Talk:Pope/Archive 4

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Archive 3 Archive 4 Archive 5

Formed 33AD?

This article states that the possition of Pope was formed in 33AD, How on earth is that supposed to be possible? Being the head of the catholic church, which was founded by constantine through the Council of Nicaea in 325, How could the possition predate the church itself? Just because the catholics CLAIM a buch of people from prior to the churches formation as popes, doesn't change the fact they weren't. This article is too subjective, too much bias for catholicism. It's formatted to make it seem like the catholic church is the true christian church, founded by peter himself. It's Pathetic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:18, 22 June 2010 (UTC)

The problem is not the date of 33 A.D., but rather the idea that Constantine created the Catholic Church. I hear it a lot, but it is gibberish. There is absolutely no historical documentation to support or imply in any way that Constantine created the Catholic Church. In contrast, there is a long and historically well documented list of popes going back to far before Constantine was ever born. The only real options for date of creation of the position of the pope would be either approximately 33A.D. - when Peter, considered by the CC to be the first pope, kind of took over after Jesus ascended to heaven, or "by 110 A.D.", the earliest historical mention of the Catholic Church by name, or 3rd, the first mention of the position of pope. I'm not sure when that is, but it's before 110 A.D. Either way, all of the options are far before the time of Constantine.Farsight001 (talk) 04:19, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Prior to constantine all the churches were independant, in no way united. He is the one who united them via their creeds, and the name "catholic". The possition of pope did not exist untill the founding of the catholic church, thus the time of contantine. The list of popes going back before him were posthumously declaired pope. (talk) 09:35, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
You can repeat yourself all you want. We have the historical documents and the experts. We win, game over, you are, quite simply, wrong.Farsight001 (talk) 10:09, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
And you can throw around blunt statements all you want. Doesn't change historical fact. (talk) 11:59, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
What a wonderfully scathing comeback.Farsight001 (talk) 21:14, 22 June 2010 (UTC)
Farsight is entirely in the right here. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:05, 25 June 2010 (UTC)

The problem with this article is that it is subtly biased in favor of the Roman Catholic Church, and, as such, violates Wikipedia policies. To claim that (unnamed) "historians" consider Peter to be the first pope suggests that all historians agree to this claim, which they (I among them) do not. It is anachronistic (and dishonest) to suggest otherwise. The fact that the papacy does not emerge until at least the fourth, if not the fifth century, has less to do with Constantine and more to do with the nature of the office and the claims of the bishops of Rome to supremacy, a position rejected from the beginning by most Orthodox Christians and later by most Protestants. The term "papa" used as a sign of respect for early leaders of the church may be older, but when we use the term "pope" most moderns understand this to refer to the Bishop of Rome as supreme leader of the world's Christians, which, as I pointed out above, is simply not and has not been accepted from since the first time those claims were made. Paul certainly did not consider himself subject to Peter, nor did Peter behave as a "pope" toward Paul and the other apostles; rather, they consulted one another collegially, which is the position taken by most Orthodox and Protestant Christians, and reflected in the writings of the New Testament.Wrstewart (talk) 23:24, 20 September 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wrstewart (talkcontribs) 23:17, 20 September 2010 (UTC)

In what place, exactly, does it claim unnamed historians to consider Peter to be the first pope? It claims the opposite, actually - some unnamed historians do NOT believe that he was the first pope. Then it goes on to mention some ancient Church leaders by name and that they considered Peter the first pope. If you really want the ambiguity of unnamed historians removed, then that actually means removing the perspective you are promoting. So I really fail to see any merit in what you are saying.Farsight001 (talk)
That question has nothing to do with what you're replying to and is, therefore, irrelevant. The correct question is 'In what place, exactly, did you (not it, but you) claim unnamed historians to consider Peter to be the first pope?', since it's referring to you and your rather non-responsive comment: We have the historical documents [to support the papacy extending back to c. AD33] (none of which documents were mentioned or cited in the comment) and the experts (none of which were named in the comment). We win, game over, you are, quite simply, wrong. (which is out of line and has no place in any adult conversation in this -- or any -- forum).

The entire problem is the term pope is not a biblical term the very idea of the office cuts against the commands of CHrist, therefore, taking the stand that all these leaders before the founding of the first papacy by whom ever it was is biased! There is no question about that! Also that rome is the center of the church cannot be proven. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kyle.Mullaney (talkcontribs) 17:52, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

The idea that it is not biblical or that it is against the commands of Christ is entirely your personal opinion, and wikipedia is not a place for our opinions. Furthermore, it doesn't even remotely matter where the center of the church is. For some 70 years during the Avingnon papacy, the pope went nowhere near Rome.Farsight001 (talk) 07:09, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
It is set down in scripture! That is not that personal opinion. The argument being made is propagated on institutional opinion. I was simply adding roundness to the article! WHoleness as it is just being taken as a fact. If they believe it is such away then that is opinion and not fact so the argument must be maintained as it was cited heavily as the argument from the Protestant view point. This is not a forum for the catholic churches beliefs to be propagated. this is It is fact! More over the point that peter was never called a pope nor called the bishop of rome is extremly important as it is the argument on which the papacy is hinged and it is from scripture and the protestant view faulty. This is institutal editing of history and you are acting as a pawn in that battle!Kyle.Mullaney (talk) 15:40, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
First, it would help the flow of the talk page if you would place your comments in the right places and indent them properly. Now what you say is personal opinion. You say it is set down in scripture, but it is not. It is set down in YOUR interpretation of scripture, but over half of all Christians interpret it very differently. For what reason need we accept your personal intrepretation of scripture over anyone else's? This is why wikipedia has sourcing standards and a restriction against original research. Studylight, for example, doesn't even come close to meeting WP:RS, and frankly, has a complete and utter double standard about it after reading the links you added. You are right that this is not a forum for the Church's beliefs to be propagated. But the article should answer the question "what is the pope?" That is the purpose of the article. Blovating on and on about the pope being unbiblical (again, in your opinion) doesn't tell anyone what or who this "pope" is. Check any other encyclopedia on the planet and I guarantee that they have not turned their article on the pope into some sort of scathing expose on how wrong the pope is as you were trying to do here. In addition, as I already explained below, this is in no way the argument on which the papacy hinges. No one particularly cares that the term "pope" didn't yet exist and the pope doesn't have to live in Rome. Hence your entire argument was spurious and pointless in the first place.Farsight001 (talk) 19:18, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

Pastor Pastorum

Different explanation concerning the popes signature (Paulus PP. VI) between German and English Wikipedia:

English Version: The best-known title of the Popes, that of "Pope", does not appear in the official list, but is commonly used in the titles of documents, and appears, in abbreviated form, in their signatures. Thus Pope Paul VI signed as "Paulus PP. VI", the "PP." standing for "Papa" ("Pope").

German Version: lateinisch Pastor Pastorum, deutsch „Hirte der Hirten“, als Abkürzung hinter dem lateinischen Papstnamen (z. B. Benedictus PP. XVI.) (says that PP means Pastor Pastorum as opposed to the English explanation saying that PP stands for Papa) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:32, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

So who's right? "Pastor Pastorum" would really be abbreviated as "P.P.", not as "PP." or as "Pp." (see Duden - Wörterbuch der Abkürzungen) or as "pp." (see Abkürzungen für pp.). Esoglou (talk) 06:53, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

"the Pope" or "the pope"?

This article starts out as ("pope"):

The pope (from Latin: papa; from Greek: p?ppa?[1] (pappas),[2])

Further down it is ("Pope"):

Catholics recognize the Pope as a successor to Saint Peter

Which version is the correct one?

