Bishop of Rome
Coat of arms Holy See
Pope Francis in March 2013 (cropped)
Since 13 March 2013
Province: Ecclesiastical Province of Rome
Diocese: Rome
Cathedral: Archbasilica of St. John Lateran
First Bishop: According to the Catholic Church, Saint Peter
Formation: According to the Catholic Church, the 1st century
Website: The Holy Father

The Pope (Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας pappas,[1] a child's word for father)[2] is the Bishop of Rome and the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church.[3] The importance of the Roman bishop is largely derived from his role as the traditional successor to Saint Peter, to whom Jesus gave the keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.[4]

The office of the Pope is the papacy. His ecclesiastical jurisdiction, the Diocese of Rome, is often called "the Holy See"[5] or "the Apostolic See", the latter name being based upon the belief that the Bishop of Rome is the successor of Peter the Apostle.[6] The pope is also head of state of Vatican City,[7] a sovereign city-state entirely enclaved within the Italian capital city of Rome.

The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in world history.[8] The popes in ancient times helped in the spread of Christianity and the resolution of various doctrinal disputes.[9] In the Middle Ages, they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe, often acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs.[10][11][12] Currently, in addition to the expansion of the Christian faith and doctrine, the popes are involved in ecumenism and interfaith dialog, charitable work, and the defense of human rights.[13][14]

Popes, who originally had no temporal powers, in some periods of history accrued wide powers similar to those of temporal rulers. In recent centuries, popes were gradually forced to give up temporal power, and papal authority is now once again almost exclusively restricted to matters of religion.[9] Over the centuries, papal claims of spiritual authority have been ever more firmly expressed, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the dogma of papal infallibility for rare occasions when the pope speaks ex cathedra—literally "from the chair (of Saint Peter)"—to issue a formal definition of faith or morals.[9]


Title and etymology[]

The word pope derives from Greek πάππας meaning "Father". In the early centuries of Christianity, this title was applied, especially in the east, to all bishops[15] and other senior clergy, and later became reserved in the west to the Bishop of Rome, a reservation made official only in the 11th century.[16][17][18][19][20] The earliest record of the use of this title was in regard to the by then deceased Patriarch of Alexandria, Pope Heraclas of Alexandria (232–248).[21] The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to Pope Vitalian in an Old English translation of Bede's Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum.[22]

Position within the Church[]

The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of shepherding the Church, that was held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with Saint Peter at their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome (the pope) at their head.[23]

The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus personally appointed Peter as leader of the Church and in its dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium makes a clear distinction between apostles and bishops, presenting the latter as the successors of the former, with the pope as successor of Peter in that he is head of the bishops as Peter was head of the apostles.[24] Some historians have argued that the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome and founded the episcopal see there can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century.[25] The writings of the Church Father Irenaeus who wrote around AD 180 reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organised" the Church at Rome.[26] Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. Clement of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians, c. 96,[27] about the persecution of Christians in Rome as the "struggles in our time" and presented to the Corinthians its heroes, "first, the greatest and most just columns", the "good apostles" Peter and Paul.[28] St. Ignatius of Antioch wrote shortly after Clement and in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did.[29] Given this and other evidence, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero, although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine.[30][31][32]

Protestants contend that the New Testament offers no proof that Jesus established the papacy nor even that he established Peter as the first bishop of Rome.[33] Others, using Peter's own words, argue that Christ intended himself as the foundation of the church and not Peter.[34][35] Others have argued that the church is indeed built upon Jesus and faith, but also on the disciples as the roots and foundations of the church on the basis of Paul's teaching in Romans and Ephesians, though not primarily Peter.[36][37]

First-century Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of their local churches. Gradually, episcopacies were established in metropolitan areas.[38] Antioch may have developed such a structure before Rome.[38] In Rome there were many who claimed to be the rightful bishop though again Irenaeus stressed the validity of one line of bishops from the time of St. Peter up to his contemporary Pope Victor I and listed them.[39] Some writers claim that the emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not occur until the middle of the 2nd century. In their view, Linus, Cletus and Clement were possibly prominent presbyter-bishops but not necessarily monarchical bishops.[25]

Documents of the 1st century and early 2nd century indicate that the Holy See had some kind of pre-eminence and prominence in the Church as a whole, though the detail of what this meant is very unclear at this period.[40]

Early Christianity (c. 30–325)[]

It seems that at first the terms "episcopos" and "presbyter" were used interchangeably.[41] The consensus among scholars has been that, at the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries, local congregations were led by bishops and presbyters whose offices were overlapping or indistinguishable.[42] Some say that there was probably "no single 'monarchical' bishop in Rome before the middle of the 2nd century...and likely later."[43] Other scholars and historians disagree, citing the historical records of St. Ignatius of Antioch and St. Irenaeus who recorded the linear succession of Bishops of Rome (the popes) up until their own times. They also cite the importance accorded to the popes in the ecumenical councils, including the early ones.[44]

In the early Christian era, Rome and a few other cities had claims on the leadership of worldwide Church. James the Just, known as "the brother of the Lord", served as head of the Jerusalem church, which is still honored as the "Mother Church" in Orthodox tradition. Alexandria had been a center of Jewish learning and became a center of Christian learning. Rome had a large congregation early in the apostolic period whom Paul the Apostle addressed in his Epistle to the Romans, and according to tradition Paul was martyred there.

During the 1st century of the Church (ca. 30–130), the Roman capital became recognized as a Christian center of exceptional importance. Clement I, at the end of the 1st century, wrote an epistle to the Church in Corinth intervening in a major dispute, and apologizing for not having taken action earlier.[45] However, there are only a few other references of that time to recognition of the authoritative primacy of the Roman See outside of Rome. In the Ravenna Document of 13 October 2007, theologians chosen by the Roman Catholic and the Eastern Orthodox Churches stated: "41. Both sides agree...that Rome, as the Church that 'presides in love' according to the phrase of St Ignatius of Antioch,[46] occupied the first place in the taxis, and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the protos among the patriarchs. They disagree, however, on the interpretation of the historical evidence from this era regarding the prerogatives of the Bishop of Rome as protos, a matter that was already understood in different ways in the first millennium."

In the late 2nd century AD, there were more manifestations of Roman authority over other churches. In 189, assertion of the primacy of the Church of Rome may be indicated in Irenaeus's Against Heresies (3:3:2): "With [the Church of Rome], because of its superior origin, all the churches must agree...and it is in her that the faithful everywhere have maintained the apostolic tradition." In AD 195, Pope Victor I, in what is seen as an exercise of Roman authority over other churches, excommunicated the Quartodecimans for observing Easter on the 14th of Nisan, the date of the Jewish Passover, a tradition handed down by John the Evangelist (see Easter controversy). Celebration of Easter on a Sunday, as insisted on by the pope, is the system that has prevailed (see computus).

Nicaea to East-West Schism (325–1054)[]

The Edict of Milan in 313 granted freedom to all religions in the Roman Empire,[47] beginning the Peace of the Church. In 325, the First Council of Nicaea condemned Arianism, declaring trinitarianism dogmatic, and in its sixth canon recognized the special role of the sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch.[48] Great defenders of Trinitarian faith included the popes, especially Pope Liberius, who was exiled to Berea by Constantius II for his Trinitarian faith,[49] Damasus I, and several other bishops.[50]

In 380, Nicene Christianity was declared the state religion of the Roman Empire, with the name "Catholic Christians" reserved for those who accepted that faith.[51][52] While the civil power in the East controlled the church, and the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, the capital, wielded much power,[53] in the West, the Bishops of Rome were able to consolidate the influence and power they already possessed.[53] After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, barbarian tribes were converted to Arian Christianity or Catholicism;[54] Clovis I, king of the Franks, was the first important barbarian ruler to convert to Catholicism rather than Arianism, allying himself with the papacy. Other tribes, such as the Visigoths, later abandoned Arianism in favour of Catholicism.[54]

Medieval Age[]


Gregory the Great (c 540–604) who established medieval themes in the Church, in a painting by Carlo Saraceni, c. 1610, Rome.

After the fall of Rome, the pope served as a source of authority and continuity. Gregory the Great (c 540–604) administered the church with strict reform. From an ancient senatorial family, Gregory worked with the stern judgment and discipline typical of ancient Roman rule. Theologically, he represents the shift from the classical to the medieval outlook; his popular writings are full of dramatic miracles, potent relics, demons, angels, ghosts, and the approaching end of the world.[55]

Gregory's successors were largely dominated by the Exarch of Ravenna, the Byzantine emperor's representative in Italy. These humiliations, the weakening of the empire in the face of Muslim expansion, and the inability of the emperor to protect the papal estates against the Lombards, made Pope Stephen II turn from Emperor Constantine V. He appealed to the Franks to protect his lands. Pepin the Short subdued the Lombards and donated Italian land to the papacy. When Leo III crowned Charlemagne (800), he established the precedent that, in the West, no man would be emperor without being crowned by a pope.[55]

From the 7th century it became common for European monarchies and nobility to found churches and perform investiture or deposition of clergy in their states and fiefdoms, their personal interests causing corruption among the clergy.[56][57] This practice had become common because often the prelates and secular rulers were also participants in public life.[58] To combat this and other practices that had corrupted the Church between the years 900 and 1050, centres emerged promoting ecclesiastical reform, the most important being the Abbey of Cluny, which spread its ideals throughout Europe.[57] This reform movement gained strength with the election of Pope Gregory VII in 1073, who adopted a series of measures in the movement known as the Gregorian Reform, in order to fight strongly against simony and the abuse of civil power and try to restore ecclesiastical discipline, including celibacy.[50] The conflict between popes and secular autocratic rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV and Henry I of England, known as the question of investiture, was only resolved in 1122, by the Concordat of Worms, in which the pope decreed that clerics were to be invested by clerical leaders, and temporal rulers by lay investiture.[56] Soon after, Pope Alexander III began reforms that would lead to the establishment of canon law.[55]

