|Bishop of Rome|
|Pope coat of arms of Francis|
Acting Bishop of Rome
since March 13, 2013
|Official seat||Lateran Basilica , Rome|
|Term of office||for lifetime|
|Head of||Roman Catholic Church|
|Last choice||13th March 2013|
|Elected||by the conclave|
His Holiness Holy Father (formal)
Your Holiness (informal)
Pontifex Maximus (in Latin )
Pope (from ancient Greek πάππα , childlike address Papa ; Church Latin papa ; Middle High German babes [t] , New High German Babst ) is the German-language spiritual title for the Bishop of Rome as head of the Roman Catholic Church . Other names include: Holy Father , Pontifex Maximus .
The incumbent Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio SJ with the Pope's 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 he left office .
The office of the Pope, the episcopal see of the Diocese of Rome , is known as the Holy See . He is a non-state subject under international law and represents the State of Vatican City and the Roman Catholic Church in international relations . In accordance with the Basic Law of the Vatican City State , the Pope, as head of the Vatican State, also has the full power of legislative, executive and judicial powers. He can act on behalf of the Holy See and the Vatican State under international law, the latter rarely occurring.
According to the teaching 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 dogmatic constitution of the Second Vatican Council on the Church, Lumen Gentium , describes the Pope as "the everlasting and visible principle and foundation for the unity of the plurality of both bishops and believers". The claim of Peter and his successor to authority is derived from several biblical passages , above all from the "rock word" Mt 16.18 EU and the "key word" Mt 16.18 EU , also from Lk 22.32 EU ("strengthen your brothers ") And Joh 21.15 ff. EU (" feed my lambs ").
It is controversial whether the first Epistle of Clement from 98 - after some from 69 - already documents a primacy of the community of Rome or is to be regarded as a fraternal admonition among equals. In this letter to the congregation of Corinth , the congregation of Rome calls on the Corinthians to withdraw 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 between the name papa and the Bishop of Rome dates from the time of Marcellinus († 304), who is so named in the funerary inscription of the deacon Severus. Bishop Siricius (term of office 385–399) was the first to use the name papa . The term used by Gregory I from 590 to 604 was legally established as the exclusive official designation for the Bishop of Rome .
From the 2nd century at the latest, papa was generally an honorary designation for Christian dignitaries in the Greek Orient . The head of the Coptic Church , which has not been in communion with the Greek or Latin Church since the Council of Chalcedon in 451, has also had the title of Papa since Heraclas (232–248) at the latest ; in German mostly transferred as Pope or Patriarch of Alexandria.
Since the tenure of Leo I (440–461), the Roman Pope has been using the name Pontifex Maximus , which has been used since the 5th century BC. Was used in the Roman administration and later carried up to Emperor Gratian the emperor of the Roman Empire as the highest priest of the Roman religions . Etymologies for the term “pontiff” include “bridge builders” or “path railroaders”.
In the Middle Ages there were repeatedly several popes at the same time, as an antipope was raised during the lifetime of a canonically elected pope . The reasons were that the College of Cardinals split and emperors or Roman noble families intervened in the election of the Pope . The Exclusive was also a possibility for Catholic monarchs to intervene in the election of the Pope. Such interventions have been forbidden under threat of excommunication since Pius X. Before the 13th century, the Pope resided in the Lateran . In the 15th century, conciliarism gained momentum, giving councils greater authority than papal decisions, but was soon pushed back.
- Episcopus Romanus , Bishop of Rome
- Vicarius Iesu Christi , representative of Jesus Christ . This title, which was documented in the 5th century, originally also refers to bishops and priests. The dogmatic constitution Lumen Gentium of the Second Vatican Council relates this title both to the Pope with a view to the universal Church (LG 18.2) and to the individual bishop with a view 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 of 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 world church". This title expresses the claim to the highest authority within the whole Church on earth. The position of the Pope in the liturgy , such as the concelebration with patriarchs, is derived from this.
- Primate Italiae , " Primate of Italy". This is a purely honorary title. The Pope exercises the power that belongs 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 supervisory and control rights over his suffragan bishops .
- Sovereign of the State of Vatican City . This is the Pope's title under international law and secular.
- Servus Servorum Dei , "servant of the servants of God". This title was firstgiven tohimself by Pope Gregory the Great , and subsequent popes have continued this.
