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Bishop of Rome
Coat of arms of Franciscus.svg
Pope coat of arms of Francis
The incumbent Pope Francis after his election in March 2013
Acting Bishop of Rome
Pope Francis
since March 13, 2013
official seat Lateran Basilica , Rome
tenure for lifetime
chief of Roman Catholic Church
last choice 13th March 2013
Chosen through the conclave
salutation His Holiness, Holy Father (formal)
Your Holiness (informal)
Pontifex Maximus (in Latin )
website www.vatican.va
depiction of St. Silvester (314–335 Bishop of Rome) with papal cross in Pisa by Giovanni Antonio Cybei

Pope (from Ancient Greek πάππα , childlike form of address Papa ; Church Latin papa ; Middle High German  babes[t] , Modern High German Babst ) is the German-language ecclesiastical title for the Bishop of Rome as head of the Roman Catholic Church . Other designations include Holy Father and Pontifex Maximus .

The incumbent Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio SJ with the papal name Francis was elected the 266th pope in the conclave on March 13, 2013 . His predecessor Benedict XVI. has been referred to as papa emeritus ( pope emeritus ) since leaving office .

The papal office, the episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome , is known as the Holy See . He is a non-governmental subject of international law and represents Vatican City State and the Roman Catholic Church in international relations. According to the Basic Law of the Vatican City State , the Pope, as head of the Vatican State, also has the full legislative, executive and judicial powers. He can act in international law on behalf of the Holy See and the Vatican State, the latter being a rare occurrence.

The Cathedral Church of the Diocese of Rome and thus the seat of the Pope is the Lateran Basilica . The Pope's residence has been the Apostolic Palace since 1871 .


Peter , partial view of the picture The Four Apostles by Albrecht Dürer

According to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church and the churches united with it , the incumbent pope is the successor of the apostle Peter , who, according to tradition, was martyred in Rome around the year 67 . According to tradition, Peter was the first bishop of Rome. The Second Vatican Council 's dogmatic constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium , describes the Pope as "the perennial and visible principle and foundation for the unity of the multitude, both of bishops and of the faithful." The claim of Peter and his successor to leadership power is derived from several Bible passages , above all from the "word on the rock" Mt 16.18  EU and the "key word" Mt 16.19  EU , also from Lk 22.32  EU ("strengthen your brothers ’) and Joh 21:15 ff.  EU (‘feed my lambs’).

Popes at the Adoration of the Lamb (partial view of the Ghent Altarpiece by Jan van Eyck )

It is disputed whether the first Epistle to Clemens from the year 98 - according to some from the year 69 - already documents a priority position of the community of Rome or is to be regarded as a fraternal admonition among equals. In this letter to the church of Corinth , the church of Rome asks the Corinthians to take back deposed presbyters . The letter refers to the martyrdom of the apostles Peter and Paul in Rome.

In the Roman Catholic Church, the first known connection of the term papa with the bishop of Rome dates back to the time of Marcellinus († 304), who is so called in the epitaph of the deacon Severus. Bishop Siricius (reigned 385–399) was the first to use the self-designation papa . As the exclusive official designation for the Bishop of Rome, the term was laid down by law by Gregory I from 590 to 604.

From the 2nd century at the latest, papa was generally an honorary title for Christian dignitaries in the Greek Orient . The head of the Coptic Church , which since the Council of Chalcedon in 451 is no longer in communion with the Greek or Latin Church, has also borne the title papa since Heraclas (232–248) at the latest ; in German usually translated as Pope or Patriarch of Alexandria.

Since the tenure of Leo I (440–461), the Roman Pope has been known as Pontifex Maximus , which has been in use since the 5th century BC. BC was used in the Roman administration and later carried up to Emperor Gratian the Emperor of the Roman Empire as the chief priest of the Roman religions . Etymologies for the term "pontifex" include "bridge builder" or "pathwayman".