Since the beginning of the 7th century, the Caliphate had conquered much of the southern Mediterranean, and represented a threat to Christianity.[59] In 1095, the Byzantine emperor, Alexios I Komnenos, asked for military aid from Pope Urban II against the Muslim invasions.[60] Urban, at the council of Clermont, called the First Crusade to assist the Byzantine Empire to regain the old Christian territories, especially Jerusalem.[61]

The low point of the papacy was 867–1049.[62] The papacy came under the control of vying political factions. Popes were variously imprisoned, starved, killed, and deposed by force. The family of a certain papal official made and unmade popes for fifty years. The official's great-grandson, Pope John XII, held orgies of debauchery in the Lateran palace. Emperor Otto I of Germany had John accused in an ecclesiastical court, which deposed him and elected a layman as Pope Leo VIII. John mutilated the Imperial representatives in Rome and had himself reinstated as pope. Conflict between the Emperor and the papacy continued, and eventually dukes in league with the emperor were buying bishops and popes almost openly.[62]

In 1049, Leo IX became pope, at last a pope with the character to face the papacy's problems. He traveled to the major cities of Europe to deal with the church's moral problems firsthand, notably simony and clerical marriage and concubinage. With his long journey, he restored the prestige of the papacy in the north.[62]

East–West Schism to Reformation (1054–1517)[]


A historical map of the Mediterranean states in 1400. The Western Schism lasted from 1378 to 1417.

The East and West churches split definitively in 1054. This fracture was caused more by political events than by slight divergences of creed. Popes had galled the emperors by siding with the king of the Franks, crowning a rival Roman emperor, appropriating the Exarchate of Ravenna, and driving into Greek Italy.[62]

In the Middle Ages, popes struggled with monarchs over power.[9]

From 1309 to 1377, the pope resided not in Rome but in Avignon. The Avignon Papacy was notorious for greed and corruption.[63] During this period, the pope was effectively an ally of France, alienating France's enemies, such as England.[64]

The pope was understood to have the power to draw on the "treasury" of merit built up by the saints and by Christ, so that he could grant indulgences, reducing one's time in purgatory. The concept that a monetary fine or donation accompanied contrition, confession, and prayer eventually gave way to the common assumption that indulgences depended on a simple monetary contribution. The popes condemned misunderstandings and abuses, but were too pressed for income to exercise effective control over indulgences.[63]

Popes also contended with the cardinals, who sometimes attempted to assert the authority of councils over the pope's. Conciliar theory holds that the supreme authority of the church lies with a General Council, not with the pope. Its foundations were laid early in the 13th century, and it culminated in the 15th century. The failure of the conciliar theory to gain broad acceptance after the 15th century is taken as a factor in the Protestant Reformation.[65]

Various anti-popes challenged papal authority, especially during the Western Schism (1378–1417). In this schism, the papacy had returned to Rome from Avignon, but an anti-pope was installed in Avignon, as if to extend the papacy there.

The Eastern Church continued to decline with the Eastern Roman (Byzantine) Empire, undercutting Constantinople's claim to equality with Rome. Twice an Eastern Emperor tried to force the Eastern Church to reunify with the West. Papal claims of superiority were a sticking point in reunification, which failed in any event. In the 15th century, the Ottoman Turks captured Constantinople.

Reformation to present (1517 to today)[]

Council Trent

As part of the Catholic Reformation, Pope Paul III (1534–49) initiated the Council of Trent (1545–63), which established the triumph of the papacy over those who sought to reconcile with Protestants or oppose Papal claims.

Protestant Reformers criticized the papacy as corrupt and characterized the pope as the antichrist.[66][67][68][69]

Popes instituted a Catholic Reformation[9] (1560–1648), which addressed the challenges of the Protestant Reformation and instituted internal reforms. Pope Paul III initiated the Council of Trent, whose definitions of doctrine and whose reforms sealed the triumph of the papacy over elements in the church that sought conciliation with Protestants and opposed papal claims.[70]

Gradually forced to give up secular power, the popes focused on spiritual issues.[9]

In 1870, the First Vatican Council proclaimed the dogma of papal infallibility for those rare occasions the pope speaks ex cathedra when issuing a solemn definition of faith or morals.[9]

Later the same year, Victor Emmanuel II seized Rome from the pope's control and substantially completed the unification of Italy.[9]

In 1929, the Lateran Treaty between Italy and the Holy See established the Vatican City State, guaranteeing papal independence from secular rule.[9]

In 1950, the pope defined the Assumption of Mary as dogma, the only time that a pope has spoken ex cathedra since papal infallibility was explicitly declared.

The Petrine Doctrine is still controversial as an issue of doctrine that continues to divide the eastern and western churches and separate Protestants from Rome.

Saint Peter and the origin of the office[]

The Catholic Church teaches that, within the Christian community, the bishops as a body have succeeded to the body of the apostles and the Bishop of Rome has succeeded to Saint Peter.[3]

Scriptural texts proposed in support of Peter's special position in relation to the church include the words of Jesus to him:

I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.[71]
Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.[72]
Feed my sheep.[73]

The symbolic keys in the papal coats of arms are a reference to the phrase "the keys of the kingdom of heaven" in the first of these texts. Some Protestant writers have maintained that the "rock" that Jesus speaks of in this text is Jesus himself or the faith expressed by Peter.[74][75][76][77][78][79] This idea is undermined by the Biblical usage of "Cephas," which is the masculine form of "rock" in Aramaic, to describe Peter.[80][81][82] The Encyclopaedia Britannica comments that "the consensus of the great majority of scholars today is that the most obvious and traditional understanding should be construed, namely, that rock refers to the person of Peter".[83]

Election, death and resignation[]


Christ Handing the Keys to St

The Giving of the Keys to Saint Peter painted by Pietro Perugino (1492)

The pope was originally chosen by those senior clergymen resident in and near Rome. In 1059 the electorate was restricted to the Cardinals of the Holy Roman Church, and the individual votes of all Cardinal Electors were made equal in 1179. The electors are now limited to those who have not reached 80 on the day before the death or resignation of a pope.[84] Since the pope is Bishop of Rome, only those who can be ordained a bishop can be elected, which means that any male baptized Catholic is eligible. The last to be elected when not yet a bishop was Pope Gregory XVI in 1831, and the last to be elected when not even a priest was Pope Leo X in 1513, and the last to be elected when not a cardinal was Pope Urban VI in 1378.[85] If someone who is not a bishop is elected, he must be given episcopal ordination before the election is announced to the people.[86]

The Second Council of Lyon was convened on 7 May 1274, to regulate the election of the pope. This Council decreed that the cardinal electors must meet within ten days of the pope's death, and that they must remain in seclusion until a pope has been elected; this was prompted by the three-year sede vacante following the death of Pope Clement IV in 1268. By the mid-16th century, the electoral process had evolved into its present form, allowing for variation in the time between the death of the pope and the meeting of the cardinal electors.

Traditionally, the vote was conducted by acclamation, by selection (by committee), or by plenary vote. Acclamation was the simplest procedure, consisting entirely of a voice vote, and was last used in 1621. Pope John Paul II abolished vote by acclamation and by selection by committee, and henceforth election will be by full vote by ballot of the Sacred College of Cardinals.

Konklave Konzilsgebaude Konstanz

The conclave in Konstanz where Pope Martin V was elected

The election of the pope almost always takes place in the Sistine Chapel, in a sequestered meeting called a "conclave" (so called because the cardinal electors are theoretically locked in, cum clave, i.e., with key, until they elect a new pope). Three cardinals are chosen by lot to collect the votes of absent cardinal electors (by reason of illness), three are chosen by lot to count the votes, and three are chosen by lot to review the count of the votes. The ballots are distributed and each cardinal elector writes the name of his choice on it and pledges aloud that he is voting for "one whom under God I think ought to be elected" before folding and depositing his vote on a plate atop a large chalice placed on the altar (in the 2005 conclave, a special urn was used for this purpose instead of a chalice and plate). The plate is then used to drop the ballot into the chalice, making it difficult for electors to insert multiple ballots. Before being read, the ballots are counted while still folded; if the number of ballots does not match the number of electors, the ballots are burned unopened and a new vote is held. Otherwise, each ballot is read aloud by the presiding Cardinal, who pierces the ballot with a needle and thread, stringing all the ballots together and tying the ends of the thread to ensure accuracy and honesty. Balloting continues until someone is elected by a two-thirds majority.[87]

Habemus Papam 1415

The formal declaration of "Habemus Papam" after the election of Pope Martin V

One of the most prominent aspects of the papal election process is the means by which the results of a ballot are announced to the world. Once the ballots are counted and bound together, they are burned in a special stove erected in the Sistine Chapel, with the smoke escaping through a small chimney visible from Saint Peter's Square. The ballots from an unsuccessful vote are burned along with a chemical compound to create black smoke, or fumata nera. (Traditionally, wet straw was used to produce the black smoke, but this was not completely reliable. The chemical compound is more reliable than the straw.) When a vote is successful, the ballots are burned alone, sending white smoke (fumata bianca) through the chimney and announcing to the world the election of a new pope. Starting with the 2005 conclave,[88] church bells are also rung as a signal that a new pope has been chosen.

The Dean of the College of Cardinals then asks two solemn questions of the cardinal who has been elected. First he asks, "Do you freely accept your election as Supreme Pontiff?" If he replies with the word "Accepto", his reign begins at that instant, not at the inauguration ceremony several days afterward. The Dean asks next, "By what name shall you be called?" The new pope announces the regnal name he has chosen. (If the Dean is elected pope, the Vice Dean performs this task.)