The title of Patriarch of the West ( Patriarcha Occidentis ) or Patriarch of the West was accepted 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 . The Latin Church developed from him . Pope Benedict XVI resigned the title after his papal election, he was therefore removed from the official papal titulature in the Annuario Pontificio of 2006. Regardless of the title of patriarch, the pope is regarded by some canonists as the patriarch of the Western Church , from which his powers and jurisdiction in the Latin Church result.
In addition to this official title, the Pope is also referred to as Pontifex Maximus ( often abbreviated as P. M. or Pont. Max. In inscriptions ) or as Episcopus Ecclesiae Catholicae ("Bishop of the Catholic Church").
Documents are usually signed by the Pope with his Pope's name, with the actual (usually Latinized) name directly being the abbreviation PP. (for “papa”) follows with an attached ordinal number: “Ioannes Paulus PP. II. "," Benedictus PP. XVI. ”And“ Franciscus PP. ”.
The Pope has the central role in the law of the Catholic Church. The comprehensive competencies are standardized in canons 331 to 335 of the ecclesiastical code ( CIC ) or in the identical norms of the code for the Eastern Catholic Churches united with Rome ( CCEO ).
“You are Peter and on this rock I will build my church and the powers of the underworld will not overpower it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven; What you will bind on earth will also be bound in heaven, and what you will loosen on earth will also be loosened in heaven. "
According to ( can. 331 CIC ), the office conferred by Jesus Christ on Simon Peter lives on in the Pope as Bishop of Rome . The Pope not only has honorary priority over the other bishops, he is rather the head of the college of bishops and as such has real powers over the Church as a whole. A priority of honor for 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 scope has been the subject of internal Christian controversy from the start. The doctrine that the bishops of Rome as successors of Peter enjoy exclusive privileges, namely the primacy of jurisdiction and infallibility in doctrinal statements (ex cathedra) , is only believed by members of the Catholic Churches who recognize the Pope as head.
The Pope's claim to primacy is dogmatically derived from the word of Peter in Matthew 16. As the successor of the apostle Peter, earthly representative of Jesus Christ and pastor of the universal Church, the Pope in the Roman Catholic Church has “the highest, full, immediate and universal ordinary power which he can always freely exercise” ( can. 331 CIC ). This violence is more precisely defined as:
The Pope is the bearer of maximum 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 of how to deal with unsuitable, for example heretical, popes. Medieval canon lawyers like Huguccio believed that a pope automatically (ipso facto) forfeited his office if he was clearly a fide devius ("deviated from faith"). If necessary, a council or even just the cardinal consistory determines the apostasy. This conception is incompatible with the modern development of the doctrine of the Pope and the Church, especially since the dogmas of the First Vatican Council . According to this council, there can no longer be a heretical Pope because his doctrines are irreformable if they are solemnly uttered - that is, according to Catholic conviction as binding in faith: The Pope would have to teach an erroneous sentence ex officio, which he ought to do because of the but cannot with the preserving assistance of the Holy Spirit . A canonical regulation is therefore not provided for in such cases in the Catholic Church, because they cannot occur.
The term full power (potestas plena) denotes an abundance of power in material and formal terms (→ plenitudo potestatis ). In substance, it means that the Pope's primatial power is not limited to certain subject areas, but extends to all affairs of the Church, i.e. to the classic areas of teaching, sanctifying and leading. Formally, full power means that the Pope's authority includes the executive, legislative and judicial branches. The Pope is the supreme lawgiver 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 at any time issue new canons, delete old ones or dispense with them .
The Pope is the highest judge of the Church and is not subject to any ecclesiastical court (prima sedes a nemine iudicatur) . Judgments by the Pope are therefore always final and incontestable. With the exception of certain cases ( can. 1405 §1 CIC ), jurisdiction is delegated to the appropriate courts of the Curia . As the highest administrator of the church, the Pope is entrusted with the supervision of the whole church life. In doing so he makes use of his curia, the nuncios and special visitors. In addition, there is an obligation for every bishops' conference to report to Rome every five years on ecclesiastical life in the area of the conference ( ad limina visit ).
The primate power is immediate (potestas immediata) . This means that the Pope can take care of anything without the intervention of an intermediate body. In this way, he can, with the exclusion of all (originally competent) authorities, take possession of a matter and reserve a certain decision for himself ( affectio papalis ) . Conversely, every believer can address himself directly to the Pope without having to follow a specific path of authority ( can. 1417 CIC ). The affectio papalis is of course only applied in a subsidiary manner, so that the church constitution is not undermined. The immediacy of papal power is limited by the independence of the episcopate based on divine law. As a rule, the authority of the Pope does not compete with the authority of the bishops.
