Talk:Pope/Archive 3

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Archive 1 Archive 2 Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5


In reference to the part about 'petra' and 'petro': It seems a bit anti-Catholic to include the Protestant hate lore (but see why is that the case)and then immediately the scholars who completely discredit it...should we start including every discredited slant that a politician throws at another in the page of the slanted politician? Besides that entire research smells of certain Protestants/Evangelicals doing the research solely with the purpose of discrediting Roman Catholicism. And we all know how thorough and accurate research is when it has a predetermined conclusion!

I can't tell for sure when you wrote this objection, or who you are, because it is not signed. So it is possible that you had the article before you in a form different from what is right now, perhaps a less fair form. My goal is not to argue the issue of exactly to what the words petro, petra, Rock, Peter, and Kepha may refer. But it does not seem that the accusation that this is 'hate lore' is true. This petro/petra distinction is a grammatically based argument cited by a significant body of religious study. Likewise, the pro-Catholic perspective on this grammar is included. The Wikipedia article is not arguing for or against any particular view of verse, but merely presenting both Catholic and Protestant views, without commentary. It is not Wikipedia's goal to judge which arguments smell of certain Protestants, or which arguments smell of Catholic views. In particular, when Wikipedia is presenting religious issues, the idea of eliminating research conducted with a predetermined conclusion would be well-nigh impossible, as it is extremely difficult to fairly judge the intent of the (presumably unknown) persons who first 'discovered' the petro/petra argument, or of those who 'discovered' the Aramaic argument. I hope this clears things up for you. Mitchell Powell (talk) 05:46, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Protestant cartoons against the Popes

It is better to rename this article as 'Protestant cartoons against the Popes'; because it is a protestant propaganda. It do not describe the Pope as understood by Catholics. If your policy allows to show cartoons like this against everybody, soon all articles in wikipedia will be contaminated by items of such hate campaings.

Conspiracy against Catholic Church; Violates Wikipedia policies

As the whole world knows, 'Pope' explained in this article is the leader of the Catholic Church. You take any single pope (eg: John Paul II), you have kilometers of great things of importance to write about Papacy. When all such good things of recent past are omited, why do you show the protestant propaganda against the Pope that dates back to atleast 500 years? In that case, better rename the article as 'Protestant opinion about some Popes'. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:30, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

Inconsistency of length

List of popes by length of reign gives a different length of reign for Pope John Paul I and his own wikipage says something slightly different. I am not sure which is right, depending on how days are counted, but it needs to get corrected to all be consistent. History2007 (talk) 11:50, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

His reigning dates (26 August - 28 September 1978), are consistent in both articles. According to my calculations, his reign was 34 days, both dates inclusive. 28 September is 33 days later than 26 August, so I corrected the sentence to read that he "reigned as Pope of the Roman Catholic Church and as Sovereign of Vatican City from 26 August 1978 until his death 33 days later".

P/S: IMO, this talk page isn't the best place to raise this issue, since the inconsistency does not appear on the page. The talk page of Pope John Paul I would be a better place for this discussion. --Joshua Say "hi" to me!What I've done? 14:46, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Once there is an inconsistency, it is not clear which page it is on. So until you checked it, it was not clear which was right. Anyway, talkpages are for talking. History2007 (talk) 17:34, 7 January 2009 (UTC)

Wrong Article

This gives a wrong notion that only the Catholic head is known by the title "Pope". I would like to point out here that both the Patriarchs of the Orthodox church in Alexandria (Coptic Orthodox Church and Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria) is also known by the title "Pope". Infact, the patrairch of Alexandria took the title of "Pope" prior to his equallent in Rome in the Undivided Universal Church. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Alexyalex (talkcontribs) 16:58, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

The top of the article gives a link to a pope disambiguation page where you can visit the pages for the other popes. It works this way because the Catholic pope is most likely what a person is searching for. And of course, if that's not what they're looking for, the handy link is there. Farsight001 (talk) 22:26, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

Criticism of Papal Policy

Why isn't there a section on Papal policy? Such as Pope John Paul II (I thin it was him, some one correct me otherwise) saying that HIV happens because of evil, and that condoms are not necessary to combat AIDS in Africa.Children of the dragon (talk) 08:48, 4 February 2009 (UTC)

Pope_John_Paul_II#Criticism Gavin (talk) 09:41, 4 February 2009 (UTC)
Oh okay thanks :)Children of the dragon (talk) 01:31, 22 February 2009 (UTC)


The Early Christianity section should have some reference to the Epistle of Clement (c. 95 AD) in which Clement (traditionally the fourth Pope) is already writing with some apparent authority to a church in Greece. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

The wikilink to Epistles of Clement in the article's statement, "in the last years of the first century AD the Church in Rome intervened in the affairs of the Christian Church in Corinth to help solve their internal disputes" is perhaps enough. Lima (talk) 05:37, 8 March 2009 (UTC)

Objections to Papacy section (3-19-09)

I added the following to the Objections to Papacy section:

Many Protestant groups cite Biblical verses as evidence against Petrine Supremacy and the Papacy. Many Protestants point out that Matthew 16:16-18 use two different forms of the word translated "rock." The Greek passage uses the masculine form "Petros" and the feminine form "petra." Protestant apologists sometimes claim that the "rock" on which the Church is built is not Peter, since Peter is "Petros," but Peter's confession that Jesus is the Christ. [1] Catholic apologists counter that since "Petros" and "petra" have the same root, the two words simply reflect their grammatical placement in the sentence and still refer to Peter, and note that the grammatical distinction doesn't exist in Aramaic.[2]

Protestant apologists also cite sections of the New Testament (for example, James' apparent leadership role among the early apostles as recorded in Acts 15:19, Paul's rebuke of Peter in Galatians 2:11) that they say cast doubt on Peter's leadership role in the early Church as proof that the Papacy did not exist in Biblical times. Catholic apologists cite passages such as John 21:15-19 as proof that Peter exercised pastoral authority over the other apostles.

I added these paragraphs because the previous section simply didn't do justice to the Scriptural basis for common Protestant objections to the Papacy; at best, it described the objections in abstract terms. This section flushes out Protestant objections without, I hope, being verbose or biased towards any one side. I do realize, of course, that to many Catholics, Protestants are heretics who can only be saved if God judges us to be too mentally defective to understand Catholic doctrine, and that the thoughts of the "invincibly ignorant" do not merit mention in an article devoted to God's chosen, anointed regent on Earth. Be that as it may, the summation of the error of the "invincibly ignorant" should be accurate.--ManicBrit (talk) 01:29, 20 March 2009 (UTC)

This is much better than what was here before. Cursorily, the first paragraph looks fine to me. The second needs to be cited, though. And please remember to post new threads at the bottom of pages. )carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 03:31, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I've heard the Petros/Petra thing before but is the way he has presented it the true form of the objection? I refuse to believe that there are no Protestant Greek Scholars! Gavin (talk) 04:23, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I've got a few problems. For one, your protestant cite is not a WP:RS as far as I can tell. Second, your Catholic source doesn't say what you suggest it says in the article. Third, your second paragraph is entirely without citation and gives an extremely overly simplistic explanation of the Catholic side of things. Lastly, I still say, with all the things the pope could be criticized for, stuff like this is minor. It seems to be WP:UNDUE to include it at all. Farsight001 (talk) 20:27, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I agree, Farsight, on your point about the Catholic source. And as for the Protestant one: I'd say it's possibly a RS. From WP:V, "Self-published material may, in some circumstances, be acceptable when produced by an established expert on the topic of the article whose work in the relevant field has previously been published by reliable third-party publications. However, caution should be exercised when using such sources: if the information in question is really worth reporting, someone else is likely to have done so." seems to be self-published material from a PhD in Classics, Robert Luginbill, who has been "published by reliable third-party publications". But then, we also have the caution immediately following that. Personally, I'm (weakly) ok with regarding it as a RS, though ManicBrit should be able to find something better. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:02, 20 March 2009 (UTC)
I've removed those things we clearly agree need be removed, though without prejudice to your choosing to remove the rest, if you still think ichthys is not a RS. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 18:29, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
I was going to suggest a rewrite for this section and was not surprised to find it was already being discussed. In the days since the discussions above, it appears someone has gone back and drastically editted the section with a Catholic apology. And that is all well and good (except for several needed citations). But it now essentially reads (if I may oversimplify): "Protestants challenge the translation of 'rock'", followed by several paragraphs which "prove" (that word is actually used) that these challenges are unfounded. Meanwhile, a source which "proves" the opposite may be found here. The source is probably not reliable in itself, but it does cite the majority of its sources, which are more reliable. Basically, I am asking someone (perhaps nonaffiliated with either church--come on, you atheists/agnostics lurking out there!) to look at both sides and present the merits of both arguments. I imagine there are enough of them to possibly make a separate page out of them, so that only a 1-2 sentence summary followed by a link appears on this page. Clayt85 (talk) 14:36, 17 July 2009 (UTC)

The article is not neutral.

There is astonishingly too much description given to a few sinful popes (with a lot of accusations against some of them coming from their political enemies of the time - the fact which is not mentioned too). At the same time, there is almost no mentioning about the vast majority of really religious and moral ones. This significantly distorts reader's perception. What would one say, if in the article about American Presidents someone would write that these were a sequence of slaveowners, principless men (e.g. Lincoln said that if preservation of slavery keeps the Union he was for it, if Abolition preserves it he was for it), who dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, cheated their wives with White House interns, forged evidence to invade other countries, made coups and terrorist plots against other leaders etc? There is much more documented evidence of such behavior, and the number of presidents is only 44, not 265. So the proportion of wrong-doers among them would be much higher. But compared to this article about Popes the article about Presidents is much more well rounded. So, to conclude, please try to be objective in your articles. Even "nothing but the truth" would not suffice. "The whole truth" is much more desirable. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Vox Veritatae (talkcontribs) 08:16, 26 March 2009 (UTC)

I agree. There is also some pro-catholic content inside the article that does not come out very objectively.

