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Title: What does the term “holy see” mean?
Source: [None]
URL Source: http://catholicstraightanswers.com/what-does-the-term-holy-see-mean/
Published: Sep 13, 2017
Author: straight answers
Post Date: 2017-09-13 22:54:45 by A K A Stone
Keywords: None
Views: 370
Comments: 19

The term Holy See comes from the Latin Sancta Sedes, meaning “Holy Chair,” and originates from the enthronement ceremony of the Bishop of Rome, the Pope. Strictly speaking, the cathedra, i.e. the chair or throne, represents the position and authority of the Holy Father or a bishop, and the place where he resides in the territory of his jurisdiction. Here the Holy See refers to the “seat of government” of the universal Church. Geographically, this seat of government is located in the Diocese of Rome. In terms of actual governance, the Holy See refers specifically to the position of the Holy Father, who “by reason of his office as Vicar of Christ, namely, and as pastor of the entire Church, has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered” (Dogmatic Constitution of the Church, #22), and by extension the Curia, which consists of the Secretariat of State, the Council for Public Affairs of the Church, the Sacred Congregations, tribunals, and other institutions and offices (Code of Canon Law, #360).

The Holy See is also interchangeable with the term “Apostolic See.” The Code of Canon Law provides the following definition: “…The term ‘Apostolic See’ or ‘Holy See’ applies not only to the Roman Pontiff but also to the Secretariat of State, the Council for the Public Affairs of the Church, and other institutions of the Roman Curia, unless the nature of the matter or the context of the words makes the contrary evident” (#361).

The term “see,” from the Latin “sedes,” is actually the technical term for all dioceses and the places of residence for their bishops. For example, Bishop Loverde is the Bishop of the “See of Arlington” and his cathedral of residence is the Cathedral of St. Thomas More, also in Arlington; the cathedral also houses the bishop’s cathedra or throne. Originally, sedes designated the Churches founded by the Apostles, and later limited particularly to the five great patriarchal sees: Rome, Alexandria, Antioch, Jerusalem, and Constantinople; interestingly, to this day, these latter four patriarchs follow the Holy Father in honor.

This understanding and ordering is reflected in the pronouncement of the Popes: For example, Pope Gelasius I (492-496) declared, “Est ergo prima Petri apostoli sedes” (i.e. “Therefore, the first is the seat of the Apostle Peter”). In the Liber Pontificalis of Pope Leo III (795-816), the following prescript is recorded: “Nos sedem apostolicam, quae est caput omnium Dei ecclesiarum judicare non audemus” (“We dare not judge the Apostolic See, which is the head of all the Churches of God”). Clearly, the terms “Holy See” and “Apostolic See” evolved to refer specifically to the authority of the Holy Father and Rome.

Interestingly, each February 22, the Church celebrates the Feast of the Chair of St. Peter. To celebrate the feast of a “chair” at first hearing, sounds strange. However, “the chair” refers to the primacy and authority our Lord entrusted to St. Peter, which together are a unifying strength for the whole Church; so, really the “Holy See” is what is celebrated and honored. This primacy and authority are symbolized by the monument of the chair of St. Peter located against the wall of the apse behind the main altar in St. Peter’s basilica sculpted in bronze by the artist Bernini; the sculpture is a reliquary for what is traditionally believed to have been the original chair or cathedra of St. Peter. Again, what is of importance is not so much the actual chair, but what that chair symbolizes– the Holy See.

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#1. To: All (#0)

Vicar of Christ

Is that in the Bible or is it made up?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-13   23:00:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#2. To: All (#1)

Vicar of Christ - Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vicar_of_Christ Vicar of Christ. ... As the original notion a vicar is of "earthly representative of Christ" but also used in sense of "person acting as parish priest in place of a real person"

Where did Jesus say he would have a sinner be personal representative on earth?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-13   23:03:13 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#3. To: A K A Stone (#0)

I would take some issue with the self-serving Romanism in this article.

I suggest you read about the five major ancient sees, co-equal but with the bishop of Rome considered the first among equals, a tiebreaker, the person who spoke for the Church in matters of state involving the emperor in Rome as the secular head of state, etc.

Wiki: Pentarchy.

Try reading that historical sketch and then ask if this article does even the slightest justice to the history involved. Of course, this has been a constant source of complaints from the Orthodox and other non-Roman churches in their sphere. They don't resent the pope as first among equals and the arbiter of doctrine and the ruler of the Vatican; they resent him pretending they don't exist and that the role of the other sees is completely ignored by Rome.

And this papal supremacy is especially hard to swallow coming from Pope Frank the Hippie Pope with his stylish Che Guevara crucifix.

Tooconservative  posted on  2017-09-13   23:07:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#4. To: A K A Stone (#0) (Edited)

Pope Francis, Pope Benedict XVI

There are two popes, so take your pick for the holy see.

And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head

hondo68  posted on  2017-09-14   0:02:14 ET  (1 image) Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#5. To: A K A Stone (#0)

Thank God for the Sedevacantists!

Liberals are like Slinkys. They're good for nothing, but somehow they bring a smile to your face as you shove them down the stairs.