The new pope is led through the "Door of Tears" to a dressing room where three sets of white papal vestments (immantatio) await: small, medium, and large. Donning the appropriate vestments and reemerging into the Sistine Chapel, the new pope is given the "Fisherman's Ring" by the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church, whom he first either reconfirms or reappoints. The pope assumes a place of honor as the rest of the cardinals wait in turn to offer their first "obedience" (adoratio) and to receive his blessing.

The Senior Cardinal Deacon announces from a balcony over Saint Peter's Square the following proclamation: Annuntio vobis gaudium magnum! Habemus Papam! ("I announce to you a great joy! We have a pope!"). He announces the new pope's Christian name along with his newly chosen regnal name.

Until 1978 the pope's election was followed in a few days by the Papal coronation, which started with a procession with great pomp and circumstance from the Sistine Chapel to St. Peter's Basilica, with the newly elected pope borne in the sedia gestatoria. After a solemn Papal Mass, the new pope was crowned with the triregnum (papal tiara) and he gave for the first time as pope the famous blessing Urbi et Orbi ("to the City [Rome] and to the World"). Another renowned part of the coronation was the lighting of a bundle of flax at the top of a gilded pole, which would flare brightly for a moment and then promptly extinguish, as he said, Sic transit gloria mundi ("Thus passes worldly glory"). A similar warning against papal hubris made on this occasion was the traditional exclamation, "Annos Petri non videbis", reminding the newly crowned pope that he would not live to see his rule lasting as long as that of St. Peter. According to tradition, he headed the church for 35 years and has thus far been the longest-reigning pope in the history of the Catholic Church.[89]

A traditionalist Catholic belief that lacks reliable authority claims that a Papal Oath was sworn, at their coronation, by all popes from Pope Agatho to Pope Paul VI and that it was omitted with the abolition of the coronation ceremony.

The Latin term, sede vacante ("while the see is vacant"),[90] refers to a papal interregnum, the period between the death or resignation of a pope and the election of his successor. From this term is derived the term sedevacantism, which designates a category of dissident Catholics who maintain that there is no canonically and legitimately elected pope, and that there is therefore a sede vacante. One of the most common reasons for holding this belief is the idea that the reforms of the Second Vatican Council, and especially the replacement of the Tridentine Mass with the Mass of Paul VI, are heretical and that those responsible for initiating and maintaining these changes are heretics and not true popes.[91][92][93] Sedevacantists are considered to be schismatics by the mainstream Roman Catholic Church.

For centuries, from 1378 on, those elected to the papacy were predominantly Italians. Prior to the election of the Polish cardinal Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II in 1978, the last non-Italian was Pope Adrian VI of the Netherlands, elected in 1522. John Paul II was followed by election of the German-born Benedict XVI, who was in turn followed by Argentine-born Francis.


Pope johnpaul funeral

Funeral of Pope John Paul II at the Vatican in 2005, presided over by Cardinal Ratzinger, the future Pope Benedict XVI

The current regulations regarding a papal interregnum—that is, a sede vacante ("vacant seat")—were promulgated by John Paul II in his 1996 document Universi Dominici Gregis. During the "sede vacante" period, the College of Cardinals is collectively responsible for the government of the Church and of the Vatican itself, under the direction of the Camerlengo of the Holy Roman Church; however, canon law specifically forbids the cardinals from introducing any innovation in the government of the Church during the vacancy of the Holy See. Any decision that requires the assent of the pope has to wait until the new pope has been elected and accepts office.

In recent centuries, when a pope was judged to have died, it was reportedly traditional for the Cardinal Camerlengo to confirm the death ceremonially by gently tapping the pope's head thrice with a silver hammer, calling his birth name each time.[94] This was not done on the deaths of popes John Paul I[95] and John Paul II.[96] The Cardinal Camerlengo retrieves the Ring of the Fisherman and cuts it in two in the presence of the Cardinals. The pope's seals are defaced, to keep them from ever being used again, and his personal apartment is sealed.

The body lies in state for several days before being interred in the crypt of a leading church or cathedral; all popes who have died in the 20th and 21st centuries have been interred in St. Peter's Basilica. A nine-day period of mourning (novendialis) follows the interment.


It is highly unusual for a pope to resign. The 1983 Code of Canon Law[97] states, "If it happens that the Roman Pontiff resigns his office, it is required for validity that the resignation is made freely and properly manifested but not that it is accepted by anyone." Benedict XVI, who vacated the Holy See on 28 February 2013, was the most recent to do so since Gregory XII's resignation in 1415.


Styles of
The Pope
Emblem of the Papacy SE
Reference style His Holiness
Spoken style Your Holiness
Religious style Holy Father
Posthumous style See here

Official list of titles[]

The official list of titles of the Pope, in the order in which they are given in the Annuario Pontificio, is:

Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God.[98]

The best-known title, that of "Pope", does not appear in the official list, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures. Thus Pope Paul VI signed as "Paulus PP. VI", the "PP." standing for "Papa" ("Pope").[99][100][101][102][103]

The title "Pope" was from the early 3rd century an honorific designation used for any bishop in the West.[15] In the East, it was used only for the Bishop of Alexandria.[15] Pope Marcellinus (d. 304) is the first Bishop of Rome shown in sources to have had the title "Pope" used of him. From the 6th century, the imperial chancery of Constantinople normally reserved this designation for the Bishop of Rome.[15] From the early 6th century, it began to be confined in the West to the Bishop of Rome, a practice that was firmly in place by the 11th century,[15] when Pope Gregory VII declared it reserved for the Bishop of Rome.

In Eastern Christianity, where the title "Pope" is used also of the Bishop of Alexandria, the Bishop of Rome is often referred to as the "Pope of Rome", regardless of whether the speaker or writer is in communion with Rome or not.

Vicar of Jesus Christ[]

"Vicar of Jesus Christ" (Vicarius Iesu Christi) is one of the official titles of the Pope given in the Annuario Pontificio. It is commonly used in the slightly abbreviated form "Vicar of Christ" (Vicarius Christi). While it is only one of the terms with which the Pope is referred to as "Vicar", it is "more expressive of his supreme headship of the Church on earth, which he bears in virtue of the commission of Christ and with vicarial power derived from him", a vicarial power believed to have been conferred on Saint Peter when Christ said to him: "Feed my lambs...Feed my sheep" (John 21:16-17).[104]

The first record of the application of this title to a Bishop of Rome appears in a synod of 495 with reference to Pope Gelasius I.[105] But at that time, and down to the 9th century, other bishops too referred to themselves as vicars of Christ, and for another four centuries this description was sometimes used of kings and even judges,[106] as it had been used in the 5th and 6th centuries to refer to the Byzantine emperor.[107] Earlier still, in the 3rd century, Tertullian used "vicar of Christ" to refer to the Holy Spirit[108][109] sent by Jesus.[110] Its use specifically for the Pope appears in the 13th century in connection with the reforms of Pope Innocent III,[107] as can be observed already in his 1199 letter to Leo I, King of Armenia.[111] Other historians suggest that this title was already used in this way in association with the pontificate of Pope Eugene III (1145–1153).[105]

This title "Vicar of Christ" is thus not used of the Pope alone and has been used of all bishops since the early centuries.[112] The Second Vatican Council referred to all bishops as "vicars and ambassadors of Christ",[113] and this description of the bishops was repeated by Pope John Paul II in his encyclical Ut unum sint, 95. The difference is that the other bishops are vicars of Christ for their own local churches, the Pope is vicar of Christ for the whole Church.[114]

On at least one occasion the title "Vicar of God" (a reference to Christ as God) was used of the pope.[104]

The title "Vicar of Peter" (Vicarius Petri) is used only of the Pope, not of other bishops. Variations of it include: "Vicar of the Prince of the Apostles" (Vicarius Principis Apostolorum) and "Vicar of the Apostolic See" (Vicarius Sedis Apostolicae).[104] Saint Boniface described Pope Gregory II as vicar of Peter in the oath of fealty that he took in 722.[115] In today's Roman Missal, the description "vicar of Peter" is found also in the collect of the Mass for a saint who was a pope.[116]


Benedictus XVI pont max pontif I

Entrance to Vatican City, with inscription "Benedictus XVI Pont(ifex) Max(imus) Anno Domini MMV Pont(ificatus) I.", i.e., "Benedict XVI, Pontifex Maximus, in the year of Our Lord 2005, the first year of his pontificate."

The term "pontiff" is derived from the Latin word pontifex, which literally means "bridge builder" (pons + facere) and which designated a member of the principal college of priests in ancient Rome.[117][118] The Latin word was translated into ancient Greek variously: as ἱεροδιδάσκαλος, ἱερονόμος, ἱεροφύλαξ, ἱεροφάντης,[119] or ἀρχιερεύς (high priest)[120][121] The head of the college was known as the Pontifex Maximus (the greatest pontiff).[122]

In Christian use, pontifex appears in the Vulgate translation of the New Testament to indicate the Jewish high priest (in the original, ἀρχιερεύς).[123] The term came to be applied to any Christian bishop,[124] but since the 11th century commonly refers specifically to the Bishop of Rome,[125] who is more strictly called the "Roman Pontiff". The use of the term to refer to bishops in general is reflected in the terms "Roman Pontifical" (a book containing rites reserved for bishops, such as confirmation and ordination), and "pontificals" (the insignia of bishops).[126]

The Annuario Pontificio lists as one of the official titles of the pope that of "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church" (in Latin, Summus Pontifex Ecclesiae Universalis).[127] He is also commonly called the Supreme Pontiff or the Sovereign Pontiff (in Latin, Summus Pontifex).