Universal power (potestas universalis) means that the primatial power relates to the whole church, i.e. to all particular churches (e.g. dioceses ) and ecclesiastical sub-communities. The Pope is therefore the “universal bishop of the Catholic Church”, taking into account how the immediacy of papal power is understood.
The designation of the primate power as real episcopal power (potestas vere episcopalis) goes back above all to efforts to clearly differentiate the primate power from the secular power for the external church government and at the same time to withdraw it from secular influence. Primatial power is therefore a spiritual power, which is no longer in question today.
Freely exercisable violence
The fact that the Pope can freely exercise his primatial power means that he cannot be prevented from doing so by any ecclesiastical authority.
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 the personal union of the Roman episcopal office and the Petrine ministry is of divine origin or law and thus irrevocable or not is unresolved dogmatically and under canon law.
A necessary residence obligation of the Bishop of Rome in the city of Rome seems more natural 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 has the apostle Peter at the top of its list of bishops . His martyrdom and tomb in Rome on the Vatican Hill has been passed down and was undisputed in the first centuries .
In principle, any male Catholic can be elected Pope. According to canon law, if he is already a bishop at this point in time, the elected person immediately receives full and supreme power in the church by accepting the legitimately made election ( can. 332 §1 CIC ). If the elected person is not yet a bishop, he is to be ordained immediately.
The Pope is elected for life in the conclave , an assembly of all cardinals who are under 80 years of age when the sedis 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 at the time of his election was not a cardinal but an archbishop and therefore did not belong to the electoral assembly himself, was Urban VI. in 1378.
The change to the electoral regulations introduced in 1996 with the Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis , according to which an absolute majority is sufficient 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, was adopted in 2007 by Pope Benedict XVI reversed with the Motu proprio De aliquibus mutationibus in normis , but only runoff elections will be held after the 30th or 33rd ballot.
The time when a successor has not yet been appointed for a deceased or resigned incumbent or when the Holy See is vacant (unoccupied) for other reasons is referred to as sedis vacancy . During this time, the leadership of the Church is exercised by the College of Cardinals. However, according to the norms of the apostolic constitution Universi Dominici Gregis, this has only very limited competencies. It alone may decide on ordinary matters and those that cannot be delayed. Questions that are assigned to the jurisdiction of the Pope may not be raised by the college. It must not interfere with papal laws and the rights of the Apostolic See and the Roman Church. The main task is to prepare for the election of the Pope.
Tasks and functions
Leadership of the church
The Pope's task is to lead the Church as a whole. To do this, he makes use of his official powers, in particular primatial power.
The Pope thus ensures the unity of the church, which is divided into particular churches (dioceses, churches under their own law). Questions and matters that concern the Church as a whole are reserved for his authority. Only the Pope may establish, rewrite or abolish dioceses , grant permission for episcopal ordination, abolish religious institutes and finally decide on beatifications and canonizations. In addition, certain processes are reserved for the Pope, such as marriage annulment proceedings by heads of state or processes against cardinals. With regard to the United Eastern Churches , the rights of the patriarchs and metropolitans , which are regulated in the CCEO, must be observed .
The Pope uses an extensive administrative apparatus, the Roman Curia, to manage the Church as a whole . The powers and responsibilities of the Curia authorities are regulated in the Apostolic Constitution Pastor Bonus .
Sovereign of the Vatican City State
The Pope is sovereign of the Vatican City State . The state founded in 1929 by the Lateran Treaty is an absolute electoral monarchy, the Pope has legislative, judicial and executive powers. The administration of the state is delegated to a curia authority, the Pontifical Commission for the State of the Vatican City .
Obstruction and disposal of the papal chair
Disability means that the Pope is permanently prevented from exercising his office for whatever reason (imprisonment, exile, insanity). Dismissal of the papal chair occurs with resignation from office (can. 332 § 2 CIC) or the death of the Pope. In the case of the handicap or the settlement, nothing may be changed with regard to the leadership of the whole church.
