Responding to press reports that the pope will ask for his resignation, Bishop Joseph Strickland wrote on his blog: “I have said publicly that I cannot resign as Bishop of Tyler because that would be me abandoning the flock that I was given charge of by Pope Benedict XVI. I have also said that I will respect the authority of Pope Francis if he removes me from office as Bishop of Tyler.”1
Even before that statement, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski had advised Bishop Strickland to ignore the pope’s possible removal decree by remaining in the diocese and exercising jurisdiction as if his pope-appointed successor were an intruder. That was not an abrupt reaction but a sequence of three interventions, first, in a long July interview,2 and then in two successive articles, one published by Crisis Magazine3 and the other by 1Peter5,4 which is an edited transcript of that interview.
In his Crisis article, Dr. Kwasniewski mentioned the case of Most Rev. Isidore Borecky, the Ukrainian Catholic Eparch of Toronto, as an example to be emulated. Bishop Borecky refused to submit his resignation when he reached the age of 75, claiming that the discipline of the Latin Rite Church did not apply to Eastern Rite ones, and, therefore, he did not recognize his successor, a Pope John Paul II appointee.
Dr. Kwasniewski presents several arguments in these articles. They are briefly summarized below and presented logically, not necessarily following the original order, partly because, in his interview and hence in the 1Peter5 article, he had to follow the interviewer’s questions. The full text of the corresponding extracts is provided in the footnotes. Here are his main arguments:
- It is not the pope who makes a bishop, but Jesus Christ. In his own diocese, a bishop is not a “vicar of the pope” but a vicar of Christ, receiving his episcopacy from God at the pope’s delegation.5
- The bishop’s power to rule and care for the flock comes from Christ, not the pope. Therefore, bishops have prior and legitimate rights rooted in apostolic succession that papal authority must respect, regardless of its primacy. Overemphasizing the papal primacy concerning other elements of ecclesiastical life is an erroneous extrapolation and a narrow or positivistic reading of the dogmatic definition of the First Vatican Council.6
- Once someone is made bishop, he is a bishop forever. Bishops are put in place by Christ and are permanently in place unless they give just cause for the grave step of deposition. Pius XII refused to purge the French bishops accused of collaboration with the Vichy regime, declaring that such a thing had never been done before.7
- Bishops are wedded to their local church, just as Christ is the Bridegroom of the whole Church. Arbitrary removal would be tantamount to an ecclesiastical “no-fault divorce.” Therefore, a bishop, like a good father, should be prepared to die rather than discontinue caring for his flock, which would be at risk of being deprived of the sacraments, sound doctrine, and moral guidance.8
- Popes are given authority for the common good of the Church. When they arbitrarily remove a good bishop, they act ultra vires, i.e., beyond one’s legal authority. Such an act would be null and void and should be ignored. The new bishop is an imposter and usurper.9
- In emergencies, doing things not allowed in a normal situation is permissible. The momentary chaos of having two concurrent bishops claiming jurisdiction over the same diocese is a lesser evil compared to abandoning the flock to the wolves.10Toward the end of the interview, there is this exchange:
Paulinus [Westen]: There are things we can do when a house is burning down—like break down a door, enter in uninvited, shoot water all over the place, remove people without consent—that we can’t do when a house is not burning down.
Servideus [Kwasniewski]: So, granting all the chaos that would ensue from a bishop not stepping down when told to do so, it is still better that he remain than for him to further enable the abuse of papal authority, lend support to the heretical faction in charge, and abandon the flock to the wolves. (Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop”)[/note]
While these six arguments contain elements of truth, the overall presentation of the relationship between the papal primacy and the ordinary power of bishops in their dioceses seems unbalanced. That is because Dr. Kwasniewski omits a fundamental point of Catholic theology, the distinction between the hierarchy of order and that of jurisdiction. This omission leads to a one-sided solution to the problem of a bishop’s unjust deposition because it does not take due account of the universal and immediate character of the sovereign pontiff’s power of jurisdiction over the whole Church in matters of government and discipline as defined in the dogmatic declaration Pastor aeternus of the First Vatican Council.11
It is insufficient to base a solution on sections 20, 23, and 27 of the Second Vatican Council’s constitution Lumen gentium on the ordinary power of bishops in their dioceses as successors of the apostles and not as delegates of the pope.12 Because to theologically justify the novelty of collegiality as the participation of all the bishops in the supreme government of the Church, that conciliar document failed to refer explicitly to the traditional distinction between the hierarchy of order and the hierarchy of jurisdiction. Further, it opposed the Church’s traditional magisterium when declaring that the “episcopal consecration, together with the office of sanctifying, also confers the office of teaching and governing” (no. 21).
