What is Collegiality, and is it Dangerous?

What is Collegiality, and is it Dangerous?

From the YouTube channel… 

We’re pleased to welcome Don Mauro Tranquillo to discuss one of the least well known, but arguably, most vital of the errors to come from the Second Vatican Council, Collegiality. Collegiality, as Father will discuss, is not just about democratizing the Church, but would completely upend the doctrine of the Church regarding Bishops, and by it, do great danger to both the Episcopacy and the Papacy. A quick note, Father is a native Italian speaker, and his English is quite good – but if you have trouble with accents, we have a transcript available – just click the captions button if you’re watching this on YouTube, or you can download the transcript on sspxpodcast.com/crisis.


Father Tranquillo served in Scotland for a time (as he mentions in the video) so it is very nice to see/hear him again… The Wonders of YouTube! 

It seems obvious that collegiality has led to a weakening of the authority of individual bishops in their own dioceses. So, for example, we saw the Bishops of the USA meeting together recently to discuss a statement about applying the Church’s teaching on reception of Holy Communion as it relates to people, including top politicians in America, who hold beliefs contrary to the Faith.  This is a novelty within the Church.  In the past, each bishop had responsibility for everything in his own diocese, including applying Canon Law as and when  necessary. Canon # 915 prohibits public sinners from receiving the Eucharist.  Joe Biden’s bishop, then,  should apply that rule, without having to gain the approval of his brother bishops. Or perhaps you disagree… Can you see any good reason for collegiality?   

Comments (27)

  • Fidelis

    I did not know the half of it about collegiality until I saw that video. I’ve not seen it all right through but what I have seen is very impressive.

    I did not know about the two offices – of sanctification, which comes from ordination, and teaching/governing which comes from the pope. Fr Tranquillo explains it all very clearly – the reason collegiality is dangerous is because it means they can do away with the papacy altogether!

    It is really fascinating – it explains why the issue with China is so important. I’m going to finish watching it and then I will be interested to know what others think.

    June 24, 2021 at 11:40 pm
    • crouchback

      Who’s truth is it anyway….???
      For me the sucker punch comes after Fr Tranquilo explains the two fold mission of bishops, the sanctification and the juridical elements. I began thinking that I could see where this was leading as regards the actions of Archbishop Lefebvre. Then like a storm blowing in from the horizon….. or Hardy holding a huge mallet, and you just know that Laurels bowler hat is about to be lifted and his bonce is going to meet that mallet. Other elements could be glimpsed, slowly but surely the full horror of what they have done even to the Papacy becomes clear.
      So really the question we are left with as far as I can see is….”Who’s truth is it anyway”…. who is left to judge…???
      If I’m missing something, I’m sure there will be more than one mallet applied to my bonce,but hey, we are all on the learning curve…right…!!!

      June 25, 2021 at 8:32 am
      • Lily


        LOL! No mallet to your bonce – you make a lot of sense!

        The sucker punch for me was when Father spoke about the way the pope gives the jurisdiction which is different from sanctification. Then when he said that if it’s not the pope to give the diocese, that means men are just made bishops but with no place identified as his responsibility. That doesn’t make sense. It’s a great video.

        June 25, 2021 at 3:31 pm
      • editor

        Lily & Crouchback,

        Yes, Lily, CB is a case for the high court – very funny.

        I think we share the same “sucker punch” – the explanation of the pope’s central role in appointing bishops is crystal clear thanks to Father Tranquillo.

        June 26, 2021 at 12:04 am
      • editor


        Thank you for alerting me to Father Tranquillo’s video – hugely appreciated.

        June 26, 2021 at 12:05 am
    • Lily


      I’m the same, I didn’t know diddly-squat about collegiality until I watched that video.

      Father Tranquillo explains it all perfectly, speaks slowly and it helps having the text at the side of the screen.

      It’s obvious that the crisis in the Church was planned for a very long time – except the planners didn’t think of it as a crisis, just dreamt up ways to completely change the Church to make it in their own image. I think that video will waken up a lot of people. I hope so, it wakened me up.

      June 25, 2021 at 3:28 pm
      • Josephine


        “diddly-squat” – LOL! Me, too!

