News24

Pope's titles and duties

2005-04-19 22:09

Vatican City - The pope is not only the supreme head of the Catholic Church but has a string of other titles.

He is bishop of Rome, vicar of Christ, successor of St Peter, Prince of the Apostles, primate of Italy, patriarch of the West, archbishop and metropolitan of the Roman Province, sovereign of Vatican City and Servant of the Servants of God.

Only the pope can appoint bishops, create dioceses or make an infallible pronouncement in "matters of faith and morals".

That authority cannot be delegated.

The pope also creates cardinals, names saints and intervenes in disputes between the Vatican and local bishops.