Canon 108 § 3 of the 1917 Code, still in force during the Council, showed this distinction clearly: “By divine institution, the sacred hierarchy in respect of orders consists of bishops, priests, and ministers; by reason of jurisdiction, [it consists of] the supreme pontificate and the subordinate episcopate; by institution of the Church other grades can also be added.”13
Why is this traditional distinction and its obliteration by the Second Vatican Council so important for our case? True, through the sacrament of Holy Orders, it is Christ who makes the episcopally consecrated person a bishop and gives him the munera to sanctify, teach, and govern his flock. However, it is also true that there is a difference in how these powers are received. While the bishop receives the power to sanctify directly from Christ, he receives the jurisdictional power to teach and govern directly from the pope and only indirectly from Our Lord.
In the episcopal consecration, the aptitude to receive jurisdiction is given in radice but accidentally. For the power to teach and govern to become effective, the pope must grant the consecrated person a diocese or some other group of the faithful to govern. Since the hierarchy of order and the hierarchy of jurisdiction are not confused, there are many bishops without a flock or jurisdiction—e.g., auxiliary bishops, bishops emeritus, bishops who are apostolic nuncios or work in the Roman Curia. Similarly, there are shepherds without episcopal consecration who have subjects and jurisdiction—e.g., apostolic delegates, vicars capitular, and superiors of religious orders and congregations.
That distinction was so clear in the past that the old Code of Canon Law specified that a cleric who was appointed bishop assumed the diocesan governance from the moment he received the apostolic letters of appointment and was given three months to receive the episcopal consecration.14 Even more significant is the case of the supreme pontiffs who were not bishops when elected pope. They received the primacy of jurisdiction when they consented to be the pope.15 For example, Pope Adrian V was just a simple deacon when elected and died before being ordained priest and bishop. However, he is number 186 on the list of legitimate popes. That Pope Adrian V had full and universal jurisdiction from the moment he accepted the papacy was so clear that, in the short period of his 39-day pontificate, he validly suspended the application of the bull Ubi periculum, promulgated two years earlier, which had established, for the first time, the closed conclave as the method of electing the pope.
Contrary to the assertion in number 21 of Lumen gentium16—that episcopal consecration confers the office of teaching and governing—these examples make it clear that popes and bishops who exercised their office of government before receiving episcopal consecration already possessed jurisdiction. The pope’s jurisdiction was full and universal; that of the bishops was limited to their dioceses.
The above may seem like a digression far removed from Dr. Kwasniewski’s proposal to Bishop Strickland. In reality, it is the premise for subsequent conclusions. It lays bare the ambiguity of some formulations of the well-known traditionalist writer that inform his proposed solution, which I believe is incorrect.
These two powers (of order and jurisdiction) are distinct for several reasons. First of all, they have different origins. One is conferred by ordination and the other by the canonical mission. Second, they differ as to their proximate ends. The power of order tends toward the sanctification of individuals through the sacraments. The power of jurisdiction to the government of the community. Third, they differ as to their properties, as we can see here:
- The power of order
(a) cannot be extinguished (because Holy Orders imprints an indelible sacramental character on the soul);
(b) cannot be delegated;
(c) is equal in all who possess it; and,
(d) can be exercised validly, even if unlawfully, despite any prohibition (think of the power to celebrate Holy Mass or to ordain priests and consecrate bishops).
- The power of jurisdiction
(a) can be lost;
(b) can be delegated;
(c) is different depending on who possesses it; and,
(d) cannot be exercised validly against Church laws.
With the above in mind, let us now return to Dr. Kwasniewski’s articles. Their initial misdirection stems from his ambiguous assertion that “his [the bishop’s] power to rule and care for the flock comes from Christ, not from the pope.” As we saw, the power to sanctify is given to the bishop directly by Our Lord at his consecration. However, the power to govern a portion of the flock is given to him indirectly by God and directly by the pope with the apostolic letter of appointment.
