Talk:Vicar of Christ

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I've made some minor changes since it seemed to be written from the point of view of a Roman Catholic and that church's assertions were presented as fact. I fully accept that it is now written from the point of view of an non-sectarian Christian hence the NPOV marking. Jonathan3 22:57, 16 September 2006 (UTC)

Antichrist - Words...[edit]

Someone added this:

But what the popes forgot to mention is that vicar of Christ comes from the Greek Vicarious Christi. Vicarious Christi literally means anti-Christ.

but it was soon removed:

(rv 'etymological' nonsense) This is added by someone other than who wrote this. This addition is NOT etymology, there are several meanings to the one words. It does point to the pope. Strong's Concordance anti: over against, opposite, hence INSTEAD OF, in comp. denotes contrast, requital, substitution, correspondence Original Word: ἀντί Part of Speech: Preposition Transliteration: anti Phonetic Spelling: (an-tee') Short Definition: instead of, for Definition: (a) instead of, in return for, over against, opposite, in exchange for, as a SUBSTITUTE FOR, (b) on my behalf, (c) wherefore, because.

Strong's Concordance antichristos: antichrist, (one who opposes Christ) Original Word: ἀντίχριστος, ου, ὁ Part of Speech: Noun, Masculine Transliteration: antichristos Phonetic Spelling: (an-tee'-khris-tos) Short Definition: antichrist Definition: antichrist, either ONE WHO PUTS HIMSELF IN THE PLACE OF, or the enemy (opponent) of the Messiah.

I think the logic of the anti-Christ thing is that the Greek for "anti-Christ" means "in place of Christ" - as does the Latin for "Vicar of Christ". If someone can verify this it might be relevant to include as a well-known view, though perhaps in a less sarcastic tone ;-)Jonathan3 21:31, 28 September 2006 (UTC)

Though Greek is a complex language, so anti- may in other cases have other meanings, etymologists go by the logical application -an AC leads the ennemies of Christ, the Pope followers- of the major use (equivalent to Latin contra-) "antichrist - c.1300, from L.L. antichristus, from Gk. antikhristos [I John ii.18], from anti- "against" + khristos" (Etymology OnLine, Fastifex 10:58, 29 September 2006 (UTC)
Vicarious Christi literally means "Christ subsitute". This means that Catholics, unlike Protestants and other Christains with the 'sola scriptura' theology, believe the Pope, when speaking from 'ex-cathedra' is speaking as Christ Himself and is infallible. (Look up "First Vatican Council). Roman Catholics also believe that the Pope is "exempt from the liability of sin", which totally contradicts St. Paul. Ironically, it was only after the RCC's rise to power in Europe that the term 'Vicarious Christi' was first used- previously, the Pope was known as the Vicar of St. Peter; not Jesus the Messiah. --DandanxD 09:43, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
"anti" in Greek can have the meaning "in place of", for example when used in [Corrinthians 11:15] "..her hair is given her for (anti) a covering...". But I am no expert. Can I choose (talk) 12:52, 15 September 2013 (UTC)

