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The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as supreme pontiff ( or ), Roman pontiff () or sovereign pontiff, is the bishop of Rome, head of the worldwide
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
, and
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
or
sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance language of the Indo-European family. It descende ...

sovereign
of the
Vatican City State Vatican City (), officially the Vatican City State ( it, Stato della Città del Vaticano; la, Status Civitatis Vaticanae),—' * german: Vatikanstadt, cf. '—' (in Austria: ') * pl, Miasto Watykańskie, cf. '—' * pt, Cidade do Vatican ...
. According to Catholics, the
primacy of the bishop of Rome Papal primacy, also known as the primacy of the bishop of Rome, is a Christian ecclesiological doctrine concerning the respect and authority that is due to the pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "fathe ...
is largely derived from his role as the apostolic successor to
Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham ...

Saint Peter
, to whom primacy was conferred by
Jesus Jesus, likely from he, יֵשׁוּעַ, translit=Yēšūaʿ, label=Hebrew Hebrew (, , or ) is a Northwest Semitic languages, Northwest Semitic language of the Afroasiatic languages, Afroasiatic language family. Historically, it ...

Jesus
, giving him the
Keys of Heaven The Keys of Heaven refers to the image of crossed keys used in ecclesiastical heraldry Ecclesiastical heraldry refers to the use of heraldry Heraldry () is a broad term, encompassing the design, display and study of armorial bearings (known as ar ...

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 Francis may refer to: People *Pope Francis Pope Francis ( la, Franciscus; it, Francesco; es, link=no, Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to ...

Francis
, who was elected on 13 March 2013. While his office is called the papacy, the
jurisdiction Jurisdiction (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language A classical language is a language A language is a structured system of communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share" or "to be i ...
of the
episcopal see The seat or ''cathedra'' of the Bishop of Rome in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran An episcopal see is, in the usual meaning of the phrase, the area of a bishop's ecclesiastical jurisdiction. Phrases concerning actions occurring within o ...
is called the
Holy See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome or Apostolic See, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian ...
. It is the Holy See that is the
sovereign entity Sovereignty is the supreme authority within a territory. Sovereignty entails hierarchy within the state, as well as external autonomy for states. In any state, sovereignty is assigned to the person, body, or institution that has the ultimate au ...
by
international law International law, also known as public international law and law of nations, is the set of rules, norms, and standards generally recognized as binding between nation A nation is a community A community is a social unitThe term "level of anal ...
headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, a
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
enclaved within Rome, established by the
Lateran Treaty The Lateran Treaty ( it, Patti Lateranensi; la, Pacta Lateranensia) was one component of the Lateran Pacts of 1929, agreements between the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when ...
in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its and spiritual independence. The Holy See is recognized by its adherence at various levels to international organization and by means of its diplomatic relations and political accords with many independent states. According to
Catholic tradition Sacred tradition is a theological term used in major Christian traditions, primarily those claiming apostolic succession, such as the Catholic Church, Catholic, Eastern Orthodox Church, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodoxy, Oriental Orthodox, Churc ...
, the apostolic see of
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...
was founded by Saint Peter and
Saint Paul Paul the Apostle,; el, Παῦλος, translit=Paulos; cop, ⲡⲁⲩⲗⲟⲥ; he, פאולוס השליח; – AD commonly known as Saint Paul and also known by his Hebrew name Saul of Tarsus,; ar, بولس الطرسوسي; el, ...

Saint Paul
in the 1st century. The papacy is one of the most enduring institutions in the world and has had a prominent part in
world history World history or global history as a field of historiography, historical study examines history from a global perspective. It emerged centuries ago; leading practitioners have included Voltaire (1694–1778), Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Hegel ( ...
. In ancient times the popes helped spread Christianity, and intervened to find resolutions in various doctrinal disputes. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, they played a role of secular importance in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
, often acting as arbitrators between Christian monarchs.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. . 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). In addition to the expansion of Christian faith and doctrine, modern popes are involved in
ecumenism Ecumenism (), also spelled oecumenism, is the concept and principle in which Christians Christians () are people who follow or adhere to Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic Monotheism, monotheistic religion ...
and
interfaith dialogue , Ladkah, India Interfaith dialogue refers to cooperative, constructive, and positive interaction between people of different religion, religious traditions (i.e. "faiths") and/or spirituality, spiritual or humanism, humanistic beliefs, at both ...
,
charitable work The practice of charity means the Volunteering, voluntary giving of help to those in need, as a Humanitarianism, humanitarian act. There are a number of Philosophy, philosophies about charity, often associated with religion. Effective altruism is th ...
, and the defense of
human rights Human rights are moral A moral (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European languages. Latin was originally spoken in the area around Rome, known as Latium. ...
. Over time the papacy accrued broad secular and political influence, ultimately rivaling those of territorial rulers. In recent centuries the temporal authority of the papacy has declined and the office is now largely focused on religious matters. By contrast, papal claims of spiritual authority have been increasingly firmly expressed over time, culminating in 1870 with the proclamation of the
dogma Dogma is a belief or set of beliefs that is accepted by the members of a group without being questioned or doubted. It may be in the form of an official system of principle, principles or doctrine, doctrines of a religion, such as Catholic Churc ...
of
papal infallibility Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3  ...
for rare occasions when the pope speaks —literally "from the "—to issue a formal definition of
faith Faith, derived from ''fides'' and ''feid'', is confidence or trust in a , thing, or In the context of , one can define faith as " in or in the doctrines or teachings of religion". Religious people often think of faith as confidence based on ...

faith
or
morals Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intention Intention is a mind, mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought. Def ...
. The pope is considered one of the world's most powerful people due to the extensive diplomatic, cultural, and spiritual influence of his position on both 1.3 billion Catholics and those outside the Catholic faith, and because he heads the world's largest non-government provider of
education Education is the process of facilitating learning, or the acquisition of knowledge, skills, value (ethics), values, morals, beliefs, habits, and personal development. Educational methods include teaching, training, storytelling, discussion ...
and
health care Healthcare is the maintenance or improvement of health Health, according to the , is "a state of complete physical, and social and not merely the absence of and ".. (2006)''Constitution of the World Health Organization''– ''Basic Docume ...
, with a vast network of charities.


History


Title and etymology

The word 'pope' derives from
Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10.7 million as of ...
(), meaning "father". In the early centuries of
Christianity Christianity is an Abrahamic religions, Abrahamic, Monotheism, monotheistic religion based on the Life of Jesus in the New Testament, life and Teachings of Jesus, teachings of Jesus, Jesus of Nazareth. It is the Major religious groups, world's ...