Thus, the phrase “once someone is a bishop, he’s a bishop forever” is misleading. It is true only concerning the power of order (the episcopal character is never lost—whether in heaven or hell, a bishop will always be a bishop). Still, it is untrue concerning the power of jurisdiction because a prelate ceases to be the “Bishop of X” in the event of resignation, transfer, or deposition.
Also misleading is the sentence that immediately follows. That the bishops “are put in place by Christ and are permanently in place unless they actually do something to forfeit being in their place.” The sentence fails to mention that bishops are appointed to their dioceses by the pope and receive the power to govern that portion of the flock directly from him and indirectly from Christ. That is why the pope can remove or depose them even if they have not given “a just cause for the grave step of deposition” because their removal could be justified by a higher good of the Church (for example, by replacing European-born bishops in Africa with ones who were born there during the turbulent period of postwar decolonization).
As the adage goes, omnis comparatio claudicat (all similes limp), i.e., every comparison is somewhat flawed. The analogy between the bishop’s union with his diocese and the bonds of marriage is limited since the latter are indissoluble until death separates the spouses. In contrast, the former can be terminated by resignation, transfer, or deposition. Even weaker is the comparison of an arbitrary deposition with a no-fault divorce because in marriage, every divorce is illegitimate since, except for the Pauline privilege, no human power can dissolve the bonds of a marriage that is ratum et consummatum.
Can the dismissed bishop appeal “from the pope to the pope,” purely on principle, by introducing an administrative appeal, for example, before the Dicastery for Bishops? In any case, an arbitrarily deposed bishop can unquestionably remain spiritually united with his former flock and must be prepared to die so that his former subjects may continue to receive the sacraments, good doctrine, and sound moral guidance. To do so, he must use all the moral prestige acquired by his good shepherding. However, this does not allow him to self-reinstate the jurisdictional powers removed from him. Nor may he consider his successor a usurper, for, as seen above, the power of jurisdiction cannot be validly exercised against Church laws.
In this sense, the examples provided by Dr. Kwasniewski, i.e., Ukrainian Eparch Isidore Borecky’s refusal to accept his successor and Pius XII’s statement that he would not depose the French collaborationist bishops, are not conclusive. There are many and much more expressive examples to the contrary. Consider, for example, the deposition of Cardinal József Mindszenty from the primatial archdiocese of Esztergom, Hungary, to facilitate relations between the Holy See and the communist government of that nation. That unjust removal was followed by the appointment of Bishop László Lékai as apostolic administrator, who hastened to urge Catholics to be loyal citizens of the communist regime (as do Chinese Patriotic Association bishops today). Despite the monstrous injustice of deposing a hero to foster a no less monstrous policy of rapprochement with the communist regime, the cardinal-martyr never considered the appointed administrator a usurper. Nor did he carry out any jurisdictional act in his former archdiocese.
Even more significant was the case of the French bishops who had emigrated because of the French Revolution’s fierce persecution. They were forced to renounce their dioceses by Pope Pius VII’s brief Tam multa to comply with the 1801 concordat Cardinal Consalvi had negotiated with Napoleon Bonaparte on the pope’s behalf. In return, the First Consul agreed to demand the resignation of intruding “bishops” who had joined the schismatic church established by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy. A new French episcopate was thus established, chosen by Bonaparte from among juring and faithful non-juring bishops, with the pope pledging to give all of them the respective canonical recognition. Something similar happened in communist China after its government’s secret agreement with the Holy See.
The arbitrariness of Tam multa was all the more obvious because, to return to France, the bishops who resigned were also obliged to swear an oath of obedience to the Constitution of the Year VIII, which officialized the Consulate. The State’s domination of the Church was so extensive that Napoleon imposed on the pope to respect the territorial reconfiguration of the dioceses established by the Civil Constitution of the Clergy so that the diocesan territories matched the departments invented by the Revolution.
In the end, 47 of the 82 émigré bishops still alive in September 1801 resigned, and 35 refused to submit their resignations. Their dioceses were either suppressed or taken over by other bishops appointed by civil authorities and recognized by the pope. Nonetheless, the non-resigning bishops who remained faithful to the Holy See never claimed jurisdiction over their former dioceses, not even after Napoleon’s 1814 fall and the restoration of the Bourbon dynasty.
In Church history, it is difficult to find such an arbitrary removal of so many good bishops who suffered tremendous hardships to avoid joining a schismatic church. Those who refused to resign could have argued that Pius VII was acting ultra vires, i.e., beyond his legal authority, that the brief Tam multa should be “ignored” as “null and void,” and the new bishops deemed usurpers or imposters. They could have added that it was an “emergency” and the chaos of having two bishops claiming jurisdiction over the same diocese was preferable to abandoning the flock to a wolf appointed by Napoleon.
