Why the Pope is considered a monarch

By IAEA Imagebank - Nuclear Security - World Youth Day 2019 (02815293), CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons

The Pope is considered a monarch but why is that? The answer is actually pretty simple.

The Vatican City is a theocratic absolute elective monarchy with the Pope as sovereign. The Pope wields supreme legislative, executive and judicial power.

This means that the monarch, in this case the Pope, is an absolute monarch through Divine Law.

He cannot govern the Church in a way that goes against the word of God.

Priest Tom Doyle told Frontline in 2013: “The pope, when he is elected, is answerable to no human power. He has absolute authority over the entire Roman Catholic Church, direct authority that reaches down to individual members.”

The papacy is an elected position, so it is not inherited through family members like most other monarchies. Once a pope dies or abdicates, a new pope is elected by the College of Cardinals. The election can take some time as the cardinals decide on the new leader of the Catholic Church as a two-thirds majority must agree on the new pope. They keep the public updated on the election process through smoke.

If no decision has been made, black smoke comes out of the Sistine Chapel. Once a pope is chosen, white smoke is sent out to alert the world that there is a new leader of the Catholic Church.

The Vatican City is the last absolute monarchy left in Europe, although not the last absolute monarchy in the world.

The current Pope Francis was elected on 13 March 2013 after the abdication of Pope Benedict XVI.

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About the Author

Brittani Barger
Brittani is from the United States and has been researching, writing and reporting on the royals for over a decade. Successfully gaining exclusives and interviews with royals across the globe, Brittani left her role as an editor for another news site to help bring you Royal News. She's been seen on BBC World, WION News and other news programs to discuss the royal families.

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