"Vicarius Christi" has a very specific meaning within Catholic theology with regard to the Papacy. It stands to reason that its meaning should be defined according to the Catholic understanding of its usage. Why would one impose another meaning upon it which the Catholic Church does not have since it is a term used by it within a particular theological context. "Vicarius" in Latin means a "substitute," "deputy," "viceregent," "adjutant," "proxy," etc.(cf. Harpers' Latin Dictionary, Vol 2, American Book Company, 1907, p. 1985). It does not have the meaning of the Greek preposition "anti" which means "opposite" or "against" (the Latin preposition "ante" means "before"). In order to make such a connection, one would have to find such usage in the Latin/Greek lexicographical works, and it would have to be common or usual, not anomalous in order to be of academic value. What is happening here, frankly, is the injection of prejudicial, theological Protestant agendas that have little relevance to an objective definition of a simple term in Catholic theology. This is an article about a term that references a Catholic doctrinal understanding of the Papacy. Protestants do not normally use this term, nor do they use it with a different theological meaning. If they did, then the complaint would be just that this is a one-sided "Catholic definition," and the Protestant usage and definition would also have to be included. Now, if I am incorrect, and there is some Protestant denomination out there that in fact normally uses this term in a theologically different way than the Catholic Church does, then its definition should be presented here with source documentation/references to support the claim. I might also point out that Dandanx is incorrect when he asserts that Catholics believe the Pope is "exempt from the liability of sin." The Catholic Church teaches no such thing regarding the personal morality of its Popes. It merely teaches that the Pope is infallible when he speaks "ex cathedra" (in his office as teacher/Bishop of the universal Church) on questions of "faith and morals." This is not the same thing as saying that he is personally "sinless," or not responsible or "liable" for his own sin - which he is. KStahl M.Div., M.A. - BTW: I'm a Protestant! (Nov 27, 2006)

Thank you for your lenghty comment. You were correct when you said the Pope was not exempt from the liaility of sin and yes, it is correct that Catholics believe the Pope is Christ Himself when he is speaking from "ex-cathedra", which is found nowhere in the Holy Bible. I guess this was how the Pope and the RCC gained so much power during the Middle Ages. I am a Protestant myself and I am saddened by some of the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church.

--DandanxD 11:05, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

Numerology @ Vicarius Filii Dei (Vicar of Christ) = 666
If the following is nonsense, just let me know:
VICARIVS FILII DEI sums up to 666=Number of the Beast by isolating each alphabetic letter and connect them to the applicable roman numeral and sum the values up: 5 (v) + 1 (i) + 100 (c) + 1 (i) + 5 (V) + 1 (i) + 50 (L) + 1 (i) + 1 (i) + 500 (d) + 1 (i) = 666.
See also @ minute 7:00
There should be a sentence planted about that theorem in the article OR that this theory is wrong and why. --Bapho  talk  12:42, 4 September 2009 (UTC)


'Anti' in Latin means "before," indicating that, as you ascend the ranks of power in the Church, you get to the Pope right before you get to Christ.

  • Though more prosaic, Latin too has several uses of Anti-, including some directy imported from Greek; again counter- or against - is prominent, as in antidotum 'antidote' (original Latin) against a poisonous chemical agent, and the logical use, or from Greek antissophista 'scholar of the opposite opinion', and even Antitheus 'adversary demon' or, in Judeo-Christianity use, the Devil (fitting Antichrist exactly, as Christ is one of the three divine Persons, and theus clearly equivalent to Greek theos 'god'). (examples from a Latin-Dutch dictonary)Fastifex 13:25, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

This is irrelevant to the issue. The prepositions "Anti" or "ante" have no etymological relationship to the Latin substantive "vicarius." This is merely an attempt to impose a strained and biased definition upon the Catholic theological term "Vicarius Christi" with reference to the Pope. The fact that one does not "believe" that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ on earth, or the fact that one does not accept the theological prerogatives arrogated to itself by the Papacy, as most Protestants do not, does not justify distorting Catholic dogma or injecting non-objective perjudicial material into the definition. On the other hand, I see no reason why the general Protestant "objection" to the use of this title as a "singular" title for the Pope cannot be raised. This would be based on the Protestant principle of the "priesthood of all believers." All believers are Christ's "vicars" or "personal representatives" on earth. In Protestant theology, the papacy would have no "exclusive" or "unique" claim to the title. All Christians, by virtue of their faith - the "new being" - are the living embodiment of the resurrected Christ. This is the theological "issue" for Protestants. The other Protestant objection rests upon the interpretation of Matt. 16:18. The whole question of the use the term "Vicarius Christi" with regard to the Pope, is very much related to the Catholic understanding of this verse. Protestants understand this verse to mean that Christ founded his Church upon Peter's "confession of faith." Catholics understand this verse to mean that Christ established a "chain" of apostolic leadership through Peter and his successors. So indeed, there are a complex of issues to be sorted out here. Please just state the facts and forget the anti-Catholic "polemics." KStahl M.Div, M.A. (Nov. 28, 2006).