However, they did not do so, although their leader, Most Rev. Arthur Richard Dillon, Gallican archbishop of Narbonne, exiled in London, claimed that the pope “could not remove a bishop on his own authority without a canonical and regular trial.”17 Only three bishops who refused to resign continued giving orders to the clergy and faithful of their former dioceses, thus giving rise to the anti-1801 French Concordat schism known to history as the Petite Église.
God has mysterious designs for His Church that belie the best human calculations. While the Petite Église experienced a rapid decline during the nineteenth century, French Catholicism, albeit led by a large number of bishops who were successors to those appointed by Napoleon, emerged rejuvenated from these troubles and saw the birth of numerous saints, new congregations, and missionary endeavors that took the Gospel to the furthest ends of the earth. We must maintain this supernatural spirit and not search for overly human solutions to the Church’s current crisis—the greatest she has known in her 2,000-year history.
Pope Francis and his evil advisors and agents would be delighted if bishops who are unjustly removed from their dioceses for resisting their Church-demolishing agenda were to rebel against the papal order, going on to establish a twenty-first century anti-progressive Petite Église.18
Photo Credit: © Mistervlad – stock.adobe.com
1. Joseph E. Strickland, “A Brief Update from Bishop Strickland,” BishopStrickland.com, Sept. 20, 2023, https://www.bishopstrickland.com/blog/post/a-brief-update-from-bishop-strickland.
2. See “Bishop Joseph Strickland Must Resist Pope Francis if Told to Step Down,” John-Henry Westen Show, LifeSiteNews.com, Jul. 12, 2023, accessed Sept. 25, 2023, https://rumble.com/v2znekm-bishop-joseph-strickland-must-resist-pope-francis-if-told-to-step-down-dr.-.html.
3. See Peter Kwasniewski, “Resisting Papal Overreach: The Story of Bishop Isidore Borecky,” Crisis Magazine, Sept. 13, 2023, https://crisismagazine.com/opinion/resisting-papal-overreach-the-story-of-bishop-isidore-borecky.
4. See Peter Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop Should Ignore His Unjust Deposition by a Pope: A Dialogue,” OnePeterFive.com, Sept. 18, 2023, https://onepeterfive.com/bishop-ignore-unjust-deposition-by-pope/.
5. “In short: a bishop is a bishop because Jesus Christ has made him a high priest of the Church and a successor of the apostles. He is not a ‘vicar of the pope,’ that is, one who stands in for the pope like a branch manager beholden to Vatican, Inc., but a vicar of Christ in his own diocese, receiving his episcopacy from God at the pope’s delegation.” Kwasniewski, “Resisting Papal Overreach.” In his 1Peter5 article, Kwasniewski states: The priests are not equipped by Christ with a “pastorship” when they are ordained. They are simply given assignments by the bishop. Essentially, the way to think about the presbytery of the dioceses is that all of the priests are an extension of the bishop because he can’t be everywhere at the same time. That’s certainly the way it developed in the ancient church… …You are a pastor solely because your bishop made you one. The bishops, on the other hand, are not, as it were, an extension of the pope simply because the pope can’t be everywhere in the world. For that to be true, Christ would have to have appointed only one apostle, Peter, who, after being bishop for a while, said, “I’m way too busy. I can’t go to every city in Asia Minor, so I’m going to appoint other people who represent me.’…From the beginning, Christ said: I want there to be many bishops.” (Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop Should Ignore His Unjust Deposition by a Pope: A Dialogue”)
6. “Since the pope is not the source of his episcopacy, the pope doesn’t have complete arbitrary authority over whether he gets to serve his flock as a bishop or not, once he has been placed there. His power to rule and care for the flock comes from Christ, not from the pope. The pope says, ‘you go to this diocese, I’m appointing you to this diocese’; but it’s Christ who gives him the episcopacy.” Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop.” Then, in 1Peter5, Kwasniewski states: Barring a just cause for the grave step of deposition—historically used for cases of heresy or other notorious crimes—the bishop remains a bishop by divine institution and authority… What this Ukrainian bishop did was certainly contrary to a narrow or positivistic reading of that passage in Vatican I, and yet he did it nonetheless, convinced that he was defending prior and legitimate rights, rooted in apostolic succession, that papal authority is required to respect, regardless of its primacy. Is it not possible that the Church has, for a long time, been overlooking the inherent dignity of the episcopal office after two ecumenical councils (Vatican I and II) that have both overemphasized the papal primacy in relation to other elements of ecclesiastical life, or formulated it in a way that has allowed erroneous extrapolations?” Kwasniewski, “Resisting Papal Overreach”)
