Papal History

When were the Popes first called Pope?

:frowning: Why doesn’t anyone answer this? Am I missing something?

[quote=SentLarry]When were the Popes first called Pope?

I may be hard to pinpoint the exact time. But several centuries into the post apostolic times. The word comes from PAPA or Father. For some time many priests were also refered to as popes because of the Father roots. At some point it was only used to indicate the Sucessor of Peter.

According to Wayne A. Ariss (I’ve taken this from a forum on another web site):

  • To begin with, the title of the Bishop of Rome—Pontifex Maximus—is a term meaning “bridge-builder”, which the Popes inherited from governmental functionaries of the pagan Romans. “Pope” is merely a derivation of a Latin word meaning “father”; and use of that term for various clerics is also found in both the Orthodox and Coptic churches.

Tertullian, writing in his treatise Modesty (written in 220 AD), cites a quote from “a pontiff—sovereign, of course—that is, a bishop of bishops”.

Two other instances of the term in the definition of a patriarch are found applied to the Bishop of Carthage in 250 AD , and to the Bishop of Alexandria in 320 AD. However, the Bishop of Rome was always held to be Head of the entire Church, (as attested to by Ignatius, Hermas, Dionysius, Hegesippus, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Cyprian, and others).

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