"The Pope's claim of being the Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church is recognized as dogmatic and not considered open to debate within the Roman Church (however, like all teachings of the Catholic Church, the Church encourages its members to ask questions about any aspects that they do not fully understand and learn about their faith)."

The text in braces contradicts with the text before. Pope cannot be questioned, but Church encourages to question it. Also talking about "understanding your faith" sounds more like scientology member talking. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 09:33, 31 July 2009 (UTC)

add to titles

the article needs to add to the pope's titles pontifex maximus, the name of the old roman high priest job... which is officially part of the pope's titles, etc... AND perhaps discuss also the difference between the black pope, (regular) pope and high and low popes and GM of the PS... hilo role yoown (talk) 18:24, 12 October 2009 (UTC)

There is a mistake two paragraphs up from Death, the sentence starting "Secevacantists are considered to be"; Secevacantists should be Sedevacantists. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:18, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

Done. Thanks for your observation. --Morenooso (talk) 17:18, 19 April 2010 (UTC)

The Separate offices, within the same individual should be noted

Perhaps this should be explained somewhere in the article- that though it is all the same individual there are truly three separate offices confided upon the same person, when one becomes "Pope". Maybe something similar, as follows:

Pope, and the separate Authorities confided upon the same individual
The office of Pope is actually one of three separate authorities presided to one individual. He is the local Bishop of the Latin Rite diocese(local) of Rome, the Patriarch of the Western or Latin (a.k.a. Roman) Catholic Church, and as well as the universal Minister to the entire Catholic Church, the Pope. As Pope, he functions as a unifying figure doctrinally, however liturgically he can not change customary (Ritual) variances not under his domain- Eastern Rite liturgies, and extremely rarely gets involved in the affairs of particular churches under the jurisdiction of a local Bishop's diocese even within his Latin(Western) Patriarchate.Micael (talk) 21:29, 11 April 2009 (UTC)

As an Eastern Catholic, I have to concur with Micael. Eastern Catholics are NOT Roman Catholics. The term Roman Catholic does not apply to the whole of the Catholic Church. Thus, it is inacurate to say that the pope is head of only the Roman Catholic Church.EastmeetsWest (talk) 22:08, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Separate authorities confided in the same office. We should probably remove the Roman from the title because, while when people say it they usually mean the entire Church (East and West), it does mean the Latin Rite. The Office of Bishop of Rome has three authorities Particular Episcopal jurisdiction over the Diocese (and Archdiocese of Rome), Patriarchy of the West, Supreme Head with absolute authority over the entire Church. - Gavin (talk) 23:06, 14 April 2009 (UTC)
I'm sure it can't be correct Catholic doctrine to say the Pope can't change Eastern liturgies, though of course he customarily doesn't & it might be politically inadvisable for him to do so. Peter jackson (talk) 11:29, 22 April 2009 (UTC)
The Bishop of Rome as successor of St. Peter exercises "full, supreme and universal power" over the Church. He can change the liturgies of any rite. As a ref, try looking at this Vatican document or Lumen Genitum. Michael is wrong, the Pope's jurisdiction is universal over the entire Church. Gavin (talk) 15:20, 22 April 2009 (UTC)

Third Paragraph error

The statament: After the conversion of the Roman Empire, the pope's secular ally was the Roman Emperor. Is an outright error, first the Pope was never an Emperor of anything. Second, the Roman Empire was divided in two East/West, by Constantine where he essentially moved the capitol to Byzantium/Constantinople and Rome's infuluence was diminished since the 4th century regardless of any "conversions". Additonally, the power of the City of Rome(Western Empire) also declined with the take over of the Vandals and others. Popes had significant influence, but never had direct Emperoristic powers aside from their monarchal-secular power over the Papal States of which I would never consider an "Empire"Micael (talk) 09:23, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

That's all well and good, but "After the conversion of the Roman Empire, the pope's secular ally was the Roman Emperor", in no way suggests that the Pope was ever an Emperor of anything. You're arguing over nothing. Additionally, according to our own templates, the empire was not divided until 395, about 80 years after Constantine's conversion. Changing "Roman Empire" to "Western Roman Empire" would thus be inappropriate. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 09:33, 15 April 2009 (UTC)
Division of the Empire is a somewhat arbitrary concept. Officially, the 2 emperors remained joint sovereigns of the whole Empire until 476, after which the Byzantine emperors were legally sovereigns of the whole Empire until 797. Peter jackson (talk) 10:24, 23 April 2009 (UTC)

King of Bosnia?

According to the Wiki page on Queen Katarina, the last Queen of Bosnia, she left her kingdom to the Holy See in her will. Does this mean that the Pope has some sort of claim on modern day Bosnia-Hercegovina? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:15, 30 May 2009 (UTC)

Bosnia as far as I can tell is currently a federal democratic republic, and has no king. In addition, the only land currently claimed by the Vatican is the Holy See. Although many lands have passed in and out of the hands of the papacy over time, currently only a small section of Rome is centrally owned by the church. If the Pope has any sort of claim to Bosnia, he certainly hasn't spoken up about it, and Bosnia doesn't recognize it. Hope that helps. Mitchell Powell (talk) 05:58, 7 November 2009 (UTC)

Bosnia has not had a Bosnian sovereign since Katarina. It would be interesting to know what the Pope after her death did with his new title, whether he ever tried to establish any sort of sovereignty —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:22, 20 February 2010 (UTC)

Pope's Authority

We have a article at | Bible Group Pickings that we would like to include on this website. Alan A. Zucker (talk) 10:09, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

I think that would be alright, Alan. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 18:11, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Comments on "Imperial capitals"

I did a partial rewrite on the Imperial capitals: Rome and Constantinople section and wanted to explain myself. The section as written was not very neutral and the history was a bit inaccurate. Specifically:

  • The first council of Nicea neither unified Christianity nor did it establish papal primacy in a way that was agreed upon by even the major bishops within the Church. Aside from the question of papal primacy, the Nicean council exposed huge divisions in the Church which raged throughout the 4th century. These questions were not at all settled after the 4th century. The only thing that was settled in the 4th century was which version of Christianity the emperors supported. This version of Christianity, what today we call orthodoxy, would not really come to dominate the Christian world until at least the arrival of Islam which converted much of the non-orthodox faithful in the former provinces of the Empire. Even today many of the churches that were not in communion with Rome and Constantinople still exist although their numbers have dwindled through the millenia.
  • The comments on the Bishop of Constantinople asserting pre-eminence when Constantinople became the capital is phrased in a slightly misleading way. It sounds like Rome had been the center of Christianity and Constantinople started taking that away. The reality is that, although Rome had been established as the honorary head, Alexandria and Antioch had long been the centers of Christian scholarship. Certainly the Bishop of Constantinople was stealing status from the Pope but much of the prestige he gained did not come from the Pope.
  • The comment on the Council of Constantinople not being held in Rome seems to imply that other councils were being held in Rome. The reality, of course, is that the councils were being held in the East because that was where the majority of Christians were. It is misleading to suggest otherwise.

Please feel free to revise as you see fit.

--Mcorazao (talk) 04:17, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

I'm sorry, but some phrases seem to express a POV, in particular: "an official imperial Christian church with Rome as its honorary head was established". The suggestion, admittedly based on the Chalcedon dispute, that Rome and Constantinople formed a solid bloc faced by an opposite bloc of Alexandria and Antioch ignores facts such as the upholding by Rome and Alexandria (and to a less extent Antioch) of the three Petrine sees, against the Constantinopolitan theory of the Pentarchy. Lima (talk) 06:46, 2 July 2009 (UTC)

Shortest terms of Popes

I was going to edit this to note that John Paul I was Pope for only 33 days (tieing the 10th Pope on the list). I would appreciate it if this was added to this list (not only is the article protected -- but I wouldn't know how to add a 'tie' to a numbered list <~>. 10. John Paul I - 26 August 1978 28 Sept 1978 (33 days). Thanks —Preceding unsigned comment added by CRJ Ruder (talkcontribs) 00:04, 4 August 2009 (UTC)


My understanding was that PP. in the papal signature stood for Pastor pastorum ('Shepherd of shepherds'), not for Papa. My belief is shared by the page, PP#Religion.--Oxonian2006 (talk) 14:53, 29 September 2009 (UTC)

In reality it is just a mediaeval abbreviation used for "Papa" (though also for "Patres" (plural of "Pater") and "piissimus" (superlative of "pius")]; in the same period, D.N.PP. stood for "Dominus noster Papa" (our lord the Pope): see 1911 Encyclpaedia Britannica. See also Catholic Encyclopedia, article Ecclesiastical Abbreviations. "Pastor pastorum" is just one of the fanciful interpretations, like "Papa Pontifex", which ignore the fact that it isn't written "P.P.", but "PP." Lima (talk) 18:35, 29 September 2009 (UTC)`

jenna ♥ ryan —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:07, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

"Early Christian Church" and other bits estimated starting date

Is there any source claiming it could be as early as 30 C.E under "Early Christianity"? mentions only "first century" and doesn't cite any sources? Should this be changed to "(1st-2nd century)" or something similar, as these numbers just seem to be pulled out of the air.. (unless anyone knows of any reference)?