Pontifex Maximus, similar in meaning to Summus Pontifex, is a title commonly found in inscriptions on papal buildings, paintings, statues and coins, usually abbreviated as "Pont. Max" or "P.M." The office of Pontifex Maximus, or head of the College of Pontiffs, was held by Julius Caesar and thereafter, by the Roman emperors, until Gratian (375-383) relinquished it.[119][128][129] Tertullian, when he had become a Montanist, used the title derisively of either the Pope or the Bishop of Carthage.[130] The Popes began to use this title regularly only in the 15th century.[130]

Servant of the servants of God[]

Although the description "servant of the servants of God" (servus servorum Dei) was also used by other Church leaders, including St. Augustine and St. Benedict, it was first used extensively as a papal title by Pope St. Gregory the Great, reportedly as a lesson in humility for Patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster, who had assumed the title "Ecumenical Patriarch". It became reserved for the pope in the 12th century and is used in papal bulls and similar important papal documents.[131]

Patriarch of the West[]

From 1863 until 2005, the Annuario Pontificio also included the title "Patriarch of the West". This title was first used by Pope Theodore I in 642, and was only used occasionally. Indeed, it did not begin to appear in the pontifical yearbook until 1863. On 22 March 2006, the Vatican released a statement explaining this omission on the grounds of expressing a "historical and theological reality" and of "being useful to ecumenical dialogue". The title Patriarch of the West symbolized the pope's special relationship with, and jurisdiction over, the Latin Church—and the omission of the title neither symbolizes in any way a change in this relationship, nor distorts the relationship between the Holy See and the Eastern Churches, as solemnly proclaimed by the Second Vatican Council.[132]

Other titles[]

Other titles commonly used are "His Holiness" (either used alone or as an honorific prefix "His Holiness Pope Francis"; and as "Your Holiness" as a form of address)), "Holy Father". In Spanish and Italian, "Beatísimo/Beatissimo Padre" (Most Blessed Father) is often used in preference to "Santísimo/Santissimo Padre" (Most Holy Father). In the medieval period, "Dominus Apostolicus" ("the Apostolic Lord") was also used.


The signature of Pope Francis

The signature of Pope Francis.

The signature of Pope Benedict XVI

The signature of Pope Benedict XVI during his pontificate.

Pope Francis signs some documents with his name alone, either in Latin ("Franciscus", as in an encyclical dated 29 June 2013)[133] or in another language.[134] Other documents he signs in accordance with the tradition of using Latin only and including, in the abbreviated form "PP.",[135] the description "Papa".[136] Popes who have an ordinal numeral in their name traditionally place the abbreviation "PP." before the ordinal numeral, as in "Benedictus PP. XVI" (Pope Benedict XVI), except in bulls of canonization and decrees of ecumenical councils, which a Pope signs with the formula, "Ego N. Episcopus Ecclesiae catholicae", without the numeral, as in "Ego Benedictus Episcopus Ecclesiae catholicae" (I, Benedict, Bishop of the Catholic Church).[137] The Pope's signature is followed, in bulls of canonization, by those of all the cardinals resident in Rome, and in decrees of ecumenical councils, by the signatures of the other bishops participating in the council, each signing as Bishop of a particular see.

Papal bulls are headed N. Episcopus Servus Servorum Dei ("Name, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God"). In general, they are not signed by the Pope, but Pope John Paul II introduced in the mid-1980s the custom by which the Pope signs not only bulls of canonization but also, using his normal signature, such as "Benedictus PP. XVI", bulls of nomination of bishops.

Regalia and insignia[]

  • "Triregnum", also called the "tiara" or "triple crown", represents the pope's three functions as "supreme pastor", "supreme teacher" and "supreme priest". Recent popes have not, however, worn the triregnum, though it remains the symbol of the papacy and has not been abolished. In liturgical ceremonies the Pope wear an episcopal mitre (an erect cloth hat).
  • Crosier topped by a crucifix, a custom established before the 13th century (see Papal ferula).
  • Pallium, or pall, a circular band of fabric worn around the neck over the chasuble. It forms a yoke about the neck, breast and shoulders and has two pendants hanging down in front and behind, and is ornamented with six crosses. Previously, the pallium worn by the Pope was identical to those he granted to the primates, but in 2005, Pope Benedict XVI began to use a distinct papal pallium that is larger than the primatial, and was adorned with red crosses instead of black.
  • "Keys to the Kingdom of Heaven", the image of two keys, one gold and one silver. The silver key symbolizes the power to bind and loose on Earth, and the gold key the power to bind and loose in Heaven.
  • Ring of the Fisherman, a gold or gilt ring decorated with a depiction of St. Peter in a boat casting his net, with the Pope's name around it.
  • Umbraculum (better known in the Italian form ombrellino) is a canopy or umbrella consisting of alternating red and gold stripes, which used to be carried above the pope in processions.
  • Sedia gestatoria, a mobile throne carried by twelve footmen (palafrenieri) in red uniforms, accompanied by two attendants bearing flabella (fans made of white ostrich feathers), and sometimes a large canopy, carried by eight attendants. The use of the flabella was discontinued by Pope John Paul I. The use of the sedia gestatoria was discontinued by Pope John Paul II.
Coat of arms Holy See

The coat of arms of the Holy See. That of the State of Vatican City is the same except that the positions of the gold and silver keys are interchanged.[138]

In heraldry, each pope has his own personal coat of arms. Though unique for each pope, the arms have for several centuries been traditionally accompanied by two keys in saltire (i.e., crossed over one another so as to form an X) behind the escutcheon (shield) (one silver key and one gold key, tied with a red cord), and above them a silver triregnum with three gold crowns and red infulae (lappets—two strips of fabric hanging from the back of the triregnum which fall over the neck and shoulders when worn). This is blazoned: "two keys in saltire or and argent, interlacing in the rings or, beneath a tiara argent, crowned or"). The 21st century has seen departures from this tradition. In 2005, Pope Benedict XVI, while maintaining the crossed keys behind the shield, omitted the papal tiara from his personal coat of arms, replacing it with a mitre with three horizontal lines. Beneath the shield he added the pallium, a papal symbol of authority more ancient than the tiara, the use of which is also granted to metropolitan archbishops as a sign of communion with the See of Rome. Though the tiara was omitted in the Pope's personal coat of arms, the coat of arms of the Holy See, which includes the tiara, remained unaltered. In 2013, Pope Francis maintained the mitre that replaced the tiara, but omitted the pallium. He also departed from papal tradition by adding beneath the shield his personal pastoral motto: Miserando atque eligendo.

The flag most frequently associated with the pope is the yellow and white flag of Vatican City, with the arms of the Holy See (blazoned: "Gules, two keys in saltire or and argent, interlacing in the rings or, beneath a tiara argent, crowned or") on the right-hand side (the "fly") in the white half of the flag (the left-hand side—the "hoist"—is yellow). The pope's escucheon does not appear on the flag. This flag was first adopted in 1808, whereas the previous flag had been red and gold. Although Pope Benedict XVI replaced the triregnum with a mitre on his personal coat of arms, it has been retained on the flag.

Papal garments[]

Pius V, who was pope from 1566 to 1572, is often credited with having originated the custom whereby the Pope wears white, by continuing after his election to wear the white habit of the Dominican order. In reality, the basic papal attire was white long before. The earliest document that describes it as such is the Ordo XIII, a book of ceremonies compiled in about 1274. Later books of ceremonies describe the Pope as wearing a red mantle, mozzetta, camauro and shoes, and a white cassock and stockings.[139][140] Many contemporary portraits of 15th and 16th-century predecessors of Pius V show them wearing a white cassock similar to his.[141]

Status and authority[]

Kruisheren uden bij paus pius xii Crosiers from Uden Holland with PiusXII

To maintain contacts with local clergymen and Catholic communities, the popes grant private audiences as well as public ones. Here the Canons Regular of the Holy Cross from Uden (Netherlands) are received by Pope Pius XII.

First Vatican Council[]

The status and authority of the Pope in the Catholic Church was dogmatically defined by the First Vatican Council on 18 July 1870. In its Dogmatic Constitution of the Church of Christ, the Council established the following canons:[142]

"If anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not established by the Lord Christ as the chief of all the apostles, and the visible head of the whole militant Church, or, that the same received great honour but did not receive from the same our Lord Jesus Christ directly and immediately the primacy in true and proper jurisdiction: let him be anathema.[143]

If anyone says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema.[144]

If anyone thus speaks, that the Roman Pontiff has only the office of inspection or direction, but not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the universal Church, not only in things which pertain to faith and morals, but also in those which pertain to the discipline and government of the Church spread over the whole world; or, that he possesses only the more important parts, but not the whole plenitude of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate, or over the churches altogether and individually, and over the pastors and the faithful altogether and individually: let him be anathema.[145]

We, adhering faithfully to the tradition received from the beginning of the Christian faith, to the glory of God, our Saviour, the elevation of the Catholic religion and the salvation of Christian peoples, with the approbation of the sacred Council, teach and explain that the dogma has been divinely revealed: that the Roman Pontiff, when he speaks ex cathedra, that is, when carrying out the duty of the pastor and teacher of all Christians by his supreme apostolic authority he defines a doctrine of faith or morals to be held by the universal Church, through the divine assistance promised him in blessed Peter, operates with that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer wished that His church be instructed in defining doctrine on faith and morals; and so such definitions of the Roman Pontiff from himself, but not from the consensus of the Church, are unalterable. But if anyone presumes to contradict this definition of Ours, which may God forbid: let him be anathema."[146]

Second Vatican Council[]


Pope Pius XII, wearing the traditional 1877 Papal tiara, is carried through St. Peter's Basilica on a sedia gestatoria c. 1955.

