Papacy, office and institution of the head of the Roman Catholic Church (Pope).

Canon law foundations: conciliarism; Primacy of the Pope; Infallibility.

History: According to the testimonies of the New Testament, Peter played a prominent role among the disciples of Jesus as well as in the early church after Jesus’ death. His stay in Rome, where there was already a Christian community with collegial leadership, and his martyrdom, according to church tradition, gave rise to the tradition since the end of the 2nd century that the Bishop of Rome was the successor of Peter and it is of particular importance within the Church as a whole. This ecclesiastical tradition as well as the political and cultural importance of Rome as the capital of the Roman Empire helped the Roman Church to respect and gradually gave it a position of priority, to which Viktor I (189–198?) First relied in the dispute over the date of Easter (Easter) and Stephen I (254-257) even more strongly in the heretic controversy with an explicit reference to the New Testament words “You are Peter, the rock, and on this rock I want to build my church” (Matthew 16:18).

After the Constantinian turning point in the 4th century and even more after the imperial residence was moved from Rome to Byzantium (Constantinople), the position of the Bishop of Rome increased, especially since since then he has also had secular tasks. Regardless of the patriarchal system prevailing in the eastern half of the empire, according to which the Bishop of Rome was only one of the ecclesiastical patriarchs, the Patriarch of the West, the bishops of Rome from the 4th century onwards made ever more clear claims to the primacy of jurisdiction over the entire Church and the universal episcopate over all bishops. During the period of the Great Migration (5th / 6th centuries), both the ecclesiastical and the political authority of the papacy, which with Leo I. reached a first climax.

For the relationship between church and state, the doctrine of two powers, formulated by Gelasius I (492–496), which gave the pope the highest spiritual power and the emperor the highest secular power, became the guideline (especially in the High Middle Ages). The acceptance of Roman Catholic Christianity by the Merovingian king Clovis I (496) and the Franks, the introduction of the central administration of the papal property (Patrimonium Petri) by Gregory I were of decisive importance for the attainment of the dominant power political position of the papacy in the Middle Ages ., the emergence of the Papal States and the political alliance with the Frankish Empire.

Following on from this, the imperial coronation of Charlemagne by Leo III served. Christmas 800 in Rome the Popes in the 11th / 12th Century as proof of the thesis that the Pope transferred the empire from the Byzantines to the Franks and then to the Germans (Translatio Imperii). Conversely, some emperors, in their disputes with the papacy, invoked the function of patron of the church (Patricius Romanorum) assigned to them by previous popes.

In the 10th century, the papacy, which had become a coveted object of the Roman noble families (Saeculum obscurum), was on the one hand revalued by King Otto I and the Ottonian-Salian imperial church, on the other hand the Pope and bishops became far-reaching dependencies on secular rulers. The Cluniac reform, which started at the same time from the Benedictine Abbey of Cluny, expanded into an all-church movement, which developed under Leo IX. (1049–54) expanded, but only under Gregory VII (Gregorian Reform) covered the entire occidental church. In papal general councils, which replaced the ecumenical councils of the 1st millennium, and Roman synods, the resolutions of which were particularly promoted by papal legates in the various countries, the struggle was mainly aimed at simony (granting of ecclesiastical offices for money) and priestly marriage as well as lay investiture (Installation in the clerical office by the king). The investiture controversy that shaped the struggle between the Roman (German) kingship and the papacy reached its sharpest point in the banishment of King Henry IV by Pope Gregory VII (1076), which also made it clear that the papacy became a decisive power factor in the West had become (Dictatus papae).

According to computerminus, the relationship between the Latin Church, represented by the papacy, and the Greek Byzantine imperial church, against the background of the claims of some popes to the primacy of jurisdiction in the Church as a whole, based in part on canonical forgeries (Constantine donation; pseudoisidoric decretals), has increased since the 5th century Marked alienation. Their expression was particularly the deposition of the Patriarchs of Constantinople Akakios by Pope Felix II. (484), Photios by Nicholas I (863) and Michael Kerullarios, who in 1054 to Oriental schism.