The Pope and the Bishops

At the popular level, people tend to envision the Catholic Church as a pyramid, with the pope on top, the bishops as the next layer down, and then everyone else under them.

It is true that Jesus gave a special ministry to the Apostles and to Peter, a ministry passed down to the bishops and the pope today.  The pope and bishops definitely wield authority, and this presentation will assist the audience in understanding the Scriptural and historical roots of that authority.

However, it is inaccurate and misleading to view this authority in a “top-down” fashion.  The authority entrusted to popes and bishops is not for its own sake, but for the sake of the communion of the Church, the whole Body of Christ.  Father Sakowski will help us to understand what that communion is, and how the ministries of the pope and the bishops assist that communion.