The generally accepted date for the crucifixion of Jesus is c. A.D. 30. Some give the date as A.D. 33, but "c. 30" has the advantage of being a figure that can be taken as rounded off to the nearest 0-year. Early Christianity or, if you prefer, the early Christian Church began soon after. Lima (talk) 13:47, 16 October 2009 (UTC)

Propose lifting of semi-protection

This page has been protected for almost two years. This is way longer than is appropriate. I propose to lift the semi-protection to see how bad the vandalism truly is. Any objections? --Richard (talk) 20:47, 20 October 2009 (UTC)

Anti-Catholic Bias

Is this not obvious? I love wikipedia and use it as a source for all my research, but this is the worst page I have ever seen and I am afraid it shows a clear anti-Catholic bias among the editors. There is really too much to try to correct in this article, however an easy solution would be to label this a protestant page and allow a pro-Catholic page on the doctrine and history of the papacy.

"Although Peter never bore the title of "Pope", which came into use much later, Catholics recognize him as the first Pope."

This is an facile, gratuitous jab at the papacy based on the assumption that there is something more to the title Pope than its definition. A Catholic, no, any reasonable person could understands that "Pope" is a later, formal derivation of "Father," (which original title Peter almost certainly did have) and that it is the Pope's office as "Bishop of Rome" that must be denied or argued against if one really wishes to discredit the Papacy, not an attempt to demonstrate how far back this Bishop's title of Pope goes. Catholics recognize Peter as the first Bishop of Rome, not Pope in spite of the fact he never bore the title of Pope, but only a Pope insofar as all Bishops of Rome we now call Pope.

I would go through this article line by line if i have to make my point, but I hope this is enough.-- (talk) 02:27, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

The although may be uncalled for; I will replace with a simple asyndeton.
But the historical claim is correct; the Catholic Encyclopedia of 1904 acknowledges that the only certainty about Peter's stay in Rome is that he was martyred there - and even that has been questioned. It is unproven that he was Bishop of Rome; there is not much evidence on the subject and all of it is consistent with his having ordered Rome as chief of the Apostles. Even if he were, the use of Papa for the Bishop of Rome is not attested until centuries later (which is the point of the sentence here questioned). Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:38, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I added to the history section based on research done over at the Catholic Church page. I do believe this page is a bit on the anti-Catholic side especially the section under Protestant denominations which says that present day Lutherans believe the Pope to be the Anti-Christ. I think this is in error and should be corrected with updated reliable references from modern scholars whose works are respected in the scholastic community. NancyHeise talk 16:52, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
What it says is that two specific denominations of Lutherans hold that; it should be clarified to make clear that this is one splinter and one statement from 1932 - it is unlikely, but not impossible, that the Missouri Synod still holds itself so bound. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:09, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
The real illogic is confusing denial of the claims of the See of Rome with denial of the Apostolic Succession; this is, if anything, anti-Protestant prejudice, since there are many Protestants who deny the former but not the latter. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:12, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Sorry, I think we edit conflicted, reposting - The article text is referenced to a .com, not a scholarly work. I think this is really too weak to support. I did some searching on Googlebooks and found this [1] which seems to argue against what the article text says that Lutherans believe. I'm not a Lutheran and I am really shocked to think that they could believe the Pope is the Anti-Christ - especially when my own personal religious experience led me to the Catholic Church specifically. But that's just me, perhaps God wants variety in worship and leads some people to Lutheranism but I doubt that hating Catholics is part of what makes him happy about Lutherans. NancyHeise talk 17:12, 12 November 2009 (UTC) is their own website. To what extent the documents posted on it are still the opinion of the Church would be interpretation of a primary source; but the primary source is in front of your eyes. 17:27, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Most Lutherans don't; the Confessional Lutherans are a small branch, who feel bound to everything Luther ever said. The article dates the Missouri Synod action to 1932, a long time ago; asserting that they still believe this requires a secondary source.
However, it is clear that some Protestants do; Bob Jones University aroused a moderate scandal when they said so some years ago. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:18, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps instead of putting this under Protestantism, we could add a small subsection under this heading that addresses the history of Protestants calling the pope the Anti-Christ. There seem to be a number of good sources that address Luther's opinions that trickled down through the years and eventually were modified by some Lutheran council in the 1950's. That is an interesting history on the Protestant view of the papacy that would make the article accurate as well as interesting. I think the section should also mention the Lutheran/Catholic ecumenical discussions that came to some agreement under the papacy of John Paul II. NancyHeise talk 17:22, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Or we could leave it alone pending consultation of a secondary source. Everything it says is the case; if Lutherans have changed their minds since 1932, secondary sources will tell us. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 17:27, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
Here's a modern day secondary source that appears to conflict with article text - see page 95. [2]. NancyHeise talk 17:32, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • That's an expansive reading of a single sentence: "[Most] Lutherans say A" does not conflict with "Some Lutherans say B"; especially when (as p. 97 notes) the real case is: "Most Lutherans don't care" about primacy.
  • This is the problem with googling for the result you want; sit down and read through a book about twenty-first-century Lutheranism, and you may find something useful. 19:41, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Another reason this sentence is being over-read: It is by its terms a contrast between the blessing of Peter ("the Petrine supremacy"), and Leo X ("the historic papacy" known to the Reformers). Where do Lutherans draw the line between them? Peter? Linus? Gregory I? Gregory VII? Alexander VIII? This sentence does not say - any answer is something Nancy is reading in. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 20:34, 12 November 2009 (UTC)
I think, based on page 95 of this source,[3] that the article presently violates WP:undue in giving so much space to a belief held by so few, even what may be considered a fringe view of a fringe group of Lutherans. I think it would be enough to say that in the past, Lutherans held this view but it has since been downplayed by that religious denomination except for a small group of them who still hold to the belief. The section should also add information about present day Lutheran/Catholic dialogue and signed ecumenical agreements between them. NancyHeise talk 02:42, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
What part of Today most Lutherans are still indifferent to the question of Roman primacy (same source, p. 97) did you fail to understand? Septentrionalis PMAnderson 03:17, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
  • It may well be, by the same token, that the text of the Missouri synod does not need to be quoted; we do, after all, link to it. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 15:47, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
The statement that the Pope is the Antichrist is found in the 1648 Westminster Confession, the traditional basis of Presbyterianism. I dare say many Presbyterian churches have either quietly forgotten about this or explicitly renounced it, as the Church of Scotland did in 1976. Peter jackson (talk) 11:54, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Perhaps a subarticle is in order, together with secondary sources to confirm your last sentence which seems wholly plausible. Augustus de Morgan shows that beasting the Pope was still a popular indoor sport in the nineteenth century, but surely it was already beginning to be quietly forgotten. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:22, 16 November 2009 (UTC)


What is the role of the Pope in the church? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:19, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

He runs it. Gavin (talk) 13:37, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

History section

Some notes,

  • I noticed the history section is not well referenced.
  • There are some refs to encyclopedia's and zero variety of scholarly views.
  • I added Eamon Duffy's Saints and Sinners and Thomas Bokenkotter's A Concise History of the Catholic Church as well as other sources to the bibliography because I improved the history section at the top of the page on the origins of the papacy.
  • There is are several unreferenced paragraphs in the history of the papacy below this section.
  • The sections below that that are referenced are only sourced to one book and a couple of encyclopedia's. We aren't allowed to ref encyclopedias, we need sources that meet WP:reliable source examples

NancyHeise talk 17:29, 12 November 2009 (UTC)

References are really important, but I think referencing encyclopedias is OK. If you can find something in wp:rs or wp:v that says encyclopedias are off limits, I'd be grateful if you shared. Leadwind (talk) 04:14, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
Read about halfway down this section [4]. There are more reliable sources than a general encyclopedia. Especially if a section is unsigned, it can not be used. NancyHeise talk 03:56, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
I didn't find your "cannot be used" ruling. I only found this: "General encyclopedias, like the Encyclopedia Britannica or Encarta, sometimes have authoritative signed articles written by specialists and including references. However, unsigned entries are written in batches by freelancers and must be used with caution." So let's use them with caution. Leadwind (talk) 03:16, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

Presenting opinion as fact.

I edited the third paragraph of the History section, which was implying that the views of O'Grady on the history of the papacy were universally acknowledged fact, which they are not. Someone reverted this, and I have replaced it. The original paragraph read:

Various Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of the local church. Eventually this evolved into a monarchical episcopacy in certain cities.[14] The monarchical episcopacy probably developed in other churches in Christianity before it took shape in Rome. For example, it has been conjectured that Antioch may have been one of the first Christian communities to have adopted such a structure.[14] The emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not arise until the middle of the second century. Linus, Cletus and Clement were probably prominent presbyter-bishops but not necessarily monarchical bishops.[13]

The Paragraph as I amended it, (retaining the refs) is

Various Christian communities would have had a group of presbyter-bishops functioning as leaders of the local church. Eventually this evolved into a monarchical episcopacy in certain cities.(ref name="O'Grady 140")O'Grady, John. The Roman Catholic church: its origins and nature. p. 140. (/ref) Some historians consider that the monarchical episcopacy probably developed in other churches in Christianity before it took shape in Rome. For example, it has been conjectured that Antioch may have been one of the first Christian communities to have adopted such a structure.(ref name="O'Grady 140"/) In the opinion of such observers, the emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not arise until the middle of the second century. Linus, Cletus and Clement, who follow Peter in the established lists of the bishops of Rome may well have been prominent presbyter-bishops but not necessarily monarchical bishops.(ref name="O'Grady 146"/) "(ref)O'Grady(/ref) The organizational structure Catholic Church subsequently evolved into the present form of one bishop supported by a college of presbyters.(ref name="O'Grady 140"/)

My changes were mainly to make it clear that the views referenced to O'Grady were not facts as was being implied by the previous wording , but one school of opinion. Presenting that school of opinion as if it were universally acknowledged fact is misleading in the extreme. Therefore the prior wording had to be changed. Xandar 11:53, 13 November 2009 (UTC)