Christianity
, this title was applied, especially in the East, to all bishops and other senior clergy, and later became reserved in the West to the bishop of Rome during the reign of
Pope Leo I Pope Leo I ( 400 – 10 November 461), also known as Leo the Great, was bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authori ...

Pope Leo I
(440–461), a reservation made official only in the 11th century. The earliest record of the use of the title of 'pope' was in regard to the by then deceased
patriarch of Alexandria The Patriarch of Alexandria is the archbishop In many Christian denomination, Christian Denominations, an archbishop (, via Latin ''archiepiscopus'', from Greek language, Greek , from -, 'chief', and 'over'+ 'seer') is a bishop of higher rank ...
, (232–248). The earliest recorded use of the title "pope" in English dates to the mid-10th century, when it was used in reference to the 7th century Roman
Pope Vitalian Pope Vitalian ( la, Vitalianus; died 27 January 672) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an , , or appointed member of the who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the , , , , , and churches, as well a ...

Pope Vitalian
in an Old English translation of
Bede Bede ( ; ang, Bǣda , ; 672/326 May 735), also known as Saint Bede, The Venerable Bede, and Bede the Venerable ( la, Beda Venerabilis), was an English Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sa ...

Bede
's .


Position within the Church

The Catholic Church teaches that the pastoral office, the office of the Church, that was held by the apostles, as a group or "college" with
Saint Peter Saint Peter; he, שמעון בר יונה, Šimʿōn bar Yōnāh; ar, سِمعَان بُطرُس, translit=Simʿa̅n Buṭrus; grc-gre, Πέτρος, Petros; cop, Ⲡⲉⲧⲣⲟⲥ, Petros; lat, Petrus; ar, شمعون الصفـا, Sham ...

Saint Peter
as their head, is now held by their successors, the bishops, with the bishop of Rome (the pope) as their head. Thus, is derived another title by which the pope is known, that of "supreme pontiff". The Catholic Church teaches that Jesus personally appointed Peter as the visible head of the Church, and the Catholic Church's dogmatic constitution 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. Some historians argue against the notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome, noting that the episcopal see in Rome can be traced back no earlier than the 3rd century. The writings of the
Church Father The Church Fathers, Early Church Fathers, Christian Fathers, or Fathers of the Church were ancient and influential Christian theologians Christian theology is the theology Theology is the systematic study of the nature of the Divinity, di ...
Irenaeus Irenaeus (; grc-gre, Εἰρηναῖος ''Eirēnaios''; c. 130 – c. 202 AD) was a Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Rep ...
, who wrote around 180 AD, reflect a belief that Peter "founded and organized" the Church at Rome. Moreover, Irenaeus was not the first to write of Peter's presence in the early Roman Church. The church of Rome wrote in a letter to the Corinthians (which is traditionally attributed to
Clement of Rome Pope Clement I ( la, Clemens Romanus; Greek#REDIRECT Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its p ...

Clement of Rome
) 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.Gröber, 510 wrote shortly after Clement; in his letter from the city of Smyrna to the Romans he said he would not command them as Peter and Paul did. Given this and other evidence, such as Emperor Constantine's erection of the "Old St. Peter's Basilica" on the location of St. Peter's tomb, as held and given to him by Rome's Christian community, many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under
Nero Nero ( ; full name: Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus; 15 December AD 37 – 9 June AD 68) was the fifth emperor of Rome. He was Adoption in Ancient Rome, adopted by the Roman emperor Claudius at the age of 13 and s ...

Nero
, although some scholars argue that he may have been martyred in Palestine. 1st 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. Antioch may have developed such a structure before Rome. 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 Pope Victor I (died 199) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an , , or appointed member of the who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the , , , , , and churches, as well as the , bishops claim , a dire ...

Pope Victor I
and listed them. 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. Documents of the 1st century and early 2nd century indicate that the bishop of Rome had some kind of pre-eminence and prominence in the Church as a whole, as even a letter from the bishop, or patriarch, of Antioch acknowledged the Bishop of Rome as "a first among equals", though the detail of what this meant is unclear.


Early Christianity ()

Sources suggest that at first, the terms 'episcopos' and 'presbyter' were used interchangeably, with the consensus among scholars being that by the turn of the 1st and 2nd centuries, local congregations were led by bishops and presbyters, whose duties of office overlapped or were indistinguishable from one another. Some say that there was probably "no single 'monarchical' bishop in Rome before the middle of the 2nd century...and likely later." Other scholars and historians disagree, citing the historical records of St. Ignatius of Antioch (d. 107) and St. Irenaeus, who recorded the linear succession of bishops of Rome (the popes) up until their own times. However, 'historical' records written by those wanting to show an unbroken line of popes would naturally do so, and there are no objective substantiating documents. They also cite the importance accorded to the bishops of Rome in the
ecumenical council An ecumenical council (or oecumenical council; also general council) is a conference of ecclesiastical dignitaries and theological experts convened to discuss and settle matters of Church doctrine and practice in which those entitled to vote a ...
s, including early councils. In the early Christian era, Rome and a few other cities had claims on the leadership of worldwide Church.
James the Just James the Just, or a variation of James, brother of the Lord ( la, Iacobus from he, יעקב ''Ya'akov'' and gr, Ἰάκωβος ''Iákōbos'', can also be Anglicized as " Jacob"), was a brother of Jesus, according to the New Testament ...
, known as "the brother of the Lord", served as head of the
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
church, which is still honored as the "Mother Church" in Orthodox tradition.
Alexandria Alexandria ( or ; ar, الإسكندرية ; arz, اسكندرية ; Coptic Coptic may refer to: Afro-Asia * Copts, an ethnoreligious group mainly in the area of modern Egypt but also in Sudan and Libya * Coptic language, a Northern Afro-Asia ...

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 The Epistle to the Romans or Letter to the Romans, often shortened to Romans, is the sixth book in the New Testament. Biblical scholars agree that it was composed by Paul the Apostle to explain that Salvation (Christianity), salvation is offered ...
, and according to tradition Paul was martyred there. During the 1st century of the Church (), the Roman capital became recognized as a Christian center of exceptional importance. The church there, at the end of the 1st century, wrote an epistle to the Church in
Corinth Corinth ( ; el, Κόρινθος, Kórinthos, ) is the successor to an ancient city, and is a former municipality A municipality is usually a single administrative division having Municipal corporation, corporate status and powers of sel ...

