Who is the Holy Father, the Pope?

Mission Lab

Our Holy Father, the Pope, the Bishop of Rome, is the Vicar of Christ. He is the successor of Peter and holds the office of supreme authority over all the Church, appointed by Christ for the guidance and care of His flock.

The Pope is the head of the College of Bishops. Our Lord solemnly told Peter he was to be supreme shepherd, the head of the Church. “And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the powers of death shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).

Christ gave Peter the holy task of giving the entire People of God His teaching and His grace. After His Resurrection Jesus said to Simon Peter, “‘Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’ A second time he said to him, ‘Simon, son of John, do you love me?’ He said to him, ‘Yes, Lord; You know that I love you.’ He said to him, ‘Tend my sheep’” (John 21:15-16).

The Pope, as the successor of St. Peter, holds the highest Christian teaching authority in the world; he is the supreme shepherd of the Catholic Church.