Soon-to-be-Card. Gerhard Müller, Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, gave a talk in Valencia, Spain. Here is a salient point.
Archbishop Müller encourages unity serving evangelization, mission
The Church, he said, “is not a federation of national Churches or a global alliance of confessionally related ecclesial communities, which respect, by human tradition, the Bishop of Rome as an honorary president,” but is what both “testifies to, and realizes, the unity of peoples in Christ.”
The doctrine chief explained that the college of bishops “serves the Church’s unity,” founded on Christ, and that “a bishop can only be pastor of a local Church, and not president of a federation of regional and continental ecclesial alliances.”
He added that national conferences “cannot be a pure objective principle” in the Church, for the office of bishop is essentially one of “personal testimony”: therefore “the principle of the unity of the episcopacy itself is incarnated in a person.
Read the rest there.
If you want to learn more about local churches and regional conferences and their relation to the Supreme Pontiff, check out Apostolos suos.