It is WP policy to report what reliable sources say. O'Grady is a reliable source and current (1997). The way to handle conflict is to stick to what the current scholars say. Find a current scholar who says that monarchical bishops ruled in Rome before c 150. Unless you can, WP policy is that we simply report what the experts say. If you can, then we can present the issue as an open question. Until then, we stick with what the current RSs say. Leadwind (talk) 15:09, 13 November 2009 (UTC)
We relate what reliable sources say, but we do not report opinions as facts, which is what has been done in this paragraph. The statements "The monarchical episcopacy probably developed in other churches in Christianity before it took shape in Rome." and "The emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not arise until the middle of the second century." are NOT FACTS, yet these controversial statements are reported in the paragraph, NOT as the opinions and conjectures of one Mr O'Grady, but, wrongly, as if they were facts or absolute consensus. You can have them in the article as the opinions of O'Grady, or of a group of scholars, but NOT as if this was uncontested fact. As has been discussed at length on the Catholic Church talk page, there are plenty of scholars who take a different view. Xandar 00:59, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
Yes, we humbly report what the reliable sources tell us, even if we disagree with them. If the RSs report that the episcopacy developed in the 100s, then that's what we report. What O'Grady says is not one man's opinion. It's the scholarly conclusion held by scholars outside the Catholic Church for over 100 years (see Harnack). They're not controversial statements. They're just statements that some people really strongly disagree with. But that's OK. Some people really strongly disagree with evolution, but it's not controversial. The experts determine what's controversial, not lowly editors like you and me. In my reading, experts largely agree with O'Grady. Leadwind (talk) 06:49, 14 November 2009 (UTC)
I strongly disagree. It definitely isn't the "scholarly consensus", and we can't place O'Grady's view in the article as if it were a fact or an unchallenged consensus view, when it in fact represents in many respects, such as the ones I highlight above, fringe scholarship and conjecture. To include a view as scholarly consensus there have to be virtually no significant scholars disagreeing, and we need very strong (and non-controversial) references that specifically state what such a consensus is, how strong it is and what exactly it supports. My changes to the paragraph more correctly state that the view expressed by O'Grady (and others) is their view, and not fact. Xandar 23:18, 14 November 2009 (UTC)

I think you're both right and both wrong....

Xandar is right that opinions should be presented as opinion and not as fact. Historians may believe something but a historian's view is still an opinion unless it is an established fact (e.g. JFK was assassinated on November 22, 1963). In fact, the standard for saying something is a consensus or mainstream view is quite high. You need a reliable source that says explicitly that it is the consensus view. If O'Grady's position is the consensus among non-Catholics, then we need to find a reliable source who says exactly that.

On the other hand, in order to call O'Grady's opinion into question as fringe or controversial, we do need a reliable source that opposes O'Grady's position. If this is not the consensus view, it should be easy to find a reliable source who states the consensus view. It would be helpful if Xandar would provide one.

--Richard S (talk) 00:22, 15 November 2009 (UTC)

