Is it time for the papal tiara?

From His Hermeneuticalness:

I very much hope that the Mgrs Ganswein and Marini persuade the Holy Father that the restoration of the tiara is the next step in the reform of the Papal Liturgical Ceremonies and that the visit to Great Britain would be the perfect opportunity to wear the Belgian Tiara. As all Germans and Italians know, the British love ceremony and are very good at it. Furthermore, everyone has heard of the Crown Jewels and knows that Her Majesty the Queen is one head of state who would not be upstaged by such fine headgear.

 

Do I hear an "Amen!"?

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65 Responses to Is it time for the papal tiara?

  1. Absolument!
    Multe bene! (Is that right?)
    It would be “so right”….Praise Jesus!

  2. Paula says:

    Yes! Yes! Yes!

  3. benyanke says:

    I should really know this, but…

    The papal tiara is used instead of, and at the same times as, a miter, right?

  4. Flambeaux says:

    I won’t hold my breath, but I shall pray. This would be wonderful.

  5. anna 6 says:

    Why? (I am not being sarcastic…I really mean it!) What would be the purpose and benefit of the reintroduction of the tiara?
    Anyone?

  6. visigrad says:

    Amen…..That is Absolutely breathtaking…..

  7. visigrad says:

    He is Christ’s vicar on earth..it’s about the office..not the man. What a beautiful visible reminder

  8. mdsmelser says:

    You have to be kidding.

  9. Maltese says:

    Well, Paul VI was so flippant about everything else, too, in the swingin’ 60′s, he decided to throw-er, I mean-give this away too.

    But it was a beautiful tradition, centuries in practice.

    I mean, just because the 1960′s and 1970′s almost mandated that the modern world give up Traditional practices; still I would have hoped that the Catholic Church had some backbone. Nevertheless, it felt it had to do so too, under the tutelage of Vatican II.

    At the exact time when the Church should have held firm to the Faith, She threw in the towel. But I guess that is human nature! Afterall, the Church is made up of fallible men, no less or, no more, today than yesterday. Vatican II is passed (thanks be to God) and now, maybe, a new generation can start to pick the pieces up from that fallible, and frankly modernistic Council, and, really, get over it, and start to re-root Herself in the Tradition of this glorious Church spanning 2,000 years, back to the time of Christ…

  10. smad0142 says:

    I would love this, but in all honesty how likely is it that this would happen?

  11. Warren says:

    I can understand why the tiara might have been shelved: toning down the papal triumphalism; easing the display of pomp. That said, our times require an injection of beauty and rich symbolism. If ever there was a pope who was/is humble enough, possesses a keen sense of the aesthetic and who could wear the tiara and direct people to the deeper meaning of the tiara, Benedict XVI is that pope.

    We’d have to endure all the comments about coneheads.

    Pearls before swine? Perhaps it’s a bit early to bring back the tiara. Pope B16 can only do so much so fast (camauro, papal mozzetta).

  12. Bring back the tiara. I think laying aside the tiara created the impression that the Pope was also laying aside the authority that the tiara symbolizes. Besides, the thing Pope Paul VI had on his head the day he put down the tiara was a lot more huge, ornate and obnoxious-looking than any tiara It looked half again as tall as he was.

    But while we’re on the subject of Paul VI and the tiara, his is ugly and can stay in mothballs. Bring back the one pictured in this post.

    And bring back the sedia too.

  13. Geoffrey says:

    No. Not that I wouldn’t want to see it, but it’s not going to happen any time soon.

  14. Oneros says:

    “Why? (I am not being sarcastic…I really mean it!) What would be the purpose and benefit of the reintroduction of the tiara?
    Anyone?”

    Because it is not crowning the pope but rather the Visible Head of the Church. It is, then, like crowning a marian icon or statue. It is crowning the Church.

