His Holiness?


#1

What is meant by the title of the Pope, “His Holiness?” This title certainly wouldn’t apply to some Popes in the Church’s history.


#2

It comes from the Tome of Leo which was written by St. Leo the Great and one of its canons that states that by the nature of his office the pope is a saint.


#3

[quote=trumpet152]What is meant by the title of the Pope, “His Holiness?” This title certainly wouldn’t apply to some Popes in the Church’s history.
[/quote]

As has already been mentioned, this refers to his office (fortunately only a few of the men who held it didn’t live up to the title :slight_smile: ). It’s not just an appellation for the Bishop of Rome, btw; the Coptic Popes are also referred to in this manner, e.g., His Holiness, Pope Shenouda III.


#4

[quote=trumpet152]What is meant by the title of the Pope, “His Holiness?” This title certainly wouldn’t apply to some Popes in the Church’s history.
[/quote]

It is a title of respect, in much the same way as calling a lawyer in England, “Your Worship” is a title of respect.

Your right, some of the men who have held the office of Pope have not been holy…but the Office has always been Holy.


#5

St. Paul regularly refers to Christians as “saints” (holy ones). Here are two examples among many:
1Paul and Timothy, servants of Christ Jesus, To all the saints in Christ Jesus who are at Philippi, with the bishops and deacons: (Philippians 1:1)

[size=2]22All the saints greet you, especially those of Caesar’s household. (Philippians 4:22)
The papal title appears to be a hold over from the apostolic age when every Christian was called a “saint” (holy one).
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#6

Thanks. That seems to explain it.


#7

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