Western bias[edit]

I have tagged this page —it's not what I would call "NPOV" as some have stated above— because it still seems too biased against what the non-Catholic Christians say (namely the Oriental Orthodox & Eastern Orthodox). At the end of it you see:


  • This article incorporates text from the public-domain Catholic Encyclopedia of 1913.

As I see it, "Vicar of Christ" & even "Vicar of God" is simply trying to replace the irreplaceable. It is most absurd to look at dogma such as papal primacy & infallibility and still come across "Vicar of Christ". The worst part is that it all goes uncontested (as in "no counterpoint" to say the least).

Adding insult to injury, there's only one source! And the "Catholic Encyclopedia" (whether the old or the new version) is obviously going to be biased towards the Catholic view-point. It's dogma such as this that lead to Protestants and eventually splinter-groups who are entirely heretical in comparison to the original Christian theology. I have therefore tagged the article. 23:29, 27 July 2007 (UTC)

What exactly is in concern? It's well established that the Roman Pontiff uses the title "Vicar of Christ". Does anyone else use the title? If so, please feel free to add referenced material to the article. However, your objection seem to be to fact that the Roman Pontiff uses the title. If that's the case, please feel free to contribute a reliable source which challenges the Roman Pontiff's claim to the title. Thanks, Majoreditor 01:41, 29 July 2007 (UTC)

As I said before, it ONLY has the Catholic POV. It doesn't state AT ALL the opinion of others. Non-Catholic Christians (namely the Orthodox) don't recognize this position and it isn't noted on the article. Vicar of Christ is saying that he is Christ's equal — a balanced article wouldn't have this view by itself (not without a counter point). 18:42, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

So, please cite a reference showing that non-Catholic Christians object to the Pope's use of the term. Cite facts to substantiate your argument. Also, you may need to check the definition of "vicar". It does not mean "equal to" but rather deputy. Majoreditor 18:56, 10 August 2007 (UTC)

It specifically says here that "Peter is the first pope, the successor of Christ", and it goes on about the "Roman Catholic Church claims" about the Catholic dogma on "Petrine supremacy". "Vicar of Christ" (Peter was the first one — it specifically says that) was not at any point mentioniong the word "deputy", but it does mention "successor". If you press control+f and search for that one word ("deputy"), there is not one trace of it in here. Mind you, this article is at least partially in the Catholic view-point, simply for your understanding. You should know that "Vicar of Christ" is part of the Catholic doctrine of Petrine supremacy, something that was entirely rejected by Orthodox Christians under their respective Sees of the East. How do I know this? I, for one, am an Orthodox Christian. Also, on this article, it says directly "The eastern churches, including the Russian Orthodox, have always rejected papal supremacy." — noting the fact that I have not changed the punctuation marks at all even (or any of the wording). The Protestants, on the other end, seperated for many reasons, "papal authority" being one of them. "Successor" does not mean deputy. I don't see the other view being echoed at all. Please consider the points of others. Thanks. 18:03, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Sign. You're off target. Check out the definition of the term ["vicar"] and you'll see that "deputy" is commonly accepted. You're really going to have to more careful with your assertions. Your posting of 18:42, 10 August 2007 asserts that "Vicar of Christ is saying that he is Christ's equal". That just isn't. so.
Your central point is that several churches, including the Eastern Orthodox Church and the Oriental Orthodox Church, object to the Roman Pontiff's use of the term "Vicar of Christ". If you want to improve the article, why don't you add a paragraph stating as much? If you're going to do so, I'd recommend using a better, more accepted reference -- for example, this article in The Boston Globe and [ The Moscow Times]. To quote from the Boston Globe's
Pope Benedict, who has dropped his title "patriarch of the West" to boost ties with Orthodox Christians, should scrap more terms tagged to his name if he wants real progress, a senior Russian Orthodox bishop has said.
Papal titles such as "vicar of Jesus Christ" or "sovereign pontiff of the universal Church" were "unacceptable, even scandalous" for the Orthodox, Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev said in a statement published this week on his Web site.
"Only renouncing titles stressing the universal jurisdiction of the pope, and the ecclesiological doctrine hidden behind that, would be a real step on the path toward reconciliation between the Orthodox and Catholic churches," he wrote.
Hilarion, Russian Orthodox bishop of Vienna and his church's main representative in Europe, said the "patriarch of the West" title was actually more acceptable than some others.
The point is, work to improve the article by adding cited material from reliable sources. Majoreditor 21:58, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