  15. Theodorus says:

    How much I would love to see its restoration, but unfortunately I simply don’t believe papal tiara will ever come out again on Benedict or any future pope’s head. Back in 1966, Fr Ratzinger described sedia gestatoria and tiara as “dangerous”. When he became pope, he even dropped tiara from his coat of arms, so how realistic it is that he would actually wear it? Even if he might change his mind and desire to wear it, there is no guarantee he won’t be persuaded to change his mind again just like the withdrawal of his decision of proclaiming St Vianney the Patron of ALL priests. Also I simply don’t believe any current cardinal has the gut to wear it! Of course it would be a different matter, however, if Archbishop Burke or Bishop Fellay were elected pope, but we know how likely that is.

  16. michelelyl says:

    I disagree…even though I am in the minority, I think it’s ugly and gaudy. Majesty and awe is grounded in fidelity.

  17. B.C.M. says:

    Amen!

  18. Francis says:

    Indeed. Fidelity to Holy Tradition does not require the Pope to wear the Tiara. Pilgrimages instead to the tombs of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul, and the veneration of the relics of the innumerable martyrs of that City should be constantly encouraged. What better way to show communion with the Bishop of Rome other than revering the memory and relics of his holy Predecessors?

  19. Ellen says:

    No, sorry but I don’t like it. I think it’s ugly and from what I’ve read, the papal tiara is very heavy and uncomfortable and I don’t want that for our dear Papa. Stick to the miter. The papal tiara smacks of earthly power and that’s not what the Church is all about.

  20. Zosimas says:

    AMEN!!!!

    @Ellen,

    You seem to be referencing the 1804 Tiara, which was intentionally made heavy and comfortable, by Napoleon, so that the Pope could not wear it.
    It weighed about 18 lbs.
    The beautiful Tiara of Bl. John XXIII weighed about 2 lbs.

    The very heavy and uncomfotable Tiara is the Exception and NOT the Norm.

  21. servusmariaen says:

    I’ve long supported this and pray for this day to hasten…

    http://triregnum.blogspot.com/2008/02/please-read-and-sign-and-make-known.html

  22. Bornacatholic says:

    ROMANO PONTIFICI ELIGENDO Pope Paul VI

    Apostolic Constitution on the Vacancy of the Apostolic See and the Election of the Roman Pontiff

    Paul, Bishop, Servant of the Servants of God for Perpetual Remembrance

    92. Finally, the Pontiff will be crowned by the Senior Cardinal Deacon, and, within an appropriate time, will take possession of the Patriarchal Archbasilica of the Lateran, according to the ritual prescribed.

    Given in Rome, at Saint Peter’s, on the first day of the month of October in the year 1975 the thirteenth of our Pontificate.

    ++++++++++++++++ end of quote+++++++++++++++

    As the kids say, whatever.

    I do know the liberals were delighted because such things as Crowns and Tiaras are anathema to those who worship at the altar of democracy

  23. Bornacatholic says:

    Dear servusmariaen. I just clicked on your link after I posted what I did. I didn’t realise your link referenced what I extracted from that Ap. Con..

  24. JonM says:

    I think that it absolutely should be brought back.

    If we believe that the Pope is the Vicar of Christ (which he is) and we believe that Christ is one Person of the Trinity (which He is) who suffered a life of sacrifice and, when public, ridicule, persecution, rejection, and horrible death for all of us…

    Then it only follows that we should treat that which relates to Him with the utmost honor, dignity, and majesty. Pope Pius XII was photographed wearing a tierra while fully vested: he simply looks dignified and like a true leader.

    The tierra has rich symbolism. Three tiers indicate several triples in the Faith such as Church Militant (us), Church Suffering (likely were most of us judged worthy will go for sometime), and Church Triumphant (those that dwell with God in Heaven, completely clean.)

    Rejection of the tierra is rooted in broader social problem, which is arguably of American or Freemasonic-ideal orgin. That leaders should lack pomp or privilage many argue will prevent a tyrannical king from ordering people around. I’m not so sure that wearing a drab suit and tie for dress up and a polo shirt at a BBQ event really has led to our leaders being any less given to corruption, but that is all for a different topic.

