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The Pope (from the Latin papa or father) is the Bishop of Rome and Supreme Pontiff, Patriarch of the West, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church. The office of the Pope is called the Papacy; his ecclesiastical jurisdiction is called the "Holy See" (Sancta Sedes in Latin) or "Apostolic See" (the latter on the basis that both St. Peter and St. Paul were martyred at Rome).

The Pope plays a powerful role in Western Europe, often struggling with monarchs for power over wide-ranging affairs of church and state, crowning emperors (Charlemagne was the first emperor so crowned) and regulating disputes among secular rulers. The Bishop of Rome continued to be nominally allied with and part of the civil structure of the (Byzantine) Roman Empire until the 8th century, when the Donation of Pepin gave Rome and the surrounding area to the full sovereignty of the pope, over which the popes already had been de facto rulers, creating the Papal States. The Donation of Constantine provides the basis for the papacy's claim of political supremacy over the entire former Western Roman Empire.

Popes of the Eighth and Ninth CenturiesEdit

Popes of the Tenth CenturyEdit

Popes of the Eleventh CenturyEdit


Popes of the Twelfth CenturyEdit

Popes of the Thirteenth CenturyEdit

Popes of the Fourteenth CenturyEdit

Popes of the Fifteenth CenturyEdit

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