The possibility of resigning from office
→ See also: List of Popes who have resigned from office
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 happens freely and is sufficiently made known [...]." become. The fact that popes renounced the office was very rare in church history and mostly took place under external pressure: Pope Pontianus resigned his office in 235 after he had been exiled to Sardinia. In 537, Pope Silverius, who was imprisoned on the island of Ponza, renounced the papacy. 1415 Gregory XII. urged to resign at the Council of Constance . Celestine V (1294) and Benedict XVI. (2013) voluntarily resigned their office.
The papal insignia consist 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 took off the tiara. From then on, his successors waived 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
As everyday clothing the Pope usually wears a white cassock ( Pius V introduced this custom ), a white zingulum (belt) and a white pileolus (skullcap); Paul VI wore “baroque” knee breeches underneath . For colder days, the Pope has a wide red cloak, the so-called Mantello, at his disposal. As more traditional headdress of the pope can one with the cold season ermine -lined Camauro wear (as John XXIII. And Benedict XVI.). Like every Catholic bishop, the Pope wears the pectoral on his chest , 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 including the dalmatic , miter and above the chasuble the pallium . For non-eucharistic liturgies, such as the Liturgy of the Hours , he wears the cope and alb , and on special occasions, such as receiving state visits, he can wear a white rochett (choir shirt) and a red mozetta (shoulder wrap) made of silk or velvet over his cassock . The winter version of the Mozetta is made of red velvet and has an ermine hem. During the Easter period , Benedict XVI. which up to Paul VI. usual white mozzetta made of damask , which is also provided with a white fur trim. The red mozetta comes from the time when the Pope wore the color red. On high feast days, the Pope can wear the fanon , a circular shoulder robe reserved for him. The Pope used to wear a smoking cloak , tiara and white pontifical gloves to receptions .
After the election, the new Pope will be asked which name he will adopt. The choice of name is subject to the free decision of the Pope. From the choice of the name, observers try to infer 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 frequently chosen name from the end of the 18th to the middle of the 20th century. Since the death of Pius XII. (1958) he was no longer elected.
Popes can adopt names that represent the Latinized form of their civil name ( Hadrian VI. = Adrian Florisz, Marcellus II. = Marcello Cervini), but this has not occurred since the 16th century. Many popes take on the names of important predecessors such as Leo and Gregory or those of saints such as Paul VI. , according to Apostle Paul . Others go by the meaning of the name ( Pius = pious; Innocent = innocent). Some popes choose their names for personal reasons, such as 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 as Pope did not want to bear the name of a pagan god. However, the adoption of a new name remained an exception until the end of the 1st millennium and only became the rule with Sergius IV in 1009.
The first name to be used repeatedly by a Pope was Sixtus (by Sixtus II in 257). Since then, names that have been adopted several times have been followed by Roman numerals. However, the popes of antiquity and the early Middle Ages often had names that were not adopted a second time. Some of the ancient names such as Clemens and Pius were taken up again from the High Middle Ages and with it the emergence of the choice of names .
In memory of his two predecessors, Albino Luciani chose the first double name in papal history with John Paul I , at the same time this was 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 , as well as to the monk's father and patron of Europe, Benedict of Nursia . 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” that stands up for the oppressed and needy. There was also speculation after the election about a reference to St. Francis Xavier , one of the founders of the Jesuit order to which Cardinal Bergoglio belongs.
Criminal protection of the Pope
The Pope is protected against acts of physical violence by ecclesiastical and secular law. Can. 1370 § 1 threatens excommunication as a punishment for such violence against the Pope . According to Article 8 of the Lateran Treaty, an assassination attempt or incitement to such is threatened with the same penalties as corresponding acts against the Italian king and now the president.
A procedure for the removal of a Pope is not provided and according to the current self-understanding of the papacy not possible. In the course of church history, however, there were repeated elevations of anti-popes, for example by the Roman-German emperor or interested circles of power who fought for the papal throne endowed with great secular power. Who went down in history as the antipope often depended on which candidate won the battle for the papal chair. Known cases were:
- 897 Formosus (posthumously) (see: synod of corpses )
- 963 John XII. because of unworthiness by a synod convened by Otto I.
- 964 Leo VIII because of crimina
- 964 Benedict V for unlawful occupation of the bishopric
- 998 Antipope John XVI. as a usurper
- 1415 Antipope John XXIII. because of simony and schism by the Council of Constance
- 1415 Gregory XII. was forced to resign due to heresy and schism in the course of the Council of Constance
- 1417 Benedict XIII. by the Council of Constance
coat of arms
Position and criticism
The universal claim to primacy of the Bishop of Rome developed over the course of the first millennium and culminated in the Dictatus Papae of 1075. In the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope is the supreme lord of the universal Church and representative of Christ on earth - a claim that, apart from the Catholic Uniate churches , is not recognized by all other churches.
