Rorate Caeli

Cardinal Pell explains the new Papal Consultation Group

In an exclusive interview to the USCCB's Catholic News Service, the Archbishop of Sydney, Cardinal Pell, explains the new group of Super-Cardinals and its relationship with the notion of "collegiality".

Just to recall: the word "collegiality" is not mentioned in a single document of the Second Vatican Council, even if the concept might arguably be found in the endless references to the College (of Apostles, of Bishops) and its relationship with the Successor of Peter in the Constitution on the Church (Lumen Gentium) - to use a word loved by the new Pope, probably the most "self-referential" document in the history of the Church -; and, most importantly, in the Nota that accompanies it. 

[Tip and source: CNS]


  1. Cardinal Ottaviani once joked that there was clear Scriptural evidence for collegiality: "And they all fled."

  2. Difficult to see how another layer of bureaucracy is going to assist. I thought this man already acquired the skills needed back home in Argentina.

  3. This super-cameral elite resembles an inner-cabinet. Frankly, I could never trust Cardinal Madariaga after his abuse cover-ups. It does not square with collegiality at all but, then again, on the other hand, nothing squares with collegiality since there is no unity among the bishops at present except on keeping tradition off the agenda, no matter what. Moreover, many of them have lost their authority to lay dominated diocesan councils. I am sure Damian Thompson of The Telegraph online will call this one "the Super-Magic Circle".

  4. Let us hope the outcome will not be

  5. I've never understood why the doctrine on the authority of the college of bishops as taught by Vatican II is so problematic.

    It was planned at Vatican I, but was not taught because the Council was cut short (Vatican II quotes pretty much word for word from the Vatican I preparatory document on this point).

    The supreme authority of the college was the traditional doctrine going into Vatican I, so much so that the relator for Pastor Aeternus, Bishop Zinelli, in his official explanation to the voting fathers had to explain why saying the Pope had supreme authority too was not problematic:

    "The bishops gathered with their head in an ecumenical council—and in that case they represent the whole Church—or dispersed but in union with their head—in which case they are the Church itself—truly have full power (vere plenam potestatem habent). There would be confusion if we were to admit two full and supreme powers separate and distinct from each other. But we admit that the truly full and supreme power is in the sovereign pontiff as in the head (veluti capite) and that the same power, truly both full and supreme, is also in the head united to the members, that is to say, in the pontiff united to the bishops."

    For example, Mauro Cappellari taught the following shortly before becoming Pope Gregory XVI:

    "Each bishop enters into membership in the episcopal body, and consequently enters into the right to govern and teach the entire Church, when he is in union with all the others, and forms a body with them." Il trionfo della Santa Sede e della Chiesa

  6. Anonymous10:11 PM

    Lumen Gentium is actually pretty solid on the question of collegiality as long as the document is read in context, and as long as the following passage from no. 22 is not conveniently overlooked:

    "But the college or body of bishops has no authority unless it is understood together with the Roman Pontiff, the successor of Peter as its head. The pope's power of primacy over all, both pastors and faithful, remains whole and intact. In virtue of his office, that is as Vicar of Christ and pastor of the whole Church, the Roman Pontiff has full, supreme and universal power over the Church. And he is always free to exercise this power. 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, provided we understand this body together with its head the Roman Pontiff and never without this head.(27*) This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff. For our Lord placed Simon alone as the rock and the bearer of the keys of the Church,(156) and made him shepherd of the whole flock;(157) it is evident, however, that the power of binding and loosing, which was given to Peter,(158) was granted also to the college of apostles, joined with their head.(159)(28*) This college, insofar as it is composed of many, expresses the variety and universality of the People of God, but insofar as it is assembled under one head, it expresses the unity of the flock of Christ. In it, the bishops, faithfully recognizing the primacy and pre-eminence of their head, exercise their own authority for the good of their own faithful, and indeed of the whole Church, the Holy Spirit supporting its organic structure and harmony with moderation. The supreme power in the universal Church, which this college enjoys, is exercised in a solemn way in an ecumenical council. A council is never ecumenical unless it is confirmed or at least accepted as such by the successor of Peter; and it is prerogative of the Roman Pontiff to convoke these councils, to preside over them and to confirm them.(29*) This same collegiate power can be exercised together with the pope by the bishops living in all parts of the world, provided that the head of the college calls them to collegiate action, or at least approves of or freely accepts the united action of the scattered bishops, so that it is thereby made a collegiate act."

  7. From my perspective, it's more important that His Holiness consecrates Russia to the Immaculate Heart.

  8. I normally don't believe in conspiracy theories.
    But I have to say that what we have seen in the last year is scandalous. I now believe that B16 was forced out.
    Then the feudal cardinals in curia installed Bergoglio as pope, a man saying nice things so the liberal media won't crucify him, and now we have a de facto cardinal oligarchy,
    Where the pope is no longer pope, not even in name.
    This is the great apostacy.
    Benedict XVI resignation is just as catastrofic as the one by Celestine V in the 13th century.

  9. GMF

    "...why the doctrine on the authority of the college of bishops as taught by Vatican II is so problematic.'

    It is so because, we no longer have a papacy which is in control as the Supreme Pontiff. He has become a primus inter pares and as such does not act with the same functions as before. Also, once The Holy See was divided into near autonomus congregations at the time of The Councils this has further diluted papal authority as we witness today. The Head of State has probably more effective power than the Pope.

    Moreover, when popes flout liturgical and other laws & customary norms of the church as the post-conciliar papacies have done then we no longer have a reference point for sound Catholic behaviour. This gives the symboliocal signal for everyone to do as they please. And they do so, as we can see. Couple this with the fact that Diocesan Councils have often assumed or frozen episcopal authority locally it can be readily appreciated that "collegiality" is not only a charade but it is also realistically impracticable in the liberal modernist context.

  10. Some of us from Melbourne are well familiar Cardinal Pell. He's on the conservative side and by NO standard definitely better than most of his peers. He is in the position to contribute with something of a substance unlike the rest, although october is still fair way ahead. The burning issues need an attention right at the very moment.

  11. Carli and Siri thought Collegiality was heresy - but what did they know?

  12. In order to be Catholic, one must be in communion with Christ's One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church.(Catholic Canon 750)

    Cardinal Pell, in dialogue with an atheist, claimed that some same sex sexual relationships are worthy of respect.

    The question is, why have so many who have left His Church spiritually, been allowed to remain within His Church physically, causing chaos and confusion while leading so many astray? Clearly there is a group of persons within The Vatican that have conspired to undermine our Catholic Faith, and while it is true the gates of hell will not prevail, it is Time for all those who have been sleeping in Gethsemane to wake up!

    The fact that Pope Francis supported same-sex unions, and claims that Moslems worship the same God that Catholics do, is evidence enough, that something is not quite right in The Vatican, and we need to protect our Holy Father.

  13. Gloria TV News website published last week that Cardinal Marx of Munich owns 13.2% shareholding in the German bishops publishing house which sells amongst other things 2,500 pornographic titles,
    The Pope asked Marx to advise him? Why?

  14. I feel something is not quite right and I wish someone who can be trusted would check in on our Holy Father who is in isolation.


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