Siricius And The Word Pope


I have a friend that said the first one to use the word pope was pope Siricius in about 384 and that was the start of the CC and no way can Peter be the first pope. I know this has been kick arounf but can some one help me explain this.


What does the use of a word have to do with the beginnings of the Catholic Church? The bishop of Rome was the head of the Church from the beginning–starting with Peter.


Ask your friend if, because the word “Trinity” in reference to God was not used until centuries after the Resurrection, that the Father, the Son, and the Spirit didn’t “exist” until that word existed?


The article on “The Pope” in the 1917 Catholic Encyclopedia says:The title pope (papa) was, as has been stated, at one time employed with far more latitude. In the East it has always been used to designate simple priests. In the Western Church, however, it seems from the beginning to have been restricted to bishops (Tertullian, “De Pud.” 13). It was apparently in the fourth century that it began to become a distinctive title of the Roman Pontiff. Pope Siricius (d. 398) seems so to use it (Ep. vi in P. L., XIII, 1164), and Ennodius of Pavia (d. 473) employs it still more clearly in this sense in a letter to Pope Symmachus (P. L., LXIII, 69). Yet as late as the seventh century St. Gall (d. 640) addresses Desiderius of Cahors as papa (P. L., LXXXVII, 265). Gregory VII [d. 1085] finally prescribed that it should be confined to the successors of Peter.


According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the English word “pope” first made its appearance in about the 13th century and was used side by side with the word “pape” (in various spellings) until about the 16th or 17th, when “pape” fell into disuse. In the earlier centuries of the Church around the Med, the words used were simply *pappas * (Greek) or papa (Latin-based languages), indicating the fatherly nature of the bishop’s role. There was no special word like “pope” in those languages.



A Mexican friend of mine (who I’ve lost touch with) once told me that POPE or PAPA or something was an acronym involving three or four words including Premier and Petros. Can anyone confirm, build on, or correct my thoughts here?


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