4) “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. This power can be exercised only with the consent of the Roman Pontiff” (Lumen Gentium, #22).
Nevertheless, after the close of the Council, when the hierarchy began to interpret the meaning or application of the documents of Vatican II, many among her knowledge class dissented from such magisterial teaching, effecting a controversy over the legitimacy of Church decisions and thus a crisis of authority, the net result of their heresy. In the face of what amounts to episcopal lethargy, such false, pernicious teachings were permitted an audience in high places within the hierarchy, several bishops themselves having been seduced by such opinions. De facto, the audience granted the “culture of dissent,” divided the sheep, thus sinking the credibility and viability of the Gospel message for much of the modern world, in Paul VI’s thinking a sign of the diabolic. Read More