The first Vatican Council from 1869 to 1870 raised the belief that the Pope, if he speaks ex cathedra , was infallible in matters of faith , to a dogma . This claim is also rejected by the other churches; as a result, the Old Catholic Church was created . The dogma of infallibility has been expressly applied only once since 1870, in 1950 when the dogma of the bodily acceptance of Mary into heaven was formulated. Encyclicals and instructional letters of the Pope are binding on the Roman Catholic Church, but not necessarily to be regarded as infallible doctrinal decisions. The theological discussion on this is not over.
- the Bishop of Rome
- the Bishop of Constantinople , since Chalcedon in the same rank as Rome, but in precedence to Rome, since Rome is older
- the Bishop of Alexandria
- the bishop of Antioch
- the Bishop of Jerusalem
At that time, the Roman bishopric was already regarded by Christians as “ primus inter pares ”, since Rome was the capital of the Roman Empire and the Church of Rome was viewed as worthy of venerable, especially because of the tombs of the “princes of the apostles” Peter and Paul . The church historian Eusebius of Caesarea († 339) notes 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 of the apostle Peter , who was the first head (episkopos) of the Roman Christian community. The Patriarchate of Antioch also claims that Peter was the first bishop there since 38 before he went to Rome. Likewise, the other patriarchates and some other eastern bishopric seats can be traced back to an apostle. Whether Peter really was in Rome, however, is controversial among historians.
The Roman Petrus tradition is historically not excluded, but was not an important topic in the first centuries. The earliest written testimony to the application of Mt 16:18 to the bishops of Rome as successors to Peter is from Pope Damasus I in the 4th century. There, for the first time, the Roman Church is exclusively designated as “sedes apostolica” (Apostolic See) - 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.
Sharp critics see in the papacy the continuation of the claim to power of ancient Rome and the papacy is judged very skeptically from a Protestant point of view, if not exclusively negatively. The Constantinian turning point called a completely different class of people to the head of the still young church. While Christians were cruelly persecuted in the first few centuries and there was a great deal of courage to be a Christian, Christianity had now become part of the imperial power politics and offered positions that were desirable because they were well paid and influential. The Roman Church had taken over the traditional domination of Rome in the west. Attempts to extend it to the other patriarchates, however, failed. As a result, the papacy in Western Europe increasingly asserted itself as secular rule.
A representative of God, which cannot be conclusively derived from the Bible, is modeled on the Roman Empire . The title of Pontifex Maximus was originally 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 posed himself as ruler over kings and peoples in spiritual and secular questions, but this was increasingly difficult to enforce from the 14th century. In the late Middle Ages, there was also increasing diversification in the religious field, although the church took action against those who thought differently in its sphere of influence.
- List of Popes
- List of historical antipopes
- Papal system
- Pope visits to Germany
- Pope visits to Austria
- Stefan Bauer: The Invention of Papal History: Onofrio Panvinio between Renaissance and Catholic Reform . Oxford University Press, Oxford 2020. ISBN 978-0-19-880700-1 .
- Georg Denzler : The papacy . CH Beck, Munich 1997, ISBN 3-406-41865-1 .
- Walter Fleischmann-Bisten (Ed.): Papal Office pro and contra. Historical developments and ecumenical perspectives . Bensheimer Hefte 97, Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, Göttingen 2001, ISBN 3-525-87188-0 .
- Horst Fuhrmann : The Popes . 3. Edition. CH Beck, Munich 2005, ISBN 3-406-51097-3 .
- Horst Herrmann : The Holy Fathers . Aufbau-Verlag, Berlin 2004, ISBN 3-7466-8110-3 .
Rudolf Lill : The Power of the Popes . Lahn-Verlag, Kevelaer 2006, ISBN 978-3-7867-8603-0 .
- extended new edition: Butzon & Bercker, Kevelaer 2011, ISBN 978-3-7666-1543-5 .
- Gerhard Cardinal Müller : The Pope: Mission and Order . Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 2017, ISBN 978-3-451-37758-7 .
- Ludwig Freiherr von Pastor : The history of the popes . 16 vols., Herder, Freiburg im Breisgau 1886–1933.