        June 25, 2021 at 5:41 pm
    • editor


      Yes, it is all very clearly explained – Father Tranquillo is a great teacher.

      June 26, 2021 at 12:06 am
  • westminsterfly

    It’s often been said that the first Collegial act occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Then the disciples all leaving him, fled”. It was ever thus. On the whole, where the bishops are concerned (with notable exceptions throughout history), when the going gets tough, the bishops ‘flee’ and leave the flock to muddle through on their own. When individual bishops become subject to the power of bishops’ conferences – usually run by dissidents – the dangers are clear for all to see.

    June 25, 2021 at 9:22 am
    • Josephine

      Westminster Fly,

      “It’s often been said that the first Collegial act occurred in the Garden of Gethsemane: “Then the disciples all leaving him, fled”

      That is so true! I’ll remember that, thanks for posting.

      June 25, 2021 at 5:40 pm
      • editor

        Josephine & WF,

        Yes, that’s a brilliant reminder of a key fact – typical of insightful WF.

        June 26, 2021 at 12:03 am
  • Joseph

    The problem is this…

    Neither the Pope, the Vatican nor President’s own Diocesan Bishop or his Parish Priest, are seeking to deny President Biden communion.

    Only the US Bishops Conference are seeking to refuse Joe Biden access to the Eucharist (and it’s not even all of those US Bishops) The US Bishops have raised this issue themselves, this is collegiality in action bordering on Presbyterianism, not hierarchy.

    The fact that we might agree with the US Bishops is irrelevant to how this is being done.

    Therefore, to deny President Biden communion, would require a collegial system for that to happen. The traditional structure is preventing the President from being denied communion.

    This is always the paradox with much conservatism and traditionalism, in that it often requires much innovation and modernism to justify its disobedience.

    June 25, 2021 at 9:56 am
    • Josephine


      I agree with you that it’s irrelevant whether we agree or not with the US bishops doing what they are doing about the Eucharist/Biden because of what I wrote below in answer to RCA Victor. These conference have no authority. It is Biden’s own bishop who should make a ruling and he won’t do that. When Biden was asked about the at a press conference, he just said it wouldn’t happen and walked away, that’s how confident he is.

      June 25, 2021 at 5:39 pm
    • editor


      All that the US Bishops have succeeded in doing – by raising this issue so publicly – is to highlight the crisis in the Church, where bishops have to meet in huge numbers to “agree” something that is already spelt out for them in Canon Law (#915)

      June 26, 2021 at 12:02 am
  • RCAVictor

    I recall Bishop Vasa of Oregon saying, years ago, that the decisions of national bishops’ conferences are not binding on any bishop – except, of course, by peer pressure.

    June 25, 2021 at 3:45 pm
    • Josephine

      RCA Victor,

      I’m so glad you wrote that because I don’t think people realise that. These bishops conferences are a completely new thing, another error of Vatican II, and they give the impression that they are an official body but they have no authority, that is for sure.

      The trouble is, you don’t see any individual bishop making a ruling for his own diocese, so that adds to the impression that the conference of bishops is what matters.

      June 25, 2021 at 5:36 pm
      • editor

        Josephine & RCA Victor,

        You both identify a key point – that these Bishops Conferences are toothless and thus pointless. The only person – aside from the Pope – who has any authority in a diocese, is the bishop appointed TO that diocese.

        June 25, 2021 at 11:59 pm
  • Athanasius

    I thought this excert from my 2013 Angelus Essay ‘Fiddling while Rome burns’ might be useful to the conversation. It seems to answer the question Editor poses at the introduction to this thread:

    “…Nor is there continuity with the past in respect to Collegiality. In his Open Letter to Confused Catholics, Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre explains that Our Lord instructed individuals, not a collectivity, to tend His sheep. The Apostles obeyed Our Lord’s orders, and until the twentieth century it remained thus. The Pope alone enjoyed supreme power and jurisdiction over the universal Church, and each bishop, subject to this Petrine authority, enjoyed full power within his diocese.

    Then the Vatican II document Lumen Gentium appeared hinting at a new democratic structure of government, according to which the College of Bishops together with the Pope exercises supreme power over the Church in habitual and continual manner.

    It was a novel idea of double supremacy that ran contrary to the definitions of Vatican Council I and to Pope Leo XIII’s Encyclical Satis Cognitum.