IbJensen  posted on  2017-09-14   11:21:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#6. To: A K A Stone (#1)

ALL of RCC and the Vatican is represented by nothing but made up titles, symbolism, trinkets, costumes, and magic incantations.

IOW, everything BUT the Gospel.

For all who want a really good explanation, Berean Call Founder Dave Hunt will explain in his riveting take down of this masquerade:


Liberator  posted on  2017-09-14   11:45:08 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#7. To: vicomte13 (#0)

I want to understand.

Can you shed more light?

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-14   19:06:36 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#8. To: A K A Stone (#7)

The Holy See is the government of the Vatican City State which effectively operates as a sovereignty, sending and receiving diplomatic personnel. It is a somewhat nebulous official status. The city state operates as a monarchy, with the Pope as the monarch. Diplomatics are sent and received by the Holy See, not the Pope. International matters of State are done in the name of the Holy See.

Perhaps it may be described as wearing two hats, as Pope, Francis is the head of the church, but Francis also serves a different function as head of the government, the Holy See. As commander in chief, the President of the United States is the civilian head of the U.S. Armed Forces, not the people or the government.


The Holy See is the universal government of the Catholic Church and operates from Vatican City State, a sovereign, independent territory. The Pope is the ruler of both Vatican City State and the Holy See.


The legal status of the Holy See, both in state practice and according to the writing of modern legal scholars, is that of a full subject of public international law, with rights and duties analogous to those of States.


Vatican City State

Institutional Portal

Vatican City State was founded following the signing of the Lateran Pacts between the Holy See and Italy on February 11th 1929.

These were ratified on June 7th 1929. Its nature as a sovereign State distinct from the Holy See is universally recognized under international law...

nolu chan  posted on  2017-09-14   20:18:51 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#9. To: A K A Stone (#7)

You want to lay a trap, so that you can immediately pour derision on anything that I say. I am restricting my religious commentary to the Economics of God thread.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-09-14   20:29:53 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#10. To: Vicomte13 (#9)

The truth you consider a trap?

Cannot you defend your faith?

Are you afraid you will learn something different and have to make a decision.

Here is a quote from that book you consider full of errors and lies.

“But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:”

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-14   21:22:48 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#11. To: A K A Stone (#10)

I consider you to be full of errors and lies. I knew you did not "want to understand". That you want to preach. I'm not afraid If anything I might learn. I'm certain that I won't be learning anything from you. When you are addressing me, I have to keep my hand on the sword hilt at all times and never relax or let down my guard, for you instantly leap to the attack in the most aggressive and treachous ways. What I learn from people like you is not theology - as far as I can see you're one of Satan's little helpers, a sower of pain and discord, most definitely not somebody whom I can trust for any sort of reliable Sunday school type information.

You have quite a cheering squad going for your Catholic baiting. I'm not interested in providing entertainment, like some sort of baited bear.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-09-14   21:47:52 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#12. To: A K A Stone (#10)

Cannot you defend your faith?

Don't misunderstand my interest in your post as I am not defending you or criticizing other than to understand your 15th century usage of English that is an exemplified just above.

Are you trying to play a Christian preacher when you use English in that manner that is identified?

buckeroo  posted on  2017-09-14   22:46:09 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#13. To: Vicomte13 (#11) (Edited)

I'm certain that I won't be learning anything from you.

You're a prot troll, no Catholic worships ignorance THAT much, since Ted Kennedy passed away!

And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head

hondo68  posted on  2017-09-14   23:00:16 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#14. To: Vicomte13 (#11)

You obviously don't care what Peter said. I simply showed from scripture your approach of cowardice was wrong. You just hurled insults. I expected better from the self proclaimed Pope.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-15   0:57:18 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#15. To: Vicomte13 (#11) (Edited)

I ask again for anything you know about this holy see concept. It is not in the Bible. Where did the concept originate?

I'm going to keep showing you over and over that the catholic doctrine is contrary to gods word. It nay upset you and you may bitch and moan but I will keep coming at you until you refute me or agree.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-15   1:02:41 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#16. To: Vicomte13 (#11)

So you going to answer the question. Or are you going to proclaim you are right and puss out again? That is what you do when you know you will get your ass handed to you again.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-15   8:19:47 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#17. To: A K A Stone (#16)

So you going to answer the question.

I already did answer it: I said that I would be discussing religion on the Economics of God thread, and that I would not be reacting to your baiting.

Your style of evangelism-by-insult reminds me of the Taliban.

Thing is, I know my God. I have talked to him. He has saved me from death and disaster many times. He's real and he helps me, so I stick with him.

Your god, and the Taliban's god, are nothing but abstractions, presented to me by wild-eyed, angry and bigoted men. There's no discussion with either of you of anything real. It's your way or the highway. I choose the highway, because I don't see or sense any real god behind either of you. I'll stick with my God and his family.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-09-15   8:38:25 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#18. To: Vicomte13 (#17)

Fuck you. I'm wondering what your use is here.

A K A Stone  posted on  2017-09-15   17:29:17 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

#19. To: A K A Stone (#18)

Fuck you. I'm wondering what your use is here.

To reveal the Economics of God, and give good recipes for scrambled eggs, of course.

Vicomte13  posted on  2017-09-15   17:59:45 ET  Reply   Trace   Private Reply  

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