What Are the Official Titles of the Pope?
Greek: pappas “father”
Is it Biblical to call a spiritual leader “father”?
Definitely, the answer is YES.
As St. Paul stated in 1 Corinthians 4:14-15
“I do not write this to make you ashamed but to admonish you as MY BELOVED CHILDREN. For though you have countless guides in Christ, you do not have many fathers. FOR I BECAME YOUR FATHER IN CHRIST JESUS THROUGH THE GOSPEL.”
Pope Francis is the 266th successor to the unbroken line of the papacy that can be traced to St. Peter, the first pope chosen by our Lord Jesus Christ. Though it is a hint that the name Peter, which means rock, Simon was the name given by Christ to the first pope when He first called him.
Throughout the ages, the pope gained titles that reflected his ministry and as sovereign of the Vatican City.
Here is the list of the legitimate titles of the Pope.
I. POPE – from the Italian word papa, it has been used since the 6th century to describe the “father” of the Church. For this reason, he is also known as the “Holy Father”.
II. PONTIFEX MAXIMUS – this title is derived from the Latin word pons, meaning “bridge”. It reflects his role as a “bridge-builder.”
III. SUMMUS PONTIFEX – originally a name used for Roman leaders, it means the pope is the “highest priest” in the Catholic Church.
IV. PONTIFF – derived from pontifex, the pontiff was another Roman term that referred to the highest priest. The pope is often referred to as the supreme pontiff or the Roman pontiff.
V. SERVUS SERVORUM DEI
(Servant of the Servant of God) – adapted by St. Gregory the Great in 602, the title reflects the pope’s role as a servant to the people of God in imitation of Jesus Christ.
VI. VICARIUS CHRISTI (Vicar of Christ) – added by St. Leo the Great in the 5th century, it reminds the faithful of the pope’s role as an earthly representative whom Jesus appoints to shepherd his flock.
VII. SOVEREIGN OF THE VATICAN CITY STATE
-a recent title of the pope, it recognizes his role as leader of the Vatican City State.
(The Vatican City is a member of the United Nations itself and has an authentic flag🇻🇦 and anthem, the Inno Marcia Pontificale. Unlike the cult that was founded in the Philippines in 1914 hehe✌)
VIII. BISHOP OF ROME – ever since St. Peter, the pope has been known for his role as the local bishop of the city of Rome.
IX. PRIMATE OF ITALY – historically each region of the Church has a “primate”, which refers to the first or primary leader of the Church in that specific area.
X. HIS HOLINESS – the title is most commonly used when addressing the pope but is also used for other religious leaders in the English language.
To the disappointment of protestants, the title “VICARIUS FILII DEI” is not and never became an official title of the Pope. Therefore, it’s a hoax. You can do your own research and see it for yourself.
So brethren, beware to those self-proclaimed, “Appointed Son of God”, “Sugo or Last Messenger”, “Beloved Luklukan” etc.
God bless and Stay safe!
-Servire et Defendere
©Picture: Pope John XXIII