--Mortense (talk) 18:33, 22 July 2010 (UTC)

Ze pöpe! Nö dübl blipps! Bork bork! Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:45, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
There have been many popes in history (generic), but if meaning the present Pope it needs a capital.--Charles (talk) 21:18, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Protestant denominations

Do we really need the full statement of those extreme Missoury Synod, declaring the pope to be "antichrist". Historically its a deviation since Luther said "the Beast 666", but most modern Lutherans, like me, have calmed down and came to our senses, so to say, and don't attach such general sweeping mystical symbols to any real person or institution. I propose remove the Statement 43, and instead add what Protestants in general, not extremists, think about the pope. I presume something like "arch bishop of Rome", or some neutral concept. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:45, 18 September 2010 (UTC)

Clarification: I don't propose removing the standpoint from the Missouri Synod, just shrinking it to the proper size, according to WP:DUE. The full citation isn't needed, a link is enough. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 19:53, 18 September 2010 (UTC)
That entire sectioon needs to be rewritten as every denomination outside of the romish church denies the pope! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kyle.Mullaney (talkcontribs) 17:59, 20 October 2010 (UTC)
In what way does the section need to be rewritten? It in no way suggests that other denominations accept the pope. BTW, "Romish" is pretty much the N-word to Catholics. It's quite offensive, so I would suggest not using it in the future.Farsight001 (talk) 07:11, 21 October 2010 (UTC)
Something needs to be said about the ambiguity and inconsistency of Statement 43; e.g., “The statement, however, does not make clear which of the several men who have been Pope since it was issued in 1932 is the 'very Antichrist'. All these men were once alive at the same time.” It's not possible to confer the distinction onto any two of them without also implying that the singular identity has transferred from one person to another that was his contemporary. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:46, 2 May 2012 (UTC)

Infallibility: not only in 1950

Most theologians —among Catholics and those who support papal infallibility— agree that canonization, as noticed in the strength and solemnity of the formula used to canonize, is an act where the Pope makes use of his infallibility (Catholic Encyclopedia). It is a widespread mistake to blindly affirm that the proclamation of the Dogma of the Assumption has been the only one. St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Robert Belarmine, among others, have stated Papal infallibility in the case of solemn canonizations [1]. I don't know if there are further cases where papal infallibility is used or may be discussed as to have been used, but at least there are these. In the formula for canonization, the Pope invokes the authority of Jesus Christ, St. Peter and himself, makes the definition in the name of the Trinity and states "due deliberation" and asking for "divine assistance":

Ad honorem Sanctæ et Individuæ Trinitatis, ad exaltationem fidei catholicæ et vitæ christianæ incrementum,
auctoritate Domini nostri Iesu Christi, baetorum Apostolorum Petri et Pauli ac Nostra, matura deliberatione
præhabita et divina ope sæpius implorata, ac de plurimorum Fratrum Nostrorum consilio,
Beatum N. Sanctum esse decernimus et definimus, ad Sanctorum Catalogo adscribimus,
statuentes eum in universa Ecclesia inter Sanctos pia devotione recoli debere.
In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti.
For the honour of the Blessed Trinity, the exaltation of the Catholic faith and the fostering of the
Christian life, by the auhtority of our Lord Jesus Christ, of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul,
and our own, after due deliberation and frequent prayers for divine assistance,
and having sought the counsel of many of our brethren in the Episcopate,
we declare and define that Blessed N. is a Saint and we enroll him among the Saints,
decreeing that he is to be venerated in the whole Church as one of the Saints.
In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I kindly ask this to be corrected in the introduction. (talk) 13:51, 22 September 2010 (UTC)


I don't like the way the History section of the article is reading. It sounds more like a debate than an encyclopedia article to me. For example: "The study of the New Testament offers no proof that Jesus established the papacy nor even that he established Peter as the first bishop of Rome". How is that a way to begin that paragraph? Why is that even in there? First off, that Jesus didn't establish the Papacy is a debatable claim and who cares that he didn't establish him as the Bishop of Rome. Catholics don't claim that in the first place. My point is that there should be a line to be followed instead a sequence of rebuttals. The usage of words like "many scholars" or "some scholars" doesn't help the reading neither. Why not present the claim of the Catholic Church on its own history and have a separate section or paragraph or even lead to another article which explains the counterclaims. Otherwise it just becomes a little insane.Yullover (talk) 19:48, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

You are wrong they very much claim that it is historically the basis of the papacy! 18:02, 20 October 2010 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kyle.Mullaney (talkcontribs)
No, Kyle, Yullover is actually quite right in this regard. That the pope is the bishop of Rome is only a tradition. Catholics claim that Jesus made him a leader, but that he and the other apostles, while dolling out responsibility, made him the bishop of Rome.Farsight001 (talk) 07:16, 21 October 2010 (UTC)

I'm annoyed at the History section as well. I tried editing it a bit, but I think I just muddied the waters even more. It needs a working over, to present a History of the papacy, starting with what Biblical scholarship knows about Peter, then quoting patristics on the Bishop of Rome and the Pope. Then let the reader understand what history tells us about how the terminology began, and how the office of Pope developed. Should do it, right? Then we can have a separate section for debates and flamewars and whatnot. Washi (talk) 17:54, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

"Vicar of Christ"

The following site [2] brings affirmation: Papa Giovanni VIII (872-82) s’era proclamato “vicario di Cristo”, cioè suo unico rappresentante sulla terra e considerava Roma “caput” di tutta la cristianità e dell’impero. (Pope John VIII (872-82) had designated as the "vicar of Christ, " that is his sole representative on earth and saw Rome "caput" of all Christendom and empire.) Leaving clear therefore that since the time of John VII, shortly after the declaration of Gregory II as vicar of Peter, the vicar of Christ term was also used as a demonstration of papal primacy (that is his sole representative on earth and saw Rome "caput" of all Christendom and empire.) My issue is so authentic and well referenced. Kaiser Guilherme II (talk) 17:29, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

You are right and I was wrong with regard to the antiquity of "vicar of Christ". However, I must add some limitations. The oath of Saint Boniface did not use the phrase "vicar of Christ". Instead, the oath spoke of the pope as Peter's vicar. Another correction is also necessary. I will insert it, together with the correction about Boniface's oath, when I have more satisfactory citations to quote. Esoglou (talk) 18:09, 17 December 2010 (UTC)

Clemens I.jpg

Please remove this image from this category because the image is not a pope Clemens I. This is Clement of Ohrid. Thanks-- [[Корисник:Тиверополник|<font color="blue">'''TIVEROPOLNIK'''</font>]] [[Разговор со корисник:Тиверополник|<font color="blue">'''(разговор)'''</font>]] (talk) 22:30, 1 January 2011 (UTC)

Pope Leader of Worldwide Catholic Church?

Can someone provide a footnote showing that the Pope is the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church? Because I do not believe the eastern rite churches accept that; the furthest they will go, in this regard, is to acknowledge the Bishop of Rome as first among equals which is not the same as the leader of the worldwide Catholic Church. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:49, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Do you mean Eastern rite Catholics, or Eastern Orthodox, by "eastern rite churches"? carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 21:04, 5 January 2011 (UTC)
Well in seeking an answer to your question I found the answer to my own as well. Encyclopedia Britannica defines Eastern Rite Churches as: any of a group of Eastern Christian churches that trace their origins to various ancient national or ethnic Christian bodies in the East but have established union (hence Eastern rite churches were in the past often called Uniates) or canonical communion with the Roman Apostolic See and, thus, with the Roman Catholic church. In this union they accept the Roman Catholic faith, keep the seven sacraments, and recognize the pope of Rome as supreme head of the church. They retain, however, all other characteristics—e.g., liturgy, spirituality, sacred art, and especially organization—proper to themselves. I'll research this a bit further, because I never knew this to be true; but for now this seems a reliable enough source for me. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:19, 5 January 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from, 23 April 2011

As mentioned by previous blogger there is an error in the paragraph "Titles" and "Signature". PP does not mean papa but Pastor Pastorum (shepherd of shepherds). Signature convention are two capital letters P followed by a full stop (e.g., Paulus PP.VI.) Please ask the author to correct. (talk) 12:25, 23 April 2011 (UTC)Otto Katzer

Can you cite a reliable source for that claim that outweighs the sources cited in the article? Besides, if the abbreviation were for two words, wouldn't there be a full stop after each letter? Esoglou (talk) 16:37, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

No recognition of evil popes

The main article shows popes in a good light but fails recognise evil popes who were active in fornication, adultery, murder, homosexuality, pornography, etc.

Pope Pius XII, Pope Alexander VI, Pope Damasus I, Pope Sergius III, Pope Innocent III, Pope Boniface VIII, Pope Adrian IV, Pope Pius IX, Pope Urban II. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:46, 10 September 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 9 October 2011

Please change The Catholic scholarly community agrees with the churches interpretation to The Catholic scholarly community agrees with the church's interpretation ElPeterson (talk) 03:25, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Done Elizium23 (talk) 04:33, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Edit request from , 9 October 2011

Please change teaching not sloely or even mainly, little pebble, that is Peter.[48][49][50] Other's, using Peter's own word's which shows understanding to teaching not solely or even mainly, little pebble, that is Peter.[48][49][50] Others, using Peter's own words which show understanding ElPeterson (talk) 03:32, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

Done Elizium23 (talk) 04:33, 9 October 2011 (UTC)

This article needs to be retitled

This article needs to be retitled to Pope of Rome, as the term 'Pope' is also commonly used in the Orthodox Churches, especially by the Coptic Church, whose Patriarch is also called the Pope as well.

