Vicar of Christ

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From the Latin vicarius Christi


Vicar of Christ (plural Vicars of Christ)

  1. (Roman Catholicism) The Pope.
    • 1855, Charles Kingsley, chapter 4, in Westward Ho!:
      "We should never have had the law of 1571, against bulls, and Agnus Deis, and blessed grains, if the Pope's bull of 1569 had not made them matter of treason."
      "What, sir?" almost roared Parsons, "do you dare to speak evil of the edicts of the Vicar of Christ?"
    • 1989 Dec. 4, Richard N. Ostling & al., "Religion: Cross Meets Kremlin—Gorbachev and Pope John Paul II", Time:
      [I]n the spacious ceremonial library of the 16th century Apostolic Palace, the czar of world atheism, Mikhail Gorbachev, will visit the Vicar of Christ, Pope John Paul II.
    • 2004 Jan. 11, Roberto Pazzi, "Why the Next Pope Needs to Be Italian", New York Times:
      Not since 1522, when a Dutch theologian was elected Pope Adrian VI, had a non-Italian attained the role of Vicar of Christ.
  2. (Christianity, theology, very rare) The Holy Ghost.
    • 1885, Peter Holmes (translator), Tertullian (author), Prescription against Heretics, ch. xxviii:
      Grant, then, . . . that the Holy Ghost had no such respect to any one (church) as to lead it into truth, although sent with this view by Christ, and for this asked of the Father that He might be the teacher of truth; grant, also, that He, the Steward of God, the Vicar of Christ, neglected His office . . .