In the Middle Ages there were repeatedly several popes at the same time, since an anti -pope was raised during the lifetime of a canonically elected pope . The reasons for this were that the College of Cardinals split and emperors or noble families from the city of Rome intervened in the papal election . The exclusive was also a possibility for Catholic monarchs to intervene in the papal election. Such interventions have been forbidden since Pius X under threat of excommunication . Before the 13th century, the Pope resided in the Lateran . In the 15th century conciliarism , which accorded higher authority to councils than papal decisions, gained momentum but was soon pushed back.


The Pope's titles , according to the Annuario Pontificio , the yearbook of the Holy See, are the following:

  • Episcopus Romanus , Bishop of Rome
  • Vicarius Iesu Christi , Vicar of Jesus Christ . This title, attested as early as the 5th century, originally also referred to bishops and priests. The dogmatic constitution Lumen gentium of the Second Vatican Council applies this title both to the pope with regard to the church as a whole (LG 18.2) and to the individual bishop with regard to the particular church entrusted to him (LG 27.1). The Codex Iuris Canonici uses the title exclusively for the Pope.
  • Successor Principis Apostolorum , successor to the Prince of the Apostles (Peter). This title refers to the spiritual foundations of the papacy, inasmuch as Peter was both first in the college of apostles and first bishop of Rome.
  • Summus Pontifex Ecclesiae Universalis , "supreme bridge builder of the universal church". This title expresses the claim to supreme authority within the entire Church on earth. The pope's position in the liturgy , such as concelebration with patriarchs, derives from this.
  • Primas Italiae , " Primate of Italy". This is purely an honorary title. The pope exercises the power due to a primate because of the papal primacy.
  • Archiepiscopus et Metropolitanus Provinciae Romanae , Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Ecclesiastical Province of Rome . Like all metropolitan bishops, he exercises certain powers of supervision and control over his suffragan bishops .
  • Sovereign of Vatican City State . This is the title of the Pope under international law and secular law.
  • Servus Servorum Dei , "servant of the servants of God". Pope Gregory the Great first gave himself this title, and subsequent popes have continued to do so.

The title of Patriarch of the West ( Patriarcha Occidentis ) or Patriarch of the West was adopted by the popes after the Council of Chalcedon in 451 and held for 1500 years. The Patriarchate of the West was the only one of the five early church patriarchates that was in the Western Roman Empire . From it the Latin Church developed . Pope Benedict XVI resigned the title after his papal election, it was therefore removed from the official papal title in the Annuario Pontificio of 2006. Regardless of the title of Patriarch, the Pope is considered by some canonists to be the Patriarch of the Western Church , from which derive his powers and jurisdiction in the Latin Church.

In addition to this official title, the pope is also referred to as Pontifex Maximus ( often abbreviated as PM or Pont. Max in inscriptions ) or as Episcopus Ecclesiae Catholicae ("Bishop of the Catholic Church").

Signature of Pius XII.

Documents are usually signed by the Pope with his papal name, with the actual (usually Latinized) name being followed directly by the abbreviation PP. (for "papa" or "pastor pastorum", shepherd of shepherds) follows with optionally appended ordinal number: "Ioannes Paulus PP. II.”, “Benedictus PP. XVI.” and “Franciscus PP.”.


When addressing the Pope, Catholics usually use Holy Father . In accordance with diplomatic protocol , the Pope is referred to or addressed as Your/His Holiness or Holy Father.

Ecclesiastical position

The Pope plays the central role in the law of the Catholic Church. The comprehensive powers are standardized in canons 331 to 335 of the Code of Canon Law ( CIC ) and in the identical norms of the code of law for the Catholic Eastern Churches united with Rome ( CCEO ).

The bishops of Rome see themselves as successors of the apostle Peter and holders of the ministry of Peter according to Matthew 16:18 :

“You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the powers of the underworld will not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; what you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and what you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven.”

