The name "pope" comes from a Latin and Greek word meaning "father."
The leader of the Roman Catholic Church is widely known as the pope. But what does the name “pope” mean?
According to the Catholic Encyclopedia, the word’s origin is “ecclesiastical Latin papa from Greek papas, a variant of pappas, [meaning] father.”
Originally the title was used much more broadly in early Christianity, since at the time it simply meant, “father,” and was similar to the way Catholics call priests “Father” in the present day.
Greek words every Christian should know
Over time language changed, and archaic words were transformed into official titles. Yet, this original meaning is still preserved in the official title of “HolyFather,” as the pope remains a spiritual father for millions of Catholics worldwide. Make sure to visit the slideshow below to discover 10 official titles of Pope Francis, and their meaning.
Why do Catholics call priests “father”?