    The more a leader or bishop or Pope seems like just ‘one of the guys,’ the easier it is to criticize and dissent. We know symbols are important because police use them (a badge indicates a special power and authority), military units `especially Marines` use elaborate dress uniforms, and most of us still expect a Priest to dress like a Priest, at least while conducting Church business (being on vacation, going to the gym, relaxing, etc. obviously are times the clericals don’t offer much benefit.)

    I don’t think this will happen any time soon; that kneeling for Communion is actually losing ground right now thanks to obstinacy is a good indication that Pope Benedict will probably not revive the Tierra. But doing so, along with enacting a comprehensive overhaul of catechesis, would have my enthusiastic support.

  25. irishgirl says:

    I’d like to see the return of the tiara!

    What’s wrong with beauty and pageantry? God created all the elements that went into the tiara, anyway.

    Bring it back! Enough with ‘democracy’….sheesh….!

  26. revs96 says:

    The church is not a democracy, it is a monarchy and some people just need to accept that. Give the pope his crown. I don’t expect it to happen soon, but the church needs the tiara to return. It sends a good message about who is really in charge and that Church teachings are not up for debate.

  27. Supertradmum says:

    Yes, bring it back, but the English, who are so nervous, even now, about a Catholic take-over of the Anglican National Religion, would see it as a dangerous sign. However, as the Queen admits that she gets her power from God, why not a tiara for the representative of God on earth-Peter? It would clarify the position of the Church in the world. And, with Obama bowing to everyone, a Pope in a tiara would state loudly, “Peter bows to no man (or woman)”.

  28. William says:

    @Anita: Paul VI’s tiara was given to the United States. It used to be on display at the Shrine of the I.C. in Washington, DC. (Still there?)

    Oh yes, bring back the tiara, coronation, etc. And what’s more, organize a ceremony at the tombs of those recently deceased popes who were not crowned. The liberals will go apoplectic!

  29. becket1 says:

    I think this has about as much chance as the Pope offering the Mass in the Extraordinary Form in public. My opinion though.

  30. TNCath says:

    I don’t think it’ll be back. All the other arguments notwithstanding, most importantly the restoration of the tiara would be a direct, in-your-face reversal of Pope Paul VI’s public decision to discontinue it, which popes simply don’t do to other popes. Even so, I think the tiara might be a bit over the top for this pope. However, as Pope Benedict ages, I could envision where the sedia gestitoria might be brought out of mothballs for practical reasons. How is this different from the tiara? The sedia was never suppressed; John Paul II just never chose to use it. Had he lived longer and became more immobile, it may have eventually been used.

  31. Mitchell NY says:

    Maybe not to use the Tiara as often is a good thing. That being said its’ abandonment is not good. Its’ symbolic significance needs to be re explained in a new age with a new reasoning behind its’ use in a different way than before. Maybe with an updated ceremony with it still being on the Altar but maybe not worn in procession. But it should be in view. And perhaps wearing it once a year during the Easter Blessings or something. Maybe Christmas as well. I am not sure where it would best fit but do not think it should have disappeared from view. If we are truly to look through the lens of continuity then we would see the Tiara on the other end somewhere, which is what the Holy Father always refers to, that lens. To leave it unseen is not a good thing and does not represent continuity. Popes for the last 1000 years, I think have used them in some form. It needs to be re explained very well and brought into the light of day again, really.

  32. RichR says:

    The tiara is, in my opinion, consistent with HH’s motto, “The Hermeneutic of Continuity”. Potential converts from other religions are not disuaded by such visual reminders of spiritual realities. On the contrary, they are emboldened to take courageous steps to solidify their unity with the One True Church.

    Whether or not HH chooses to return to the tiara is his business. I have come to trust his timing.

  33. Oneros says:

    Well, they still use them to crown the statue of St. Peter in the Vatican, I believe. So that’s something.

    “All the other arguments notwithstanding, most importantly the restoration of the tiara would be a direct, in-your-face reversal of Pope Paul VI’s public decision to discontinue it, which popes simply don’t do to other popes.”