( Mt 16,18-19  EU )

According to ( can. 331 CIC ) the office given to Simon Peter by Jesus Christ lives on in the Pope as Bishop of Rome . The pope not only has an honorary precedence over the other bishops, he is rather the head of the college of bishops and as such has real powers over the whole church. An honorary precedence of the Roman bishops "in love" is recognized in principle by many churches and denominations and in Can. 6 of the Council of Nicaea as a habit. However, its dogmatic and legal implications have been the subject of internal Christian controversy from the start. The doctrine that the bishops of Rome, as successors to Peter, enjoy exclusive privileges of primacy of jurisdiction and doctrinal infallibility (ex cathedra) is believed only by members of the Catholic Churches who recognize the Pope as supreme.

primatial power

The pope's claim to primacy is dogmatically derived from the words of Peter in Matthew 16. As the successor of the Apostle Peter, earthly vicar of Jesus Christ and shepherd of the universal Church, the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church has "supreme, full, immediate and universal ordinary power, which he can always freely exercise" ( can. 331 CIC ). This violence is further defined as:

supreme power

The pope is the bearer of supreme power (potestas suprema) , which means that there is no power in the church that is legally superior to him. In this context, the question arises as to how unsuitable, for example heretical , popes should be dealt with. Medieval canonists like Huguccio were of the opinion that a pope would automatically (ipso facto) lose office if he was manifestly a fide devius ("deviated from the faith"). If necessary, a council or even just the cardinal consistory determines the apostasy. This conception is incompatible with the modern development of papal and church teaching, especially since the dogmas of the First Vatican Council . According to this Council, there can no longer be a heretical pope because his dogmas are irreformable if they are uttered solemnly - i.e. as obligatory in the faith according to Catholic conviction: The pope would have to solemnly teach an erroneous sentence ex officio, which he because of the but can not . A canonical regulation is therefore not provided for such cases in the Catholic Church, because they cannot occur.

full power

The concept of full authority (potestas plena) describes an abundance of power in material and formal terms (→ plenitudo potestatis ). Materially, it means that the primacy of the pope is not limited to certain subject areas, but extends to all matters of the Church, i.e. to the classic areas of teaching, sanctifying and governing. In formal terms, full power means that the pope's official powers include executive, legislative and judiciary. The pope is the supreme legislator of the church and is only bound by divine law (ius divinum) , which as such is unchangeable. With regard to purely ecclesiastical law (ius mere ecclesiasticum) , he can enact new canons at any time, delete old ones or free them from them ( dispense ).

The pope is the supreme judge of the church and is not subject to any ecclesiastical court (prima sedes a nemine iudicatur) . Judgments of the Pope are therefore always final and incontestable. With the exception of certain cases ( can. 1405 §1 CIC ), jurisdiction is delegated to appropriate courts of the Curia . As the supreme administrator of the Church, the Pope is entrusted with the oversight of all Church life. In doing so, he primarily uses his curia, the nuncios and special visitors. In addition, every bishops' conference is obliged to report every five years in Rome on church life in the area of ​​the conference ( ad limina visit ).

direct violence

The primatial power is immediate (potestas immediata) . This means that the Pope can deal with any matter without the intervention of an intermediary body. In this way, he can take over a matter to the exclusion of all (originally responsible) authorities and reserve the right to make a specific decision ( affectio papalis ) . Conversely, every believer can turn directly to the pope without having to go through a certain process of appeal ( can. 1417 CIC ). Of course, the affectio papalis is only applied on a subsidiary basis, so that the church constitution is not undermined. The immediacy of papal power is limited by the autonomy of the episcopate, which is based on divine law. The official power of the pope does not usually compete with the official power of the bishops.

universal power

Universal power (potestas universalis) means that the primatial power refers to the whole church, i.e. to all particular churches (e.g. dioceses ) and ecclesial particular communities. The pope is thus “universal bishop of the Catholic Church”, bearing in mind how the immediacy of papal power is understood.

Episcopal violence

The designation of the primatial power as real episcopal power (potestas vere episcopalis) goes back above all to efforts to clearly distinguish the primatial power from the secular power for the external church government and at the same time to withdraw them from secular influence. The primatial power is therefore a spiritual power, which is no longer in question today.

Freely exercised violence

The fact that the pope can freely exercise his primatial powers means that no ecclesiastical authority can prevent him from doing so.

