Christian Cyclopedia

About the Cyclopedia


(From Lat. papa, “father”). 1. Bp. of Rome as head of the RC Ch. Elected by Coll. of Cardinals.* During the election the cardinals are secluded. Election may be by acclamation, ballot, or compromise (election by a committee). Two-thirds majority is required for election. The winner announces what name he will bear as pope, is given a fisherman's ring,* is robed in papal vestments, and the cardinals adore him. The news is pub. If the new pope is not a bp., he must be consecrated such.

2. The medieval practice was to date a pontificate from enthronement. In modern times it has become more usual to date from election. Papal titles include Pontifex* maximus, Vicar* of Christ, Servant of the servants of God. Acceptable form of address: Your Holiness.

3. Nonliturgical (prelatial) vestments are simple and include white cassock, small humeral cape, oversleeves, sash, zucchetto, white stockings, pectoral cross; mozzetta, camauro, shoes, mantello, and hat are red except in Eastertide. Liturgical vestments are much more elaborate. Other traditional insignia include the falda (white flowing robe with a train), subcinctorium (in the form of a maniple [see Vestments, Clerical], pendent from the girdle on the right side), fanon (similar to a short cape), sedia gestatoria (portable chair), and tiara (triple crown; not a liturgical insignia). The Swiss Guard, whose principal function is to protect the pope, was est. 1505/06; other papal guard corps include the Noble Guard, est. 1801, and the Palatine Guard, est. 1850.

See also Curia; Papal Household; Vatican City.

Edited by: Erwin L. Lueker, Luther Poellot, Paul Jackson
©Concordia Publishing House, 2000, All rights Reserved. Reproduced with Permission

Internet Version Produced by
The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod

Original Editions ©Copyright 1954, 1975, 2000
Concordia Publishing House
All rights reserved.

Content Reproduced with Permission

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