Of course, term 'Pope' can also be applied to any ordinary priest in the Orthodox Churches, including the Greek Orthodox Church and the Russian Orthodox Church - ( (talk) 00:50, 1 December 2011 (UTC))

Actually, the common usage for Pope is the Roman Catholic pope. Other usages would get disambig modifiers to distinguish them from the commonly used term.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 14:41, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Why has a Pope (disambiguation) page not been created, as it is important to distinguish the other Popes, including the Cao Dai Pope & the Coptic Pope, from the Romish Pope? - ( (talk) 05:37, 25 December 2011 (UTC))

You mean a page like Pope (disambiguation)? Achowat (talk) 18:15, 29 December 2011 (UTC)

MOS sometimes down-cases "pope"

The MOS down-cases "pope" when it does not refer to a particular individual. We use "Pope" when followed by a person'a name or when context establishes that we are referring to a particular pope rather than the generic holder of the office. This same style is used for any title including "president, king, emperor, pope, bishop, abbot, executive director" since they are common nouns. Jojalozzo 19:16, 5 December 2011 (UTC)

In line with WP:BRD, I have reverted the bold edit and would like to see the matter discussed by various editors before any decision is made. I do not have time to study the question myself. Earlier today, the only source that came immediately to hand was Stark's, which, for all I know, may be a minority view. Esoglou (talk) 19:57, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Thanks, Esoglou. I'm fine with BRD. I expect you will have support. Wikipedia's down-cased style can be disturbing. Jojalozzo 20:32, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
(Copied from Esoglou's talk page where I first saw this discussion). My emotional response was to agree that it should be "the Pope" or capitalize when speaking about specific popes, (as alluded to in the Stark book above) but I did some research. According to the LA Archdiocese it should only be capitalized when used as a title[3], Archdiocese of Milwaukee[4], University of Loyola "Lowercase unless it immediately precedes the name of the individual who holds the position"[5], etc
Secular sources go into more detail Grammarly[6], US Customs Today[7], the associated press explicitly states "When the title stands alone, spell out the title and DO NOT capitalize it"[8], etc
Basically, what I discovered is that I think I was wrong in my interpretation. I always thought pope should be capitalized if it was in reference to a specific individual (ala Stark). Similarly I thought governor/president should be capitalized when referencing speciifc individuals. E.g. if referencing President Obama, I thought, then the President was correct. Based on what I found, it isn't.. The only time job/roles of a person, even when speaking of a specific individual filling a specific role, is when the title immediately preceeds the users name (and is not separated via a comma/period... E.g. 'Pope Benedict' is correct but 'Pope, Benedict' is not.) Either way, I'm not going to fight either version too vigorously.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 20:39, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Here we are talking about the office of the Pope/pope. What is your response to my talk-page comment: I am quite surprised at the suggestion that in United States constitutional terms we should, when speaking of the office, write of the relations between the "president" and the "Congress" - or should it be "congress"? Esoglou (talk) 20:53, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
Excellent question. Per USA Today's style guide, congress when referring to a specific body of Congress (wether US, State, or another country) is capitalized.[9] I've found several sources that talk about the capitalization of specific "offices", in which case the rule seems to capitalize[10]. Based on what I'm seeing, and I'm no expert on this, I could buy into the argument that when talking about the office of the Pope, it should be capitalized. When talking about a specific pope, it should not be (although, I'm pliable there as well if further sources can be found.)
(Interesting aside, the Speaker [of the House] is an exception and always gets capitalized, presumably to differentiate between the Speaker [of the House] and the speaker [who is currently talking]. Similarly, First Lady is capitalized when referring to a specific First Lady of a country as compared to the first lady of poker.[11])
So, when speaking about the office-holder as such (as we are generally doing in this article), it is the President and the Pope, but we would speak of the last six presidents (individuals) and the last six popes (individuals)? Esoglou (talk) 22:06, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
If by office holder you mean role/office, then I'm inclined to agree... E.g. if we are talking about the roles/responsibilities of the Pope, I'd say yes. "It is in Benedict's role as Pope to do XYZ". But I've asked for help on this because I am not a grammar expert... I'm going based upon what I've seen in a limited amount of research since seeing the thread on your talk page.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 23:23, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
One would think that all it would take is a look in your favorite style guide, due to the pope's appearance in the news every month or so. --Guerillero | My Talk 23:40, 5 December 2011 (UTC)
The "Congress" is neither a person nor a job title so I'm not sure why we are comparing it to the "president". A better analog for "president" is "congresswoman" which the MOS also down-cases unless it occurs before a person's name. Jojalozzo 03:46, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
The guideline for "Congress" is WP:MOS#Institutions. Jojalozzo 05:36, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Congress is the institution that represents the Legislative Branch. The Supreme Court is the instutition that represents the Judicial Branch. The President is the institution that represents the Executive branch. The Congress is filled with congressmen/women. The Supreme Court consists of Supreme Court justices. The President is filled by the president. In other words, President in this context has two meanings---both the office and the office holder. Similarly, Pope can have two meanings---both the office and the office holder.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 16:01, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I think the term we want is the "Executive Branch" not presidency. I think presidency usually refers to a president's term in office, e.g. "during the Reagan presidency". Jojalozzo 18:35, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
Presidency is definitely a different term. But like Supreme Court/Congress are the bodies defined by the constitution to embody their respective branches, President is the body defined by the Constitution to embody the executive branch. That being said, I think this is moot discussion based upon what we've said below.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 19:08, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

It's my understanding that this discussion is not about other style guides or about whether our style guide is wrong. We can have that discussion at WP:MOSCAPS. Here we need to decide how to apply our existing style guide and make sure we interpret it correctly.

Do we want to more participation? RfC? Jojalozzo 03:46, 6 December 2011 (UTC)

Based upon the response that I've gotten and what I've read on the subject, it seems as if the use of capitalization for specific individuals such as the pope varies by sources/style guidelines. There is no uniform consensus on whether high level public figures should be capitalized (although it is apparently more common to do so in the U.S.) They key is to be consistent in which method is used. That being said, the MOS for Wikipedia has sided with the use of lower case for titles that are not immediately preceeding the individuals name. Thus, IMO, we should follow that style guideline.
The question that then remains, is does Pope when referring to the Office of the Pope deserve to be capitalized? From what I can tell, the guideline is to capitalize when using the official name of the office, but not the informal name. Eg The Department of Civil Engineering is correct, but Civil Engineering Department is not. Thus, the usage of "pope" to designate the Office of the Pope (or whichever title we use for the pope) is an informal title and should not be capitalized.
Thus, while I initially thought it should be capitalized when used to reference specific popes or as an office, my LIMITED research says otherwise---I am open to being pursuaded otherwise if somebody can show that it should be. To me, the situation depends on whether or not Pope is a formal name of the office.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 16:12, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
As the article states: "pope" refers to the officeholder (lead sentence), the informal term for the office is "the papacy" (2nd para) and several "correct official name(s) of the office" are listed in Pope#Official list of titles ("Bishop of Rome", "Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church", ...). Jojalozzo 18:35, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
That works for me... of course, we need to see what counter arguments might be presented.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 19:08, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I don't follow the argumentation. I think we all agree that "pope" is correct when speaking of the popes of the 17th century, or the French popes, etc. But should we open the article with "The pope (from Latin: papa; from Greek: πάππας (pappas),[1] a child's word for father) is the Bishop of Rome ... the pope is regarded as the successor of Saint Peter ..."? Esoglou (talk) 20:31, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
As I understand it, the article is about anyone who has held, is holding or will hold the office of Bishop of Rome, not any specific office holder. Therefore we are using the title generically and we should down-case it. Jojalozzo 20:39, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm afraid that this is the direct opposite of what I think. If we were talking about some individual who has held, is holding or will hold the office, it should be lower case: "a pope", "one of the popes who ..."; but I think that when we are speaking of the office generically or in the abstract, it should be upper case. When speaking of United States constitutional affairs, do we or do we not speak of the checks and balances between the President of the United States (abstract, generic), not some particular president (some individual who has held, is holding or will hold the office), and the Congress? Am I wrong? Esoglou (talk) 21:13, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
You are wrong---in part. Properly speaking, if we are using the Office of the President or President of the United States then it would be capitalized. But if we were to talk about the United States president or more generically the president, then they are lower case. Titles are lower case, specific jobs are upper case when it is the official title, but lower case when it is not. When I was looking into this yesterday, there was an example related to the Chicago Manual of Style. According to the CMOS, president should be lower case unless it is used before a name or is the formal title. First Lady is always capitalized. The CMOS was asked about the phrase "the president and First Lady" because it looked weird. The editors at CMOS responded by agreeing that it looked weird, but that the solution wasn't to IAR and capitalize president, but rather to rewrite it as "President Obama and the First Lady" or "the President of the United States and the First Lady."
I say in part because American English is apparently starting to diverge in this regard from English as used elsewhere---especially in regards to the president. Apparently us Yanks, are starting to capitalize pronouns as described by the Stark reference you provided. But that practice has not garnered widespread acceptance (even in the U.S.). It is apparently an issue that (in the US at least) can go either way. That being said, WP's MOS has sided with the traditional usage of capitalizations.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 21:46, 6 December 2011 (UTC)
@Esoglou: The lead sentence appears to be talking about the office holder, no? Only when we get to the second paragraph do we talk about the office. As far as I can tell, pope is used to refer to the person not the office and papacy is used to refer to the office. It would help if you could check and identify some instances in the article where you think pope is used to mean the office and not the officeholder.
Even so, according to the MOS, informal names for an office (presidency, papacy) are common nouns. It only calls for capitalizing the "correct formal name of the office" (e.g. President of the United States, Bishop of Rome). In the end we wouldn't capitalize even those cases, if any, where we agree that "pope" is used to refer to the office. Jojalozzo 04:27, 7 December 2011 (UTC)
As I see it (wrongly?), the lead sentence, "the Pope/pope is the Bishop of Rome", is talking about the generic abstract office holder, not about an individual concrete holder of the office, as in "the Pope's/pope's name is Benedict XVI". The office is "the papacy", not "the Pope/pope".
The NASA style manual, 86 says you should capitalize not only "President of the United States" but also (when referring to that president) "the President". This Australian style guide says practically the same with regard to "the Prime Minister", "the President", "the Queen". The last of these, in particular, would at first sight look very odd as "the queen", but I suppose one could get used to it. Capitalize the words used to refer to people in very high offices, such as "President" in "President of the United States," or "The President spoke to the Prime Minister of England" - this is what this United States style guide says. Other (American?) style guides suggest using lower case, but whether they are a minority or a majority, whether they are exclusively American or are international, there is no reason why Wikipedia must necessarily adopt their style. Wikipedia rules for capitalization of such high office holders should surely echo its rules for varieties of English: keep whatever style is established in the article and which is approved by (some) reputable sources, and don't change it to fit instead your own preferred style. Esoglou (talk) 19:05, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I agree that the lead sentence and the whole article is using "pope" to refer to the office holder and we use "papacy" or other terminology to refer to the office. Our MOS allows for exceptions to the house style if there is a consistent usage in sources but I don't see evidence of consistent capitalization in sources as evidenced in the variations in style guides you researched and in the Encyclopedia Brittanica (which uses "pope" for non-specific officeholder). That suggests we adopt our MOS style: lower-case "pope" for generic usage and capitalize when referring to a specific person. Jojalozzo 23:46, 7 December 2011 (UTC)