Bishop of Rome

The Lateran Basilica, Cathedral of the Bishop of Rome

As Bishop of Rome , the Pope is the head of the local Roman Church . The management of official business is largely delegated to the cardinal vicar for the diocese of Rome. The question of whether or not the personal union of the Roman bishopric and the ministry of Peter is of divine origin or right and therefore irrevocable is not clarified dogmatically and in terms of canon law.

A necessary residence obligation of the Bishop of Rome in the city of Rome seems more self-evident than it actually was: During the Western Schism , several bishops of Rome never saw their episcopal city and their episcopal church during their term of office.

The Christian community of the city of Rome puts the apostle Peter first in its list of bishops . His martyrdom and tomb in Rome on the Vatican hill is handed down and undisputed in the first centuries .

Cathedral of the Diocese of Rome is the Lateran Basilica . There is the seat of the papal cardinal vicar and his authority. It is the most senior of the Roman patriarchal basilicas .


In principle, any male Catholic can be elected Pope. According to church law, the elected person, if he is already a bishop at this point in time, immediately receives full and supreme power in the church by accepting the lawful election ( can. 332 §1 CIC ). If the person elected is not yet a bishop, he is to be ordained a bishop immediately.

The pope is elected for life in the conclave, an assembly of all cardinals who are under the age of 80 when the see vacancy occurs. This age limit has only existed since Paul VI. The conclave will be held today in the Sistine Chapel at St. Peter's Basilica. The last pope who was not a cardinal but an archbishop at the time of his election and was therefore not a member of the electoral assembly was Urban VI. in 1378.

The change in the electoral regulations introduced in 1996 with the Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis , according to which after the 30th or 33rd unsuccessful ballot - depending on the time of the first ballot - deviating from the normally required two-thirds majority plus one vote, an absolute majority is also sufficient Pope Benedict XVI reversed again with the Motu proprio De aliquibus mutationibus in normis , however, after the 30th or 33rd ballot, only run-off elections are held.

The period in which no successor has yet been determined for a deceased or resigned incumbent or the Holy See is vacant (unoccupied) for other reasons is referred to as a vacancy in the see . During this time the Church is governed by the College of Cardinals. According to the norms of the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis , however, this has only very limited powers. It may alone decide on ordinary matters and those that cannot be postponed. Questions assigned to the jurisdiction of the Pope must not be taken up by the college. It must also not touch papal laws and the rights of the Apostolic See and the Roman Church. The main task is to prepare for the papal election.

tasks and functions

leadership of the church

The task of the pope is the leadership of the whole church. For this he uses his official powers, in particular the primatial power.

In this way, the pope ensures the unity of the church, which is divided into particular churches (dioceses, churches of their own right). Questions and matters affecting the Church as a whole are reserved for his authority. Only the pope may establish, rewrite or abolish dioceses , grant permission for the consecration of bishops, abolish religious institutes and make final decisions on beatifications and canonizations. In addition, certain processes, such as marriage nullity proceedings by heads of state or processes against cardinals, are reserved for the pope. With regard to the united Eastern Churches , the rights of the patriarchs and metropolitans , which are regulated in the CCEO , must be observed in all of this.

The Pope uses an extensive administrative apparatus, the Roman Curia , to direct the Church as a whole . The powers and responsibilities of the curial authorities are regulated in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus .

Sovereign of Vatican City State

The Pope is sovereign of Vatican City State . The state founded in 1929 by the Lateran Pacts is an absolute elective monarchy, the Pope bears the legislative, judiciary and executive powers. The administration of the state is delegated to a curial authority, the Pontifical Commission for Vatican City State .

Obstruction and discharge of the papal chair

Disability means that the pope is permanently prevented from exercising office for any reason (imprisonment, exile, insanity). The papal see is vacated when the pope resigns (can. 332 § 2 CIC) or dies. In the event of the hindrance or the settlement, nothing may be changed with regard to the leadership of the whole church.