    • the standard for saying something is a consensus or mainstream view is quite high. You need a reliable source that says explicitly that it is the consensus view. Like any other claim of fact in an article which is, or is likely to be, challenged; but as I write, the article does not make any such assertion. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 21:04, 15 November 2009 (UTC)
In the paragraphs in question above, two controversial points are presented as if they were facts on the basis of O'Grady's opinions. 1) "The monarchical episcopacy probably developed in other churches in Christianity before it took shape in Rome." and 2) "The emergence of a single bishop in Rome probably did not arise until the middle of the second century." A third point, which I balanced with a referenced opposing view had this removed by leadwind, namely 3) "The notion that Peter was the first bishop of Rome and founded the Christian church there can be traced back no earlier than the third century." This should only be done if what is claimed is incontroversially accepted as fact by the scholarly community. That is in my view clearly not so for any of these statements. All are clearly controversial, for they allege or strongly imply that the traditional narrative of the foundation of the Bishops of Rome and the papacy is false. O'Grady may make the allegation - and we may report him, if his view has significant backing, but we must not present it as if it were unchallenged fact.
In addition to the reference I placed on the article page, the article on Peter in the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church 1997 presents a differing view to O'Grady's:
Tradition connecting Peter with Rome is early and unrivalled. Against it can be placed only the silence of the NT, but even here Rom 15 20-2 may point to the presence of another Apostle in Rome before Paul wrote, and the identification of 'Babylon' in 1 Pet. 5:13 with Rome seems highly probable. Clement of Rome (1 Clem 5) conjoins Peter and Paul as the outstanding heroes of the faith, and probably implies that Peter suffered martyrdom. St Ignatius quotes words (Rom 4:2) which suggest that Peter and Paul were the Apostles of special authority for the Roman Church, and St Irenaeus (Ad. Haer. 3.1.2., 3.3.1) states definitely that they founded the Church and instituted its episcopal succession. Other early witnesses to the tradition are Gaius of Rome and Dionysius of Corinth. ... There are historical grounds for believing that the tomb in St Peter's, Rome, is authentic.
Here is John Vidmar: "Vidmar, John p.39 "Tradition and considerable evidence has it that the apostles became heads of local churches: James the Great and James the Less in Jerusalem, John in Antioch, Mark in Alexandria, Peter and Paul in Rome. Their authority was then passed on to successors. This is referred to as "apostolic succession." Clement, in 95 AD, wrote to the Corinthians that the bishops were the successors to the apostles, who were the successors to Christ. Irenaeus and Tertullian both mentioned lists of bishops who succeeded Peter and Paul in Rome, though the lists are slightly different..." p. 39-40 "Both Catholic and Protestant scholars agree that Peter had an authority that superceded that of the other apostles. Peter is their spokesman at several events, he conducts the election of Matthias, his opinion in the debate over converting Gentiles was crucial, etc. The evidence that Peter was "bishop" of Rome is corroborated by both positive and "negative" evidence. Positively, Clement's letter to the Corinthians situates Peter in Rome by mentioning his death there. Ignatius of Antioch writes to the Romans and says, "I do not command you as Peter and Paul did." The lists of Roman bishops given by Irenaeus and Tertullian support this, as does the honor given Peter's supposed burial place on Vatican Hill. Historians cite negative evidence as well, namely that there is no rival tradition. No other city claims Peter as its bishop except Antioch, and even it conceded that Peter had moved on to Rome." p. 40-41 "Several pieces of evidence indicate that the Bishop of Rome even after Peter held some sort of preeminence among other bishops. (author provides long list of quotes from original documents) ... None of these examples, taken by themselves, would be sufficient to prove the primacy of the successors of Peter and Paul. Taken together, however, they point to a Roman authority which was recognized in the early church as going beyond that of other churches. "
Professor Thomas Noble: Western Civilization. page 196 "According to a reliable tradition, he (Peter) went to Rome, whose church he headed and where he died as a martyr in AD 64 page 213 "From its earliest days, the Christian community had espoused the doctrine of apostolic succession. In other words, just as Jesus had charged his apostles with continuing his earthly ministry, that ministry was passed on to succeeding generations of Christian bishops and priests through the ceremony of ordination. When one or more bishops laid their hands on the head of a new priest or bishop, they were continuing an unbroken line of clerics that reached back through the apostles to Jesus himself. ... The theory of "Petrine Primacy" was based on Matthew's Gospel (16:16-18), where Jesus founded his church on Peter, "the Rock," and conferred upon him the keys to the kingdom of heaven." Xandar 04:05, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
  • Let's see: The first paragraph here asserts that Peter was martyred in Rome, which our article does not deny. Septentrionalis PMAnderson 04:18, 16 November 2009 (UTC)
WP:DUE gives guidance on such questions. You find out the mainstream view by consulting the standard reference texts in the field. The Cambridge History of Christianity & the Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church both support the O'Grady view above. Any others?
Then, you determine whether other views are significant by asking whether they have prominent proponents. Of course there's no definition of prominent. Peter jackson (talk) 11:36, 17 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. And I disagree that the Oxford Dixctionary of the Christian Church and Oxford History of Christianity do support O'Grady's view as expressed in the article text. Xandar 00:01, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Is it just me or is the first part of the history section trying to force over a point of view concerning the development of the episcopacy of Rome? The point perhaps being a theological one rather than historical...Gavin (talk) 05:08, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
To respond to PManderson's statement "asserts that Peter was martyred in Rome, which our article does not deny". The article did deny that the belief in Peter's presence in Rome existed before the third century- clearly this is not the case as shown by original sources and all three of the quotes Xander gave. The history section gave the impression that Peter's presence in Rome was an invention, but the sources given by Xander clearly show that isn't the consensus of Historical opinion. Also who is this O'Grady? From what I can gather he is a Vatican journalist and not even a historian... I now note that was Desmond O'Grady, this is John O'Grady- who is no less shady by the way even though he is a Catholic author published by a Catholic house. Gavin (talk) 05:29, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Cambridge History of Christianity, volume 1, 2006, page 405: "... Victor ... the lists of bishops guaranteeing apostolic authority seem to have been constructed in the same period."
page 417: "The general consensus among scholars has been that, at the turn of the first and second centuries, local congregations were led by bishops and presbyters whose offices were overlapping or indistinguishable."
page 418: "Probably there was no single 'monarchical' bishop in Rome before the middle of the second century ... and likely later."
Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, 1997 edition revised 2005, page 211: "It seems that at first the terms 'episcopos' and 'presbyter' were used interchangeably ..."
Peter jackson (talk) 11:01, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
O'Grady is probably right on the issue of monarchcal bishops- but was Peter in Rome and did people regard him as a bishop of that community before the 300s? The answer is yes. Gavin (talk) 13:42, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Certainly they did. Pope Stephen in the middle of the 3rd century claimed to be the successor of Peter. (Perhaps he could be considered the 1st Pope.) Peter jackson (talk) 16:37, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Irenaeus would disagree with you. Pope Stephen was not the first to make that claim, all of them claimed it. Stephen was the firsts to use the "on this Rock" argument from Scripture though. Either way it doesn't change from the fact that the article presented something as fact that wasn't true- that belief in Peter's residence in Rome was invented in the third century. Clement, Ignatius and Irenaeus all disprove that. Gavin (talk) 18:18, 18 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed. the issue of whether bishops were "monarchical" or whether bishops and presbyters sometimes overlapped are not central to the issue. The article has used suppositions and selective quotation of facts to imply strongly that a Petrine origin for the papacy is a fabrication with no basis or support - which is not the case. We can explain alternate views, but AS alternate views. Xandar 01:39, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I think it is probably right to note that the bishop of Rome probably did not have the monarchical authority of his contemporaries for a long time- though it should be noted that the term "monarchical bishop" is used by historians to usually refer to Medieval bishops post Investiture Crisis. Gavin (talk) 02:12, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
I am puzzled about the origin of the opinion that historians usually employ the term "monarchical bishop" to refer to mediaeval bishops. While I can think of no instance of its use to refer to mediaeval bishops, its use with regard to the first century or so of Christianity is widespread. Take the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia. Or take Earle E. Cairns, Christianity throughout the Centuries: A History of the Christian Church or The Cambridge Ancient History or ... or ... Lima (talk) 07:42, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Irenaeus simply says the Roman church was founded by Peter and Paul. He doesn't say anything about it being the head of the Church. Ignatius talks of Rome as head of the church, in some sense, but doesn't mention a bishop. But Gavin is obviously correct in rejecting the idea (whose? is this part of the da Vinci con?) that Peter's presence in Rome was a 3rd century invention. Peter jackson (talk) 11:23, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Just a note, I got the monarchical thing wrong- one of the problems with studying Patristics and Medieval Church at the same time!!! Irenaeus says that Peter was the first Bishop of Rome, Clement and Ignatius say that he was present in Rome. The importance of these sources is not to show whether or not Peter was the bishop- that can never be proven, the point is to demonstrate that the idea that Peter was in Rome pre-dates the 3rd century. In response to Peter's question about whose view that is, the answer is apparantly O'Grady, and some others. Gavin (talk) 15:58, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Irenaeus does not say Peter was the 1st bishop of Rome. He says Peter and Paul founded the Roman church & appointed Linus as bishop. Peter jackson (talk) 18:44, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Translation at [5]. Peter jackson (talk) 18:48, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
What Irenaeus says is that Peter and Paul "committed" to Linus the office of the Episcopate. In line of his succession he includes Peter, not Paul- Peter being seen as superior to Paul. What is meant by bishop in this period is "overseer", clearly in line with Clement and Ignatius' statement both Peter and Paul fulfilled this position. There is of course also the issue of Paul's death prior to Peter's, according to the historian Eusebius, it would have been Peter who conferred the episcopate. This is ofcourse a combination of sources but it still proves the original point- People believed Peter to be in Rome long before the 3rd century. Was he bishop? Probably, but not in the modern sense of a monarchical bishop. Does it matter to what is being discussed/ No! ("Says Pius X!) Gavin (talk) 19:08, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
In Catholic (and orthodox) teaching anyway, Apostles are de-facto bishops, being of intrinsically higher status than ordinary bishops. Bishops are the successors to the Apostles. Xandar 23:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)
Gavin, it simply does not say that. I invite everyone to read it & see for themselves. Nowhere does it say that the bishops of Rome were successors of Peter, not Paul. Peter jackson (talk) 14:37, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Not particularly relevant to the article Mr. Jackson, whether or not Peter was bishop is not the point of contention, that he was in Rome and founded the Church there is, the evidence clearly says he was there and did. As I said earlier there is no way of proving he was Bishop, however you cannot use ONE source as the hinge, a collection of sources show that the people believed he was the Bishop of Rome. As I have said, whether or not Peter was the bishop is not the point of this discussion. Some other sources for you: "[T]his is the way in which the apostolic churches transmit their lists: like the church of the Smyrneans, which records that Polycarp was placed there by John, like the church of the Romans, where Clement was ordained by Peter" (Demurrer Against the Heretics 32:2 [A.D. 200]). "Victor . . . was the thirteenth bishop of Rome from Peter" (The Little Labyrinth [A.D. 211], in Eusebius, Church History 5:28:3). Gavin (talk) 16:11, 20 November 2009 (UTC)
Most of this discussion isn't relevant to the article. I was simply responding to your claims about Irenaeus. I'm not surprised by those other sources saying that sort of thing not long after his time. Peter jackson (talk) 11:04, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
The problem with Irenaeus is we only have his list commentary courtesy of Eusebius, however other Christians at the time of Irenaeus or just after when discussing his list always discuss Peter's position as the first bishop, one of the great problems with Patristics is we don't have all the information but with what we do have it seems quite clear Irenaeus, or possibly someone else I suppose, was writing that Peter was the first bishop of Rome. Gavin (talk) 14:08, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
As I tried to make cear, I don't think anyone disputes that some sources were saying this by the early 3rd century, as cited above. Bear in mind, though, that Pope (the subject of the article) is a different concept from bishop of Rome, or even senior patriarch. Is there any source before Stephen that unambiguously says the Pope has primacy of jurisdiction over the universal church? Peter jackson (talk) 16:21, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
They were saying it in the 1st century! First of the issue is not whether they believed he had universal jurisdiction, that isn't relevant. The fact is they believed him to be in Rome and its bishop LONG before Stephen. The fact that the authority of the Bishop of Rome took time to develop doesn't mean anything theologically- it's like the Trinity, it would always have been true even if it took the Church centuries to define it. As for Peter's authority: Clement's letters to Corinth could show him exercising authority other sources, "Therefore shall you [Hermas] write two little books and send one to Clement and one to Grapte. Clement shall then send it to the cities abroad, because that is his duty" (The Shepherd 2:4:3 A.D. 80). "Ignatius . . . to the church also which holds the presidency, in the location of the country of the Romans, worthy of God, worthy of honor, worthy of blessing, worthy of praise, worthy of success, worthy of sanctification, and, because you hold the presidency in love, named after Christ and named after the Father...You [the church at Rome] have envied no one, but others you have taught. I desire only that what you have enjoined in your instructions may remain in force" (Letter to the Romans 1:1 A.D. 110). "For from the beginning it has been your custom to do good to all the brethren in various ways and to send contributions to all the churches in every city... This custom your blessed Bishop Soter has not only preserved, but is augmenting, by furnishing an abundance of supplies to the saints and by urging with consoling words, as a loving father his children, the brethren who are journeying" (Letter to Pope Soter in Eusebius, Church History 4:23:9 A.D. 170). Pope Victor certainly thought he had universal authority to establish the date of Easter, a point that Irenaeus actually asked him to allow for concessions on though. Gavin (talk) 16:46, 21 November 2009 (UTC)
"The fact that the authority of the Bishop of Rome took time to develop doesn't mean anything theologically- it's like the Trinity, it would always have been true even if it took the Church centuries to define it." Exactly, theologically. But the article can also look at that historical development. Peter jackson (talk) 16:52, 23 November 2009 (UTC)
The article does. Gavin (talk) 20:00, 23 November 2009 (UTC)

I see PMANderson and others keep removing the important and referenced balancing statement of historical support for Petrine foundation. Kindly stop doing this. This is important referenced information and needs to be present, so as not to present an entirely biased presentation. Xandar 02:35, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

X, please find a current source. The source you want to use to question mainstream scholarship is from 1962. I'd love to put in a balancing viewpoint that's scholarly and current. Leadwind (talk) 03:17, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
At what date does a source cease to be "current" in your opinion? 1862 might be a bit of a stretch, but 1962 is perfectly okay for a source. Xandar 03:54, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Leadwind, you are mistaken if you think after 40 years a source becomes "Outdated". If substantial new evidence emerges which revolutionises the field then you could argue the historical work X has ref'd is redundant. However, such a revolution has yet to take place in the field of patristics or early Church history. Not only that, but the view put forward by the source is largely the majority view of modern patristic scholars. Gavin (talk) 04:35, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
X, a non-mainstream source is current if it's at least as recent than the mainstream sources in use. If you have a minority-view source that's older than a mainstream source, it looks out of date. Leadwind (talk) 04:39, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Gavin, "the view put forward by the source is largely the majority view of modern patristic scholars." In that case, you don't need a source from 1962. Prove that most modern scholars agree with the 1962 source by citing them. Leadwind (talk) 05:07, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
I'll gather the necessary sources tomorrow HOWEVER that does not in any way detract from the fundamental truth that a 50 year old secondary source is still valuable in a field where there has been no major advancement, indeed in the question of studying Peter the only significant change we could discuss is the finding of his tomb in Rome... and that predates the book! Gavin (talk) 04:56, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
Just did a quick search of the Uni Library and limiting myself to your time-scale I have found a few "current" books. However, here is a little online-resource you may like to read, the Oxford Dictionary of Popes [Online] (If you can't reach it then it's because you need University access, in which case I can just quote the whole thing for you). The text seems quite good at illustrating a point I made earlier- we may never know whether or not Peter was "bishop" (in the monarchical sense) of Rome. The Oxford Dictionary says "Nothing, however, is known of their constitutional roles, least of all of Peter's as presumed leader of the community." This is ofcourse important to note, there is no definitive statement regarding Peter's constitutional role from pre-3rd century sources. However, that does not mean, nor should it ever be inferred from that, that Peter was never bishop of Rome. Indeed all the early Church evidence that we do have does point to Peter's role as a Church leader "Ignatius assumed that Peter and Paul wielded special authority over the Roman church, while Irenaeus claimed that they jointly founded it and inaugurated its succession of bishops." See for yourself the Patristic sources cited above. Was Peter in Rome? Almost certainly. Was Peter a leader of the Church Community there? Again that is almost certain too. Was Peter the bishop of Rome? This is inconclusive, different historians will arrive at different conclusions, however by tomorrow I hope to show that the majority viewpoint has always been and remains that he most likely was. Gavin (talk) 05:35, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

