From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.
The Bishop of Rome is an ecclesiastical title of the Pope, and is used in preference to Pope by some who choose to reflect their rejection of his claims of authority over all Christians in their terminological discourse.
The Roman Catholic Church claims that the Pope has jurisdiction over the entire Christian Church, and supreme authority to declare on all controversies of faith and morals. Outside of the Roman Catholic Church, inclusive of the Oriental Orthodox Church and the Eastern Orthodox Church, the Bishop of Rome is accorded historical title to "first among equals" among the overseers of the church, and "Supreme Patriarch of the Western Church". The view that the Bishop of Rome has primacy of honor also has unofficial currency in the Anglican communion and in a minority of other Protestant churches; however, by definition, no Protestant acknowledges the Papal title of "Supreme Head" or, "Patriarch of the Western Church".
The Catholic traditions all teach that the Bishop of Rome is the successor of the Apostle, Saint Peter. As such, he has historical entitlement to the claim of highest honor among the bishops of the Christian Church. But the claim that the Pope is the highest office in the Church, with universal jurisdiction over all other bishops, is controversial everywhere outside of the Roman Catholic Church. To deny that the Bishop of Rome has universal jurisdiction is equivalent to a denial of Roman Catholicism.