council of Florence, however, declared de fide definita that the Church of Rome is monarchical (Denz. 694) and Vatican I repeated this same doctrine (Denz. 1822).
In short for Ratzinger the Church is not a monarchy, and therefore the subject of the supreme power is not the pope who, when he wants and if he wants, convokes a council and makes the bishops, constituted in act as a college (sui generis), participate in his supreme power; but rather for Ratzinger the subject of such power is the pope as head of the college, or the college with its head the pope, and all of this through divine institution. Such a doctrine of collegiality in the obvious meaning which we have set forth by means of the affirmations of those who elaborated on it in the Council and in the review Concilium is heretical inasmuch as it contradicts a dogma de fide definita. Such a doctrine expressed by the young Ratzinger in Concilium in 1965 is repeated and made even worse by the mature Ratzinger (the conservative and traditionalist “iron cardinal”). Ratzinger in Chiesa ecumenismo e politica, puts in rapport collegiality (a “cosmic concept” — page 18) with the Church as People of God:
In treating the idea of collegiality, the word Church as People of God ultimately resounds…After the first enthusiasm after the discovery of the idea of the Mystical Body, there were added some deeper understandings and corrections [of Saint Paul and Pius XII — author’s note].
In Germany various theologians criticize the fact that with the idea of the Mystical Body the relation between the visible and the invisible remained unclear. They therefore proposed the concept of People of God as a more ample description of the Church [now one sees how collegiality is a consequence of the subsistit in; the Church of Christ is no longer the Mystical Body or the Catholic Church, but is the whole People of God or the human race — cn. cf. Sodalitium no. 22]…
Pius XII published the encyclical Mystici Corporis on the twenty-ninth of June, 1943. He established that in order to belong to the Church, three things were necessary: to be baptized, to profess the true faith, and to belong to the juridical unity of the Church. With this, however, non-catholics were completely excluded from belonging to the Church…We ask ourselves then if the image of the Mystical Body was not too restricted as a point of departure in order to define the multiple forms of belonging to the Church. The image of body involves the problem that “belonging” has the representation of a member; members either are or are not, and there are no gray areas [something which disturbs Ratzinger a great deal — cn]. Thus we discovered in the concept of the People of God that it is much more ample and supple…thus one could say that the concept of People of God was introduced by the Council above all as an ecumenical bridge. (pp. 20–21) [emphasis added].
Finally in the second chapter of the first part of the book, Ratzinger treats of the “primacy of the pope” and affirms: “The subject of the papacy was not a popular theme during the years of the Second Vatican Council. It was an obvious theme to the extent that monarchy corresponded to it on the political plane [as if the Church had borrowed its monarchical structure from the world and not vice versa, given that the Church is the Kingdom of God, and given that God is one in nature and three in persons, the King of the Universe — cn]. But no sooner had the monarchical idea practically disappeared and was replaced by the democratic idea, did it become insufficient as a point of reference and a basis for our thought with regard to the pontifical primacy. It is not the case, certainly, that Vatican I polarized itself on the primacy of the pope, and in turn Vatican II has polarized itself on the concept of collegiality.” (page 33)
Catholic doctrine affirms that the hierarchy is composed of the supreme pontificate and of a subordinated episcopate (Vatican I). The relation between these two levels, pope and bishops is, by divine institution, immediate. To interpose between the pope and each bishop a moral person or episcopal “college” of so-called divine institution (as Lumen Gentium does) is to falsify the divine constitution of the Church. The bishops are true successors of the Apostles inasmuch as they have been elected as singular Apostles; it is false to say, however, (as Lumen Gentium says) that the college of the Apostles perdures in the “college” of the bishops, because the college of the Apostles never was a college in the strict sense, or because it became extinct as a habitual and permanent college in the broad sense with the death of the Apostles. To it succeeded the body of bishops, which is a college only in potency (de iure divino) and which is able to be reduced to act by the pope (de iure pontificio) by his free decision for a determined period of time. Lumen Gentium presents to us the episcopate not only as a body but as a moral person or college which is permanent in act, distinct from the singular bishops who compose it, and subject of the supreme power of teaching and of jurisdiction, which, even when it is exercised by the Roman Pontiff alone, is always an act of the head of the college, and therefore a collegial act. The church of Vatican II is therefore not the Apostolic and Roman Catholic Church instituted by our Lord Jesus Christ.
“Considering the changes that are being made, we arrive at the conclusion that at the interior of the Roman Catholic Church, there is in the process of development a new religion, substantially different from that of Christ, with gnostic and cabalistic characteristics.”
(Sacerdotium 13, Autumn 1994)
The Council uses the term subsistit in, that is the Church of Christ “subsists in” the Catholic Church.
The Roman Church, according to Lumen Gentium(no. 8), is only one of those Churches in which the Church of Christ “subsists”.
John Paul II, Dives in Misericordia, 3.
Morra, Marxismo e Religione, Rusconi, pp. 22–23.
Ragione e Fide, Torino: 1944, p. 517.
Morra, op. cit., pp. 26–27.
The entire context of this statement is as follows: This is the sole Church of Christ which in the Creed we profess to be one, holy, catholic and apostolic, which our Saviour, after his resurrection, entrusted to Peter’s pastoral care (Jn. 21:17), commanding him and the other apostles to extend and rule it (cf. Matt. 28:18, etc.), and which he raised up for all ages as the “pillar and mainstay of the truth” (1 Tim. 3:15). This Church, constituted and organized as a society in the present world, subsists in the Catholic Church which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the bishops in communion with him.
La Chiesa di Dio corpo di Cristo e tempio dello Spirito, (Cittadella: 1971) p. 603.
Le Concile de Vatican II, (Paris: Beauchesne) p. 160.
Ricciardi Editions, 1985, pp. 7980.
 Paragraph 4.
 in Vita Sacramentale, part II, section 2 Ed. Paoline, p. 58.
 Italian post-Vatican II edition, Marietti, page 486.
op. cit., page 79.
Nota Prævia, no. 1.
ibid. no. 4.
Libreria Editrice Vaticana, page 147.
 pp. 33–55.
 ed. Paoline, 1986.
Don Julio Meinvielle, Dalla kabala al progressismo, privately edited by don Julio Innocenti, page 245.