As a sign that I'm not merely one of these anti-Catholic editors, I've added a positive citation, that many scholars agree that Peter was martyred in Rome under Nero. Leadwind (talk) 15:09, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

I would think 95% of scholars agree that. The point is that scholars support the Petrine origins of the papacy - a point that has been covered over in this article. Xandar 15:43, 25 November 2009 (UTC)
I think we all assumed Good Faith that you were a constructive editor, though I still stress the validity of a 40 year old source in a field where nothing has changed...anyway, I have found about 10 books/articles which meet your citeria and shall be sifting through them for evidence later on. Gavin (talk) 15:45, 25 November 2009 (UTC)

nonscholarly web site

Lima has repeatedly added material sourced to a nonscholarly web site. Since that's against content guidelines, he should stop adding it. Lima, would you care to explain why this material would warrant an exception to WP:V? Specifically, any quotation from a guideline or policy page confirming the exception would be worthwhile. Leadwind (talk) 09:13, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

While I was at it, I removed a lot of other uncited or improperly cited information. I know that on a topic like this everyone wants to get their say, but we need to stick to WP guidelines and use legit RS's. FTR, I deleted information from various sides: Catholic, Protestant, and LDS. Leadwind (talk) 09:49, 28 November 2009 (UTC)

I think I understand the difference between a reliable and an unreliable website. I would trust a reliable website's quotation of a scholar, but I would like to doublecheck a quotation that an unreliable website gave from a scholar's work. I do not understand Leadwind's distinction between scholarly and non-scholarly websites. Maybe the term "scholarly website" would apply to little more than the very few websites of encyclopedias that exist; and I think that some that use the word "encyclopedia" in their title are of very doubtful reliability. Whatever about the qualification "scholarly", I would not hesitate to use the word "reliable" about the website of the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America with regard to what it says about the position of the Orthodox Church and its quotations from Orthodox scholars. What Wikipedia "content guideline" forbids us to quote that website? I know of none. WP:V says nothing about "scholarly websites" or "non-scholarly" ones. So I think Leadwind's exclusion of this site is unjustified. Is he right, and am I wrong?
I also think it is Leadwind who is acting against Wikipedia practice by removing material without first indicating, either on the Talk page or with a tag, what he finds wrong with it. Yes, he was "bold"; but my understanding is that when a bold move is immediately reverted, the bold editor should raise the question on Talk and should not just repeat his bold move. In this matter too, is Leadwind right, and am I wrong? Lima (talk) 15:51, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
By the way, there is no question about the scholarly qualifications of Emmanuel Clapsis, Ph.D., whose work is quoted on the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese website. Quite a lot can be found out about him and his scholarly writings by Googling his name. Lima (talk) 16:09, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Indeed, there's nothing about "scholarly" web sites. WP:V says: "Articles should be based upon reliable, third-party published sources with a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy." Do these web sites have a reputation for fact-checking and accuracy, the way, say, Encyclopedia Britannica Online does? No, they don't. Leadwind (talk) 16:55, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
Lima, as for which one of us edited too boldly,"The burden of evidence lies with the editor who adds or restores material." See WP:BURDEN. So if you want to restore challenged material, please take it up on the talk page instead of just reverting me. Leadwind (talk) 18:10, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
I am unsure how to interpret Leadwind's first paragraph. Does he still require that the website (e.g., Google Books) from which we take a quotation from a Ph.D. scholar's third-party published book must be not only a reliable website but also a "scholarly" website (whatever that means)? Or does he now agree that what counts is the scholarship of the person who wrote the book, not the supposed "scholarship" of the reliable website that quotes an extract from the book?
As for Leadwind's second paragraph, the statement that he removed was accurately quoted and was backed up with a link to a source that gave the exact words. The burden of proof was quite adequately met. What more proof does Leadwind require that Clapsis wrote what he wrote? A pity no better way was chosen to "challenge" the adequately sourced material from Capsis's book than eliminating it out of hand on no better grounds than a curious demand about the "scholarship" of the website that quoted a section of the book, of which only snippets are available in Google Books. Lima (talk) 20:06, 28 November 2009 (UTC)
No one else seems inclined to help Lima and me sort this out. In a spirit of compromise, I've restored the Clapsis information. Lima's rework of the material certainly improved it, but I've edited it further to stick closer to the cited text. While I withdraw my challenge to this use of Clapsis, this material is sketchy for two reasons. First, someone cherry-picked the pro-Catholic stuff out of this scholar's page rather than representing the scholar's overall view. Second, a church web site is a poor choice as a source for historical information. In this particular case, however, the information added to the article is not controversial. Historians generally regard Rome as having an early pre-eminence of some sort. Leadwind (talk) 15:16, 30 November 2009 (UTC)
Thanks, Leadwind. I doubt if the charge of cherry-picking is justified: the quotation given includes "From an historical perspective, there is no conclusive documentary evidence from the first century or the early decades of the second of the exercise of, or even the claim to, a primacy of the Roman bishop or to a connection with Peter". And please excuse me if I repeat once more: The website is not the source of the historical information, any more than Google Books would be, if it gave more than snippets from Clapsis's book: it is the book that the website quotes, Orthodoxy in Conversation, that is the source of the information. And the use of a website of the Greek Orthodox Church is by no means a poor choice for a reference to the text of that book. Your remark might perhaps (only perhaps) hold if it were a website of the Roman Catholic Church, but this is a high-ranking website of the Orthodox Church. I think that adds to rather than takes from the significance of what Clapsis wrote. Lima (talk) 20:20, 30 November 2009 (UTC)

Name of the Page/Article

I think it will be more accurate and relevent to rename this page/article to "Pope of the Rome" or "Pope of the Roman Catholic Church" since it almost exclusivly speaks about to origin, history, signifigance and rerevence of the name "Pope" within the Roman Catholic Church understanding, although it gives a brief note about the usage of the same ecclessiastical title in other churches. I know that there is another page/article named "Pope (disambiguation), but this page/article of the multiple usages of the name Pope in many fields and not exclusivly the ecclesiastical title. Please respond. Thank you. Orthopraxia (talk) 09:20, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