- Leopold von Ranke : The Roman Popes in the Last Four Centuries . 3 vol., Duncker & Humblot, Munich 1915 (= Ranke's masterpieces, vol. 6-8).
- Volker Reinhardt : Pontifex. The history of the Popes. CH Beck, Munich 2017, ISBN 978-3-406-70381-2 .
- Ludwig Ring-Eifel : world power Vatican. Popes make politics. Pattloch Verlag, Munich 2004, ISBN 3-629-01679-0 .
- Bernhard Schimmelpfennig : The Papacy. From antiquity to the renaissance. 6th, bibliographically updated edition. Scientific Book Society, Darmstadt 2009, ISBN 978-3-534-23022-8 .
- Georg Schwaiger : Papacy and Popes in the 20th Century. From Leo XIII. on Johannes Paul II. CH Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-44892-5 .
- Alexander Smoltczyk : Vaticanistan. A journey of discovery through the smallest country in the world. Heyne, Munich 2008, ISBN 978-3-453-15434-6 .
- Jörg Traeger: The Pope on horseback. A contribution to the iconography of the papacy (= Münchner kunsthistorische Abhandlungen, Vol. 1), Schnell and Steiner, Munich and Zurich 1970, ISBN 3-7954-0450-9 .
- Harald Zimmermann : Papal appointments in the Middle Ages . Böhlau, Graz 1968.
- The Holy See: Pope Francis
- Database on the tombs and careers of the Popes in the Renaissance and Baroque periods
- Link catalog on the subject of Popes at curlie.org (formerly DMOZ )
- Current literature on the papacy
- Deacon Anton Odaysky. The patristic interpretation of the gospel according to Matthew 16:18 . The primacy of the Pope in the works of the Church Fathers.
- Vatican Information Service February 26, 2013 ( Memento of December 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive )
- vatican.va: The Basic Law of the Vatican State November 26, 2000 , Art. 1 and Art. 2, in the revision of November 26, 2000
- Pope is bishop of Rome and successor to the apostle of Peter , 877.
- see Lumen gentium .
- Thomas Ribi: The Power of the Popes: Why is the Pope still so powerful? In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung from June 8, 2017.
- See Peter Krämer , Art. Papal Titulatures, in: Lexikon für Theologie und Kirche , 3rd edition. Edited by Walter Kasper et al., Freiburg i.Br .: Herder 1993-2001, Vol. 7 (1998), 1343 f.
- Patriarch and Patriarchate in Catholic Encyclopedia (English).
- Pope Benedict XVI. renounces the title "Patriarch of the West" on kath.net.de.
- Title of the popes on the page kathisch.de.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 202.
- Catholic Encyclopedia - Ecclesiastical Abbreviations .
- Federal Ministry of the Interior: Guide to Addresses and Salutations, p. 146, status: January 2010 ( online document ( memento of November 17, 2016 in the Internet Archive ))
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 203.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canonical law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 205.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canonical law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 206.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 207.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 208.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 209.
- “In the same area there is the question of whether the connection between Peter's succession 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. The question arises, however, whether a legal change would also be possible in such a way that the bishop of another episcopal see could succeed the apostle Peter. The question is naturally closely related to the problem of why the Bishop of Rome succeeded the Apostle Peter. If one ascribes this, to use the language of today's theology, to an act of sovereignty which is based on the church's authority, then a de jure change could also be made through a similar act of sovereignty . The highest proxy in the church would be responsible for this, i.e. H. either the Pope himself or the College of Bishops headed by the Pope. This answer seems realistic, but does not do justice to the traditional convictions of the church ”( Michael Schmaus : The Faith of the Church. Volume 5: The Salvation of Christ 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 positions in the history of theology and their representatives: G. Glez: Art. Primauté (“ IX. Conclusions ”). In: Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique. Vol. 13 (1936), Col. 338 f.
- Cf. G. Glez: Art. Primauté ("IX. Conclusions"). In: Dictionnaire de Théologie Catholique. Vol. 13 (1936), Col. 338 f.
- Universi Dominici Gregis No. 63 and 74.
- Apostolic Constitution Universi Dominici Gregis . In: Vatican.va , Chapter I.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 215.
- Winfried Aymans, Klaus Mörsdorf: Canon Law. Volume 2, Schöningh Verlag, Paderborn 1997, ISBN 3-506-70492-3 , p. 214.
- Position of the EKD ( memento of February 9, 2007 in the Internet Archive ). In: EKD.de .