Portal:Pope


Portal of the Popes

Pope Francis in Rome, 2014.

The pope (Latin: papa from Greek: πάππας pappas, "father"), also known as the supreme pontiff (from Latin pontifex maximus "greatest priest"), is the Bishop of Rome and ex officio leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. Since 1929, the pope has also been head of state of Vatican City, a city-state enclaved within Rome, Italy. The current pope is Francis, who was elected on 13 March 2013, succeeding Benedict XVI.

While his office is called the papacy, the episcopal see and ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See. It is the Holy See that is the sovereign entity of international law headquartered in the distinctively independent Vatican City State, established by the Lateran Treaty in 1929 between Italy and the Holy See to ensure its temporal, diplomatic, and spiritual independence. The primacy of the Bishop of Rome is largely derived from his role as the apostolic successor to Saint Peter, to whom primacy was conferred by Jesus, giving him the Keys of Heaven and the powers of "binding and loosing", naming him as the "rock" upon which the church would be built.

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The First Crusade was launched in 1095 by Pope Urban II with the dual goals of liberating the sacred city of Jerusalem and the Holy Land from Muslims and freeing the Eastern Christians from Muslim rule. What started as an appeal by Byzantine Emperor Alexios I Komnenos for western mercenaries to fight the Turks in Anatolia quickly turned into a wholesale Western migration and conquest of territory outside of Europe. Both knights and peasants from many nations of Western Europe travelled over land and by sea towards Jerusalem and captured the city in July 1099, establishing the Kingdom of Jerusalem and other Crusader states. Although these gains lasted for less than two hundred years, the First Crusade was a major turning point in the expansion of Western power, as well as the first major step towards reopening international trade in the West since the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
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Italy 1796 AD.png

Map of Italy in 1796, showing the Papal States before the Napoleonic wars changed the face of Italy.

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Pope Pius XII (Latin: Pius PP. XII; Italian: Pio XII), born Eugenio Maria Giuseppe Giovanni Pacelli (March 2, 1876 – October 9, 1958), reigned as the 260th pope, the head of the Roman Catholic Church and sovereign of Vatican City, from March 2, 1939 until his death. Before election to the papacy, Pacelli served as secretary of the Department of Extraordinary Ecclesiastical Affairs, papal nuncio and cardinal secretary of state, in which roles he worked to conclude treaties with European nations, most notably the Reichskonkordat with Germany. His leadership of the Catholic Church during World War II and The Holocaust remains the subject of continued historical controversy. After the war, Pius XII contributed to the rebuilding of Europe, and advocated peace and reconciliation, including lenient policies toward vanquished nations and the unification of Europe. The Church, flourishing in the West, experienced severe persecution and mass deportations of Catholic clergy in Eastern Europe and China.
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Quotes

  • "War should belong to the tragic past, to history: it should find no place on humanity's agenda for the future." Pope John Paul II
  • "Justice requires that to lawfully constituted Authority there be given that respect and obedience which is its due; that the laws which are made shall be in wise conformity with the common good; and that, as a matter of conscience all men shall render obedience to these laws. " Pope Pius XI

Did you know...

  • ...Pius IX has had the longest reign as Pope?
  • ...That Antipope Felix V was the last historically significant Antipope?
  • ...An apocryphal Pope Donus II used to be listed in the official lists. He was mistakenly inserted after Pope Benedict VI?
  • ...That there used to be a John in the list of popes between Pope John XIV and Pope John XV this pope never existed
  • ...That Antipope John XVII and Antipope John XXIII were thought not to be illegitimate Pope?
  • ...That after Antipope Benedict X the next Pope to take the name Benedict was Pope Benedict XI. Antipope Benedict X is considered by some to be a legitimate pope?
  • ...That Pope Lando was the last pope to use a papal name which had not been previously used until Pope John Paul I did so in 1978 and Pope Francis in 2013?
  • ...There have been 217 popes from Italy, 17 from France, 13 Greeks, 8 from Germany, 6 from Syria, 3 from Spain, 3 from Africa, and one each from Galilee (Palestine) (Saint Peter), 1 from England, 1 from Portugal, 1 from the Netherlands, 1 from Poland and 1 from Argentina?
  • ...When Simon de Brion became pope in 1281, he chose to be called Martin. At that time, Marinus I and Marinus II were mistakenly considered to be Martin II and Martin III respectively, and so, erroneously, Simon de Brion became Pope Martin IV
  • ... That there are 80 Popes who are saints, 10 Popes are blessed, 1 Venerable and 3 Servants of God

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