Today we really finish our reading of the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church.
The final part of this explanatory note focuses on the relationship of the Roman Pontiff (i.e. the Pope) with the College of bishops. This statement encapsulates the point being made:
“In other words, it is not a distinction between the Roman Pontiff and the bishops taken collectively, but a distinction between the Roman Pontiff taken separately and the Roman Pontiff together with the bishops.”
How much confusion could be avoided if we all recalled this important point!
Basically, the Council Fathers are making the point that it’s not a matter of the Pope vs. the College of Bishops as though a bunch of bishops could legitimately act in opposition to the Pope simply because there is a group of them that decides to do so. If they’re not in union with the Pope, they’re not part of the College of Bishops.