I enjoy how these RCC articles use a internet sourced "Encyclopedia" from the 1910s that frequently contradicts present RCism. Doesn't the article itself state that the CCC says that all Bishops are "Vicars of X" and is it not true that the present Roman Bishop dropped "Patriarch of the West" from his list of titles? Catholics will say I'm wrong, of course, because they are generally ignorant even of what their own organization teaches. -- (talk) 20:40, 30 September 2011 (UTC)

Question of veracity[edit]

I don't have the time to mess with this now but I question the veracity of many of the assertions here. My disagreement starts here: The term "Vicar of Christ" was not generally used by popes until Innocent III. The citations listed here, such as Tertullian, are referring to Peter, who was the "Vicar of Christ." The pope was then the "Vicar of Peter and Paul." Innocent III then used the tag "Vicar of Christ" to assert papal authority during the "papal monarchy" of the 12th-13th centuries. This is easily verifiable from primary sources. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:47, 22 February 2008 (UTC)

Personally...if anyone did their homework?...They would refer to the BEGINNING of the BIBLE. There-in is the answer. Not to mention REVELATION. Read it...understand and know. Another good reference would be the HOPI Native Americans (People of PEACE), that kicked Rome out of America in the 16th century A.D. But does anyone BOTHER ASKING THEM? Or anyone else people stick a LABEL ON AND CALL "SAVAGES"? How about we all stop arguing and REALIZE ONE THING...NOBODY KNOWS THE TRUTH UNLESS GIVEN THE TRUTH FROM GOD HIMSELF. ALL THE WARS...FIGHTING AND ARGUING OVER RELIGION HAS KEPT US ALL BLIND FOR WAYYYYYY TOO LONG. WE ARE BETTER THAN THAT AS THE HUMAN RACE! IT'S TIME TO END THE "ARGUEMENT". WORSHIP "GOD" PERIOD. NOT MAN AND NOT BEAST, BUT GOD ALONE. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:48, 23 August 2008 (UTC)

Vicar of Melchizedek[edit]

There is a popular biblical theory that Jesus was really the same person as the priest-king Melchizedek. Therefore, the title Vicar of Christ would be almost equivalent to that of Vicar of Melchizedek. This would make sense if you consider that a vicar is a pastoral assistant to a priest. ADM (talk) 00:49, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

Ambassador of Christ[edit]

There is a popular view on the role of the bishop in many episcopal conferences which holds that a bishop in general should be an ambassador of Christ or an ambassador of the Church, as opposed to the concept of vicar of Christ. There should maybe be more research on this concept and how it related to the more well-known and more formal idea of vicar of Christ. ADM (talk) 12:55, 26 July 2009 (UTC)

Conspiracy theories rewrite[edit]

The para headed "Conspiracy theories" is pretty much unreadable, and I fear I don't know enough about the topic, or understand enough of the gibberish, to make either head or tail of it. Will someone please do a rewrite? Che Gannarelli (talk) 13:36, 21 June 2011 (UTC)

Needs grammar edit[edit]

The article seems to have been written by someone with English as a second language. If I had time I might make some obvious changes. Will someone who cares about this important title of the Popes do some quick work here? James K. Workman (talk) 09:27, 13 September 2012 (UTC)

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