The possibility of resignation

A pope can resign from office at any time. According to canon law ( can. 332 §2 CIC ) "[...] it is required for validity that the renunciation occurs freely and is sufficiently proclaimed [...]." will. It was very rare in church history for popes to renounce their office, and it mostly happened under external pressure: Pope Pontianus resigned his office in 235 after being exiled to Sardinia. In 537, Pope Silverius , who was imprisoned on the island of Ponza, renounced the papal office. 1415 Gregory XII. urged to resign from office at the Council of Constance . Celestine V (1294) and Benedict XVI. (2013) voluntarily resigned from office.



Crown of the Popes ( tiara ); for priestly, pastoral and teaching power with the orb as a symbol of secular power, was after Paul VI. not worn yet

The papal insignia consists of

  • the Cathedra Petri , the papal throne
  • the tiara , the triple papal crown. Paul VI was the last pope to be crowned with the tiara. In 1964 he removed the tiara. From then on, his successors dispensed with a coronation ceremony, but continued to use the tiara in their personal coat of arms . Benedict XVI replaced the tiara in his personal coat of arms with a simple bishop 's miter with three gold rings connected in the middle.
  • the ferula , the papal pastoral staff
  • the fisherman 's ring (anulus piscatoris)
  • a special form of the pallium as well
  • certain liturgical vestments, such as the mantum or the fanon


Benedict XVI in cassock, with cingulum, pileolus and pectoral

As everyday attire, the Pope usually wears a white cassock (a custom introduced by Pius V ), a white cincture (girdle) and a white pileolus (scape); Paul VI wore "baroque" knickerbockers underneath . For colder days, the pope wears a wide red cloak, the so-called mantello. As a further traditional headgear, the pope can wear a camauro lined with ermine fur in the cold season (according to John XXIII and Benedict XVI). On his chest, like every Catholic bishop, the pope wears the pectoral , a pectoral cross on a necklace . For colder weather, the Pope also has a white coat with double-breasted buttons.

During the liturgy , the pope wears a chasuble , optionally with the dalmatic , miter and pallium over the chasuble . At non-Eucharistic liturgies, such as the Liturgy of the Hours , he wears the pluviale and alb , and on special occasions, such as receiving state visits, he may don a white rochett (surplice) and red mozetta (shawl) of silk or velvet over his cassock. The winter version of the mozetta is made of red velvet and has an ermine hem. During Easter Benedict XVI wore up to Paul VI. usual white damask mozetta , also finished with a white fur hem. The red mozetta dates back to the time when the Pope wore the color red. On high feast days, the pope can wear the fanon , a circular shoulder garment reserved for him. At receptions, the pope used to wear a smoking mantle , the tiara , and white pontifical gloves.


After the election, the new pope is asked what name he will take. The choice of name is subject to the free decision of the Pope. From the choice of the name, observers try to deduce political goals of the new pope by examining the characteristics of previous popes and saints of that name. The name Pius was by far the most commonly chosen name from the late 18th to the mid-20th century. Since the death of Pius XII. (1958) he was not re-elected.

Popes can take names that are the Latinized form of their real name ( Hadrian VI = Adrian Florisz, Marcellus II = Marcello Cervini), but this has not happened since the 16th century. Many popes take the names of important predecessors such as Leo and Gregory or those of saints such as Paul VI. , after Apostle Paul . Others go by the meaning of the names ( Pius = pious; Innocent = innocent). Some popes choose their name for personal reasons like John XXIII. , in honor of his father.

Originally, the popes kept their own first name after the election. The first pope to adopt a new name was John II in 533. His real name was Mercurius and he didn't want to bear the name of a pagan god as pope. However, the adoption of a new name remained an exception until the end of the 1st millennium and only became the norm with Sergius IV in 1009.

The first name repeatedly borne by a pope was Sixtus (by Sixtus II in 257). Since then, the names that have been adopted several times have been given suffixed Roman numerals. However, the popes of antiquity and the early Middle Ages often bore names that were never adopted a second time. Some of the ancient names such as Clemens and Pius were taken up again from the High Middle Ages and thus the advent of the choice of names.

