1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Pope

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27975741911 Encyclopædia Britannica, Volume 22 — PopeAuguste Boudinhon

POPE (Gr. πάππας, post-classical Lat. papa, father), an ecclesiastical title now used exclusively to designate the head of the Roman Catholic Church. In the 4th and 5th
centunes it was frequently used in the West of any bishop (Du Cange, s.v.); but it gradually came to be Names and Titles. reserved to the bishop of Rome, becoming his official title. In the East, on the other hand, only the bishop of Alexandria seems to have used it as a title; but as a popular term it was applied to priests, and at the present day, in the Greek Church and in Russia, all the priests are called pappas, which is also translated “ pope.” Even in the case of the sovereign pontiff the word pope is officially only used as a less solemn style: though the ordinary signature and heading of briefs is, e.g. “ Pius P.P.X.,” the signature of bulls is “ Pius episcopus ecclesiae cathaticae,” and the heading, “Pius episcopus, servus servorum Dei,” this latter formula going back to the time of St Gregory the Great. Other styles met with in official documents are Pontifex, Summus pontifex, Romanus pontifex, Sanctissimus, Sanctissimus pater, Sanctissimus dominus noster, Sanctitas sua, Beatissimus pater, Beatitudo sua; while the pope is addressed in speaking as “Sanctitas vestra," or “Beatissime pater.” In the middle ages is also found “Dominus apostolicus” (cf. still, in the litanies of the saints), or simply “Apostolicus.”

The pope is pre-eminently, as successor of St Peter, bishop of Rome. Writers are fond of viewing him as representing all the degrees of the ecclesiastical hierarchy; they say that he is bishop of Rome, metropolitan of the Roman province, primate of Italy, patriarch of the Various Degrees of Jurisdiction. western Church and head of the universal Church. This is strictly correct, but, with the exception of the first and last, these titles are seldom to be found in documents. And if these terms were intended to indicate so many degrees in the exercise of jurisdiction they would not be correct. As a matter of fact. from the earliest centuries (cf. can. 6 of Nicaea, in 325), we see that the popes exercised a special metropolitan jurisdiction not only over the bishops nearest to Rome, the future cardinal bishops, but also over all those of central and southern Italy, including Sicily (cf. Duchesne, Origines du culte, ch. 1), all of whom received their ordination at his hands. Northern Italy and the rest of the western Church, still more the eastern Church, did not depend upon him so closely for their administration. His influence was exercised, however, not only in dogmatic questions but in matters of discipline, by means of appeals, petitions and consultations, not to mention spontaneous intervention. This state of affairs was defined and developed in the course of centuries, till it produced the present state of centralization, according to a law which can equally be observed in other societies. In practice the different degrees of jurisdiction, as represented in the pope, are of no importance: he is bishop of Rome and governs his diocese by direct episcopal authority; he is also the head of the Church, and in this capacity governs all the dioceses, though the regular authority of each bishop in his own diocese is also ordinary and immediate, i.e. he is not a mere vicar of the pope.

But the mode of exercise of a power and its intensity are subject to variation, while the power remains essentially the same. This is the case with the power of the pope and his primacy, the exercise and manifestation of which have been continually developing. This primacy, a Primacy. primacy of honour and jurisdiction, involving the plenitude of power over the teaching, the worship, the discipline and administration of the church, is received by the pope as part of the succession of St Peter, together with the episcopate of Rome. The whole episcopal body, with the pope at its head, should be considered as succeeding to the apostolic college, presided over by St Peter; and the head of it, now as then, as personally invested with all the powers enjoyed by the whole body, including the head. Hence the pope, as supreme in matters of doctrine, possesses the same authority and the same infallibility as the whole Church; as legislator and judge he possesses the same power as the episcopal body gathered around and with him in ecumenical council. Such are the two essential prerogatives of the papal primacy: infallibility in his supreme pronouncements in matters of doctrine (see Infallibility); and immediate and sovereign jurisdiction, under all its aspects, over all the pastors and the faithful. These two privileges, having been claimed and enjoyed by the popes in the course of centuries, were solemnly defined at the Vatican Council by the constitution “Pastor aeteruus” of the 18th of July 1870. The two principal passages in it are the following. (1) In the matter of jurisdiction: “ If any one say that the Roman Pontiff has an office merely of inspection and direction, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, not only in matters of faith and morals, but also as regards discipline and the government of the Church scattered throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal portion and not the plenitude of that supreme power; or that his power is not ordinary and immediate, as much over each and every church as over each and every pastor and believer: anathema sit.” (2) In the matter of infallibility: “ We decree that when the Roman Pontiff speaks ex cathedra, that is to say, when, in his capacity as Pastor and Doctor of all Christians he defines, in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority, a certain doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole Church, he enjoys, by the divine assistance promised to him in the Blessed Peter, that infallibility with which the divine Redeemer has thought good to endow His Church in order to define its doctrine in matters of faith and morals; consequently, these definitions of the Roman Pontiff are irreformable in themselves and not in consequence of the consent of the Church.”

For the history of the papacy, and associated questions, see Papacy, Conclave, Curia Romana, Cardinal, &c.

The ordinary costume of the pope is similar to that of the other clergy and bishops, but white in colour; his shoes alone are different, being low open shoes, red in colour, with a cross embroidered on the front; these are what are called the “ mules,” a substitute for the compagi of ancient times, formerly reserved to the pope and his clergy (cf. Duchesne, op. cit. ch. 11, 6). Over this costume the pope wears, on less solemn occasions, the lace rochet and the red mozetta, bordered with ermine, or the camauro, similar to the mozetta, but with the addition of a hood, and over all the stole embroidered with his arms. The pope's liturgical costume consists, in the first place, of all the elements comprising that of the bishops: stockings and sandals, amice, alb, cincture, tunicle and dalmatic, stole, ring, gloves, chasuble or cope, the latter, however, with a morse ornamented with precious stones, and for head-dress the mitre (see Vestments). The tiara (q.v.), the pontifical head-dress, is not used strictly speaking in the course of the liturgical functions, but only for processions. To these vestments or insignia the pope adds: the falda, a kind of long skirt trailing on the ground all round, which the chaplains hold up while he is walking. Over the chasuble he wears the fanone (see Amice); and after that the pallium (q.v.). He is preceded by the papal cross, carried with the crucifix turned towards him. When going to solemn ceremonies he is carried on the sedia, a portable chair of red velvet with a high back, and escorted by two flabelli of peacock feathers. The papal mass, now rarely celebrated, has preserved more faithfully the ancient liturgical usages of the 8th and 9th centuries.

Bibliography.—Bellarmine, De romana pontifice; Wilmers, De christi ecclesia (Regensburg, 1897); Turmel, Histoire de la théologie positive, vol. ii. (Paris, 1906); Hinschius, Kirchenrecht, vol. i. (Berlin, 1869): Rudolph Sohm, Kirchenrecht (1892); Duchesne, Les Origines du culte chrétien (4th ed., Paris, 1908); Bouix, De papa (Paris, 1869); Vacant, Études théologiques sur les constitutions du concile du Vatican (Paris, 1895); Barbier de Montault, Le Costume et les usages ecclésiastiques (Paris, 1897).  (A. Bo.*)