Would you please help me by giving the link to our "house style". I know it must be somewhere in the Wikipedia Manual of Style, but I have too much on my plate to have an appetite for searching out the exact place. Esoglou (talk) 07:44, 8 December 2011 (UTC)
Since you haven't answered my request, I looked for the link myself and found this. Is it what you have in mind? Inter alia, it says: "Elizabeth II is 'the Queen' not 'the queen'." With all due respect to Her Britannic Majesty, I do not think that the rule "A very high ranking office may begin with a capital letter when used to refer to a specific and obvious person" applies to her but not to the Pope. Esoglou (talk) 21:45, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
I'm sorry. I thought I had posted links to the Titles section. Maybe it was on another talk page. Anyway, I agree with you about using "the Pope" when we are referring to a particular (specific and obvious) person but still "pope" when we are discussing a generic holder of the office, right? Jojalozzo 21:57, 9 December 2011 (UTC)
The place that I found also says: "Offices, positions, and job titles such as president, king, emperor, pope, bishop, abbot, executive director are common nouns and therefore should be in lower case when used generically: 'Mitterrand was the French president' or 'There were many presidents at the meeting'." This must be what you had in mind. I think there is no dispute, either inside or outside of Wikipedia, that it is correct to write: "Elizabeth I was an English queen"; "Richard Nixon was a controversial president"; "Pius IX was the pope of the First Vatican Council". In these cases the words are clearly common nouns. But reliable sources support either lower case or upper case in statements about the constitutional position of the (generic) Queen/queen, President of the United States/president of the United States, Pope/pope. Does Wikipedia really ban expressions such as "The Queen (or King) is the head of state of the United Kingdom", "Congress can impeach the President", "In Catholic teaching, the Pope is the successor of Saint Peter", when used with reference not to any particular individual, but to whoever holds the high offices? Esoglou (talk) 09:43, 10 December 2011 (UTC)
Yes, the Titles section of the Capitalization page of the MOS is the governing language for capitalizing "Pope/pope". However, the MOS does not ban anything. It's just a guideline and there's flexibility when it's needed.
The core of our capitalization style is to avoid unnecessary capitalization which is often contrary to common usage. For example most of us took a while to accept using sentence-style capitalization for titles of articles and sections. I see our job title/office style as very similar. It's not what we're used to but it appears to be working and we're willing to go along.
I don't see a problem with down-casing pope when it refers to the non-specific officeholder, e.g. "In Catholic teaching, the pope is the successor of Saint Peter". The guideline is clear and, as you say, there is no consistent usage in sources that would suggest we need to go outside the guidelines.
It makes sense to me that Congress is a proper noun since there is just the one institution. And it makes sense that for generic office holders, "president", "pope", and "queen" are common nouns since we're referring to a class of people not a specific individual. To me, "The Congress can impeach the president" seems fine since we're just talking about a generic process not a specific event involving a specific person. I think it's the same as saying "The legislature can impeach the president" or "The judiciary can strike down laws passed by the legislature." Likewise, I don't see the problem with "In Catholic teaching, the pope is the successor of Saint Peter." Jojalozzo 05:55, 11 December 2011 (UTC)
"The MOS does not ban anything", you say with regard to capitalizing "Pope/pope", "and there's flexibility where it's needed". So there is no need to impose on a Wikipedia article a capitalization different from what is already established in an article. Authoritative sources can be found for both "The Congress can impeach the president" and "The Congress can impeach the President". The latter style, in which institutions such as "the President", "the Queen", "the Pope" are capitalized, is in harmony with the normal capitalization of, for instance, "the Crown" as an institution. There are no grounds for eliminating it from Wikipedia as if it were banned. Esoglou (talk) 07:29, 11 December 2011 (UTC)

ambiguous wording in section "Saint Peter and the origin of the office"

The article currently has "The Catholic scholarly community agrees with the church's interpretation that the "rock" Jesus refers to in this passage is Peter. An interpretation that some scholars agree with" implying that this view is generally rejected. However, the Encyclopædia Britannica article cited says that this view is "the consensus of the great majority of scholars today." This should be made clear in the wording. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:46, 24 December 2011 (UTC)

Ex Cathedra

the intro says that the first and only ex cathedra statment after the definition of papal infallibility was the assumption. was the immaculate conception before of after the definition of papal infallibility? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:32, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

The article is correct, it was before, in the 1850s; papal infallibility wasn't defined/declared until 1870 at Vatican I. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 20:44, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Ambiguity in lead paragraph

The contributing editor has a history of edit-warring so I will follow WP:BRD here and discuss the addition. The proposed phrase is: a position that makes him the leader of what is sometimes called the worldwide Catholic Church. This is ambiguous and raises more questions than it answers. There is no source or explanation given for the assertion. Please provide a source, and/or an explanation in the article, not in edit summaries, or remove it altogether. Elizium23 (talk) 05:47, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Remember that the standard for inclusion is Verifiability. While this is often contrasted as verifiability, not truth it is also important to note that the standard is "Can this fact be verified?" and not "Has this fact been verified?". Sources and citations are only truly necessary for facts that are likely to be challenged. Is there really any concern that the Pope is not the leader of the Catholic Church, as defined in the lede and in the article that is linked to? Achowat (talk) 12:52, 16 January 2012 (UTC)

Request for change of disparaging term

Please change "... as the basis for His kingdom and not making a pope of Peter as the Papists claim" to "... as the basis for His kingdom and not making a pope of Peter as Catholics claim."

Reason: The above quoted is found under the section heading "Saint Peter and the origin of the office". The term papist has negative, derogatory connotations (see The term Catholic would be more appropriate and accurate here.

Bclyons12 (talk) 00:09, 17 January 2012 (UTC)Bclyons12

Done thanks for pointing it out. Elizium23 (talk) 00:23, 17 January 2012 (UTC)

Wars of the introduction

The text now sais " In the Middle Ages they played a secular important in Western Europe, often serving as referees between the monarchs and avoiding several wars in Europe"

This may be right. But should it not say: " In the Middle Ages they played a secular important in Western Europe, often serving as referees between the monarchs and avoiding and/or starting several wars in Europe"

This is factually more true is it not? (talk) 10:49, 19 February 2012 (UTC)


Now the text has been changed to:

"In the Middle Ages they played a role of secular importance in Western Europe, often serving as referees between the monarchs and averting several wars"

What does this "averting" mean? Why should this with avoiding or averting wars in the middle ages be mentioned at all in the introduction? I suggest the whole sentence be removed.