I would't be entirely opposed to a renaming, but I would go with "Pope (Catholic Church)" instead. He's not the pope of just Rome and "Roman" isn't part of the Church's name.Farsight001 (talk) 09:26, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
"The Pope", used alone and without qualification, is normally understood as quite unambiguous. On reading the recent headline "Woman Knocks Down Pope", nobody wondered: "Which Pope?". Only one Pope today signs as "Pope": "Benedictus Pp. XVI". As you know, "Pp." is an abbreviation of "Papa" (Pope). Does anyone at all habitually refer to either of the "Popes and Patriarchs of Alexandria" as "the Pope"? While one could well question the use of the ambiguous title "Catholic Church" for the Wikipedia article on what is also referred to, even by the Popes, as the Roman Catholic Church, there is in English no real ambiguity about what is meant by "the Pope". Esoglou (talk) 14:54, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
Ditto, this is clearly the WP:Primary topic for Pope and hatnote links to disambig page. Cheers, — sligocki (talk) 21:15, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
The reason I suggested the renaming to the more historically accurate "Pope of Rome" or to "Pope of the Roman Catholic Church" is because , ecclesiastically, the holder of that title is not unique, but the Bishop of Alexandria also holds this title , even before the Roman Catholic Church use of that title, by the admission of the Roman Catholic Church itself. The Pope of Alexandria was and is always addressed to as Pope of Alexandria, in addition to other titles.
Even nowadays, when the media is reporting any news concerning the Pope of Alexandria, it reffers to him as the "Coptic Pope of Alexandria" when it is related to the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria and as the "Greek Pope of Alexandria, when it is related to the Greek Orthodox Church of Alexandria, and this is done especially so that the news is not misinterpreted as related to the Pope of Rome. It is also important to reiterrate that the entire article/page is regarding the Pope of Rome, so if there was only one Pope (Ecclesiastical title holder), then keeping the name of the article/page would be justified.
It is also important to acknowledge and respect the fact that, even if the Pope of Rome, claims Universal Jurisdiction over all churches, Apostolic in origin or not and claims the Primacy of Juristiction in fact, the entire body of the Orthodox Churches, whether Eastern or Oriental Orthodox Churches in addition to the Anglican Communion do not recognize this Primacy of Jurisdiction, but acknowledge the Primacy of Honor, as "Primus inter Pares" among the five Ancient Apostolic Sees
So to say that the term "Pope" is universally understood and accepted as the Pope of Rome is not totally accurate or correct. In doing so, it becomes as they say nowadays "politically incorrect" and neglects the established facts of ecclesiastical history, and since Wikipedia is understood to promote the accuracy of facts about the contents of its pages/articles, then this change is justifiably due.Orthopraxia (talk) 03:49, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
As Orthopraxia rightly says, the media speak (rarely) of "the Coptic Pope of Alexandria" or "the Greek Pope of Alexandria", but when they speak of "the Pope" they mean someone else. That is the actual usage of the language this Wikipedia is written in. Esoglou (talk) 09:46, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
Wikipedia is not supposed to be politically correct. WP:Reliable sources ubiquitously refer to the Pope of Rome as "The Pope" and never refer to any other Pope as "The Pope". Cheers, — sligocki (talk) 16:43, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
To Esoglou and Sligocki,
After presenting my reasons behind the need to rename the article/page of "The Pope" to the more accurate and and also complete name of "The Pope of Rome" or "the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church", I have not seen a concrete reason to still leave it as is. Just because it was created in the begining without a consideration for similar/other holders of the Pontifical title, it does not deam it to contunue to be so. Wikipedia articles/pages always elvolve, correct, justify, reconfigure and adjust its contents with time according to the needs and according to deeper perspectives.
Now, to say that the media (rarely) speak or mention about the other two Popes is not correct, their activities, their statements, their pastoral (Pontifical visits) are all over the Middle Eastern, European (East and West), North American and Australian media, if you are not aware of it, please check it out. Also to say that Wikipedia is not supposed to be "politically correct" is not at all what I said, please reread what I wrote. I specifically said: "it neglects the established facts of ecclesiastical history, and since Wikipedia is understood to promote the accuracy of facts about the contents of its pages/articles, then this change is justifiably due." This means that Wikipedia should not be using the terminology that only the Catholics and the media that is influenced by catholics, whether owners, reporters or readers of that media, but should use the appropriate ecclesiastical titles used by the Apostolic Sees, even by The Roman Catholic Church itself, especially when the article/page in question is about everything that is meant and represented by that office holder.
Then how would you claim that when Wikipedia refers to "The Pope" it does not mean any other Pope, is this a stance that Wikipedia is taking, where is it stated that?. Please read the content of the article/page "The Pope" and see what it says about what and how the Orthodox Churches are refering to the office holder of the Apostolic See of Rome.
Please also check the Catholic Encyclopedia about the title "Pope" and about Heraclas Pope of Alexandria. To neglect or to disregard the fact that ecclesiastically there is more than one Pope since the begining of the formation of the Apostolic Sees and not to refer to each Pope with the appropriate and complete name, especially in the context, in which this article/page is written, is not right or fair, besides it is not academically or ecclesistically correct.
I am not here talking about how the media calls the Pope of Rome or any other Hierarch. I think that Wikipedia does and should not stem the correctness and the proper designation of names for such important articles/pages from the media. It should primarely be based on historical facts, ecclesiastical documents and Church Tradition.
I would like to know where you stand about what I just presented. Thank you.Orthopraxia (talk) 03:17, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
The Bishop of Rome is the person most often called by the title Pope, indeed around 90% of the population of the Earth have probably never heard nor will ever hear of other bishops/patriarchs who also have that title. It is by virtue of the policy of notability that the article Pope discusses the Bishop of Rome- as you were referenced to earlier. By having the article discuss (mostly) the Bishop of Rome, whom the title usually refers to, Wikipedia is not declaring him to be the only pope or the most important, it is not disregarding ecclesiastical history either indeed it is making those topics more accessible. It is simply organising the project, your policy would probably turn nearly every title page into a disambiguation and turn wikipedia into endless lists of topics before a user finally reaches the desired information. Gavin (talk) 03:28, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
Hi Gavin,
I appreciate your quick response to this obviously inconclusive subject. I would like to know from where you got that percentage (90%) and from where you got the assertion that no one ever heard or will ever hear of the other Hierarchs holding that title, although it is only two other Hierarchs of the same Apostolic See, which is Alexandria, that hold this title. I think that this is quite presumptious and I dare to say also bias without any grounds.
It is obvious as I mentioned at the beginning that this is a a futile discussion, since there is an almost unequivocal insistance to keep the name of the page as is, based on what you have rightly admitted that: "The Bishop of Rome is the person most often called by the title Pope", but what you obviously failed to realize from this statement is the word "most often called by the title Pope", which in turn necessitate the need to provide the full and accurate name of the article/page since it is about that Pope. This article/page does not need to premote a referal to him by the most common or short designation known to the populace, but to the most proper and full name that the holder of that office deserve, this is not a contest of naming him or calling him in a trivial manner.
I still fail to see the insistance of refusing to provide the full and complete name and the proper designation of the name of the office which is described in this article, as if by changing the current name of "Pope" to "The Pope of Rome" would be a lesser degree of an attribute to that office. I fail also to see how this change would make the accessability to find this article/page more difficult, you know as well I know that the search engine in Wikipedia will immediately populate the options when one first start by writting "Pope".
I do not have a policy as you think I have, and providing the full and accurate name of the office holder in this case will not cause any of what you mentioned would happen, no endless lists would be created as you claim.
I rest my case, it seems that there is a strong bias to keep the name as is, thinking by doing so is more common and simple and perhaps cool but it is also a complete disregard to the fact of the matter as I have fully described before. I now believe that the latter is actually what is behind this simplistic rebuttal I am getting. It seems that I am wrong in thinking that there is no hidden politics in Wikipedia. At any rate, no heart feelings. Peace.Orthopraxia (talk) 08:13, 30 December 2009 (UTC)
As has been stated, per WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, this article is dedicated to the Bishop of Rome as he is the primary topic associated with the title. Please note the uses of the words [probably]. I think that this is a dead issue, the article will remain about the Bishop of Rome as he is the most notable holder of the Title and it is a byward most associated with him. Gavin (talk) 11:46, 30 December 2009 (UTC)

Given the length and diversity of the Pope disambiguation page, perhaps it could be divided into two - 'religious persons of that title' and 'other uses' with two disambiguation lines from this article.

The same problem is likely to occur with any title where one usage has the pre-eminence.

Could the phrase 'the Bishop of the Alexandria' be clarified - either the second 'the' is unnecessary, or eg 'diocese' should be added. Jackiespeel (talk) 17:07, 28 January 2010 (UTC)

This article is NOT about the head of the Catholic Church.

Firstly, this is my first contribution to a wiki, so please be kind :)

Just a small but important error in the description of this article: "This article is about the head of the Catholic Church." For according to the Cathechism of the Catholic Church, Paragraph #891 "The Roman Pontiff, [is the] head of the college of bishops" The significance of this detail is theological. As scripture attests (cf. Colossians 1:18 "And he is the head of the body, the church") and the Cathechism of the Catholic Church in Paragraph #666 points out, "Jesus Christ [is the] the head of the Church." While the pope is a priest, and by his ordination acts in persona Christi (in the person of Christ) it is strictly incorrect, and misleading to refer to the pope as the 'head of the Catholic church'

I hope this error will be addressed promptly

--Lezleyboom (talk) 12:55, 28 February 2010 (UTC) This is not mentioned at all in Paragraph 666. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:31, 15 May 2010 (UTC)

Nothing on Abdication

"Election, Death and Abdication" contains no information on papal abdication, nor does the rest of the article. What's worse, this subsection goes on to distinguish resignation from abdication, suggesting there are unique circumstances under which the latter would occur. What are they? Terms in this section should be consistent. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:34, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

The article does not seem to make the alleged distinction. "Abdication" is not normally used with reference to a Pope, any more than it is used with reference to a President. Esoglou (talk) 07:38, 10 April 2010 (UTC)

--Morenooso (talk) 21:12, 5 May 2010 (UTC)==Undue influence of a blog titled "Persecute the Pope" for international position== The blog used to create this April 2010 series of edits is a classical WP:SPS that has a distinct narrow POV used to advance the position of this lawyer. The paragraph is full of weasel words like "lamented" and goes on to quote two more blogs. Surely there must be better sources that detail an international perspective that is balanced. --Ronbo76 (talk) 11:14, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

The wordsmith change from blog to article is contested.--Ronbo76 (talk) 12:09, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
The direct citation is
  • "Prosecute the Pope".
In the raised type the barrister, who has an article here, calls himself a U.N. judge. Clearly, this is no oversight of this blog as that claim is not supported in his article. To add further info about him here would add further undue weight. --Ronbo76 (talk) 12:34, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

As the originator of this section, I will try to explain my reasoning, not to promote any viewpoint, but so that you can see (and criticise, where relevant) where I am coming from. This is an article on the Pope, which I interpret to mean the papacy rather than the current incumbent, or the Vatican, or the Holy See. The only relevant issue is whether the Pope as of today has diplomatic immunity, whether deriving from Vatican City or the Holy See (I must admit to having confused the two myself at the outset). A serious challenge has been raised. Perhaps I should say semi-serious; it will have significant effects possibly to UK legislation (there may be legislation to ban this sort of private prosecution of international figures, prompted initially by an incident last year but surely the September visit will be taken into account), and to any Pope's movements in future (I understand that several people associated with governments around the world are careful about where they travel; this includes controversial figures such as Henry Kissinger, and out-and-out villains such as government-sanctioned torturers from unsavoury regimes).

That is my reason for considering the potential UK challenge to be notable re the papacy. Personally, of the various epithets used, I would agree with "a mischievous attempt to create an air of criminality around the Pope", and doubt that much will actually happen n September - I don't see another Pinochet case. A point claimed by Robertson, which is totally irrelevant in this article, is that the proposed arrest is for alleged crimes against humanity, and consequently diplomatic immunity is not applicable.

A (semi-)serious case has been made by a respected lawyer with a good track record; it has been taken seriously be news media, and there have been UK precedents (Pinochet, and a case I forget last year) of arrests or attempts to arrest people associated with governments for crimes with international jurisdiction.

The issue of the papacy's diplomatic immunity is surely relevant; the challenge is (semi-)serious enough to require discussion: immunity, automatically conferred until now, is challenged.

I now address specific issues raised. I think there is a tendency to equate the distinction between "blog" and "article" or "story" as a distinction of reputability. As far as I am concerned, a web log is some sort of personal log, a diary. This is a specific article about a specific issue, and not a running log. Its reliability is a matter for where it is published and the reputation of the author (it is signed). The website carrying the article states that it contains "blogs and stories". However, if anyone feels strongly, I have no strong objection to "blog", it's just inaccurate.

