Pope drops a traditional papal title

This week CathNews presents the top stories from 2006. This story was originally published on 2 March 2006

Pope Benedict XVI has renounced one of the traditional titles of the Roman Pontiff by dropping the title "Patriarch of the West."

Catholic World News reports that the new 2006 edition of the Annuario Pontificio, the official Vatican yearbook, carries 8 other traditional titles for the Pope, but does not include the "Patriarch of the West" designation that appeared in previous editions. The first ceremonial copy of the Annuario was presented to Pope Benedict on 18 February 2006; the volume will not go on sale to the public until mid-March.

The Pope is now identified in the Annuario as: "Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman province, Sovereign of the State of the Vatican City, Servant of the Servants of God."

Pope Benedict, who reportedly made the decision himself to drop the title, evidently wished to eliminate any notion that the Holy See represents the Church of "the West," and is therefore separate from the Eastern tradition.

The designation "Patriarch of the West," which traditionally appeared in that list of titles just before "Primate of Italy," has rarely been employed since the Great Schism of 1054, which separated the Orthodox churches from the Holy See.

It was introduced into papal nomenclature in 1870, at the time of the First Vatican Council. Pope Benedict chose to remove the title at a time when discussions with the Orthodox churches have centred on the issue of papal primacy.

The Holy Father wishes to emphasise the service that the Bishop of Rome performs for the entire Christian community, as the focus of unity in the universal Church.

Benedict XVI drops a traditional papal title (Catholic World News 1/3/06)
The Pope: Lent is a time to oppose goodness to evil, the truth to lies and love to hatred (AsiaNews.it 1/2/06)

Fasting, almsgiving and prayer to conform us to Christ (Vatican Information Service 1/3/06)
Holy Father's prayer intentions for March (Vatican Information Service 1/3/06)
Pope Benedict XVI urges attention to poor (Pravda 1/3/06)
For the Pope Lent is a time of conversion and solidarity (AsiaNews.it 1/3/06)
Catholics, Orthodox will find path to full unity, pope says (Catholic News Service 28/2/06)
Pope says Bible meditation leads to conversion, charity during Lent (Catholic News Service 1/3/06)
Pope calls Lent ‘favorable moment to convert to love’, to look with compassion on our brothers and sisters (Catholic News Agency 1/3/06)
Pope Benedict prays for young people, their search for life (Catholic News Agency 1/3/06)
Pope resumes traditional Ash Wednesday service (catholicireland.net 1/3/06)
Pope's prayer intentions for March (Catholic World News 1/3/06)
Pope recommends Lenten immersion in the Word of God (Catholic World News 1/3/06)
Soccer hooliganism, racism condemned by Pope (Catholic World News 1/3/06)
Redemption in East Timor (Eureka Street March 2006)
The Pope addresses Pontifical Academy for Life (Fides 28/2/06)
Pope Urges Attention to Poor During Lent (The Guardian/Associated Press 1/3/06)
Pope: 'God's love makes no distinction between the unborn child and the adult' (Independent Catholic News 1/3/06)
Pope opens fasting season (news.com.au 2/3/06)
Pope says Lenten practices like fasting express faith, not burden (NZ Catholic/Catholic News Service 1/3/06)
Benedict XVI Says Microcredits Can Be a Good Tool (Zenit 28/2/06)
Pope Sees Values as Area for Orthodox Collaboration (Zenit 28/2/06)
Cardinal Ce to Preach at Pope's Spiritual Exercises (Zenit 28/2/06)
Papal Intention: Growth in Mission Awareness (Zenit 28/2/06)
Darfur Refugees Hear of Pope's Concern (Zenit 28/2/06)
Pro-life Leader Hails Supreme Court Ruling (Zenit 28/2/06)
On the Pope's Upcoming Trip to Poland (Zenit 28/2/06)
Papal Address to Doctrinal Congregation (Zenit 28/2/06)

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