Carl — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:26, 11 March 2012 (UTC)

Language Cleanup

There are multiple sections of this article that are written using grammar and syntax that make it nearly unintelligible. Particularly egregious sections include "Nicaea to East-West Schism (325-1054)," "Medieval Age," "Reformation to present (1517 to today)," and "Saint Peter and the origin of the office." I don't know what I'm doing well enough to make the edits myself, nor do I understand the material well enough to make the edits while still guaranteeing preservation of the intended meaning. Any chance someone who actually knows what they are doing could do so?

-- I don't know when you made that comment, but I second the need for a cleanup. Jack Daw (talk) 03:34, 14 March 2012 (UTC)

I've fixed the language so that its proper English, though the content itself falls rather short of stellar. carl bunderson (talk) (contributions) 22:18, 16 March 2012 (UTC)

Why isn’t Nero listed as a Pope, he certainly held the title of Pontifex Maximus?


This proposal is based upon a fallacy; as it has been already explained, both the roman emperors and the popes have used the title pontifex maximus, but this does not mean that a roman emperor can be called a pope. Pontifices were roman priests before the catholic popes adopted this title. To say that all pontifices maximi were also popes would mean that a guy such as Tiberius Coruncanius was a pope, some 250 years before Christ was even born. I want to believe the IP was trying to improve Wikipedia, but this violates, at the very least, WP:V. Please, find a reliable source that refers to Nero as a catholic pope and, only then, come back. Though I fear you'll find none. Until then, please do not reopen this discussion. Salvio Let's talk about it! 22:26, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

This article is slanted by Roman Catholic Apologists, and is not historically accurate. As an example, it’s not only well known, but stated in other Wikipedia topics who the last emperor who held the title was, as well as the bishop who claimed the title. I see the apologists have been trying to work their magic on the Pontifex Maximus page as well to obscure historical facts about the topic. This page, and parts of the Pontifex Maximus page as well, have become Roman Catholic Counter-reformation propaganda pages. Isn’t it a violation of the terms of this site to post propaganda rather then historical facts?

Now with that in mind, wasn’t Nero also a Pope? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:32, 9 May 2012 (UTC) (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

Ok, so I have no background information on the subject, so please treat me like someone who just got papal amnesia. Was Nero selected as Pope by the College of Cardinals, thus ensuring apostolic succession of the Papal Tiara? Did he hold ecclesiastic authority over other Bishops in communion with him? Achowat (talk) 12:42, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Ummmm, no. Pontifex Maximus was a term long used in Rome. It was used long before the Jesus was even born---hell it was used in Rome while the Jews were still in exile. The use of the term by Roman Emperors is completely independent of that later used by the Popes. As for Nero being the head of the Christian Church at the time---absolutely absurd. Anybody who is teaching you this, needs to study a little history as it is clearly a polemetic that somebody wants you to buy into.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 14:43, 9 May 2012 (UTC)
Read WP:OR and see if you can find reliable sources for what you claim to be "historical FACTS". You could start with your claim that the title "pope" is derived not from πάππας, but from pontifex maximus. Esoglou (talk) 11:57, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Pope is a title that is derived from the older title “Pontifex Maximus”, if you don’t know what that is then look it up right here on Wiki. At the time of Peters death, Nero was the Pontifex Maximus (aka Pope). The very idea that Peter would have accepted the title of the man who was the greatest enemy of the Church of his time, is absolutely absurd Roman Catholic twisting of historical FACTS…

The idea that the title does not apply to Nero, as it does to modern Pontiffs, is historically inaccurate. The title has NOTHING to do with Christianity, and was rejected by Christian Emperor Gratian, as “unbefitting a Christian”, then was taken up by Damasus I. Later RCC decrees would attempt to cover up this fact, and legitimize the title by fictionalizing history to claim that the Peter was the first man to hold the title. The RCC had to do this because much of their power was dependant on Peters being “the rock” that the church was founded on.

As to his election by the college of cardinals, the answer is yes. The Roman Empire also selected its Pope according to the vote of its College of Pontiffs, the Collegium Pontificum.

Historically, the TRUE line of popes does NOT go back to peter, it historically goes back through the line of emperors starting with Gratian and going backwards. The Roman Catholic Church has made up a fictionalized version of events to help cover up this fact from the common man who would never bother to look up the real source and meaning of the title.

And so that brings us back to my original question. Is wikipedia about stating historical facts, or fictional beliefs? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:20, 25 May 2012 (UTC) (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

Your baseless conspiracy theories really have no place in the article. Wikipedia is about stating historical facts, but what you got, ain't. There is historical record of popes going back to Peter. The second pope was Linus, who is also mentioned in the bible. Now the title Pontifes Maximus passed through Roman emperors for centuries until one such emperor gave the title to the pope as a gift. From there it changed hands. And the title pope? Derived from the Latin word for father. You can't assume that it came from Pontifes Maximus just because they both start with a P.
And in regards to the church trying to cover up the fact that it wasn't always the pope's title and that it was once the title of one who hated the church - I can't say I agree with that considering they teach that fact to pretty much every kid who goes through Catholic school.Farsight001 (talk) 11:54, 25 May 2012 (UTC)

Talk about a fail...


Despite RCC apologists trying to muddy the water on the Pontifex Maximus page:

“In 382, the Emperor Gratian, at the urging of Ambrose, removed the Altar of Victory from the Forum, withdrew the state subsidies that funded many pagan activities and formally renounced the title of Pontifex Maximus.[22] It is said that Pope Damasus I was the first Bishop of Rome to assume the title,[23] Other sources say that the use of such titles by bishops, including the Bishop of Rome, came later.”

Certainly is not a conspiracy theory, its historical fact, regardless of the RCC trying to change history. Nice try on changing this WIKI article as well. But lets cut right to the meat...

“Gratian refused to wear the insignia of the Pontifex Maximus as unbefitting a Christian, renouncing the title and office of Pontifex Maximus under the influence of Ambrose, declaring that it was unsuitable for a Christian to hold this office. Gratian was quickly faced with a revolt from Magnus Maximus to the throne because he was more sympathetic to the Pagan cause.”

Nice job in removing it from Damasus I page and replacing it with it with a cut&paste from the above page that fails to mention him taking the title...

Again though, no conspiracy theory, Peter was a Bishop, he was not the Pope. Nero was the Pope during the time that Peter was put to death.


Did you even bother to read this article itself:


Entrance to Vatican City, with inscription "Benedictus XVI Pont(ifex) Max(imus) Anno Domini MMV Pont(ificatus) I.", i.e., "Benedict XVI, Pontifex Maximus, in the year of Our Lord 2005, the first year of his pontificate." The term "pontiff" is derived from the Latin word pontifex, which literally means "bridge builder" (pons + facere),[103] and which designated a member of the principal college of priests in ancient Rome.[103][104][105] The Latin word was translated into ancient Greek variously: as ἱεροδιδάσκαλος, ἱερονόμος, ἱεροφύλαξ, ἱεροφάντης,[106] or ἀρχιερεύς (high priest)[107][108] The head of the college was known as the Pontifex Maximus (the greatest pontiff).[109]”

Please show me the conspiracy theory here? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:37, 27 May 2012 (UTC) (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

Well, right off the bat, the conspiracy theory is, in part, that you assume that every edit made against your preference is some scheming effort by Catholics to silence facts or the idea that the Church is trying to change history. Those concepts are textbook conspiracy theories because you literally theorize that there is a conspiracy among Catholics.
As for your quotations, nothing you said really contradicted anything I said, nor anything in this article.
Now, if you have a WP:RS supporting your conspiracy-esque claims, then we can talk. Until then, this conversation is pointless, so stop wasting everyone's time.Farsight001 (talk) 17:58, 27 May 2012 (UTC)
Nero wasn't a pope; it's as simple as that. If you'll read our article on the title, I think it will help to clear up any misunderstandings. Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 22:48, 27 May 2012 (UTC)

Oh no conspiracy theory here, I've watched it happen over years of sourcing said articles.

For example, in 2007 the Damasus I article read:

“Many in both Pagan and Christian society saw in Damasus a man whose worldly ambitions outweighed his pastoral concerns. His entertainments were infamous for their lavishness. Praetextatus, a wealthy aristocrat and a high priest in the cults of numerous gods, reportedly joked to Damasus, "Make me bishop of Rome and I will become a Christian". Some of his critics called him "the ladies' ear-tickler."