    Notwithstanding this contradiction, however, and largely dismissive of the footnote of correction attached at the end of the conciliar document in question, the post-conciliar Church has since witnessed a universal transformation of National Bishops’ Conferences from those purely consultative bodies approved by St. Pius X to decision making entities operating on the principle of the democratic vote and ‘majority rule’; whereby the government of the Pope and that of each bishop in his diocese has frequently been trumped in practice by pressure from the presbyterial college.

    Hence the universal imposition and extension against the expressed wishes of the Popes of such abuses as Communion in the hand and extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, the scandal of US marriage annulments that rose from 700 in 1969 to more than 50,000 by 1995, the introduction of doctrinally unsound Catechisms into Holland, Canada and France without corrections ordered by the Holy See having been made, etc.

    I could quote many such examples, but perhaps the most revealing proof is the letter of explanation Pope Benedict XVI felt obliged to issue to the various Episcopal Conferences in an attempt to soothe a less than favourable reception of his 2007 Motu Proprio Summorum Pontificum.

    What this letter highlighted was the pressure the Popes have experienced since the advent of Collegiality; reducing them to issuing reassurances, suggestions and advice instead of issuing the orders needed to get the Church back on the right track, condemning when necessary, as the Popes have hitherto done as primary guardians of the deposit of faith.

    Well did Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani once observe that the only recording in history of Collegiality at work among the Apostles was when they collectively abandoned Our Lord in the Garden of Gethsemane!

    Adding further to the confusion is the teaching of the new Code of Canon Law (1983) that power resides in the “people of God.” This tendency towards what they call bringing the base into sharing the exercise of power can be found all through present structures – synod, episcopal conferences, priests’ councils, pastoral councils, Roman commissions, national commissions, etc.; and there are equivalents in religious orders.

    So now pastoral councils instruct the priests; the priests’ councils instruct the bishops; the bishop’s vote in the conferences and the conferences dictate to the Pope. In effect, it is authority turned on its head so that what was once a top down structure of Church government has become a bottom up structure of so many contradictory opinions and methods that it can truly be stated that collegiality of the magisterium has resulted in paralysis of the magisterium…”

    June 25, 2021 at 7:34 pm
    • editor



      I’d forgotten about that excellent Angelus article of yours, which I am almost certain we published in the newsletter as well. First class.

      Your last paragraph is a very clear summary of the whole debacle in the Church caused by the literal turning upside down (diabolical disorientation) of the Church as it was established by Christ and is meant to be.

      Oh, for the old normal – in both the Church and in the world. Roll on…

      June 26, 2021 at 12:12 am
      • Athanasius


        I sigh in union with your sigh for the old normal. You did publish my Angelus article on the blog some years back, though if I recall correctly it was via a pdf link due to word length (around 3000 words). I must have been feeling energetic when I wrote it – right at the beginning of the Francis Pontificate.

        June 26, 2021 at 12:32 am
      • Margaret USA

        Dear Madame Editor,

        Forgive me for acting as *Defensor Fidei*, but to answer your question: “Can you see any good reason for collegiality?” YES, there’s a good reason:

        “The moment has arrived when God asks the Holy Father to make, and to order that in union with him, and at the same time, all the bishops of the world make the consecration of Russia to My Immaculate Heart, promising to convert it because of this day of worldwide prayer and reparation.”

        Source: de la Sainte Trinite, Frere Michel. The Whole Truth About Fatima, Vol. III: The Third Secret. 1990, rev. ed. 2001: Immaculate Heart Publications, p. 239, footnote 36.

        In the Byzantine Tradition, a priest is ordained by his bishop. However, when a *bishop* is ordained, it takes three (3) bishops – one consecrator and two co-conservators – to ordain a new bishop.

        So when Our Lady made known to +Sister Lucia what God wanted – the Collegial Consecration of Russia to Her Immaculate Heart – it makes perfect sense.

        This is why the consecration of Russia in 1952 by Pope Pius XII was deficient (Our Lord told +Sister Lucia it was “incomplete”): the bishops did NOT join Pope Pius XII in making the consecration. To be fair, it wasn’t his fault (he was given incorrect information).

