Catechism of the Catholic Church

234 Part One 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.” 402 “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.” 403 883 “The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter’s successor, as its head.” As such, this college has “supreme and full authority over the universal Church; but this power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff.” 404 884 “The college of bishops exercises power over the universal Church in a solemn manner in an ecumenical council.” 405 But “there never is an ecumenical council which is not confirmed or at least recognized as such by Peter’s successor.” 406 885 “This college, in so far as it is composed of manymembers, is the expression of the variety and universality of the People of God; and of the unity of the flock of Christ, in so far as it is assembled under one head.” 407 886 “The individual bishops are the visible source and founda- tion of unity in their own particular Churches.” 408 As such, they “exercise their pastoral office over the portion of the People of God assigned to them,” 409 assisted by priests and deacons. But, as a member of the episcopal college, each bishop shares in the concern for all the Churches. 410 The bishops exercise this care first “by ruling well their own Churches as portions of the universal Church,” and so contributing “to the welfare of the whole Mystical Body, which, from another point of view, is a corporate body of Churches.” 411 They extend it especially to the poor, 412 to those persecuted for the faith, as well as to missionaries who are working throughout the world. 402 LG 23. 403 LG 22; cf. CD 2, 9. 404 LG 22; cf. CIC, can. 336. 405 CIC, can. 337 § 1. 406 LG 22. 407 LG 22. 408 LG 23. 409 LG 23. 410 Cf. CD 3. 411 LG 23. 412 Cf. Gal 2:10. 834, 1369 837 1560, 833 2448