In memory of his two predecessors, Albino Luciani chose John Paul I , the first double name in papal history, and this was also the first new papal name since Lando from 913 to 914. His successor Karol Wojtyła also chose the papal name John Paul II. The name of Benedict XVI refers to Benedict XV. from 1914 to 1922, who tried in vain to prevent or end the First World War , and to the monastic father and patron of Europe, Benedict of Nursia . Again, Jorge Mario Bergoglio was the first to choose the name Francis with reference to Francis of Assisi , the founder of the Franciscan order , and his goal of a “poor church” serving the afflicted and needy. After the election, there was also speculation about a connection to Saint Francis Xavier , one of the founders of the Jesuit order , to which Cardinal Bergoglio belongs.

Criminal Protection of the Pope

The Pope is protected by canon and civil law against acts of physical violence. Can. 1370 § 1 threatens excommunication as punishment for such violence against the pope . Under Article 8 of the Lateran Treaty, assassination or incitement to one carries the same penalties as equivalent acts against the Italian King and now the President of the Republic.


A procedure for the dismissal of a pope is not planned and not possible according to the current self-understanding of the papacy. In the course of church history, however, anti-popes were repeatedly raised, for example by the Roman-German emperor or interested circles of power who fought for the papal throne, which was endowed with great secular power. Who went down in history as the anti -pope often depended on which candidate ultimately prevailed in the battle for the papal chair. Known cases were:

coat of arms

position and criticism

The universal primacy claim of the bishop of Rome developed over the course of the first millennium and culminated in the Dictatus Papae of 1075 Catholic Uniate Churches , is not recognized by all other churches.

The First Vatican Council of 1869–70 elevated to dogma the belief that the pope, when speaking ex cathedra , was infallible in matters of faith . This claim is also rejected by the other churches; as a result, the Old Catholic Church also arose . The dogma of infallibility was explicitly applied only once, starting in 1870, in 1950 when formulating the dogma of Mary's bodily assumption into heaven. Pope encyclicals and exhortations, while binding on the Roman Catholic Church, are not to be taken lightly as infallible doctrinal decisions. The theological discussion on this is not over.

In the early church there were the following five authoritative patriarchs in the order of honorary precedence defined by ecumenical councils :

  1. the Bishop of Rome
  2. the bishop of Constantinople , equal in rank to Rome since Chalcedon , but in precedence to Rome, as Rome is older
  3. the Bishop of Alexandria
  4. the Bishop of Antioch
  5. the Bishop of Jerusalem

At that time, the Roman episcopal see was already considered “ primus inter pares ” among Christians, since Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire and the Church of Rome was viewed as worthy of worship, particularly because of the tombs of the “princes of the apostles” Peter and Paul . The church historian Eusebius of Caesarea († 339) records the martyrdom of Peter and Paul in Rome as a fact known throughout the Church. Irenaeus of Lyon († around 202) reproduces the local Roman tradition, according to which the Roman episcopate is a direct successor to the apostle Peter , who was the first head (episkopos) of the Roman Christian community. The Patriarchate of Antioch also refers to the fact that Peter, before he went to Rome, had been the first bishop there since the year 38. Likewise, the other patriarchates and some other eastern bishoprics can be traced back to an apostle. However, historians dispute whether Peter was really in Rome.

The Roman tradition of Peter is not historically excluded, but it was not an important issue in the early centuries. The earliest written testimony for the application of Mt 16:18 to the bishops of Rome as Peter's successors comes from Pope Damasus I in the 4th century. There, for the first time, the Roman Church is referred to exclusively as “sedes apostolica” (apostolic chair) – a special position that is not recognized by the other patriarchates. However, the division of the Roman Empire further favored the monarchical tendencies of the only Western (Latin) patriarchal seat.