In its Dogmatic Constitution on the Church (1964), the Second Vatican Council declared:

"Among the principal duties of bishops the preaching of the Gospel occupies an eminent place. For bishops are preachers of the faith, who lead new disciples to Christ, and they are authentic teachers, that is, teachers endowed with the authority of Christ, who preach to the people committed to them the faith they must believe and put into practice, and by the light of the Holy Spirit illustrate that faith. They bring forth from the treasury of Revelation new things and old, making it bear fruit and vigilantly warding off any errors that threaten their flock. Bishops, teaching in communion with the Roman Pontiff, are to be respected by all as witnesses to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the bishops speak in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept their teaching and adhere to it with a religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; that is, it must be shown so that his supreme magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. His mind and will in the matter may be known either from the character of the documents, from his frequent repetition of the same doctrine, or from his manner of speaking.
... this infallibility with which the Divine Redeemer willed His Church to be endowed in defining doctrine of faith and morals, extends as far as the deposit of Revelation extends, which must be religiously guarded and faithfully expounded. And this is the infallibility which the Roman Pontiff, the head of the college of bishops, enjoys in virtue of his office, when, as the supreme shepherd and teacher of all the faithful, who confirms his brethren in their faith, by a definitive act he proclaims a doctrine of faith or morals. And therefore his definitions, of themselves, and not from the consent of the Church, are justly styled irreformable, since they are pronounced with the assistance of the Holy Spirit, promised to him in blessed Peter, and therefore they need no approval of others, nor do they allow an appeal to any other judgment. For then the Roman Pontiff is not pronouncing judgment as a private person, but as the supreme teacher of the universal Church, in whom the charism of infallibility of the Church itself is individually present, he is expounding or defending a doctrine of Catholic faith. The infallibility promised to the Church resides also in the body of Bishops, when that body exercises the supreme magisterium with the successor of Peter. To these definitions the assent of the Church can never be wanting, on account of the activity of that same Holy Spirit, by which the whole flock of Christ is preserved and progresses in unity of faith."[147]

On 11 October 2012, on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the opening of the Second Vatican Council 60 prominent theologians, (including Hans Küng), put out a Declaration, stating that the intention of Vatican II to balance authority in the Church has not been realised. "Many of the key insights of Vatican II have not at all, or only partially, been implemented . . . A principal source of present-day stagnation lies in misunderstanding and abuse affecting the exercise of authority in our Church."[148]

Politics of the Holy See[]

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433px-Pope Pius VII

Pope Pius VII, bishop of Rome, seated, and Cardinal Caprara.

Residence and jurisdiction[]

The pope's official seat or cathedral is the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, and his official residence is the Apostolic Palace. He also possesses a summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, situated on the site of the ancient city of Alba Longa. Until the time of the Avignon Papacy, the residence of the Pope was the Lateran Palace, donated by the Roman Emperor Constantine the Great.

The Pope's ecclesiastical jurisdiction (the Holy See) is distinct from his secular jurisdiction (Vatican City). It is the Holy See that conducts international relations; for hundreds of years, the papal court (the Roman Curia) has functioned as the government of the Catholic Church.

The names "Holy See" and "Apostolic See" are ecclesiastical terminology for the ordinary jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome (including the Roman Curia); the pope's various honors, powers, and privileges within the Catholic Church and the international community derive from his Episcopate of Rome in lineal succession from the Apostle Saint Peter (see Apostolic succession). Consequently, Rome has traditionally occupied a central position in the Catholic Church, although this is not necessarily so. The Pope derives his pontificate from being Bishop of Rome but is not required to live there; according to the Latin formula ubi Papa, ibi Curia, wherever the Pope resides is the central government of the Church, provided that the pope is Bishop of Rome. As such, between 1309 and 1378, the popes lived in Avignon, France (see Avignon Papacy), a period often called the Babylonian captivity in allusion to the Biblical exile of Israel.

Though the Pope is the diocesan Bishop of the Diocese of Rome, he delegates most of the day-to-day work of leading the diocese to the Cardinal Vicar, who assures direct episcopal oversight of the diocese's pastoral needs, not in his own name but in that of the Pope. The current Cardinal Vicar is Agostino Vallini, who was appointed to the office in June 2008.

Political role[]

Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City
Coat of arms of the Vatican City
Coat of Arms of the Vatican
Incumbent Francis
Style His Holiness
Residence Apostolic Palace
First Sovereign Pope Pius XI
Formation 11 February 1929

Though the progressive Christianisation of the Roman Empire in the 4th century did not confer upon bishops civil authority within the state, the gradual withdrawal of imperial authority during the 5th century left the pope the senior imperial civilian official in Rome, as bishops were increasingly directing civil affairs in other cities of the Western Empire. This status as a secular and civil ruler was vividly displayed by Pope Leo I's confrontation with Attila in 452. The first expansion of papal rule outside of Rome came in 728 with the Donation of Sutri, which in turn was substantially increased in 754, when the Frankish ruler Pippin the Younger gave to the pope the land from his conquest of the Lombards. The pope may have utilized the forged Donation of Constantine to gain this land, which formed the core of the Papal States. This document, accepted as genuine until the 15th century, states that Constantine the Great placed the entire Western Empire of Rome under papal rule. In 800, Pope Leo III crowned the Frankish ruler Charlemagne as Roman Emperor, a major step toward establishing what later became known as the Holy Roman Empire; from that date onward the popes claimed the prerogative to crown the Emperor, though the right fell into disuse after the coronation of Charles V in 1530. Pope Pius VII was present at the coronation of Napoleon I in 1804 but did not actually perform the crowning. As mentioned above, the pope's sovereignty over the Papal States ended in 1870 with their annexation by Italy.

Popes like Alexander VI, an ambitious if spectacularly corrupt politician, and Pope Julius II, a formidable general and statesman, were not afraid to use power to achieve their own ends, which included increasing the power of the papacy. This political and temporal authority was demonstrated through the papal role in the Holy Roman Empire (especially prominent during periods of contention with the Emperors, such as during the Pontificates of Pope Gregory VII and Pope Alexander III). Papal bulls, interdict, and excommunication (or the threat thereof) have been used many times to increase papal power. The Bull Laudabiliter in 1155 authorized Henry II of England to invade Ireland. In 1207, Innocent III placed England under interdict until King John made his kingdom a fiefdom to the Pope, complete with yearly tribute, saying, "we offer and freely our lord Pope Innocent III and his catholic successors, the whole kingdom of England and the whole kingdom of Ireland with all their rights and appurtenences for the remission of our sins".[149] The Bull Inter caetera in 1493 led to the Treaty of Tordesillas in 1494, which divided the world into areas of Spanish and Portuguese rule. The Bull Regnans in Excelsis in 1570 excommunicated Elizabeth I of England and declared that all her subjects were released from all allegiance to her. The Bull, Inter gravissimas, in 1582 established the Gregorian calendar.[150]

International position[]

Under international law, a serving head of state has sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of the courts of other countries, though not from that of international tribunals.[151][152] This immunity is sometimes loosely referred to as "diplomatic immunity", which is, strictly speaking, the immunity enjoyed by the diplomatic representatives of a head of state.

International law treats the Holy See, essentially the central government of the Roman Catholic Church, as the juridical equal of a state. It is distinct from the state of Vatican City, existing for many centuries before the foundation of the latter. (It is common, however, for publications to use "Holy See", "Vatican/Vatican City", and even "Rome" interchangeably, and incorrectly.) Most countries of the world maintain the same form of diplomatic relations with the Holy See that they entertain with other states. Even countries without those diplomatic relations participate in international organizations of which the Holy See is a full member.

It is as head of the Holy See, not of Vatican City, that the U.S. Justice Department ruled that the Pope enjoys head-of-state immunity.[153] This head-of-state immunity, recognized by the United States, must be distinguished from that envisaged under the United States' Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act of 1976, which, while recognizing the basic immunity of foreign governments from being sued in American courts, lays down nine exceptions, including commercial activity and actions in the United States by agents or employees of the foreign governments. It was in relation to the latter that, in November 2008, the United States Court of Appeals in Cincinnati decided that a case over sexual abuse by Catholic priests could proceed, provided the plaintiffs could prove that the bishops accused of negligent supervision were acting as employees or agents of the Holy See and were following official Holy See policy.[154][155]

In April 2010, there was press coverage in Britain concerning a proposed plan by atheist campaigners and a prominent barrister to have Pope Benedict XVI arrested and prosecuted in the UK for alleged offences, dating from several decades before, in failing to take appropriate action regarding Catholic sex abuse cases and concerning their disputing his immunity from prosecution in that country.[156] This was generally dismissed as "unrealistic and spurious".[157] Another barrister said that it was a "matter of embarrassment that a senior British lawyer would want to allow himself to be associated with such a silly idea".[158]

Objections to the papacy[]


Antichristus, by Lucas Cranach the Elder, from Luther's 1521 Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. The Pope is signing and selling indulgences.

The Pope's claim to authority is either disputed or not recognised at all by other churches. The reasons for these objections differ from denomination to denomination.

Orthodox, Anglican and Old Catholic churches[]

Other traditional Christian churches (Assyrian Church of the East, the Oriental Orthodox Church, the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Old Catholic Church, the Anglican Communion, the Independent Catholic churches, etc.) accept the doctrine of Apostolic succession and, to varying extents, papal claims to a primacy of honour while generally rejecting that the pope is the successor to Peter in any unique sense not true of any other bishop. Primacy is regarded as a consequence of the pope's position as bishop of the original capital city of the Roman Empire, a definition explicitly spelled out in the 28th canon of the Council of Chalcedon. These churches see no foundation to papal claims of universal immediate jurisdiction, or to claims of papal infallibility. Several of these churches refer to such claims as ultramontanism.

