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Pontiff

From Academic Kids

Pontiff is a title of certain religious leaders. It comes from the Latin word pontifex, which literally means bridge-maker, and is in turn derived from an Etruscan word that means a religious leader, not a bridge-maker. It could therefore be construed to mean a bridge between God and humanity.

Pontiffs were men on the highest council of priests in ancient Rome, called the College of Pontiffs, and the Pontifex Maximus was the highest religious figure. Today this term still refers to the highest religious authority in Rome, the Pope. Sometimes the Pope is called the Supreme Pontiff and other bishops of the Roman Catholic Church are called Pontiffs.

See also: Primacy of the Roman Pontifffr:Pontife

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