7. At 1Peter5, Kwasniewski affirms: Once someone is a bishop, he’s a bishop forever, just like a priest is a priest forever. If there are no suitable grounds for removing a bishop, then he remains the bishop of the place… …The managers, the prelates of this Mystical Body, this Mystical Corporation (so to speak) are put in place by Christ and are permanently in place unless they actually do something to forfeit being in their place. They’re like the professors who have tenure, whom you can’t get rid of unless they burn down a building or murder a colleague… …After World War II, a bunch of people in the French government—people who had been fighting for the Free French and had been against the Vichy regime—asked the pope to remove not only the papal nuncio, who had been sympathetic to Vichy, but also dozens of bishops who had all been in cahoots with the National Socialists in France. They wanted the pope to remove all of them from office. Well, how did the pope reply? Did he say, “Oh, I understand, it’s just terrible. I’ll remove them all.” No! He sent word of his displeasure with the attitude of the French government, which he regards as offensive, discourteous, and injurious. He agreed to change the nuncio, but not without misgivings. And as for purging the episcopacy, he declared that there can be no question of changing the bishops: That has never been done. That will not be done. That would be an injustice without precedent. Inadmissible. What his reaction shows is that for him, it was unthinkable to remove bishops, even if they had been in cahoots with the Nazis.” (Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop”)
8. In his 1Peter5 article Kwasniewski comments: How much more clearly could the Council have emphasized that the power of the pope is for edification, not for destruction; that the Holy Spirit wants to preserve the dignity of the episcopacy rather than allowing it to be effectively absorbed into a singular autocracy; that the bishops are not delegates of the pope, as if they were all nuncios, but are proper authorities in their own right and, as the medievals saw it, wedded to their local church? Arbitrary removal would be an ecclesiastical “no-fault divorce,” which is incoherent… …We don’t think of a bishop anymore as a father. The medievals talked about the bishop as the bridegroom of the local church, just as Christ is the Bridegroom of the whole Church. Bishop Strickland is the husband of the Church of Tyler. What does it say when the bishop is then “promoted” to another local church? This is almost like ecclesiological polygamy or, you know, like divorce and remarriage… …So the highest title of a bishop, in a way, would be ‘father of his spiritual children’ and then ‘shepherd of his flock,’ to use another metaphor. So, yes, it’s not difficult in itself to say that a bishop should be prepared rather to die than not to continue to care for his children and his flock, especially if he thought they were in danger of having sacraments, or the traditional liturgy they know and love, or sound doctrine and moral guidance, removed from them. (Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop”)
9. In his 1Peter5 article, Kwasniewski writes: What a pope wouldn’t have the authority to do, even though he has supreme authority in the Church, is thwart Catholic doctrine, undermine Catholic morality, or appoint wicked men as bishops, as occurred with nepotism or simony-when popes in the Renaissance were appointing their 14-year-old nephews as cardinals and so forth. When they do this kind of thing, they are acting ultra vires, outside their powers, outside their authority, contrary to the nature of what their authority was given for… …I would argue that if a pope removed a bishop arbitrarily, that is, for no good cause, without a due canonical process, with no reason given and no reason discoverable—and especially if there was evidence that the reason he removed such a person is because he was conservative or traditional, teaching the faith, upholding good discipline in morals—then that act would be null and void, an act that should be ignored. The bishop in question should assume that he is still a bishop, because he is still a bishop. The pope can only remove somebody for just cause, he can’t arbitrarily remove people. The papacy is not a tyranny, it’s a monarchy… Imagine Bishop Torres saying: “With all due respect, I’m staying here, I’m the bishop and you can’t remove me arbitrarily.” Maybe the pope would excommunicate him and assign another bishop to the place. Then there would be, so to speak, two bishops in this area. But there would be only one true bishop, because there’s already a bishop there—he’s going to be there as long as he lives unless he’s removed for just cause, retires, or dies. That means the new bishop will be a usurper or an imposter. (Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop”)