Protestant denominations[]

Protestant denominations of Christianity reject the claims of Petrine primacy of honor, Petrine primacy of jurisdiction, and papal infallibility. These denominations vary from simply not accepting the Pope's claim to authority as legitimate and valid, to believing that the Pope is the Antichrist[159] from 1 John 2:18, the Man of Sin from 2 Thessalonians 2:3-12,[160] and the Beast out of the Earth from Revelation 13:11-18.[161]

This sweeping rejection is held by, among others, some denominations of Lutherans: Confessional Lutherans hold that the pope is the Antichrist, stating that this article of faith is part of a quia rather than quatenus subscription to the Book of Concord. In 1932, one of these Confessional churches, the Lutheran Church–Missouri Synod (LCMS), adopted A Brief Statement of the Doctrinal Position of the Missouri Synod, which a small number of Lutheran church bodies now hold. The Lutheran Churches of the Reformation[1], the Concordia Lutheran Conference[2], the Church of the Lutheran Confession[3], and the Illinois Lutheran Conference [4] all hold to the Brief Statement, which the LCMS places on its website.[162]


Christus, by Lucas Cranach. This woodcut of John 13:14–17 is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist. Cranach shows Jesus kissing Peter's foot during the footwashing. This stands in contrast to the opposing woodcut, where the Pope demands others kiss his foot.

PopeKissing Feet

Antichristus, by the Lutheran Lucas Cranach the Elder. This woodcut of the traditional practice of kissing the Pope's foot is from Passionary of the Christ and Antichrist.

Historically, Protestants objected to the papacy's claim of temporal power over all secular governments, including territorial claims in Italy,[163] the papacy's complex relationship with secular states such as the Roman and Byzantine Empires, and the autocratic character of the papal office.[164] In Western Christianity these objections both contributed to and are products of the Protestant Reformation.


Groups sometimes form around antipopes, who claim the Pontificate without being canonically and properly elected to it.

Traditionally, this term was reserved for claimants with a significant following of cardinals or other clergy. The existence of an antipope is usually due either to doctrinal controversy within the Church (heresy) or to confusion as to who is the legitimate pope at the time (see schism). Briefly in the 15th century, three separate lines of popes claimed authenticity (see Papal Schism). Even Catholics do not all agree whether certain historical figures were popes or antipopes. Though antipope movements were significant at one time, they are now overwhelmingly minor fringe causes.

Other uses of the title "pope"[]

In the earlier centuries of Christianity, the title "Pope", meaning "father", had been used by all bishops. Some popes used the term and others didn't. Eventually, the title became associated especially with the Bishop of Rome. In a few cases, the term is used for other Christian clerical authorities.

In the Roman Catholic Church[]

The "Black Pope" is a name that was popularly, but unofficially, given to the Superior General of the Society of Jesus due to the Jesuits' importance within the Church. This name, based on the black colour of his cassock, was used to suggest a parallel between him and the "White Pope" (since the time of Pope Pius V the Popes dress in white) and the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Evangelization of Peoples (formerly called the Sacred Congregation for the Propagation of the Faith), whose red cardinal's cassock gave him the name of the "Red Pope" in view of the authority over all territories that were not considered in some way Catholic. In the present time this cardinal has power over mission territories for Catholicism, essentially the Churches of Africa and Asia,[165] but in the past his competence extended also to all lands where Protestants or Eastern Christianity was dominant. Some remnants of this situation remain, with the result that, for instance, New Zealand is still in the care of this Congregation.

In the Eastern Churches[]

Since the papacy of Heraclas in the 3rd century, the Bishop of the Alexandria in both the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria continue to be called "Pope", the former being called "Coptic Pope" or, more properly, "Pope and Patriarch of All Africa on the Holy Orthodox and Apostolic Throne of Saint Mark the Evangelist and Holy Apostle" and the latter called "Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa".[166]

In the Bulgarian Orthodox Church, Russian Orthodox Church and Serbian Orthodox Church, it is not unusual for a village priest to be called a "pope" ("поп" pop). However, this should be differentiated from the words used for the head of the Catholic Church (Bulgarian "папа" papa, Russian "папа римский" papa rimskiy).

In new religious movements[]

Some new religious movements, especially those that have disassociated themselves from the Catholic Church yet retain a Catholic hierarchical framework, have used the designation "pope" for a movement's founder or current leader. One example in Africa is the Legio Maria Church of Africa. Another example is Cao Dai, a Vietnamese faith that duplicates the Catholic hierarchy, which is declared legitimate by religious authorities in Cao Dai due to the fact that, according to them, God created both Catholicism and Cao Dai.

Lengths of papal reign[]

Longest-reigning popes[]


Pope Pius IX, the longest-reigning pope

Although the average reign of the pope from the Middle Ages was a decade, a number of those whose reign lengths can be determined from contemporary historical data are the following:

  1. Pius IX (1846–1878): 31 years, 7 months and 23 days (11,560 days).
  2. St. John Paul II (1978–2005): 26 years, 5 months and 18 days (9,665 days).
  3. Leo XIII (1878–1903): 25 years, 5 months and 1 day (9,281 days).
  4. Pius VI (1775–1799): 24 years, 6 months and 15 days (8,962 days).
  5. Adrian I (772–795): 23 years, 10 months and 25 days (8,729 days).
  6. Pius VII (1800–1823): 23 years, 5 months and 7 days (8,560 days).
  7. Alexander III (1159–1181): 21 years, 11 months and 24 days (8,029 days).
  8. St. Sylvester I (314–335): 21 years, 11 months and 1 day (8,005 days).
  9. St. Leo I (440–461): 21 years, 1 month, and 13 days (7,713 days).
  10. Urban VIII (1623–1644): 20 years, 11 months and 24 days (7,664 days).

During the Western Schism, Avignon Pope Benedict XIII (1394-1423) ruled for 28 years, seven months and 12 days. However, since he is regarded as an anti-pope, he is not mentioned in the list above.

Shortest-reigning popes[]

Urban VII

Pope Urban VII, the shortest-reigning pope

There have been a number of popes whose reign lasted about a month or less. In the following list the number of calendar days includes partial days. Thus, for example, if a pope's reign commenced on 1 August and he died on 2 August, this would count as having reigned for two calendar days.

  1. Urban VII (15–27 September 1590): reigned for 13 calendar days, died before coronation.
  2. Boniface VI (April 896): reigned for 16 calendar days
  3. Celestine IV (25 October – 10 November 1241): reigned for 17 calendar days, died before coronation.
  4. Theodore II (December 897): reigned for 20 calendar days
  5. Sisinnius (15 January – 4 February 708): reigned for 21 calendar days
  6. Marcellus II (9 April – 1 May 1555): reigned for 23 calendar days
  7. Damasus II (17 July – 9 August 1048): reigned for 24 calendar days
  8. Pius III (22 September – 18 October 1503): reigned for 27 calendar days
  9. Leo XI (1–27 April 1605): reigned for 28 calendar days
  10. Benedict V (22 May – 23 June 964): reigned for 33 calendar days
  11. John Paul I (26 August – 28 September 1978): reigned for 34 calendar days.

Stephen (23–26 March 752), died of stroke three days after his election, and before his consecration as a bishop. He is not recognized as a valid pope, but was added to the lists of popes in the 15th century as Stephen II, causing difficulties in enumerating later popes named Stephen. The Holy See's Annuario Pontificio, in its list of popes and antipopes, attaches a footnote to its mention of Stephen II (III):

"On the death of Zachary the Roman priest Stephen was elected; but, since four days later he died, before his consecratio, which according to the canon law of the time was the true commencement of his pontificate, his name is not registered in the Liber Pontificalis nor in other lists of the Popes."[167]

Published every year by the Roman Curia, the Annuario Pontificio attaches no consecutive numbers to the popes, stating that it is impossible to decide which side represented at various times the legitimate succession, in particular regarding Pope Leo VIII, Pope Benedict V and some mid-11th-century popes.[168]

See also[]

  • Caesaropapism
  • Index of Vatican City-related articles
  • Legends surrounding the papacy
  • List of canonised popes
  • List of current Christian leaders
  • List of popes

