Holiness (Papal Title)

views updated


Although only God is holy in the full sense (cf. Mt 19.17), those whom God sanctifies or through whom He mediates Christ's salvation are derivatively called holy. Thus the holiness of the church refers as much to its function of mediating holiness as to its condition of being holy. As the title holy see, though at first used of sees founded by the Apostles, was later restricted to Rome as the see of Peter, so too the title "His Holiness" has become restricted in Catholic practice to the pope. The use of this title has no bearing on the personal sanctity of the pope.

[b. forshaw]