Find accurate definitions of over 5,000 Catholic terms and phrases (including abbreviations). Based on Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.
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VICAR OF CHRIST
The Pope, visible head of the Church on earth, acting for and in the place of Christ. He possesses supreme ecclesiastical authority in the Catholic church. This title for the Pope dates from at least the eighth century and gradually replaced the former title, "Vicar of St. Peter." Its biblical basis is Christ's commission of Peter to "feed my lambs, feed my sheep" (John 21:15-17).