Corinth
intervening in a major dispute, and apologizing for not having taken action earlier. However, there are only a few other references of that time to recognition of the authoritative primacy of the
Roman See The Holy See ( lat, Sancta Sedes, ; it, Santa Sede ), also called the See of Rome, is the jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is gene ...
outside of Rome. In the Ravenna Document of 13 October 2007, theologians chosen by the 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, occupied the first place in the , and that the bishop of Rome was therefore the among the patriarchs. Translated into English, the statement means "first among equals". What form that should take is still a matter of disagreement, just as it was when the Catholic and Orthodox Churches split in the Great East-West Schism. They also disagree on the interpretation of the historical evidence from this era regarding the prerogatives of the bishop of Rome as , 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 he 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 Quartodecimanism (from the Vulgate The Vulgate (; , ) is a late-4th-century Latin translation of the Bible The Bible (from Koine Greek τὰ βιβλία, ''tà biblía'', "the books") is a collection of religious texts or scriptures sa ...
for observing Easter on the 14th of
Nisan ''Nisan'' (or ''Nissan''; he, נִיסָן, Hebrew language#Modern Hebrew, Standard ''Nisan'' Tiberian vocalization, Tiberian ''Nîsān'') in the Hebrew and the Babylonian calendars, is the month of the barley ripening and first month of spri ...
, the date of the Jewish
Passover Passover, also called Pesach (; he, פֶּסַח '), is a major Jewish holiday Jewish holidays, also known as Jewish festivals or ''Yamim Tovim'' ( he, ימים טובים, , Good Days, or singular , in transliterated Translitera ...
, a tradition handed down by
John the Evangelist John the Evangelist ( grc-gre, Ἰωάννης, Iōánnēs; : ܝܘܚܢܢ; ar, يوحنا الإنجيلي, he, יוחנן האוונגליסט cop, ⲓⲱⲁⲛⲛⲏⲥ or ⲓⲱ̅ⲁ) is the name traditionally given to the author of the . ...

John the Evangelist
(see
Easter controversy The controversy over the correct date for Easter began in Early Christianity as early as the 2nd century AD. Discussion and disagreement over the best method of reform of the date of Easter, computing the date of Easter Sunday has been ongoing and ...
). Celebration of Easter on a Sunday, as insisted on by the pope, is the system that has prevailed (see
computus As a moveable feast, the date of Easter is determined in each year through a calculation known as ''computus'' (Latin for 'computation'). Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or af ...
).


Nicaea to East-West Schism (325–1054)

The
Edict of Milan The Edict of Milan ( la, Edictum Mediolanense, el, Διάταγμα τῶν Μεδιολάνων, ''Diatagma tōn Mediolanōn'') was the February 313 CE agreement to treat Christians benevolently within the Roman Empire.Frend, W. H. C. ''Th ...
in 313 granted freedom to all religions in the Roman Empire, beginning the
Peace of the Church The "Peace of the Church" is a designation usually applied to the condition of the Church after the publication of the Edict of Milan in 313 by the two ''Augusti'', Western Roman Emperor Constantine I and his eastern colleague Licinius, an edict o ...
. In 325, the
First Council of Nicaea The First Council of Nicaea (; grc, Νίκαια ) was a council of Christian bishops convened in the Bithynia Bithynia (; Koine Greek Koine Greek (, , Greek approximately ;. , , , lit. "Common Greek"), also known as Alexandrian dialec ...
condemned
Arianism Arianism is a Christology, Christological doctrine first attributed to Arius (), a Christian presbyter in Alexandria, Alexandria, Egypt. Arian theology holds that the Son of God is not co-eternal with God the Father and is distinct from th ...
, declaring
trinitarianism The Christian theology, Christian doctrine of the Trinity (, from "threefold") defines God in Christianity , God as being Monotheism, one god existing in three wikt:coequal , coequal, wikt:coeternal , coeternal, Consubstantiality , consubst ...
dogmatic, and in its sixth canon recognized the special role of the Sees of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch. Great defenders of Trinitarian faith included the popes, especially
LiberiusLiberius may refer to: * Liberius of Ravenna (d. 200), Bishop of Ravenna and saint * Pope Liberius (died 366), Bishop of Rome * Liberius (praetorian prefect) (c. 465 – c. 554), Roman government administrator * Oliver of Ancona or Liberius (died c. ...

Liberius
, who was exiled to by
Constantius II Flavius Julius Constantius ( grc-gre, Κωνστάντιος; 7 August 317 – 3 November 361), known as Constantius II, was Roman emperor The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire during the imperial period (starting in 27 BC). ...

Constantius II
for his Trinitarian faith,
Damasus I Damasus I (; c. 305 – 11 December 384) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Withi ...

Damasus I
, and several other bishops.Alves J. ''Os Santos de Cada Dia'' (10 edição). Editora Paulinas.pp. 296, 696, 736. . In 380, the
Edict of Thessalonica The Edict of Thessalonica (also known as ''Cunctos populos''), issued on 27 February AD 380 by three reigning Roman emperors The Roman emperor was the ruler of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βα ...
declared
Nicene Christianity The original Nicene Creed (; grc-gre, Σύμβολον τῆς Νικαίας; la, Symbolum Nicaenum) was first adopted at the First Council of Nicaea, which opened on 19 June 325.''Readings in the History of Christian Theology'' by William Car ...
to be the state religion of the empire, with the name "Catholic Christians" reserved for those who accepted that faith. While the civil power in the
Eastern Roman Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Eastern Roman Empire
controlled the church, and the
patriarch of Constantinople The highest-ranking bishop A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority and oversight. Within the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Or ...
, the capital, wielded much power,Gaeta, Franco; Villani, Pasquale. ''Corso di Storia, per le scuole medie superiori''. Milão. Editora Principato. 1986. in the
Western Roman Empire The Western Roman Empire comprises the western provinces of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn Rhōmaíōn) was the post-Republican Republican ...

Western Roman Empire
, the bishops of Rome were able to consolidate the influence and power they already possessed. After the
fall of the Western Roman Empire The fall of the Western Roman Empire (also called the fall of the Roman Empire or the fall of Rome) was the loss of central political control in the Western Roman Empire, a process in which the Empire failed to enforce its rule, and its vast ...
,
barbarian A barbarian is a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most abundant and widespread species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Bioc ...

barbarian
tribes were converted to Arian Christianity or Catholicism;Le Goff, Jacques (2000). ''Medieval Civilization''. Barnes & Noble. p. 14, 21. .
Clovis I Clovis ( la, Chlodovechus; reconstructed Frankish Frankish may refer to: * Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern E ...