  • Papal inauguration
  • Papal name
  • Papal Slippers
  • Prophecy of the Popes

P christianity Christianity
Portal Catholicism
Portal Pope


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  8. ^ Collins, Roger. Keepers of the keys of heaven: a history of the papacy. Introduction (One of the most enduring and influential of all human institutions, (...) No one who seeks to make sense of modern issues within Christendom - or, indeed, world history - can neglect the vital shaping role of the popes.) Basic Books. 2009. ISBN 978-0-465-01195-7.
  9. ^ a b c d e f g h i Wetterau, Bruce. World history. New York: Henry Holt & co. 1994.
  10. ^ Faus, José Ignacio Gonzáles. "Autoridade da Verdade - Momentos Obscuros do Magistério Eclesiástico". Capítulo VIII: Os papas repartem terras - Pág.: 64-65 e Capítulo VI: O papa tem poder temporal absoluto – Pág.: 49-55. Edições Loyola. ISBN 85-15-01750-4. Embora Faus critique profundamente o poder temporal dos papas ("Mais uma vez isso salienta um dos maiores inconvenientes do status político dos sucessores de Pedro" - pág.: 64), ele também admite um papel secular positivo por parte dos papas ("Não podemos negar que intervenções papais desse gênero evitaram mais de uma guerra na Europa" - pág.: 65).
  11. ^ Wikisource-logo Jarrett, Bede (1913). "Papal Arbitration". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
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  31. ^ (in German) Zeitschr. fur Kirchengesch., 1901, pp. 1 sqq., 161 sqq. 
  32. ^ The Secrets of the 12 Disciples, Channel 4, transmitted on 23 March 2008.
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  34. ^ Was Peter in Rome, Catholic Answers.
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  38. ^ a b O'Grady, John. The Roman Catholic church: its origins and nature. p. 140. ISBN 0-8091-3740-2. 
  39. ^ Stevenson, J. A New Eusebius. pp. 114–115. ISBN 0-281-00802-7. 
  40. ^ "From an historical perspective, there is no conclusive documentary evidence from the 1st century or the early decades of the second of the exercise of, or even the claim to, a primacy of the Roman bishop or to a connection with Peter, although documents from this period accord the church at Rome some kind of pre‑eminence" (Emmanuel Clapsis, Papal Primacy, extract from Orthodoxy in Conversation (2000), p. 110); and "The see of Rome, whose prominence was associated with the deaths of Peter and Paul, became the principle center in matters concerning the universal Church" (Clapsis, p. 102). The same writer quotes with approval the words of Joseph Ratzinger: "In Phanar, on 25 July 1976, when Patriarch Athenegoras addressed the visiting pope as Peter's successor, the first in honor among us, and the presider over charity, this great church leader was expressing the essential content of the declarations of the primacy of the first millennium" (Clapsis, p. 113).
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  49. ^ Wikisource-logo Chapman, Henry Palmer (1913). "Pope Liberius". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  50. ^ a b Alves J. Os Santos de Cada Dia (10 edição). Editora Paulinas. Pág.: 296, 696, 736. ISBN 978-85-356-0648-5.
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  56. ^ a b História Global Brasil e Geral. Pág.: 101, 130, 149, 151, 159. Volume único. Gilberto Cotrim. ISBN 978-85-02-05256-7
  57. ^ a b MOVIMENTOS DE RENOVAÇÃO E REFORMA. 2009-10-01.
  58. ^ "Feudalismo". Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  59. ^ Vidmar, John (2005). The Catholic Church Through the Ages. Paulist Press. p. 94. ISBN 0-8091-4234-1.
  60. ^ Riley-Smith, Jonathan (1997). The First Crusaders. Cambridge University Press. P. 6. ISBN 978-0-511-00308-0.
  61. ^ Bokenkotter 2004, pp. 140-141, 192.
  62. ^ a b c d Durant 1950, chpt. 4.
  63. ^ a b Durant 1957, pp. 3–25.
  64. ^ Durant 1957, pp. 26–57.
  65. ^ "Conciliar theory". Cross, FL, ed. The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005.
  66. ^ Paul S. Boyer, When Time Shall Be No More (Harvard University Press 1992 ISBN 978-0-67402861-6), p. 61; cf. pp. 62, 274
  67. ^ Edwards, Jr, Mark U. (2004). Printing, Propaganda and Martin Luther. Fortress Press. p. 90. ISBN 978-1-45141399-1. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  68. ^ Hillerbrand, Hans Joachim (2004). "Encyclopedia of Protestantism". Taylor & Francis. p. 124. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  69. ^ Osborne, John (1967). Luther. Taylor & Francis. p. 301. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  70. ^ "Counter-Reformation". Cross, FL, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005
  71. ^ Matthew 16:18-19
  72. ^ Luke 21:31-32
  73. ^ John 21:17
  74. ^ Lightfoot, John. "Commentary on Matthew 16:18". Commentary on the Gospels. Retrieved 23 May 2013. "It is readily answered by the Papists, that "Peter was the rock." But let them tell me why Matthew used not the same word in Greek, if our Saviour used the same word in Syriac. If he had intimated that the church should be built upon Peter, it had been plainer and more agreeable to be the vulgar idiom to have said, "Thou art Peter, and upon thee I will build my church." 
  75. ^ Robertson, Archibald Thomas. "Commentary on Matthew 16:18". Word Pictures of the New Testament. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  76. ^ Gill, John. "Commentary on Matthew 16:18". Exposition of the Whole Bible. Retrieved 23 May 2013. "by the rock, is meant, either the confession of faith made by Peter; not the act, nor form, but the matter of it, it containing the prime articles of Christianity, and which are as immoveable as a rock; or rather Christ himself, who points, as it were, with his finger to himself, and whom Peter had made such a glorious confession of; and who was prefigured by the rock the Israelites drank water out of in the wilderness; and is comparable to any rock for height, shelter, strength, firmness, and duration; and is the one and only foundation of his church and people, and on whom their security, salvation, and happiness entirely depend." 
  77. ^ Wesley, John. "Commentary on Matthew 16:18". Wesley's Notes on the Bible. Christian Classics Ethereal Library. Retrieved 23 May 2013. "On this rock - Alluding to his name, which signifies a rock, namely, the faith which thou hast now professed; I will build my Church - But perhaps when our Lord uttered these words, he pointed to himself, in like manner as when he said, Destroy this temple, John 2:19; meaning the temple of his body. And it is certain, that as he is spoken of in Scripture, as the only foundation of the Church, so this is that which the apostles and evangelists laid in their preaching. It is in respect of laying this, that the names of the twelve apostles (not of St. Peter only) were equally inscribed on the twelve foundations of the city of God, Revelation 21:14. The gates of hell - As gates and walls were the strength of cities, and as courts of judicature were held in their gates, this phrase properly signifies the power and policy of Satan and his instruments. Shall not prevail against it - Not against the Church universal, so as to destroy it. And they never did. There hath been a small remnant in all ages." 
  78. ^ Scofield, C. I. "Commentary on Matthew 16:18". Scofield's Reference Notes. 1917 edition. Retrieved 23 May 2013. "There is the Greek a play upon the words, "thou art Peter petros-- literally 'a little rock', and upon this rock Petra I will build my church." He does not promise to build His church upon Peter, but upon Himself, as Peter is careful to tell us (1 Peter 2:4-9)." 
  79. ^ Henry, Matthew. "Commentary on Matthew 16:18". Matthew Henry's Complete Commentary on the Bible. Retrieved 23 May 2013. "First, Some by this rock understand Peter himself as an apostle, the chief, though not the prince, of the twelve, senior among them, but not superior over them. The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles, Ephesians 2:20. The first stones of that building were laid in and by their ministry; hence their names are said to be written in the foundations of the new Jerusalem, Revelation 21:14...First, Some by this rock understand Peter himself as an apostle, the chief, though not the prince, of the twelve, senior among them, but not superior over them. The church is built upon the foundation of the apostles, Ephesians 2:20. The first stones of that building were laid in and by their ministry; hence their names are said to be written in the foundations of the new Jerusalem, Revelation 21:14. ... Thirdly, Others by this rock understand this confession which Peter made of Christ, and this comes all to one with understanding it of Christ himself. It was a good confession which Peter witnessed, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God; the rest concurred with him in it. "Now", saith Christ, "this is that great truth upon which I will build my church." 1. Take away this truth itself, and the universal church falls to the ground. If Christ be not the Son of God, Christianity is a cheat, and the church is a mere chimera; our preaching is vain, your faith is vain, and you are yet in your sins, 1 Corinthians 15:14-17. If Jesus be not the Christ, those that own him are not of the church, but deceivers and deceived. 2. Take away the faith and confession of this truth from any particular church, and it ceases to be a part of Christ's church, and relapses to the state and character of infidelity. This is articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesia--that article, with the admission or the denial of which the church either rises or falls; "the main hinge on which the door of salvation turns;" those who let go this, do not hold the foundation; and though they may call themselves Christians, they give themselves the lie; for the church is a sacred society, incorporated upon the certainty and assurance of this great truth; and great it is, and has prevailed." 
  80. ^ John 1:42. Bible Hub.
  81. ^ "Cephas".
  82. ^ "Cephas". Behind the Name.
  83. ^ O'Connor, Daniel William (2013). "Saint Peter the Apostle". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  84. ^ John Paul II 1996, p. Introduction.
  85. ^ Religion News Service, "Pope and conclaves: everything you need to know"
  86. ^ John Paul II 1996, pp. 88-89.
  87. ^ With the promulgation of Universi Dominici Gregis in 1996, a simple majority after a deadlock of twelve days was allowed, but this was revoked by Pope Benedict XVI by motu proprio in 2007.
