Catholic Dictionary




The bishops of the Roman catholic Church, united under the Pope as an episcopal community. According to the Second Vatican Council, "St. Peter and the other Apostles constitute a single apostolic college. In like manner, the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, and the bishops, successors of the Apostles, are linked together" (Constitution on the Church, III, 21). This community of Pope and bishops, and the bishops among themselves, was created by Christ and therefore belongs by divine right to the nature of the Church he founded.