Clovis I
, king of the
Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of whose name was first mentioned in 3rd-century Roman sources, and associated with tribes between the and the , on the edge of the . Later the term was associated with Germanic dynasties within 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 The Visigoths (; la, Visigothi, Wisigothi, Vesi, Visi, Wesi, Wisi) were an early Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European t ...
, later abandoned Arianism in favour of Catholicism.


Middle Ages

After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the pope served as a source of authority and continuity.
Pope Gregory I Pope Gregory I ( la, Gregorius I; – 12 March 604), commonly known as Saint Gregory the Great, was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally ent ...

Pope Gregory I
() administered the church with strict reform. From an ancient senatorial family, Gregory worked with the stern judgement 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
miracle A miracle is a supernatural event that seems inexplicable by physical laws, natural or scientific laws. In various religions, a phenomenon that is characterized as miraculous is often attributed to the actions of a supernatural being, (especiall ...

miracle
s, potent
relic In religion, a relic is an object or article of religious significance from the past, it usually consists of the physical remains of a saint or the personal effects of the saint or venerated person preserved for purposes of veneration Veneratio ...

relic
s,
demon A demon is a supernatural being, typically associated with evil, prevalent historically in religion, occultism, literature, fiction, mythology, and folklore; as well as in Media (communication), media such as comics, video games, movies, an ...

demon
s,
angel An angel is a supernatural The supernatural encompasses supposed phenomena or entities that are not subject to the . This term is attributed to , such as s, s, , and . It also includes claimed abilities embodied in or provided by such ...

angel
s,
ghost In folklore Folklore is the expressive body of culture shared by a particular group of people; it encompasses the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitude (psychology), attitude that something is the case, or th ...

ghost
s, and the approaching end of the world. Gregory's successors were largely dominated by the
exarch of Ravenna The Exarchate of Ravenna or of Italy ( la, Exarchatus Ravennatis) was a lordship of the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the R ...
, the
Byzantine emperor This is a list of the Byzantine emperors from the foundation of Constantinople la, Constantinopolis ota, قسطنطينيه , alternate_name = Byzantion (earlier Greek name), Nova Roma ("New Rome"), Miklagard/Miklagarth (Old Norse ...
's representative in the
Italian Peninsula The Italian Peninsula (Italian Italian may refer to: * Anything of, from, or related to the country and nation of Italy ** Italians, an ethnic group or simply a citizen of the Italian Republic ** Italian language, a Romance language *** Reg ...
. These humiliations, the weakening of the
Byzantine Empire The Byzantine Empire, also referred to as the Eastern Roman Empire, or Byzantium, was the continuation of the Roman Empire The Roman Empire ( la, Imperium Rōmānum ; grc-gre, Βασιλεία τῶν Ῥωμαίων, Basileía tôn ...

Byzantine Empire
in the face of the
Muslim conquests History of Islam, The history of the spread of Islam spans about 1,400 years. Muslim conquests following Muhammad's death led to the creation of the caliphates, occupying a vast geographical area; conversion to Islam was boosted by Islamic missio ...
, and the inability of the emperor to protect the papal estates against the
Lombards The Lombards () or Langobards ( la, Langobardi) were a Germanic people Germanic may refer to: * Germanic peoples The historical Germanic peoples (from lat, Germani) are a category of ancient northern European tribes, first mentioned by G ...
, made
Pope Stephen II Pope Stephen II ( la, Stephanus II; 714 – 26 April 757) was the bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a position of authority an ...

Pope Stephen II
turn from Emperor
Constantine V Constantine V ( grc-gre, Κωνσταντῖνος, Kōnstantīnos; July 718 – 14 September 775 AD) was Byzantine emperor from 741 to 775. His reign saw a consolidation of Byzantine security from external threats. As an able military leader, C ...
. He appealed to the Franks to protect his lands.
Pepin the Short Pepin the Short, also called the Younger (german: Pippin der Jüngere, french: Pépin le Bref, c. 714 – 24 September 768) was King of the Franks The Franks The Franks ( la, Franci or ) were a group of Germanic peoples whose name was ...
subdued the Lombards and donated Italian land to the papacy. When
Pope Leo III Leo III (died 12 June 816) was the 96th pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or the Roman pontiff (), is the bishop of Diocese of Rome, Rome, chief pastor of th ...

Pope Leo III
crowned
Charlemagne Charlemagne ( , ) or Charles the Great ( la, Carolus Magnus; 2 April 748 – 28 January 814) was King of the Franks The Franks—Germanic-speaking peoples that invaded the Western Roman Empire in the 5th century—were first led by i ...

Charlemagne
(800) as emperor, he established the precedent that, in
Western Europe Western Europe is the western region of Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical r ...

Western Europe
, no man would be emperor without being crowned by a pope. The low point of the papacy was 867–1049. This period includes the
Saeculum obscurum ''Saeculum obscurum'' (, "the dark age/century"), was a period in the history of the Papacy during the first two-thirds of the 10th century, beginning with the installation of Pope Sergius III Pope Sergius III (c. 860 − 14 April 911) was th ...
, the
Crescentii The Crescentii clan (in modern Italian Crescenzi) — if they were an extended family — essentially ruled Rome and papal appointment, controlled the Papacy from 965 until the nearly simultaneous deaths of their puppet pope Sergius IV and the ''p ...
era, and the
Tusculan Papacy The Tusculan Papacy was a period of papal history from 1012 to 1048 where three successive relatives of the counts of Tusculum The counts of Tusculum Tusculum is a ruined Classical Rome, Roman city in the Alban Hills, in the Latium region of Ita ...
. 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 Pope John XII ( la, Ioannes XII; c. 930/93714 May 964), born Octavian, was the bishop of Rome and ruler of the Papal States from 16 December 955 to his death in 964. He was related to the counts of Tusculum, a powerful Roman family which had domi ...

Pope John XII
, held orgies of debauchery in the
Lateran Palace The Lateran Palace ( la, Palatium Lateranense), formally the Apostolic Palace of the Lateran ( la, Palatium Apostolicum Lateranense), is an ancient palace A palace is a grand residence, especially a royal residence, or the home of a head of sta ...
. Emperor
Otto I Otto I (23 November 912 – 7 May 973), traditionally known as Otto the Great (german: Otto der Große, it, Ottone il Grande), was East Francian king from 936 and Holy Roman Emperor from 962 until his death in 973. He was the oldest son of Henr ...

Otto I
had John accused in an ecclesiastical court, which deposed him and elected a layman as
Pope Leo VIII Pope Leo VIII ( 915 – 1 March 965) was a Roman prelate who claimed the Holy See from 963 until 964 in opposition to Pope John XII, John XII and Benedict V and again from 23 June 964 to his death. Today he is considered by the Catholic Churc ...