10. Toward the end of the interview, there is this exchange: Paulinus [Westen]: There are things we can do when a house is burning down—like break down a door, enter in uninvited, shoot water all over the place, remove people without consent—that we can’t do when a house is not burning down. Servideus [Kwasniewski]: So, granting all the chaos that would ensue from a bishop not stepping down when told to do so, it is still better that he remain than for him to further enable the abuse of papal authority, lend support to the heretical faction in charge, and abandon the flock to the wolves. (Kwasniewski, “Why a Bishop”)
11. “Wherefore we teach and declare that, by divine ordinance, the Roman Church possesses a pre-eminence of ordinary power over every other Church, and that this jurisdictional power of the Roman Pontiff is both episcopal and immediate. Both clergy and faithful, of whatever rite and dignity, both singly and collectively, are bound to submit to this power by the duty of hierarchical subordination and true obedience, and this not only in matters concerning faith and morals, but also in those which regard the discipline and government of the Church throughout the world.” “Vatican I’s Dogmatic Constitution Pastor Aeternus (on the Church of Christ),” Session 4 (Jul. 18, 1870) ch. 3, (On the power and character of the primacy of the Roman Pontiff), no. 2, EWTN.com, accessed Sept. 26, 2023, https://www.ewtn.com/catholicism/teachings/vatican-is-dogmatic-constitution-pastor-aeternus-on-the-church-of-christ-243.
12. Lumen gentium states: Just as the office granted individually to Peter, the first among the apostles, is permanent and is to be transmitted to his successors, so also the apostles’ office of nurturing the Church is permanent, and is to be exercised without interruption by the sacred order of bishops…(no. 20) The individual bishops, who are placed in charge of particular churches, exercise their pastoral government over the portion of the People of God committed to their care, and not over other churches nor over the universal Church. But each of them, as a member of the episcopal college and legitimate successor of the apostles, is obliged by Christ’s institution and command to be solicitous for the whole Church, and this solicitude, though it is not exercised by an act of jurisdiction, contributes greatly to the advantage of the universal Church. For it is the duty of all bishops to promote and to safeguard the unity of faith and the discipline common to the whole Church, to instruct the faithful to love for the whole mystical body of Christ, especially for its poor and sorrowing members and for those who are suffering persecution for justice’s sake, and finally to promote every activity that is of interest to the whole Church, especially that the faith may take increase and the light of full truth appear to all men…(no. 23) The pastoral office or the habitual and daily care of their sheep is entrusted to them [the bishops] completely; nor are they to be regarded as vicars of the Roman Pontiffs, for they exercise an authority that is proper to them, and are quite correctly called “prelates,” heads of the people whom they govern. Their power, therefore, is not destroyed by the supreme and universal power, but on the contrary it is affirmed, strengthened and vindicated by it, since the Holy Spirit unfailingly preserves the form of government established by Christ the Lord in His Church. (no. 27)
13. Edward N. Peters, cur., The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code of Canon Law: In English Translation With Extensive Scholarly Apparatus (San Francisco: Ignatius Press, 2001), 61.
14. See Peters, The 1917 Pio-Benedictine Code, can. 333, p. 134.
15. See Peters, can. 176, p. 80.
16. “For the discharging of such great duties, the apostles were enriched by Christ with a special outpouring of the Holy Spirit coming upon them, and they passed on this spiritual gift to their helpers by the imposition of hands, and it has been transmitted down to us in Episcopal consecration. And the Sacred Council teaches that by Episcopal consecration the fullness of the sacrament of Orders is conferred, that fullness of power, namely, which both in the Church’s liturgical practice and in the language of the Fathers of the Church is called the high priesthood, the supreme power of the sacred ministry. But Episcopal consecration, together with the office of sanctifying, also confers the office of teaching and of governing, which, however, of its very nature, can be exercised only in hierarchical communion with the head and the members of the college.” Lumen Gentium, no. 21. (Our emphasis.)
17. Alfred Boulay de la Meurthe, Histoire du rétablissement du culte en France (1802—1805) (Tours: Maison Alfred Mame et fils, 1925), 12, accessed Sept. 26, 2023, https://archive.org/details/bnf-bpt6k65815049/page/n1/mode/2up.
18. See Wikipedia contributors, “Petite Église,” Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia, accessed Sept. 26, 2023, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Petite_%C3%89glise&oldid=1169190597.