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Tiara of Pope Benedict XVI one of the symbols of the papacy

The Pope (Latin: Papa; Greek: πάπας, pápas; "Name means::papa") is regarded as the successor of St. Peter, the Bishop of Rome, the leader of the Catholic Church[1] and head of state of Vatican City. Prior to 1870, the Pope's temporal authority extended over a large area of central Italy, a territory formally known as the Papal States.[2]

The office of the Pope is called the Papacy and formally called the Pontificate; his ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the Holy See (Latin: Sancta Sede).


  1. This includes Eastern Rite churches that are in full communion with the Roman Pontiff.
  2. González, Justo L (2010). The Story of Christianity: The Reformation to the Present Day. II. New York: HarperCollins Publishers. p. 401. ISBN 978-0-06-185589-4. 

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