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. In 1049,
Leo IX Pope Leo IX (21 June 1002 – 19 April 1054), born Bruno of Egisheim-Dagsburg, was the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the , with 1.3 billion Catholics . As the world's ...

Leo IX
traveled to the major cities of Europe to deal with the church's moral problems firsthand, notably
simony Simony () is the act of selling church offices and roles or sacred things. It is named after Simon Magus, who is described in the Acts of the Apostles as having offered two disciples of Jesus payment in exchange for their empowering him to impar ...

simony
and
clerical marriageClerical marriage is a term used to describe the practice of allowing Christian clergy Clergy are formal leaders within established religions. Their roles and functions vary in different religious traditions, but usually involve presiding over s ...
and
concubinage Concubinage is an interpersonal The concept of interpersonal relationship involves social associations, connections, or affiliations between two or more people. Interpersonal relationships vary in their degree of intimacy or self-disclo ...
. With his long journey, he restored the prestige of the papacy in
Northern Europe Northern Europe is the northern region of Europe. Narrower definitions may describe Northern Europe as being roughly north of the southern coast of the Baltic Sea, which is about 54th parallel north, 54°N, or may be based on other geographic ...
. From the 7th century it became common for European monarchies and nobility to found churches and perform
investiture Investiture (from the Latin preposition ''in'' and verb ''vestire'', "dress" from ''vestis'' "robe"), is the formal installation or ceremony in which a person is given the authority and regalia of a high office. Investiture can include formal dre ...
or deposition of clergy in their states and fiefdoms, their personal interests causing corruption among the clergy.''História Global Brasil e Geral''. Pág.: 101, 130, 149, 151, 159. Volume único. Gilberto Cotrim. MOVIMENTOS DE RENOVAÇÃO E REFORMA
. 1 October 2009.
This practice had become common because often the prelates and secular rulers were also participants in public life. 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 Cluny Abbey (; , formerly also ''Cluni'' or ''Clugny''; ) is a former Benedictine The Benedictines, officially the Order of Saint Benedict ( la, Ordo Sancti Benedicti, abbreviated as OSB), are a of the following the . They are also somet ...
, which spread its ideals throughout Europe. This reform movement gained strength with the election of
Pope Gregory VII Pope Gregory VII ( la, Gregorius VII; 1015 – 25 May 1085), born Hildebrand of Sovana ( it, Ildebrando da Soana), was pope The pope ( la, papa, from el, πάππας, translit=pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff () or t ...

Pope Gregory VII
in 1073, who adopted a series of measures in the movement known as the
Gregorian Reform#REDIRECT Gregorian Reform : ''Should not be confused with the Gregorian calendar''. The Gregorian Reforms were a series of reforms initiated by Pope Gregory VII and the circle he formed in the Roman Curia, papal curia, c. 1050–80, which dealt w ...
, in order to fight strongly against simony and the abuse of civil power and try to restore ecclesiastical discipline, including
clerical celibacy Clerical celibacy is the requirement in certain religion Religion is a - of designated and practices, , s, s, , , , , or , that relates humanity to , , and elements; however, there is no scholarly consensus over what precisely constitute ...
. This conflict between popes and secular autocratic rulers such as the Holy Roman Emperor
Henry IVHenry IV may refer to: People * Henry IV, Holy Roman Emperor (1050–1106), King of The Romans and Holy Roman Emperor * Henry IV, Duke of Limburg (1195–1247) * Henry IV, Duke of Brabant (1251/1252–1272) * Henryk IV Probus (c. 1258–1290), Duke ...

Henry IV
and King
Henry I of England Henry I (c. 1068 – 1 December 1135), also known as Henry Beauclerc, was King of England This list of kings and queens of the begins with , who initially ruled , one of the which later made up modern England. Alfred styled himself ...

Henry I of England
, known as the
Investiture controversy#REDIRECT Investiture Controversy The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops ( investiture) and abbots of monasteries a ...
, was only resolved in 1122, by the
Concordat of Worms The Investiture Controversy, also called Investiture Contest, was a conflict between church and state in medieval Europe over the ability to choose and install bishops (investiture) and abbots of monasteries and the pope himself. A series of po ...
, in which
Pope Callixtus II Pope Callixtus II or Callistus II (c. 1065 – 13 December 1124), born Guy of Burgundy, was head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of ...

Pope Callixtus II
decreed that clerics were to be invested by clerical leaders, and temporal rulers by lay investiture. Soon after,
Pope Alexander III Pope Alexander III (c. 1100/1105 – 30 August 1181), born Roland ( it, Rolando), was the Bishop of Rome A bishop is an ordained, consecrated, or appointed member of the Clergy#Christianity, Christian clergy who is generally entrusted with a po ...

Pope Alexander III
began reforms that would lead to the establishment of
canon law Canon law (from grc, κανών, , a 'straight measuring rod, ruler A ruler, sometimes called a rule or line gauge, is a device used in geometry and technical drawing, as well as the engineering and construction industries, to measure dis ...
. Since the beginning of the 7th century, the
Caliphate A caliphate ( ar, خِلَافَة, ) is an Islamic state under the leadership of an Islamic steward with the title of caliph (; ar, خَلِيفَة ', ), a person considered a politico-religious successor to the Islamic prophet Muhammad ...
had conquered much of the southern
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...

Mediterranean
, and represented a threat to Christianity. In 1095, the Byzantine emperor,
Alexios I Komnenos Alexios I Komnenos ( grc-gre, Ἀλέξιος Ά Κομνηνός, – 15 August 1118), Latinized Latinisation or Latinization can refer to: * Latinisation of names, the practice of rendering a non-Latin name in a Latin style * Latinisatio ...

Alexios I Komnenos
, asked for military aid from
Pope Urban II Pope Urban II ( la, Urbanus II;  – 29 July 1099), otherwise known as Odo of Châtillon or Otho de Lagery, was the head of the and ruler of the from 12 March 1088 to his death. He is best known for initiating the . Pope Urban was a nati ...

Pope Urban II
in the ongoing Byzantine–Seljuq wars. Urban, at the
council of Clermont 300px, Pope Urban II at the Council of Clermont, given a late Gothic setting in this illumination from the ''Livre des Passages d'Outre-mer'', of c 1474 ( Bibliothèque nationale) The Council of Clermont was a mixed synod A synod () is a council ...
, called the
First Crusade The First Crusade (1096–1099) was the first of a series of religious wars, or Crusades, initiated, supported and at times directed by the Latin Church in the medieval period. The objective was the recovery of the Holy Land from Muslim conqu ...
to assist the Byzantine Empire to regain the old Christian territories, especially Jerusalem.


