The Holy Roman
Catholic Church has a Hierarchy. The Code of Canon Law - Book
II, Part II, Section I, Chapter I, Article I -
gives the Pope full and supreme power over all levels of the Church
and free use to exercise this power (9).
Vatican Council, Session IV, Chp. IV, p.IX: "So, then, if anyone
says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and
guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over
the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals,
but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the
Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the
principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme
power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both
over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the
pastors and faithful: let him be anathema" (10).
The Catechism of the Catholic Church, 883 states: "The college or
body of Bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman
Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head" (10).
How can a Bishop who refuses to acquiesce to the Pope expect others
to submit to him? "Although
the Pope John Paul II made no official declarations in the form of
"I hereby solemnly declare Medjugorje worthy of belief", He has
nonetheless expressed on numerous occasions, both verbally and in
his own pen, His personal support for the apparitions. In
fact, whenever a Bishop would inquire about Medjugorje to Pope John
Paul II, He would invariably give His staple response; "If I was not
Pope, I would already be there!". We list below just a few of the
many statements Pope John Paul II to various Bishops, as well as
letters in His own pen" (12).
ABC News estimated that nearly 40 million people have made
pilgrimages to Medjugorje, including some 17 million Catholics (13).