The article is very POV, yes. However, it's signed, and from a verifiable, and respectable, source associated with action rather than chatter; respectable news media have reported aspects of this issue. It is potentially serious, in that it will probably influence legislation and other details of the forthcoming visit, and clarify (and possibly reinforce) the issue of papal legal immunity. There is no better source as far as I know. I must admit to being disconcerted that Robertson's article—by a lawyer, who should be aware of the importance of these distinctions—seems to conflate the Vatican and the Holy See as legal entities.

It can be verified from independent sources that Robertson is on the UN’s Internal Justice Council.; I followed this up.

To quote from above: "To add further info about him here would add further undue weight". I have absolutely no wish to add undue, or indeed any, weight to Robertson or the arrest proposals. They should only be mentioned as far as they relate to papal immunity. If the article can be edited to leave in only enough to show that the concept of papal immunity is seriously disputed, but with citations rather than OR-type statements, it will be better for it. I had originally written a brief (and inadequate) paragraph, but added detail and references bit by bit as what I had written was, correctly, challenged as unsupported.

Pol098 (talk) 15:25, 16 April 2010 (UTC)

The media do not seem to have taken the idea seriously. As newsworthy, yes; but not as serious. Esoglou (talk) 15:50, 16 April 2010 (UTC)
The topic is relevant: does the papacy have diplomatic immunity? There is too much detail of a particular case. I will try to shorten this section drastically (I know a bit more from searching, and comments made here). I hope we don't fall into the loop of a short section, reversion or Citation needed due to lack of detail, more detail, yet more following further criticism, comments of too much detail... Pol098 (talk) 12:11, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
I'm in the process of rewriting this section extensively. The UK challenge should, I think, be mentioned, but without any detail. The Streich reference seems as much a blog as the Robertson one (in my opinion neither is, though not reliable sources). I think the Robertson article gains a bot of credibility from his background and what he has done; history teacher Streich less so. But I don't think either is needed. If the information from Streich's article can be provided from a better source it may be relevant. Pol098 (talk) 13:03, 17 April 2010 (UTC)
  1. In international law the Holy See is recognized as the juridical equivalent of a state. It doesn't just "claim" this.
  2. Altogether groundless is the statement that "the question arises" whether a sitting head of state loses immunity from the jurisdiction of foreign courts when outside his home territory.
  3. If any court imagined it could try even an accredited ambassador (unless the sending state lifts the ambassador's immunity), it would get a rap on the knuckles from those that know better. Esoglou (talk) 20:48, 17 April 2010 (UTC)

The campaign for the arrest of Joseph Ratzinger is not for "failure to act" in the face of the scandal, nor were his alleged crimes committed "several decades ago". He is accused of actively suppressing information on the systematic abuse in the church as recently as 2001 as part of his duties as cardinal of the Holy Order. This would constitute an act of international criminal conspiracy; categorically a crime against humanity from which any diplomatic immunity he may possess would offer no protection. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:24, 23 April 2010 (UTC)

from the article - "This was generally dismissed as "lunatic" and totally lacking in substance. Another barrister said that it was a "matter of embarrassment that a senior British lawyer would want to allow himself to be associated with such a silly idea".[57]". This is surely POV, generally dismissed as lunatic, and lacking in substance? Anyone who thinks that has not understood or even attempet to understand the case being put forward. Of all the media articles I read on the subject (at least 10, try the BBC, Guardia, Telegraph, Times, Independent, some christian and catholic newspapers), only one.. 1 called it lunatic, suprise suprise, from a Catholic. This is the most blatent case of POV pushing I have seen on wikipedia.Gazlink (talk) 04:35, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Another point missing is the most fundamental and crucial point of this argument. The Vatican nor the Holy See is regarded as a state by the United Nations (it was only regarded as seperate from Italy under Moussilini). This is the reason why he may (or may not be) able to be tried under international law in the UK. The article must state this crucial point for the argument for his arrest.Gazlink (talk) 04:35, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Even the originators of this thing basically backed-off and admitted it was a publicity stunt. As for Vatican statehood, it's been recognised by virtually everyone. It existed long before Mussolini in the form of the Papal States. Xandar 22:12, 3 May 2010 (UTC)
Did they back off? They defended their stance against the lies created against the motion to put the pope on trial.. "If he is innocent, let him have the opportunity to demonstrate it in court. If he is guilty, let him face justice. Just like anybody else." and ""Richard Dawkins: I will arrest Pope Benedict XVI." This conjures up – as was doubtless intended – a ludicrous image of me ambushing the pontiff with a pair of handcuffs and marching him off in a half Nelson. Blood out of a stone, but I finally managed to persuade that Murdoch paper to change the headline in the online edition." [6]. And who is virtually everyone? Does it even matter what you mean by that when the United Nations does not recognise it, and hence one of the founding reason for persuing the trial. Oh and the US said no when the vatican applied to be recognised as a state [7].
I grudgingly accept that there is wrongly going to be bias on this page towards catholicism, but to try and reach some sort of balance, intead of saying "This was generally dismissed as "unrealistic and spurious"" with just one reference (generality from one reference?), the article could say that some commentators dismissed it as "unrealistic and spurious". There is then another quote by some catholic commentators. So thats two pro-catholic opinions, and not one quote from the proponents. I propose adding a quote that most clearly shows the case being put forward, and is about the pope as a man "whose first instinct when his priests are caught with their pants down is to cover up the scandal and damn the young victims to silence" from Dawkins. At least then there will be one opinion from the proponents and two for the opponents.Gazlink (talk) 19:57, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

If this belongs anywhere at all, it belongs in the Pope Benedict XVI article, not here. This is an article about the position of the pope, not any one specific pope. Talking about the sex abuse cases and the call to arrest Benny at length in this article is blatant recentism. There's a 2000 year history of the papacy. This is a smudge on one page of the book.Farsight001 (talk) 20:47, 5 May 2010 (UTC)

Concur with Farsight001 about non-inclusion in this article. Morenooso (talk) 21:12, 5 May 2010 (UTC)
I agree..Gazlink (talk) 00:01, 6 May 2010 (UTC)

The Pope or A Pope?

I think the title of the article should be changed. It should either be 'The Catholic Pope' or 'A Pope' The reason is that there is more than one pope and the current description favours the Catholic religion over the Discordian one. The Discordians also have popes as part of their church's hierarchy —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:04, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

No need to change the title. It does not mean there is only one. Just include these facts in the article.--Charles (talk) 18:33, 29 November 2010 (UTC)
Not only that, but having "Pope" go here instead of to Pope (disambiguation) is biased against Coptic Christianity. "Pope of the Roman Catholic Church" would be a neutral title. (talk) 21:25, 29 January 2011 (UTC)
We have been through that already. See WP:PRIMARYTOPIC Gugganij (talk) 22:12, 10 February 2011 (UTC)
As Wikipedia is a decade old, "we" have been through just about everything already. As an argument for the status quo, that's a complete non sequitur. And seeing as how there are no absolute rules on primary topics, it would be better to err on the side of avoiding the appearance of religious bias. (talk) 18:44, 14 March 2011 (UTC)
I strongly agree that this is biased towards Catholic church, since there are other religions that have pope, too. Pope should lead to disambuguation, not here, and this should be called Catholic Pope or something like that. I believe that wikipedia should not prefer any religion, and that the fact that Catholic pope was historically first or is most well known is not important. It's similar to if "Church" led to Catholic Church article. I also think that the concept of Discordian Pope should be at least mentioned in "Other Uses" section. -- (talk) 16:46, 22 November 2011 (UTC)
The top of this article states "This article is about the leader of the Catholic Church." I agree this shows a bias toward a single view point. The main page as of 3/19/2012 notes the death of the Pope of the Coptic Church. At minimum the lead to this article should refer the Pope discussed here as "leader of the Roman Catholic Church" to distinguish from Coptic, Anglican, Orthodox, and Episcopal churches that in some cases have their own Pope and in many cases do not recognize a superior status of the Bishop of Rome. DrTh0r (talk) 02:54, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
It already does refer to the Pope in that manner. Have you read the article? Or Pope (disambiguation)? Or WP:PRIMARYTOPIC? Or discussion below this old thread? Elizium23 (talk) 03:32, 20 March 2012 (UTC)
I did indeed read the article, and Pope (disambiguation), and WP:PRIMARYTOPIC, and the discussion below this old thread. I arrived at this article after reading the article currently in the news section of the main page regarding the recent death of Pope Shenouda III. The second paragraph of the article points out the bishops of Alexandra have a far older claim to the title Pope. Consider this if you searched for the article “king” and it took you to an article on King George III of England and the lead to the article seemed to indicate he was the one true king. That would be biased against the King of France, King of the Hill, and all other kings. Likewise I and others on this talk page were trying to express that having Pope lead to an article on Pope Benedict XVI indicates he is some how superior to Pope Shenouda III and other claimants. In understand WP:PRIMARYTOPIC but is not as important as WP Neutrality. Could we at least change the hat and the lead to note Roman Catholic Pope if not a neutrality flag needs to be placed on the article. DrTh0r (talk) 03:14, 22 March 2012 (UTC)
The issue of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC is a subjective thing based on how we'd expect people to react when seeing the title. When a reliable source in English (be it The Times, the New York Times, or any other Fishwrap of Record) has a headline "Pope to Visit Jerusalem", the vast, vast majority of English readers are going to assume they're talking about JoeyRatz (Benedict XVI, now), and not any of the other Popes. If there was a similiar article "The King to Speak in Miami", it would be unclear if the article meant Carl XVI Gustaf, Elvis Presley, Kenny Dalglish, Richard Petty or any of the 14 other currently serving male monarchs with the title "King". As such, King redirects to monarchy. Achowat (talk) 13:28, 22 March 2012 (UTC)