East–West Schism to Reformation (1054–1517)

With the
East–West Schism The East–West Schism (also known as the Great Schism or Schism of 1054) was the break of communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also called the Holy Communion or Lord's Supper), the Christian rite involving the eatin ...
, the
Eastern Orthodox Church The Eastern Orthodox Church, also called the Orthodox Church, is the second-largest Christian church, with approximately 220 million baptised members. It operates as a communion Communion may refer to: Religion * The Eucharist (also cal ...
and the Catholic Church split definitively in 1054. This fracture was caused more by political events than by slight divergences of creed. Popes had galled the Byzantine emperors by siding with the king of the Franks, crowning a rival Roman emperor, appropriating the Exarchate of Ravenna, and driving into Greek Italy. In the
Middle Ages In the history of Europe The history of Europe concerns itself with the discovery and collection, the study, organization and presentation and the interpretation of past events and affairs of the people of Europe since the beginning of ...
, popes struggled with monarchs over power. From 1309 to 1377, the pope resided not in Rome but in Avignon. The Avignon Papacy was notorious for greed and corruption. During this period, the pope was effectively an ally of the Kingdom of France, alienating France's enemies, such as the Kingdom of England. 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. Popes also contended with the Cardinal (Catholicism), cardinals, who sometimes attempted to assert the authority of Catholic Ecumenical Councils over the pope's. Conciliarism 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 with Jean Gerson as its leading spokesman. The failure of Conciliarism to gain broad acceptance after the 15th century is taken as a factor in the Protestant Reformation."Conciliar theory". Cross, FL, ed. ''The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church''. New York: Oxford University Press. 2005. Various Antipopes challenged papal authority, especially during the Western Schism (1378–1417). In this schism, the papacy had returned to Rome from Avignon, but an antipope was installed in Avignon, as if to extend the papacy there. It came to a close when the Council of Constance, at the high-point of Concilliarism, decided among the papal claimants. 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. First in the Second Council of Lyon (1272–1274) and secondly in the Council of Florence (1431–1449). Papal claims of superiority were a sticking point in reunification, which failed in any event. In the 15th century, the Ottoman Empire captured Fall of Constantinople, Constantinople and ended the Byzantine Empire.


Reformation to present (1517 to today)

Protestant Reformers criticized the papacy as corrupt and characterized the pope as the antichrist. Popes instituted a Counter-Reformation, Catholic Reformation (1560–1648), which addressed the challenges of the Protestant Reformation and instituted internal reforms. Pope Paul III initiated the Council of Trent (1545–1563), 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. Gradually forced to give up secular power to the increasingly assertive History of Europe#Nations rising, European nation states, the popes focused on spiritual issues. In 1870, the First Vatican Council proclaimed the dogma of
papal infallibility Papal infallibility is a dogma of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with approximately 1.3  ...
for the most solemn occasions when the pope speaks when issuing a definition of faith or
morals Morality (from ) is the differentiation of intention Intention is a mind, mental state that represents a commitment to carrying out an action or actions in the future. Intention involves mental activities such as planning and forethought. Def ...
.Wetterau, Bruce. World history. New York: Henry Holt & co. 1994. Later the same year, Victor Emmanuel II of Italy Capture of Rome, seized Rome from the pope's control and substantially completed the Italian unification, unification of Italy. In 1929, the
Lateran Treaty The Lateran Treaty ( it, Patti Lateranensi; la, Pacta Lateranensia) was one component of the Lateran Pacts of 1929, agreements between the Kingdom of Italy The Kingdom of Italy ( it, Regno d'Italia) was a state that existed from 1861—when ...
between the Kingdom of Italy and the Holy See established Vatican City as an independent
city-state A city-state is an independent sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The word is borrowed from Old French Old French (, , ; Modern French French ( or ) is a Romance la ...
, guaranteeing papal independence from secular rule. In 1950, Pope Pius XII defined the Assumption of Mary as dogma, the only time a pope has spoken since papal infallibility was explicitly declared. The Primacy of Simon Peter, Primacy of St. Peter, the controversial doctrinal basis of the pope's authority, continues to divide the eastern and western churches and to separate Protestants from Rome.


Saint Peter and the origin of the papal office

The
Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by country, worldwide . As the wo ...

Catholic Church
teaches that, within the Christian community, the bishops as a body have succeeded to the body of the apostles (''apostolic succession'') and the bishop of Rome has succeeded to Saint Peter. Scriptural texts proposed in support of Peter's special position in relation to the church include: * Matthew 16: * Luke 22: * John 21: The symbolic keys in the Papal coats of arms are a reference to the phrase "Keys of Heaven, 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. This idea is undermined by the Biblical usage of "Cephas," which is the masculine form of "rock" in Aramaic language, Aramaic, to describe Peter. The ''Encyclopædia 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".


Election, death and resignation


Election

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. The pope does not need to be a cardinal elector or indeed a cardinal; however, since the pope is the 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 Gregory XVI in 1831, the last to be elected when not even a priest was Leo X in 1513, and the last to be elected when not a cardinal was Urban VI in 1378. If someone who is not a bishop is elected, he must be given episcopal ordination before the election is announced to the people. 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 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 (Papal elections), acclamation, by selection (by committee), or by plenary vote. Acclamation was the simplest procedure, consisting entirely of a voice vote. The election of the pope almost always takes place in the Sistine Chapel, in a sequestered meeting called a "Papal conclave, 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. For the Papal conclave, 2005, 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. (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.) 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 Papal conclave, 2005, 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 man 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. If he replies ''not'', his reign begins 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 himself is elected pope, the vice dean performs this task. The new pope is led to the "Room of Tears" to a dressing room where three sets of white papal vestments (''immantatio'') await in three sizes. 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. 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 cardinal protodeacon announces from a balcony over St. 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 ''Papal tiara, 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. The Latin term, ''sede vacante'' ("while the see is vacant"), 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 reform 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. For centuries, from 1378 on, those elected to the papacy were predominantly Italians. Prior to the election of the Polish-born John Paul II in 1978, the last non-Italian was 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 Francis may refer to: People *Pope Francis Pope Francis ( la, Franciscus; it, Francesco; es, link=no, Francisco; born Jorge Mario Bergoglio, 17 December 1936) is the head of the Catholic Church The Catholic Church, often referred to ...

