Description: How is authority structured in the Catholic Church? Christ is the source of all authority in the Church. The Lord made St. Peter the "rock" of his Church...the shepherd of the whole flock. "The Pope, Bishop of Rome and Peter's successor, is the perpetual and visible source and foundation of the unity both of the Bishops and the whole company of the faithful," according to the Catholic Catechism. Thus his successor, the Pope and Vicar of Christ on earth, has "full, supreme and universal power which he can always exercise unhindered." The College of Bishops has no power unless linked to the Roman Pontiff. When united to the Pope as its head, the College has supreme and full authority over the universal Church. But that power cannot be exercised without the agreement of the Roman Pontiff. The College of Bishops exercises power over the Church in an ecumenical council, but, the Catechism reminds us, "there is never an ecumenical Council which is not confirmed or at least recognized" as such by the Pope. This is Peggy Stanton and this has been the Order of Malta's Minute with the Catechism.