A common misunderstanding, I'm afraid. The Pope is the head of the Church on earth. The ultimate and absolute Head of the Church is Christ Himself. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
Okay, but that's the point FrHLL was making--Rome has 'two heads' - one for the Church on earth and one overall. This actually is different from Orthodoxy where no one is the 'head of the Church' (with or without the caveat of 'on earth') except Christ.
There can only be one Head. That is Christ Himself. No ifs, ands, or buts about it.
If you want to discuss the differences in the roles of popes, patriarchs, and bishops as they've evolved over the centuries in both our Churches, I think that's a different discussion. The Pope is only head of the Church in the sense of being Christ's vicar, His representative here in human form. He is **NOT** the Head of the Church. I'm not sure why that is difficult to understand.
From the Catechism of the Catholic Church, #782: "The People of God is marked by characteristics that clearly distinguish it from all other religious, ethnic, political, or cultural groups found in history:
- It is the People of God: God is not the property of any one people. But he acquired a people for himself from those who previously were not a people: "a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation."202
- One becomes a member of this people not by a physical birth, but by being "born anew," a birth "of water and the Spirit,"203 that is, by faith in Christ, and Baptism.
- This People has for its Head Jesus the Christ (the anointed, the Messiah). Because the same anointing, the Holy Spirit, flows from the head into the body, this is "the messianic people."
- "The status of this people is that of the dignity and freedom of the sons of God, in whose hearts the Holy Spirit dwells as in a temple."
- "Its law is the new commandment to love as Christ loved us."204 This is the "new" law of the Holy Spirit.205
- Its mission is to be salt of the earth and light of the world.206 This people is "a most sure seed of unity, hope, and salvation for the whole human race."
- Its destiny, finally, "is the Kingdom of God which has been begun by God himself on earth and which must be further extended until it has been brought to perfection by him at the end of time."207
And, #792: "Christ "is the head of the body, the Church
."225 He is the principle of creation and redemption. Raised to the Father's glory, "in everything he [is] preeminent,"226 especially in the Church, through whom he extends his reign over all things."
And, #807: "The Church is this Body of which Christ is the head
: she lives from him, in him, and for him; he lives with her and in her."
And, #947: "Since all the faithful form one body, the good of each is communicated to the others. . . . We must therefore believe that there exists a communion of goods in the Church. But the most important member is Christ, since he is the head. . . . Therefore, the riches of Christ are communicated to all the members, through the sacraments."480 "As this Church is governed by one and the same Spirit, all the goods she has received necessarily become a common fund."
And, #1698: "The first and last point of reference of this catechesis will always be Jesus Christ himself, who is "the way, and the truth, and the life."24 It is by looking to him in faith that Christ's faithful can hope that he himself fulfills his promises in them, and that, by loving him with the same love with which he has loved them, they may perform works in keeping with their dignity:
I ask you to consider that our Lord Jesus Christ is your true head, and that you are one of his members. He belongs to you as the head belongs to its members; all that is his is yours: his spirit, his heart, his body and soul, and all his faculties. You must make use of all these as of your own, to serve, praise, love, and glorify God. You belong to him, as members belong to their head. And so he longs for you to use all that is in you, as if it were his own, for the service and glory of the Father."25
For to me, to live is Christ.26
Hope that helps