Francis
, the first non-European after 1272 years and the first Latin American (albeit of Italian ancestry).


Death

The current regulations regarding a papal interregnum—that is, a ''sede vacante'' ("vacant seat")—were promulgated by Pope 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. This was not done on the deaths of popes John Paul I and John Paul II. 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 Papal Apartments, 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.


Resignation

It is highly unusual for a pope to resign. The 1983 Code of Canon Law 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.


Titles


Regnal name

Popes adopt a new name on their accession, known as papal name, in Italian and Latin. Currently, after a new pope is elected and accepts the election, he is asked "By what name shall you be called?". The new pope chooses the name by which he will be known from that point on. The senior cardinal deacon, or cardinal protodeacon, then appears on the balcony of Saint Peter's to proclaim the new pope by his birth name, and announce his papal name in Latin. It's customary when referring to popes to translate the regnal name into all local languages. For example, the current pope bears the papal name Papa Franciscus in Latin and Papa Francesco in Italian, but Papa Francisco in his native Spanish, Pope Francis in English, etc.


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: 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 Paul VI signed as "Paulus PP. VI", the "PP." standing for "''papa pontifex''" ("pope and pontiff"). The title "pope" was from the early 3rd century an honorific designation used for ''any'' bishop in the West. In the East, it was used only for the bishop of Alexandria. Pope Marcellinus, 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. 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, 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". The first record of the application of this title to a bishop of Rome appears in a synod of 495 with reference to Gelasius I.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. ), pp. 37, 85. 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, as it had been used in the 5th and 6th centuries to refer to the Byzantine emperor. Earlier still, in the 3rd century, Tertullian used "vicar of Christ" to refer to the Holy Spirit sent by Jesus. Its use specifically for the pope appears in the 13th century in connection with the reforms of Pope Innocent III, as can be observed already in his 1199 letter to Leo I, King of Armenia. Other historians suggest that this title was already used in this way in association with the pontificate of Eugene III (1145–1153). This title "vicar of Christ" is thus not used of the pope alone and has been used of all bishops since the early centuries. The Second Vatican Council referred to all bishops as "vicars and ambassadors of Christ", and this description of the bishops was repeated by 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. On at least one occasion the title "vicar of God" (a reference to Christ as God) was used of the pope. 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''). Saint Boniface described Pope Gregory II as vicar of Peter in the oath of fealty that he took in 722. In today's Roman Missal, the description "vicar of Peter" is found also in the collect of the Mass (liturgy), Mass for a saint who was a pope.


Supreme pontiff

The term "pontiff" is derived from the la, pontifex, which literally means "bridge builder" (''pons'' + ''facere'') and which designated a member of the College of Pontiffs, principal college of priests in ancient Rome. The Latin word was translated into ancient Greek variously: as grc, ἱεροδιδάσκαλος, grc, ἱερονόμος, link=no, grc, ἱεροφύλαξ, link=no, grc, ἱεροφάντης, link=no (hierophant), or grc, ἀρχιερεύς, link=no (archiereus, high priest) The head of the college was known as the la, Pontifex Maximus, link=no (the greatest pontiff). In Christian use, ''pontifex'' appears in the Vulgate translation of the New Testament to indicate the High Priest of Israel (in the original Koine Greek, ). The term came to be applied to any Christian bishop, but since the 11th century commonly refers specifically to the bishop of Rome, 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). The ''Annuario Pontificio'' lists as one of the official titles of the pope that of "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church" ( la, Summus Pontifex Ecclesiae Universalis, link=no). He is also commonly called the Supreme Pontiff or the Sovereign Pontiff ( la, Summus Pontifex, link=no). ''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. Tertullian, when he had become a Montanist, used the title derisively of either the pope or the bishop of Carthage. The popes began to use this title regularly only in the 15th century.''Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church'' (Oxford University Press 2005 ), article ''Pontifex Maximus''


Servant of the servants of God

Although the description "servant of the servants of God" ( la, servus servorum Dei, link=no) was also used by other Church leaders, including Augustine of Hippo and Benedict of Nursia, it was first used extensively as a papal title by Gregory the Great, reportedly as a lesson in humility for the patriarch of Constantinople, John the Faster, who had assumed the title "Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople, ecumenical patriarch". It became reserved for the pope in the 12th century and is used in papal bulls and similar important papal documents.


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.


Other titles

Other titles commonly used are "His Holiness" (either used alone or as an honorific prefix as in "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.


Signature

Pope Francis signs some documents with his name alone, either in Latin ("Franciscus", as in an encyclical dated 29 June 2013) or in another language. Other documents he signs in accordance with the tradition of using Latin only and including the abbreviated form "PP.", for the Latin ''Papa'' ("Pope"). 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 papal 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). 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 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

* ''Papal tiara, 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 wears 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 Primate (bishop), 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 baldachin, 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. 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 (heraldry), 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. Although 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: ''Coat of arms of Pope Francis#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

Pope Pius V (reigned 1566–1572), is often credited with having originated the custom whereby the pope wears white, by continuing after his election to wear the white Religious habit, 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. Many contemporary portraits of 15th and 16th-century predecessors of Pius V show them wearing a white cassock similar to his.


Status and authority


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:
If anyone says that the blessed Apostle Peter was not established by the Lord Christ as the chief of all the twelve apostles, apostles, and the visible head of the whole Church militant and church triumphant, 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. 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. 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. 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.


Second Vatican Council

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


Politics of the Holy See


Residence and jurisdiction

The pope's cathedra, official seat is in the Archbasilica of Saint John Lateran, considered the cathedral of the Diocese of Rome, and his official residence is the Apostolic Palace. He also possesses Papal Palace of Castel Gandolfo, 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 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 Saint Peter, one of the twelve apostles. 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 the 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. As such, between 1309 and 1378, the popes lived in Avignon, France, a period often called the "Babylonian captivity" in allusion to the Bible, Biblical narrative of Jews of the ancient Kingdom of Judah living as captives in Babylonia. Though the pope is the diocesan bishop 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 Angelo De Donatis, who was appointed to the office in June 2017.


Political role

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 coronation, 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, Holy Roman Emperor, Charles V in 1530. 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 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 exercise papal power. The bull ''Laudabiliter'' in 1155 authorized King Henry II of England to invade Ireland. In 1207, Innocent III placed England under interdict until John, King of England, King John made his kingdom a fiefdom to the Pope, complete with yearly tribute, saying, "we offer and freely yield...to 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". 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 Queen Elizabeth I of England and declared that all her subjects were released from allegiance to her. The bull ''Inter gravissimas'' in 1582 established the Gregorian calendar.