According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, "An accusation of adultery was laid against him (378) in the imperial court, but he was exonerated by Emperor Gratian himself (J. D. Mansi, Coll. Conc., III, 628) and soon after by a Roman synod of forty-four bishops (Liber Pontificalis, ed. Duchesne, s.v.; Mansi, op. cit., III, 419) which also excommunicated his accusers."

All removed since then with an excuse that the accusations were unfounded.

BTW, your list is wrong in not including Nero, he even had coinage minted with his title of Pontifex Maximus on it...

In 2007 the List of Emperors read:

“October 54 to 11 June 68 NERO CLAVDIVS CAESAR AVGVSTVS GERMANICVS 55: Pontifex Maximus; later Pater Patriae;”

Now also removed:

Notice the cleaver editing of the Pontifex maximus page to cast doubt on how the position came into being:


“The Pontifex Maximus was the high priest of the Ancient Roman College of Pontiffs. This was the most important position in the Ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians, until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office. It was last held by the Christian Roman Emperor Gratian until the title passed over to the Bishop of Rome.[1][2] Today, "Pontifex Maximus" is one of the titles of the Bishop of Rome as Pope of the Catholic Church. As a papal title, the translation Supreme Pontiff is customary when writing in English, in which the Latin term Pontifex Maximus refers to the former pagan Roman post.”


“The Pontifex Maximus (Latin, literally: "greatest pontiff") was the high priest of the College of Pontiffs (Collegium Pontificum) in ancient Rome. This was the most important position in the ancient Roman religion, open only to patricians until 254 BC, when a plebeian first occupied this post. A distinctly religious office under the early Roman Republic, it gradually became politicized until, beginning with Augustus, it was subsumed into the Imperial office. Its last use with reference to the emperors is in inscriptions of Gratian[1] (reigned 375–383) who, however, then decided to omit the words "pontifex maximus" from his title.[2][3]

The word "pontifex" later became a term used for Christian bishops,[4] including the Bishop of Rome,[5] and the title of "Pontifex Maximus" was applied within the Roman Catholic Church to the Pope as its chief bishop. It is not included in the Pope's official titles,[6] but appears on buildings, monuments and coins of popes of Renaissance and modern times.”

I can show many such edits in a brazen attempt to publish the Official Roman Catholic cover story vs the reality of history. I'd be very interested to know how many of these sourced documents being used to convey doubt on the topic, are in fact publications from Rome itself.

BTW... There is no “conspiracy theory” about these attempts to “cover up”, its a well known part of Romes Counter-Reformation tactics. The facts are that Peter is not a Pope, and he, as well as Paul, were both put to death by the sitting Pope of their day, Nero.

Roman Catholic popes certainly hold the title of Pontifex Maximus, but it does not operate the other way around - the holders of that title in the ancient Roman Empire, such as those before Christ, were not popes. If you can find a good source that gives Nero the title of Pope, i would be astonished. Astonish me, if you can. --Pete (talk) 09:27, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Precisely. The OP seems to be operating under the logical fallacy that, because all popes are Pontifex Maximi, all Pontifex Maximi are popes. The title has a long and storied history, and wasn't even adopted by the bishop of Rome until (if I'm not mistaken) the early fifth century; its use prior to the establishment of the papal office (and indeed Christianity itself) is no argument for its claimants having some status as head of a then-future organization (the Roman Catholic Church). Evanh2008 (talk|contribs) 09:39, 28 May 2012 (UTC)
Once again, IP96, if you do not have a WP:RS for this information, there is simply nothing we can do.Farsight001 (talk) 14:35, 28 May 2012 (UTC)

Does Columbia university press count as source enough, or does it only have to be a Catholic source? “pontifex maximus (pŏn´tĭfĕks măk´sĭms) , highest priest of Roman religion and official head of the college of pontifices. As the chief administrator of religious affairs he regulated the conduct of religious ceremonies, consecrated temples and other holy places, and controlled the calendar. During the time of the empire, and until Christianity became firmly established, the emperor was designated pontifex maximus. After the supremacy of Christianity, the popes assumed the title.”

After all its not like the RCC is above using their scholars to write source info in attempts to hide their actual history.

How about this list, which though incomplete, is more accurate then those coming from Roman Sources: “Incomplete list of Pontifices maximi

753 BC to 712 BC - Duties and power of office held by the Kings of Rome

712 BC - Numa Marcius


509 BC - Papirius


449 BC - Furius

431 BC - Cornelius Cossus

420 BC - Minucius

390 BC - Follius Flaccinator


332 BC - Cornelius Callissa

304 BC - Cornelius Scipio Barbatus


254 BC - Tiberius Coruncanius

243 BC - Lucius Caecilius Metellus

237 BC - Lucius Cornelius Lentulus Caudinus

212 BC - Publius Licinius Crassus Dives

183 BC - Gaius Servilius Geminus

180 BC - Marcus Aemilius Lepidus

152 BC - Vacant

150 BC - Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica

141 BC - Publius Cornelius Scipio Nasica Serapio

132 BC - Publius Licinius Crassus Mucianus

130 BC - Publius Mucius Scaevola

115 BC - Lucius Caecilius Metellus Dalmaticus

103 BC - Gnaeus Domitius Ahenobarbus

89 BC - Quintus Mucius Scaevola

81 BC - Quintus Caecilius Metellus Pius

63 BC - Gaius Julius Caesar

44 BC - Marcus Aemilius Lepidus

12 BC - Augustus

12 BC to AD 376 - Held by the Emperors

Pope Gregory I, 590–604 to the present - Held by the Popes.”

Now the last time I checked, Nero was in fact an Emperor between 12BC and 376AD. ( (talk) 13:12, 29 May 2012 (UTC)Mike) (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic.

DoNotFeedTroll.svg WP:DNFTT Elizium23 (talk) 13:13, 29 May 2012 (UTC)
AGREE - If all the reasonable editors here will simply ignore these attempts to gain attention, the trolls will go away eventually. Cresix (talk) 22:18, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

Excuse me, but I have not vandalized the page, nor am I trolling. I am sorry that I do not accept your version of catholic altered history. The facts remain that a a Holy Pontiff, (Pontifex Maximus) put Peter and Paul to death, and the line of them goes back to Roman Emperors, not to Peter. I have yet to see any proof otherwise outside of, “its so because we say its so”... ( (talk)Mike) —Preceding undated comment added 13:18, 29 May 2012 (UTC) (talkcontribs) has made few or no other edits outside this topic. Facepalm3.svg FacepalmYour own source says the title was used until the middle of the fourth century by Roman Emperors and not until the end of the sixth century was it used by Popes. Nobody is doubting that. But according to your logic, the lineage of popes goes back to 712 BCE---Long before Jesus or any institute vaguely resembling the Catholic Church. To say that Nero is pope would be like saying Castro was President of the US because he uses the title President. Sorry this is nothing but trolling and I've asked for somebody at ANI to chime in.---Balloonman Poppa Balloon 21:52, 29 May 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Date of possible beginning of Peter's 'term' as Pope

Quite separate from the debate over whether the position of Pope existed at the time of Peter (see Talk above), it appears that the proposed date of his ascension (29AD) is several years too soon (predating Jesus's death). The Saint Peter article itself reports no such date, and in fact one of the only relevant references suggests a term of 25 years (consistent with a mid-30s beginning date). Indeed, the Saint Peter article mentions how little we know of Peter.

This is Wikipedia, not Sunday School class. We use reliable sources, or we don't put it in the article. There is dispute about the exact year of Jesus' death. See Jesus. I removed the dates altogether. Cresix (talk) 15:37, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
The traditional account is that Peter was for 25 years in Rome (cf., for instance, Hastings), so that, if governing directly the church in Rome is considered essential for being Pope, that is the period assigned to him. (It is said that the ceremony of coronation of a Pope included the phrase "Annos Petri non superabis" (You will not surpass the years of Peter), and that, at his coronation, Pope Pius IX, who as things turned out did reign for more than 25 years, remarked aloud: "That's no dogma of the faith"; but that story is doubtless a post factum joke.) The generally accepted date for Peter's death is AD 64 or 67. This is reflected in the Annuario Pontificio, which makes no statement of its own about the beginning of Peter's position as Pope, merely reporting the document of 354 that says Peter was in Rome for 25 years and adding that Peter resided earlier in Antioch. Whoever put AD 29 or 30 or 33 as the beginning date must be linking it with "I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven" or with "Feed my sheep". Whatever date is given should be sourced. At present it isn't. I don't know what source says Peter was Pope for about 30 years, as now stated in the article. I haven't searched for one. Esoglou (talk) 16:26, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
It would be nice to have a source for "about 30 years", but the phrase is vague enough that I personally don't think it needs a citation. If Peter was pope at the time of Jesus' death (if you assume that Jesus made Peter the pope rather than when specifically Peter was in Rome), and you look at the range of estimates for death dates of Jesus and Peter, 30 years as a rough estimate is not unreasonable. Cresix (talk) 16:36, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
There are sources that say 25 years. No source says 30 years or even "about 30 years". In accordance with Wikipedia rules, if anything is put in, it should be "25 years". Esoglou (talk) 17:00, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
If you insist on splitting that hair, then you should add the source and change it to "about 25 years" until someone can come up with a source otherwise. I wouldn't revert that, but I think it's unnecessary because it is so vague and so far I haven't seen a source that defines whether Peter became pope when Jesus made him pope (in which case an argument could be made for 30 years) or at some other time or in some other way. It's well sourced that, according to Catholicism, Jesus' "keys to the kingdom" statement instituted the papacy, which (perhaps) conflicts with "Peter's time in Rome". But as I said, it's not a point worth arguing about for me. Cresix (talk) 18:33, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree with your removal of the entire sentence. There's just too much that is not known about Peter. Cresix (talk) 20:15, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

Major deletions; sockpuppetry?

