a pope

Cultural Dictionary

pope definition


The head of the Roman Catholic Church. The pope is believed by his church to be the successor to the Apostle Peter. He is bishop of Rome and lives in a tiny nation within Rome called the Vatican. Catholics believe that when the pope speaks officially on matters of faith and morals, he speaks infallibly (see papal infallibility). (See also John XXIII and John Paul II.)

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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