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By Paul Brock, Church Militant, October 4, 2021
Unpacking the papacy
Over the 2,000 year history of Christianity, there’ve been 266 popes.
The pope is correctly understood by the world as the leader of the Catholic Church — but who is he more specifically?
According to canon law, the Roman pontiff is the successor of St. Peter, head of the college of bishops and “obtains full and supreme power in the Church.”
This is why Blessed Pope Pius IX said in 1870: “Whoever succeeds to the Chair of Peter obtains by the institution of Christ himself, the primacy of Peter over the whole Church. … This is the teaching of the Catholic truth, and no one can depart from it without endangering his faith and salvation.” …