pontiff

Definitions of pontiff
1

n the head of the Roman Catholic Church

Synonyms:
Bishop of Rome, Catholic Pope, Holy Father, Roman Catholic Pope, Vicar of Christ, pope
Examples:
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Pope Alexander VI
Pope and father of Cesare Borgia and Lucrezia Borgia (1431-1503)
Prospero Lambertini
pope who was a patron of the arts and who denounced the cruelty to the indigenous peoples of South America (1675-1758)
Giacomo della Chiesa
pope who founded the Vatican service for prisoners of war during World War I (1854-1922)
Benedetto Caetani
pope who declared that Catholic princes are subject to the pope in temporal as well as in theological matters (1235-1303)
Guy of Burgundy
pope who in 1122 forced the Holy Roman Emperor Henry V to sign a concordat that recognized the right of the church to choose its own leadership (died in 1124)
Alfonso Borgia
Italian pope whose nepotism put the Borgia family in power in Italy (1378-1458)
Giulio de' Medici
Italian pope from 1523 to 1534 who broke with Henry VIII of England after Henry VIII divorced Catherine of Aragon and married Anne Boleyn (1478-1534)
Giovanni Francesco Albani
Italian pope from 1700 to 1721 who condemned Jansenist ideas on papal infallibility
Lorenzo Ganganelli
Italian pope from 1769 to 1774 who lost whatever support remained of Catholic Europe, causing the church to fall into the hands of secular princes (1705-1774)
Gregory the Great
(Roman Catholic Church) an Italian pope distinguished for his spiritual and temporal leadership; a saint and Doctor of the Church (540?-604)
Gregory VII
the Italian pope who fought to establish the supremacy of the pope over the Roman Catholic Church and the supremacy of the church over the state (1020-1085)
Angelo Correr
the Italian pope from 1406 to 1415 who worked to end the Great Schism and who retired to make it possible (1327-1417)
Ugo Buoncompagni
the pope who sponsored the introduction of the modern calendar (1572-1585)
Bartolomeo Alberto Capillari
Italian pope from 1831 to 1846; conservative in politics and theology; worked to propagate Catholicism in England and the United States (1765-1846)
Lotario di Segni
Italian pope from 1198 to 1216 who instituted the Fourth Crusade and under whom papal intervention in European politics reached its height (1161-1216)
Giovanni Battista Cibo
Italian pope from 1484 to 1492 who was known as a nepotist and was attacked by Savonarola for his worldliness (1432-1492)
Benedetto Odescalchi
Italian pope from 1676 to 1689 whose papacy was marked by the struggle with Louis XIV of France over papal authority over French Catholics; known for saintliness and canonized in 1956 (1611-1689)
Antonio Pignatelli
Italian pope from 1691 to 1700 who abolished nepotism within the church hierarchy and was universally loved for his charity and piety
Angelo Guiseppe Roncalli
Italian pope from 1958 to 1963 who convoked the Second Vatican Council (1881-1963)
Albino Luciano
the first Pope to assume a double name; he reigned for only 34 days (1912-1978)
Karol Wojtyla
the first Pope born in Poland; the first Pope not born in Italy in 450 years (1920-2005)
Leo the Great
Italian pope from 440 to 461 who extended the authority of the papacy to the west and persuaded Attila not to attack Rome (440-461)
Leo III
Italian pope from 795 to 816 who in 800 crowned Charlemagne emperor of the Romans (750-816)
Bruno of Toul
German pope from 1049 to 1054 whose papacy was the beginning of papal reforms in the 11th century (1002-1054)
Giovanni de'Medici
son of Lorenzo de'Medici and pope from 1513 to 1521 who excommunicated Martin Luther and who in 1521 bestowed on Henry VIII the title of Defender of the Faith (1475-1521)
Giovanni Vincenzo Pecci
Italian pope from 1878 to 1903 who was interested in the advancement of learning and who opened the Vatican secret archives to all scholars
Oddone Colonna
Italian pope from 1417 to 1431 whose election as pope ended the Great Schism (1368-1431)
Tomasso Parentucelli
Italian pope from 1447 to 1455 who founded the Vatican library (1397-1455)
Alessandro Farnese
Italian pope from 1534 to 1549 who excommunicated Henry VIII of England in 1538 and initiated the Council of Trent in 1545; was active in the Counter Reformation and promoted the Society of Jesus for this purpose (1468-1549)
Giovanni Battista Montini
Italian pope from 1963 to 1978 who eased restrictions on fasting and on interfaith marriages (1897-1978)
Enea Silvio Piccolomini
Italian pope from 1458 to 1464 who is remembered for his unsuccessful attempt to lead a crusade against the Turks (1405-1464)
Antonio Ghislieri
Italian pope from 1566 to 1572 who led the reformation of the Roman Catholic Church; he excommunicated Elizabeth I (1504-1572)
Giovanni Angelo Braschi
Italian pope from 1775 to 1799 who served during the French Revolution; Napoleon attacked the Papal States and in 1797 Pius VI was taken to France where he died (1717-1799)
Luigi Barnaba Gregorio Chiaramonti
Italian pope from 1800 to 1823 who was humiliated by Napoleon and taken prisoner in 1809; he concluded a concordat with Napoleon and crowned him emperor of France; he returned to Rome in 1814 (1740-1823)
Giovanni Maria Mastai-Ferretti
Italian pope from 1846 to 1878 who in 1854 declared the dogma of the Immaculate Conception of the Virgin Mary
Giuseppe Melchiorre Sarto
pope who condemned religious modernism; he was canonized in 1954 because of his interest in the poor (1835-1914)
Ambrogio Damiano Achille Ratti
pope who signed a treaty with Mussolini recognizing the Vatican City as an independent state (1857-1939)
Eugenio Pacelli
pope who maintained neutrality during World War II and was later criticized for not aiding the Jews who were persecuted by Hitler (1876-1958)
Francesco della Rovere
Italian pope from 1471 to 1484 who consented to the establishment of the Spanish Inquisition and built the Sistine Chapel (1414-1484)
Sylvester II
French pope from 999 to 1003 who was noted for his great learning (945-1003)
Otho of Lagery
French pope from 1088 to 1099 whose sermons called for the First Crusade (1042-1099)
Guillaume de Grimoard
French pope from 1362 to 1370 who tried to reestablish the papacy in Rome but in 1367 returned to Avignon hoping to end the war between France and England; canonized in 1870 (1310-1370)
Bartolomeo Prignano
Italian pope from 1378 to 1389 whose contested election began the Great Schism; he alienated his political allies by his ruthless treatment of his opponents (1318-1389)
Maffeo Barberini
Italian pope from 1623 to 1644 who sanctioned the condemnation of Galileo but later freed him (1568-1644)
Guibert of Ravenna
Italian antipope from 1080 to 1100 who was installed as pope by the Holy Roman Emperor Henry IV who consistently opposed efforts at papal reform (died in 1100)
Types:
antipope
someone who is elected pope in opposition to another person who is held to be canonically elected
Type of:
spiritual leader
a leader in religious or sacred affairs
Catholic
a member of a Catholic church