+ Dedication of the Basilica of Our Savior +
The misunderstanding concerning the source of authority of bishops in the Church has persisted for long decades following its definition, and to be honest Traditionalists following Lefebvre and Thuc “bishops” did nothing to clarify it because it definitely was not in their best interests. Of course truly educated Catholics should have known they possessed no authority in the Church to begin with, but this was not the case. More importantly, they should have known from the very beginning that the Church could not function without a true pope and they could not treat any bishop as his equal. This is basic Catholic teaching, but as we have repeatedly pointed out, those who call themselves Traditionalists are not really interested in knowing their faith although they may call themselves Catholic.
As Pope Leo XIII taught in Satis Cognitum, long before Pope Pius XII declared that bishops received their jurisdiction from St. Peter, not directly from Christ, even taken collectively the bishops are not superior to the pope; this is the Gallicanist heresy. “All are agreed that the divine promise must be understood of the Church as a whole and not of any certain portions of it. These can indeed be overcome by the assaults of the powers of hell…” So it is either the Church holding firm with all the bishops in communion with the Holy Father or nothing at all; THAT is Christ’s meaning when He says that the gates of Hell shall not prevail. Here Pope Leo XIII is referring to a scriptural verse; he is explaining the meaning of divine revelation. He is telling us that there can be no such thing as bishops ruling without or outside their head; this is schism. They either rule as a unit or not at all. Unless, of course, they call themselves Traditionalists.
In posting this article on Pope Pius XII’s decision concerning episcopal jurisdiction, it should be noted that the intent was to show the proofs used to arrive at this decision, as presented by Msgr. Fenton. No one would question the authenticity of these sources. And yet they question the necessity of the Roman Pontiff. There is no reason to belabor the point. Enough has been demonstrated here concerning the inability of Traditionalist bishops to even exist that no more need be said on the subject. What now must be emphasized is the fact that the Vatican Council never guaranteed these men WOULD exist without the pope; this was not the divine promise. We live in unprecedented times. Had Traditionalists just accepted this from the beginning, per Christ Himself, their movement would have been short-lived. That they did not is why Christ’s Church can no longer claim a true head.