International position

Under international law, a serving
head of state A head of state (or chief of state) is the public persona A persona (plural personae or personas), depending on the context, can refer to either the public image of one's personality, or the social role that one adopts, or a fictional ch ...
has sovereign immunity from the jurisdiction of the courts of other countries, though not from that of international tribunals. 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 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 for publications and news media to use "the Vatican", "Vatican City", and even "Rome" as metonyms for the Holy See.) 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 state-equivalent worldwide religious jurisdiction of the Holy See (not of the territory of Vatican City) that the U.S. Justice Department ruled that the pope enjoys head-of-state immunity. 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 Catholic sex abuse cases, 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. 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. This was generally dismissed as "unrealistic and spurious". 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".


Objections to the papacy

The pope's claim to authority is either disputed or rejected outright by other churches, for various reasons.


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 the pope as the successor to Peter in any other sense than that of other bishops. 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

In 1973, the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops' Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs and the USA National Committee of the Lutheran World Federation in the official Catholic–Lutheran dialogue included this passage in a larger statement on papal primacy: Protestantism, Protestant denominations of Christianity reject the claims of Petrine primacy of honor, Petrine primacy of jurisdiction, and papal infallibility. These denominations vary from denying the legitimacy of the pope's claim to authority, to believing that the pope is the Antichrist from 1 John 2:18, the Man of Sin from 2 Thessalonians 2:3–12, and the The Beast (Revelation), Beast out of the Earth from Revelation 13:11–18. 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'' ("because") rather than ''quatenus'' ("insofar as") 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, the Concordia Lutheran Conference, the Church of the Lutheran Confession, and the Illinois Lutheran Conference all hold to the ''Brief Statement'', which the LCMS places on its website. The Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod (WELS), another Confessional Lutheran church that declares the Papacy to be the Antichrist, released its own statement, the "Statement on the Antichrist", in 1959. The WELS still holds to this statement. Historically, Protestants objected to the papacy's claim of temporal power over all secular governments, including territorial claims in Italy, the papacy's complex relationship with secular states such as the Roman and Byzantine empires, and the autocratic character of the papal office. In Western Christianity these objections both contributed to and are products of the Protestant Reformation.


Antipopes

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 (schism). Briefly in the 15th century, three separate lines of popes claimed authenticity. 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 did not. 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 English, Catholic priests are still addressed as "father", but the term "pope" is reserved for the head of the church hierarchy.


In the Catholic Church

"Black Pope" is a name that was popularly, but unofficially, given to the superior general of the Society of Jesus due to the Society of Jesus, 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 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,Sandro Magister
, Espresso Online.
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 Alexandria in both the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria continues to be called "pope", the former being called "Coptic pope" or, more properly, "Pope of the Coptic Orthodox Church, 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 "List of Greek Orthodox Patriarchs of Alexandria, Pope and Patriarch of Alexandria and All Africa". 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 and other Christian-related new religious movements

Some new religious movements within Christianity, especially those that have Independent Catholicism, disassociated themselves from the Catholic Church yet retain a Catholic hierarchical framework, have used the designation "pope" for a founder or current leader. Examples include the African Legio Maria Church and the European Palmarian Catholic Church in Spain. The Cao Dai, a Vietnamese faith that duplicates the Catholic hierarchy, is similarly headed by a pope.


Lengths of papal reign


Longest-reigning popes

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: # Saint Peter, St. Peter (c. 30–64/68): c. 34 – c. 38 years (12,410–13,870 days) # Pope Pius IX, Bl. Pius IX (1846–1878): 31 years, 7 months and 23 days (11,560 days) # Pope John Paul II, St. John Paul II (1978–2005): 26 years, 5 months and 18 days (9,665 days) # Pope Leo XIII, Leo XIII (1878–1903): 25 years, 5 months and 1 day (9,281 days) # Pope Pius VI, Pius VI (1775–1799): 24 years, 6 months and 15 days (8,962 days) # Pope Adrian I, Adrian I (772–795): 23 years, 10 months and 25 days (8,729 days) # Pope Pius VII, Pius VII (1800–1823): 23 years, 5 months and 7 days (8,560 days) # Pope Alexander III, Alexander III (1159–1181): 21 years, 11 months and 24 days (8,029 days) # Pope Sylvester I, St. Sylvester I (314–335): 21 years, 11 months and 1 day (8,005 days) # Pope Leo I, St. Leo I (440–461): 21 years, 1 month, and 13 days (7,713 days) During the Western Schism, Avignon Pope Benedict XIII (1394–1423) ruled for 28 years, seven months and 12 days, which would place him third in the above list. However, since he is regarded as an anti-pope, he is not mentioned in the list above.


Shortest-reigning popes

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. # Pope Urban VII, Urban VII (15–27 September 1590): reigned for 13 calendar days, died before papal coronation, coronation. # Pope Boniface VI, Boniface VI (April 896): reigned for 16 calendar days # Pope Celestine IV, Celestine IV (25 October – 10 November 1241): reigned for 17 calendar days, died before coronation. # Pope Theodore II, Theodore II (December 897): reigned for 20 calendar days # Pope Sisinnius, Sisinnius (15 January – 4 February 708): reigned for 21 calendar days # Pope Marcellus II, Marcellus II (9 April – 1 May 1555): reigned for 23 calendar days # Pope Damasus II, Damasus II (17 July – 9 August 1048): reigned for 24 calendar days # Pope Pius III, Pius III (22 September – 18 October 1503): reigned for 27 calendar days # Pope Leo XI, Leo XI (1–27 April 1605): reigned for 27 calendar days # Pope Benedict V, Benedict V (22 May – 23 June 964) and Pope John Paul I, John Paul I (26 August – 28 September 1978) both reigned for 33 calendar days Pope-elect Stephen, 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 Pope Stephen II: 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.''Annuario Pontificio 2012'' (Libreria Editrice Vaticana 2012 ), p. 12*


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 * Pope Night


Notes


References


Bibliography

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Further reading

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External links


Pope Endurance League – Sortable list of Popes


* [https://www.vatican.va/holy_father/index.htm The Holy See – The Holy Father]—website for the past and present Holy Fathers (since Pope Leo XIII)
Origins of Peter as Pope

The Authority of the Pope: Part I

The Authority of the Pope: Part II
{{Authority control 30s establishments in the Roman Empire Popes, Ecclesiastical titles Episcopacy in the Catholic Church Holy See, Religious leadership roles Pentarchy Heads of state Catholic ecclesiastical titles