Portal:Pope/Intro

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The pope is the spiritual leader of the Catholic Church and the absolute monarch of Vatican City. He is believed by Catholics to fulfill this role as the successor of Saint Peter, and as Vicar of Christ. The office of the pope is called the papacy; his ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sedes) or Apostolic See (this latter, on the basis that both Saints Peter and Paul were martyred at Rome). Early bishops occupying the See of Rome were designated Vicar of Peter; for later popes the more authoritative Vicar of Christ was substituted; this designation was first used by the Roman Synod of 495 to refer to Pope Gelasius I, an advocate of papal supremacy among the patriarchs. Marcellinus (d. 304) is the first Bishop of Rome whom sources show used the title of pope. In the 11th century, after the East-West Schism, Pope Gregory VII declared the term "pope" to be reserved for the Bishop of Rome. The current (266th) pope is Francis, elected on 13 March 2013 in a papal conclave.

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