Farsight001 (talk · contribs) and Richardprins (talk · contribs) have made major deletions of the same reasonably sourced information, claiming "OR, non RS, argumentative". I have asked them to discuss here, but thus far they have refused and continue to repeatedly remove the information. I ask editors to be alert to these poorly explained deletions, and to watch for evidence of sockpuppetry. Thanks. Cresix (talk) 16:19, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

I found some additional information on this issue. Apparently this extensive removal and other similar deletions by Farsight001 has been going on for several years. See User talk:Farsight001#Removal of "Objections to Papacy" Material Inappropriate. If you look at this editor's entire talk page you see numerous warnings about similar disruptive editing on similar topics. Much of the disruption suggests that this user has a strong bias against Protestantism, which of course is his/her right, but it should not be expressed disruptively on Wikipedia. Cresix (talk) 19:59, 16 June 2012 (UTC)
dafuq? Cresix, we both know YOU violated the 3RR first. You have no right to warn me on my talk page for edit warring when you have done exactly the same thing. Nor do you have the right to complain about me not discussing the issue when at the very least, I explained the reason for the removal in the edit summaries and you yourself have refused to discuss or explain your re-addition of said material. Anyone can view the edit history of the article and see clearly that your accusations against Richardprins and I are more aptly applied to you, so cut the crap.
As for the numerous warnings on my talk page, as I have explained elsewhere, including my talkpage, if you cared to pay attention, are largely spurious warnings falsely placed there by openly disruptive editors. Only one warning thus far has been a valid one. I just am not in the practice of deleting comments from my talkpage, no matter what they say. So where do I report you for trying to start shit with this bitchy and completely uncalled for talk page post?
You want to discuss the removal of the material on the talk page? Fine. Then discuss it. If you just want to complain about other users doing literally exactly what you yourself are doing, then you're better off hanging out with over-privileged junior-high kids.Farsight001 (talk) 00:07, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
And FYI, I leave in a bit to go camping till at least next Saturday. I'm sure you'll see this as an opportunity to re-add the material without having to discuss it, but I'm actually just telling you so you don't declare victory or some crap because I don't respond right away.Farsight001 (talk) 00:10, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
State your case for "OR, non RS, argumentative" HERE, not in edit summaries. And if you continue this nonsense of reverting without consensus here, I will request a full sockpuppet investigation. Cresix (talk) 00:24, 17 June 2012 (UTC)
Cut the bullshit. Nothing says I can't explain my edits in the edit summary. In fact, quite the opposite. I explained my edits. You reverted, and it is YOUR job to explain, not mine. You have, as of yet, given absolutely no explanation for your edits whatsoever. You've made more reverts than me, you've given no explanation for your edits whatsoever. Clearly, if I am in error, you are far more in error, so quit with this moral high ground bullshit. Go ahead and request a full sockpuppet investigation. I'm not afraid of your childish threats. I explained the reason for the removal of material. You have no ground whatsoever to stand on. Clearly, it's OR because there is original research present. Clearly I said "non-RS" because non-reliable sources were used. Clearly I said argumentative because the style of speech was argumentative, not neutral and explanatory. So go ahead and try me. I'll give you roughly 48 hours to explain YOUR edits.Farsight001 (talk) 06:04, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Please watch your tone. If an edit is challenged, you have an obligation to explain here (which you have not) your claims of "OR, non RS, argumentative" and wait for consensus. Cresix (talk) 15:03, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────I set up an RfC on this issue immediately below to open this issue up to the entire Wikipedia community rather than letting it escalate into a heated dispute between two editors. Please add further discussion in that section and wait for consensus before removing the information from the article. Thank you. Cresix (talk) 15:27, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Once again, you attribute your actions to me. It was your edit that was challenged by me, unless you still think I'm a sockpuppet. In addition, I have no such obligation to explain it here. It is perfectly acceptable to explain my edit in the edit summary, which I did. You have STILL to explain your reason for reversion. You, for the 4th time, are clearly and blatantly in the wrong here, and that's not counting your completely spurious and unwarranted warnings you placed on my talk page.
So, again, YOU explain YOUR edits. I already explained mine. I don't need to do it again.
As for incivility - it comes in many forms, and I would argue that your decision to repeatedly accuse me of things you did first and warn me for things that you did first qualify as far more incivil than anything I have said.Farsight001 (talk) 18:42, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────AGAIN, I set up an RfC on this issue immediately below to open this issue up to the entire Wikipedia community. Please add further discussion in that section. Thank you. Cresix (talk) 18:46, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

I did that since that section is about the content. I placed the above here because this section seems to exist solely for the purpose of you lambasting and belittling me and generally bitching about me not sitting back and quietly taking it up the ass, and I wanted to defend myself. If you would prefer I do that in the other section instead, I suppose I could, but it wouldn't' make much sense there.Farsight001 (talk) 18:58, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Protestant interpretation of papal origin

While there are only a few participants here, the consensus is clear: the disputed section should not be reinstated (it was last removed in this edit), certainly not the form it was in: comment is offered on the sourcing which, if I may, seems remarkably weak for such an important article (they're all from the same website, for starters). Moreover, it is stated, correctly, that the section essentially duplicates another section in the article. The RfC closes with the removers having both the numbers and the arguments. Drmies (talk) 02:41, 26 July 2012 (UTC)

The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

(See section immediately above for background.)
Link to disputed section.
Should a sourced paragraph about Protestant interpretation of the origin of the papal office be removed? Cresix (talk) 15:25, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Question - Some of this content is covered in Pope#Monarchical episcopate. Is there a reason for covering it again in more detail in the disputed section rather than improving the previous coverage? Jojalozzo 17:28, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
I don't have a problem with removing the redundancy and integrating all of the information into one section ("Saint Peter and the origin of the office"), but in doing so the information in the disputed section (and the included sources and footnotes) should not be removed, which has been the action of one editor (see discussion in section immediately above). So far, there has been no explanation of the edit summary ""OR, non RS, argumentative" that has been used in removing this information. Cresix (talk) 17:48, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Then why did you undo removal of wholescale duplication (not merely redundancy), and why have you insisted on giving twice the views of these out-of-date writers, all of whom you have found in one single source? Giving their views with such long quotations even once is too much. Esoglou (talk) 19:00, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
And why continue to re-add the material after you started an RFC, when it is customary and proper to NOT alter the material in question until the RFC or dispute is concluded? Cresix, you still provide no justification for inclusion, no counter argument, and you are continuously re-adding the material without any real explanation. The moment a second editor got involved and you became outnumbered, you immediately jumped to sockpuppetry accusations and you continued editing, and now that more editors have jumped in, you ignore them, and continue editing, you run to an RFC, and still, continue editing, and now even more editors question your edits. Give it up already.Farsight001 (talk) 19:08, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Why does the protestant perspective exist at all here? An article should answer the question "What/who is (article title)?" This article's purpose is to explain what the pope is - the history of him, where the idea came from, what his purpose is, etc. Yes, an article should include criticism, but this is more than criticism. It is presented as a declaration of irrefutable fact. It is, as I have explained multiple times already, and which Cresix has repeatedly chosen to ignore, presented argumentatively, it uses questionable sources, lacks sources for some statements, and thus includes synthesis as well. No encyclopedia should include statements written in such a way. It in no way helps the reader understand what a pope is.Farsight001 (talk) 18:55, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