        Every other consecration (1942, 1981, 1982, 1984, 2000, 2013) was of the WORLD – NOT Russia!

        In sum, things will get worse until 1) the Holy Father reveals the *real* Third Secret of Fatima, i.e. the exact words of Our Lady which follow: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved… ” and which are held by “etc” in the Fourth Memoir of +Sister Lucia AND 2) the Holy Father and ALL the bishops FINALLY consecrate Russia to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

        So there is a purpose to collegiality.

        Thank you and God bless!

        Yours in Christ the King,

        Margaret 🇺🇸

        June 27, 2021 at 3:57 am
      • editor

        Margaret USA,

        With respect, it seems clear that you haven’t watched the video.

        Gathering the bishops together with the Pope for the one-off, 5 minutes prayer of the act of Consecration is NOT what is meant by collegiality. Collegiality is a new way of governing the Church – ultimately it is about dispensing with the pope altogether.

        I urge you to watch the video – it is an hour well spent.

        June 27, 2021 at 8:12 am
  • Theresa Rose

    Father Tranquilo is an excellent teacher and speaks clearly on collegiality. I am a person who is finding by watching it over and over to try and fully understand the two offices – of sanctification which comes from ordination, and, teaching and governing from the pope.

    This morning I came across from this article from the Remnant Newspaper which I think might tie in with what Father is talking about.


    I know of the term – a herd of cattle, but am not sure what the equivalent for sheep are. In the photograph shown, there are a number of sheep, near the front there is a wolf dressed as a sheep. Further back is a wolf in which the sheep. It did halt me in my tracks and I think it might well be applicable to this thread, and what Father has been explaining.

    June 26, 2021 at 11:09 am
    • Nicky

      Theresa Rose,

      That’s a great article from the Remnant. It does fit perfectly on this topic. I copied this bit:

      “How do the enemies of the Church use Novus Ordo Catholics? One might think that the enemies of Catholicism would want to completely eradicate the Church, but at least two considerations render that objective untenable: the ultimate enemy of the Church, the Prince of Darkness, knows that the Church will remain until the end of time; and a hasty and imprudent effort to completely destroy the Church would simply lead faithful Catholics to distance themselves from the destroyers.

      Unfortunately for Catholics and the entire world, the enemies of the Church are better served by obscuring the marks of the Church — One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic — and using what is effectively a counterfeit church to promote anti-Catholic measures. For this, the enemies of the Church absolutely need a body of believers who will identify as Catholic while lending at least tacit approval to the anti-Catholic agenda.”

      You can see it all knitting together, especially after listening to Father Tranquillo’ s talk in the video.

      June 26, 2021 at 1:38 pm
  • Athanasius

    Fr. Tranquillo is a really good and holy priest, greatly missed in Scotland. He officiated at my father’s requiem Mass, for which I owe him a particular debt of gratitude. God bless him.

    June 26, 2021 at 11:42 am
  • Michaela

    That is a fantastic video – what a great priest!

    When you reach near the end, it all clicks totally into place. They had to do away with the papacy if they wanted to go the whole way with ecumenism. It makes perfect sense from the standpoint of the liberals and ecumaniacs.

    The real shocker was Pope Benedict though – I think a lot of us thought he was one of the good guys because he released the old Mass with his motu proprio, Summorum Pontificum, but Father Tranquillo shows that he played a huge part in this push to do away with the papacy which is ironic given that Benedict became the pope! It’s like the old joke about turkeys voting for Christmas, LOL!

    I think every priest (and seminarian) should watch that video. It’s a real education, all on its own.

    June 26, 2021 at 12:38 pm
  • Nicky

    I had to split the time for watching the video into three – and I’ve now finished it. It’s terrific. I will try to watch it again in one go, because it’s packed with information and very professionally delivered, Father has thought it through really well and delivered it perfectly.

    I laughed at the idea that he learned his English in Scotland. Despite that, he’s a very good speaker of English, LOL! I’m now ducking behind the sofa!

    In all seriousness, I hadn’t realised what a major error collegiality is. I tended to think of it as the conference of bishops (and Father makes that observation – he has his finger on the pulse!) but it’s much more than that and now I understand that, thanks to his talk on the video.

    June 26, 2021 at 1:33 pm

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