  88. ^ "Press Conference on the Tenth General Congregations of the College of Cardinals (11 March) and Regarding Events of the Coming Days: Tenth and Last General Congregation". Holy See Press Office. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  89. ^ St Augustine, speaking of the honours paid to bishops in his time, mentions the absides gradatae (apses with steps, a reference to the seating arrangement for the presbyters in the apse of the church, with the bishop in the middle (William Smith, Samuel Cheetham, Encyclopaedic Dictionary of Christian Antiquities, "elevated stalls" in the Sparrow-Simpson translation (p. 83), and appearing as "thrones ascended by flights of steps" in the Cunningham translation), and cathedrae velatae (canopied thrones, appearing as "canopied pulpits" in both those translations) - Letter 203 in the old arrangement, 23 in the chronological rearrangement
  90. ^ Ablative absolute, equivalent to a temporal clause
  91. ^ "Theological Position: Sede Vacante". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  92. ^ "Pope Michael I". Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  93. ^ "Exposing the Vatican II Pseudo-Catholic Church". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  94. ^ "Hammer Time". 5 Apr 2005. Retrieved 2 Nov 2014. 
  95. ^ Sullivan, George E. Pope John Paul II: The People's Pope. Boston: Walker & Company, 1984.
  96. ^ "''The Path to a New Pontiff'' Retrieved: 2010-03-29". 2005-04-03. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  97. ^ 332 §2 Vatican code
  98. ^ Annuario Pontificio, published annually by Libreria Editrice Vaticana, p. 23*. ISBN of the 2012 edition: 978-88-209-8722-0.
  99. ^ Wikisource-logo Shahan, Thomas Joseph (1907). "Ecclesiastical Abbreviations". Catholic Encyclopedia. 1. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  100. ^ "Pope". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  101. ^ Adriano Cappelli. "Lexicon Abbreviaturarum". p. 283. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  102. ^ "Contractions and Abbreviations". 2005-08-04. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  103. ^ "What Does PP Stand For?". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  104. ^ a b c Wikisource-logo Fanning, William Henry Windsor (1913). "Vicar of Christ". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  105. ^ a b McBrien, Richard P. Os Papas. Os Pontífices de São Pedro a João Paulo II (original title: Lives of the Popes. The Pontiffs from St. Peter to John Paul II 1997. ISBN 0-06-065303-5), pp. 37, 85.
  106. ^ Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Vicar of Christ
  107. ^ a b John P. Beal, James A. Coriden, Thomas J. (Thomas Joseph) Green, Thomas J. Green (2002-06-27). New Commentary on the Code of Canon Law (p. 432). ISBN 978-0-8091-4066-4. Retrieved 18 February 2010. 
  108. ^ "Prescription against Heretics (Chapter 28)". Catholic Encyclopedia: The Fathers of the Church. New Advent. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  109. ^ "On the Veiling of Virgins (Chapter 1)". Catholic Encyclopedia: The Fathers of the Church. New Advent. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  110. ^ Cf. John 16:7-14
  111. ^ Faus, José Ignacio Gonzáles. "Autoridade da Verdade - Momentos Obscuros do Magistério Eclesiástico" (Edições Loyola. ISBN 85-15-01750-4), p. 33.
  112. ^ Ken Untener, Elizabeth Picken, ''The Practical Prophet: Pastoral Writings'', p. 264. Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  113. ^ "Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution Lumen gentium, 27". Retrieved 27 January 2010. 
  114. ^ Shaw, Russell B. (1979). Church & State: A Novel of Politics and Power. Huntington, Ind: Our Sunday Visitor. p. 991. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  115. ^ "Medieval Sourcebook". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  116. ^ "''Missale Romanum'', Vatican City, 2008, p. 928". Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  117. ^ "Pontifex". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  118. ^ The bridge making has been interpreted in terms of "one who smoothes the way for the gods and to the gods" (Van Haeperen, Françoise, 2002. Le collège pontifical: 3ème s. a. C. - 4ème s. p. C. in series Études de Philologie, d'Archéologie et d'Histoire Anciennes, no. 39. (Brussels: Brepols) ISBN 90-74461-49-2, reviewed in Bryn Mawr Classical review, 2003)
  119. ^ a b Smith, William, ed (1875). "Pontifex". Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities. London: J. Murray. pp. 939–942.*/Pontifex.html. 
  120. ^ Liddell and Scott, ed. "A Greek English Lexicon". Oxford University Press. Retrieved 2013-02-18. 
  121. ^ Polybius 23.1.2 and 32.22.5; Corpus Inscriptionum Atticarum 3.43, 3.428 und 3.458
  122. ^ Translated literally into Greek as ἀρχιερεὺς μέγιστος (greatest high priest) in Corpus Inscriptionum Graecarum 2.2696 and 3.346; Plutarch Numa 9.4 – Liddell and Scott: ἀρχιερεύς
  123. ^ There are 35 instances of the use of this term in the Vulgate: Mark 15:11; John 7:45, 11:47,11:49, 11:51, 11:57, 18:3, 18:10, 18:13, 18:15-16, 18:22, 18:24, 18:26, 18:35, 19:6, 19:15, 19:21; Hebrews 2:17, 3:1, 4:14-15, 5:1, 5:5, 5:10, 6:20, 7:26, 8:1, 8:3, 9:7, 9:11, 9:25, 13:11
  124. ^ Wikisource-logo Joyce, G. H. (1913). "Pope". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  125. ^ "Dictionary definition". Retrieved 2010-11-07. 
  126. ^ "pontifical". Oxford Dictionaries. Oxford University Press. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  127. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2008 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana ISBN 978-88-209-8021-4), p. 23*
  128. ^ "Gratian". Encyclopædia Britannica. Encyclopædia Britannica Online. 2013. Retrieved 14 April 2013. 
  129. ^ Pontifex Maximus article by Jona Lendering retrieved 15 August 2006
  130. ^ a b Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church (Oxford University Press 2005 ISBN 978-0-19-280290-3), article Pontifex Maximus
  131. ^ Wikisource-logo Meehan, Andrew Brennan (1913). "Servus servorum Dei". Catholic Encyclopedia. New York: Robert Appleton Company. 
  132. ^ "Communiqué concernant la suppression du titre "Patriarche d'Occident" dans l'Annuaire pontifical 2006". Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  133. ^ Encyclical letter Lumen fidei
  134. ^ Examples are "Francesco" in the frontispiece of the 2013 Annuario Pontificio published in Italian shortly after his election (Annuario Pontificio 2013, Libreria Editrice Vaticana, 2013, ISBN 978-88-209-9070-1) and a letter in Italian dated 1 April 2014.
  135. ^ Catholic Encyclopedia:Ecclesiastical Abbreviations
  136. ^ Examples are documents dated 8 August 2013; 17 January 2014; 2 April 2014
  137. ^ "Classic Encyclopedia: ''Curia Romana''". October 6, 2006. Archived from the original on February 21, 2007. // Retrieved August 11, 2010. 
  138. ^ "Vatican City (Holy See) - The Keys and Coat of Arms". Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  139. ^ Bagliani, Agostino Paravicini (21 August 2013). "From red to white". Osservatore Romano. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  140. ^ "Vatican newspaper examines history of red, white papal garb". Catholic Culture. 2 September 2013. Retrieved 29 June 2014. 
  141. ^ Compare the portrait reproduced in the article on Pius V with those in the articles on his immediate predecessors Pope Pius IV and Pope Paul IV and in the articles on Pope Julius III, Pope Paul III, Pope Clement VII, Pope Adrian VI, Pope Leo X, Pope Julius II, Pope Pius II, Pope Callixtus III, Pope Nicholas V, and Pope Eugene IV.
  142. ^ The texts of these canons are given in Denzinger, Latin original; English translation
  143. ^ Denzinger 3055 (old numbering, 1823)
  144. ^ Denzinger 3058 (old numbering, 1825)
  145. ^ Denzinger 3064 (old numbering, 1831)
  146. ^ Denzinger 3073–3075 (old numbering, 1839–1840)
  147. ^ "''Lumen gentium'', 25". Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  148. ^ "''the JUBILEE DECLARATION''". 
  149. ^ Quoted from the Medieval Sourcebook
  150. ^ See selection from Concordia Cyclopedia: Roman Catholic Church, History of
  151. ^ "Anthony Dworkin and Katherine Iliopoulos, ''The International Criminal Court, Bashir, and the Immunity of Heads of State''". Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  152. ^ Yitiha Simbeye, Immunity and International Criminal Law, p. 94
  153. ^ "U.S. Says Pope Immune From Molestation Lawsuit, 2005". Fox News. 2005-09-20.,2933,169909,00.html. Retrieved 2010-08-11. 
  154. ^ Allen, John L. The autonomy of bishops, and suing the Vatican Vatican Can Be Sued For Priest Sexual Abuse: U.S. Court of Appeals, November 2008
  155. ^ Winfield, Nicole (30 March 2010). "Vatican offers 3 reasons it's not liable in U.S. abuse case". USA Today. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  156. ^ Horne, Mark (10 April 2010). "Richard Dawkins calls for arrest of Pope Benedict XVI". The Times. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  157. ^ Roberts, Ivor (13 April 2010). "Is the Holy See above the law?". The Times. Retrieved 15 April 2013. 
  158. ^ Zenit News Agency, 15 April 2010: Arrest the Pope?
  159. ^ "Therefore on the basis of a renewed study of the pertinent Scriptures we reaffirm the statement of the Lutheran Confessions, that 'the Pope is the very Antichrist'" from Statement on the Antichrist from the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod, also Ian Paisley, The Pope is the Antichrist
  160. ^ See Kretzmann's Popular Commentary, 2 Thessalonians chapter two and An Exegesis of 2 Thessalonians 2:1-10 by Mark Jeske
  161. ^ See See Kretzmann's Popular Commentary, Revelation Chapter 13
  162. ^ Doctrinal Position
  163. ^ See the Baltimore Catechism on the temporal power of the pope over governments and Innocent III's Letter to the prefect Acerbius and the nobles of Tuscany. For objection to this, see the Concordia Cyclopedia, p. 564 and 750.
  164. ^ See Luther, Smalcald Articles, Article four
  165. ^ Sandro Magister, Espresso Online.
  166. ^ Greek Orthodox Patriarchate of Alexandria and All Africa
  167. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2012 ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 11*
  168. ^ Annuario Pontificio 2012 (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2012 ISBN 978-88-209-8722-0), p. 12*


Further reading[]

  • Brusher, Joseph S. (1959). Popes Through the Ages. Princeton, N.J: Van Nostrand. OCLC 742355324. 
  • Chamberlin, E. R. (1969). The Bad Popes. New York: Dial Press. OCLC 647415773. 
  • Dollison, John (1994). Pope-pourri. New York: Simon & Schuster. ISBN 978-0-671-88615-8. 
  • Maxwell-Stuart, P. G. (1997). Chronicle of the Popes: The Reign-by-Reign Record of the Papacy from St. Peter to the Present. London: Thames and Hudson. ISBN 0-500-01798-0. 
  • Norwich, John Julius (2011). The Popes: A History. London: Chatto & Windus. ISBN 978-0-7011-8290-8. 

External links[]

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