Any major perspective on the origin of the papacy is relevant to this article, per WP:NPOV; and the Protestant position is a major perspective, not a fringe point of view. The article is not restricted to the views of the Catholic Church, just as major disagreements in any article (about a religion or any other topic) should be included in that article. And nothing, Catholic or Protestant views included, is presented in the article as "declaration of irrefutable fact"; the information is simply presented as a Protestant or Catholic perspective, nothing more and nothing less. And please tell us specifically what is "questionable" about the sources besides the fact that it is not a Catholic perspective; please refer us to the specific parts of WP:RS that you use to determine that the sources are "questionable". And by the way, thanks for finally acknowledging that you don't think a Protestant perspective belongs in the article. (FWiW for anyone interested, I am a faithful Catholic but I don't think my personal perspective should dictate what belongs in a Wikipedia article.) Cresix (talk) 19:06, 24 June 2012 (UTC)
Try reading my post more carefully instead of reading only the first sentence and ranting about that.Farsight001 (talk) 19:23, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Article fully protected for three days

The edit warring is getting out of control, and I deemed protection preferable to multiple blocks. Try to settle this in a civilized way. Personal attacks will not be tolerated. Favonian (talk) 19:16, 24 June 2012 (UTC)

  • Comment The RFC is an attempt to inveigle other editors in an edit war. The Protestant point of view on the term "Pope" is an abberant point of view, since the Protestant Churches separated from Rome. The rule of Vincent of Lerins (What is held to be true by all people in all times and places) should apply to the use of the term "Pope". "Pope" in common parlance and everyday usage refers to the Bishop of Rome, and, in ecclesiastical usage, refers to leaders of churches who are in communion with Rome, e.g., Pope Shenouda of the Coptic Church. Usage of Pontifex Maximus to imply Nero was a Pope in today's usage is ephemeral sophistry. Nero is only remembered in infamy. Whiteguru (talk) 22:29, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Please stop assuming bad faith by attributing "an attempt to inveigle other editors" to me. Comment on the issue, not editors. You may consider the Protestant point of view "abberant". The Catholic Church may consider it "abberant". I, as a Catholic, even might consider it "abberant". Fortunately the contents of Wikipedia is not confined to your, or my, or the Catholic Church's points of view. Please carefully read WP:NPOV. Any major point of view about any topic is appropriate for Wikipedia, as it is for any encyclopedia. And the Protestant point of view is a major point of view. Do you think Encyclopedia Brittanica refuses to include a point of view simply because the Catholic Church disagrees with it? If you do, I have some land in the Florida Everglades to sell you real cheap. This is an encyclopedia, not anyone's personal soapbox. Your approach to editing might work on a Catholic website, but if you think different points of view are unacceptable on Wikipedia, this is not the place for you. And if you wouldn't mind, please explain your sentence: "Usage of Pontifex Maximus to imply Nero was a Pope in today's usage is ephemeral sophistry". What does a discussion closed a month ago have to do with the current RfC? Cresix (talk) 23:09, 30 June 2012 (UTC)
Please stop assuming bad faith by accusing other editors of sockpuppetry and don't start talk page sections about other users. Comment on the issue, not editors, Cresix. Oops.Farsight001 (talk) 00:35, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Uhm, Pope Shenouda was (he died this year) the head of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Alexandria which is in the Oriental Orthodox communion, not the Catholic Church communion. The Catholic Church has but one Pope who has the primacy of rule. The heads of the other 22 Catholic Churches are known as Patriarchs or Major Archbishops and are never called Pope. And not to mention the schismatic, sedevacantist Catholic churches which have elected their own popes. So the topic of Pope in common parlance is a bit more widespread than just the Catholic Church. Elizium23 (talk) 00:38, 1 July 2012 (UTC)
Yes, most major Christian religions have a perspective on the term "pope", all of which are appropriate for this article if someone wishes to do the research and add to the article. Cresix (talk) 00:57, 1 July 2012 (UTC)


I am not sure how much quality this edit lends to the article. It is poorly written and seems to be intended to make some kind of point about Italy or its relation to the Church, as well as being undue weight given to the topic. I feel that the linked Lateran Treaty article adequately describes the state of Italy in 1929, and the sentence as it was before adequately described the event in relation to the office of Pope. If it is desired to include the leaders of those nations, then my counterproposal is the following sentence: In 1929, the [[Lateran Treaty]] between Italy under [[Benito Mussolini]] and the Holy See under [[Pope Pius XI]] established the [[Vatican City State]], guaranteeing papal independence from secular rule. Elizium23 (talk) 21:55, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

"Poorly written" is an understatement. I agree that the statement has no value for the article. My personal opinion is to revert back to the previous version, although I could accept your suggestion if others feel that it is important enough to name leaders. Cresix (talk) 22:57, 30 July 2012 (UTC)
The text of the Treaty explicitly says it is a treaty between Italy (without additional qualification) and the Holy See (without additional qualification). Both sides consider the Treaty to be still in force, not a treaty between a defunct "fascistic Italy" and a still existing Holy See. The Treaty expressly says that the signatories, Benito Mussolini and Cardinal Pietro Gasparri, were acting on behalf of King Victor Emmanuel III and Pope Pius IX, who were the heads of state who ratified the Treaty. Esoglou (talk) 07:34, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Silver hammer

This snopes article[1] states that the silver hammer to the dead Pope's head is undetermined to be true. Guardian later published a correction to the original (and disseminated article) in which it stated that according to the Vatican, it is a myth. And according to a later AP report, there ised to be such a practice until 2 Vatican. (talk) 05:36, 23 September 2012 (UTC)

Is the insertion of "reportedly" enough? Esoglou (talk) 08:10, 23 September 2012 (UTC)


the establishment of canon law.[56] under the heading Medieval...

the establishment of canon law, although canon law is mentioned even earlier in for instance the canons of the Council of Gangra specifically as previous ecclesiastical canons by that mid fourth century council held in the Galatian region: Epilogue relates "These things we write, not to cut off those who wish to lead in the Church of God an ascetic life, according to the Scriptures; but those who carry the pretence of asceticism to superciliousness; both exalting themselves above those who live more simply, and introducing novelties contrary to the Scriptures and the ecclesiastical Canons." (talk) 00:38, 3 November 2012 (UTC)Thank you, Winfred McConnell Dischler



  1. ^ The Canons of the Council of Gangra (mid 4th century) - the original Greek text with English Translation - and Latin versions,

Resignation date.

Good evening,

Would it be possible to amend the caption under the picute of the current incumbent to something more like " Resignation date 28 February 2013 " vice the current wording.


Mario Riendeau Gatineau,Qc "0V22c123" — Preceding unsigned comment added by 0V22c123 (talkcontribs) 22:32, 12 February 2013 (UTC)

Done. Esoglou (talk) 07:14, 13 February 2013 (UTC)

Fumata nera and fumata bianca

I should think that someone with permission to edit this page might want to link terms like "smoke," black smoke," and "white smoke" -- as well as fumata nera and fumata bianca to the Wikipedia page already titled Fumata nera and fumata bianca, which appears to be an orphan. (talk) 00:42, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

Yes check.svg Done. Thanks for the suggestion. Cresix (talk) 03:11, 10 March 2013 (UTC)

New Pope has been elected-Update Request

A new pope has been elected but not named. Can someone with access please update the beginning of the article?PMChi (talk) 18:43, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

We also need to try to make sure that any links to the new pope, Francis I link to the page that now exists for him under Pope Francis Catonsunday (talk) 19:38, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

His name is Francis, not Francis I Mark.hamid (talk) 02:02, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Vanitas vanitatum omnia vanitas

removed, violation of TP rules Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 20:19, 13 March 2013 (UTC)

WP:FORUM, WP:SOAPBOX - do you have anything relevant to add to the article from a Reliable Source? HammerFilmFan (talk) 03:58, 14 March 2013 (UTC)

Deletion of comments on Talk page

In all my years on the Wikipedia, contributing in 7 languages, this is the first time that I see an editor delete someone else's comments on the talk page! You will all agree that there was a shameful frenzy to be the first to add this or that bit of information. We are here to build an encyclopaedia, not to earn brownie points for being the first. Being first counts for nothing, contributing solid incontestable facts and general information does. If that annoys you, then perhaps you should look into your tolerance of others' opinions. I thought the talk page was exactly that - a space for dialogue, even if such dialogue is controversial; it is here that we must vent our annoyance, rather than engaging in edit wars on the corresponding article page. Deleting my comments is as shameful as the behaviour I was alluding to. I’d like to hear the opinions of others on this matter, not someone who does not even have a user page – might as well be an IP. If I could see this is someone highly respected in the community, with many years of service, if I could see from his page indications of his or her sound judgement, perhaps then, I could accept the deletion. But not from someone without a face. Rui ''Gabriel'' Correia (talk) 08:30, 14 March 2013 (UTC)