Harsh critics see the papacy as a continuation of ancient Rome's claim to power, and the papal office is viewed very skeptically from a Protestant point of view, even if it is not exclusively viewed negatively. The Constantinian turning point called a completely different breed of people to the head of the still young church. While Christians were still being cruelly persecuted in the first centuries and being a Christian required a great deal of courage, Christianity had now become part of imperial power politics and offered desirable, well-paid and influential offices. The Roman Church had taken over the traditional dominance of Rome in the west. However, attempts to extend it to the other patriarchates failed. As a result, the papacy asserted itself more and more in Western Europe as a secular ruler.

A representation of God, which cannot be derived from the Bible, has its model in the Roman Empire . Originally, the title of Pontifex Maximus was reserved for the Roman Emperor and was transferred to the Bishop of Rome after the fall of the Roman Empire. In the High Middle Ages, for example, the pope presented himself as the ruler of kings and peoples in spiritual and secular matters, but this was becoming less and less the case from the 14th century onwards. In the late Middle Ages there was also increasing diversification in the religious field, although the church took action against those who thought differently within its sphere of influence.

See also


web links

Commons : Popes  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
Wiktionary: Pope  - meaning explanations, word origin, synonyms, translations
Wikiquote: Pope  – Quotes
 Wikinews: Pope Theme Portal  – in the news


  1. Vatican Information Service February 26, 2013 ( Memento of December 3, 2013 at the Internet Archive )
  2. vatican.va: The basic law of the Vatican State 26 November 2000 , Art. 1 and Art. 2, in the revision of 26 November 2000
  3. Pope is Bishop of Rome and successor to the Apostle Peter , 877.
  4. cf. Lumen gentium .
  5. Thomas Ribi: The Power of the Popes: Why is the Pope still so powerful? In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung of June 8, 2017.
  6. Cf. Peter Krämer , Art. Papal Titles, in: Lexicon for Theology and Church , 3rd edition. Edited by Walter Kasper and others, Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1993–2001, vol. 7 (1998), pp. 1343 f.
  7. Patriarch and Patriarchate in Catholic Encyclopedia .
  8. Pope Benedict XVI. renounces the title “Patriarch of the West” on kath.net.de.
  9. Titles of the popes on the website catholic.de.
  10. religionv1.orf.at
  11. Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 202.
  12. Catholic Encyclopedia – Ecclesiastical Abbreviations .
  13. Federal Ministry of the Interior: Guide for addresses and salutations , p. 146, as of: January 2010 ( online document ( memento of November 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ))
  14. Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 203.
  15. ^ a b Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 205.
  16. a b c d Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 206.
  17. ^ a b Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 207.
  18. Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 208.
  19. ^ a b Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 209.
  20. "In the same area lies the question whether the connection between the succession of Peter and the bishop of Rome is indissoluble. This question is also controversial in Catholic theology. Of course, the Bishop of Rome could de facto move his seat of government to another city. However, the question arises as to whether a legal change would also be possible in such a way that the bishop of another bishopric could become the successor of the apostle Peter. The question is naturally closely related to the problem of why the bishop of Rome became the successor of the apostle Peter. If this is traced back, to use the language of today's theology, to an act of sovereignty that has its basis in church authority, then a similar sovereign act could also make a de jure change. This would be the responsibility of the highest authority in the Church, i. H. either the pope himself or the college of bishops headed by the pope. This answer seems to be realistic, but does not do justice to the traditional conviction of the church" ( Michael Schmaus : The faith of the church. Volume 5: Christ's salvation through the church and in the church. Volume 2: The leadership of the church (2nd edition ), St. Ottilien 1982, 57f.). Also: Ludwig Ott : Outline of Catholic Dogmatics (11th edition), Bonn 2005, p. 400. With detailed references to theological-historical positions and their representatives: G. Glez: Art. Primauté (" IX. Conclusions "). In: Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique. Vol. 13 (1936), col. 338 f.
  21. ^ Cf. G. Glez: Art. Primauté ( "IX. Conclusions"). In: Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique. Vol. 13 (1936), col. 338 f.
  22. Universi Dominici Gregis Nos. 63 and 74.
  23. Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis . In: Vatican.va , Chapter I
  24. Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 215.
  25. Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 214.
  26. Position of the EKD ( Memento of February 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). In : EKD.de.