    Well, that just isn’t true. It’s been true for a while now, but Popes used to trash their successors (or even imprison them, or dig up their corpse and put them on trial). This weird sort of institutional deference and politics is paralyzing the Church from being able to ACT decisively.

  34. TNCath says:

    Mitchell NY,

    I’m not against the tiara; I’m just skeptical that it will be actively used again in papal ceremonies anytime soon. I agree with you about the possibility of using it at Urbi et Orbi Blessings at Christmas and Easter, and on the Solemnity of Sts. Peter and Paul when, last time I was in Rome on June 29 back in 2006, a tiara was still placed on the head of the statue of St. Peter in St. Peter’s Basilica. I think the tiara definitely has a rightful place, but, in light of so many other things that need attention, is likely not on this pope’s list of priorities right now. I daresay that if Pope Benedict really wanted to have used the tiara by now, he would have. Additionally, while Msgr. Marini has certainly brought back the use of classical vesture traditional practices, he has also been careful not to completely disregard vesture and practices that have been in place the last 30 years as well.

  35. TNCath says:

    Oneros: “Well, that just isn’t true. It’s been true for a while now, but Popes used to trash their successors (or even imprison them, or dig up their corpse and put them on trial). This weird sort of institutional deference and politics is paralyzing the Church from being able to ACT decisively.”

    I hardly find “trashing their successors” an “institutional deference,” and, the tiara issue aside, nor would I recommend that Pope Benedict trash any of his successors or “dig up their corpse and put them on trial” for any mistakes made by any of them.

  36. “@Anita: Paul VI’s tiara was given to the United States. It used to be on display at the Shrine of the I.C. in Washington, DC. (Still there?)”

    Yes, absolutely. I saw it last in the Crypt, when I was serving for the (totally awesome) Pontifical Mass eight weeks ago today.

    I wouldn’t mind a return to the tiara, but I do wonder when and how this would happen, as the opportunity for crowning for this pope has already passed. Popes reverse previous popes’ decisions all the time. The procedures for papal election have changed at least twice in the last half century. I don’t think this pope will wear it. The next one …

    We’ll see.

  37. Sandra_in_Severn says:

    Can I say that I am not sure at this very moment in time? It ought to brought out into the public square, not sure if NOW, or the Papal visitation to the United Kingdom is the “proper” time and place. Although I do agree with “manwithblackhat” and hope that the next pope WILL again be crowned with one, just maybe not wear it all the time.

  38. Dr. Eric says:

    I doubt that His Holiness will wear the tiara. But I also think that he should because the Eastern Bishops all wear crown-like mitres.

  39. Lori Pieper says:

    How soon we forget.

    It wasn’t Paul VI who did away with the tiara — he was crowned with it at the beginning of his pontificate and — as noted above — let stand the provision in the Apostolic constitution on electing the pope that his successor should be crowned.

    No the Pope who did away with the tiara was John Paul I, who inaugurated his pontificate without a coronation on September 3, 1978, one of the few major acts of his month-long pontificate. It is a practice his successors have followed. (John Paul II did away with the crowning provision in the Apostolic constitution in – I think – 1995).

    To me, this was the right decision. The crown conferred nothing, even symbolically, that is not conveyed far better by the keys on the papal coat of arms – the keys to the kingdom of heaven given to Peter by Christ. The crown misled people into thinking that the Pope’s primary role was as an earthly sovereign, rather than the vicar of a heavenly one. The vicar or steward carries the keys to the treasury, etc., for the sovereign. (By the way, I think it would be totally cool if the Pope starting wearing a bunch of keys – say attached to his sash?- as a symbol, or even had them conferred on him at his inauguration).

    I don’t think that the complains about the supposed lack of authority in the Church beginning in the 60′s and 70′s are valid. Does anyone really think the type of people who began disobeying then would have been any readier to obey a Pope who wore a crown? Think about it.

    It would be pointless for a pope like Benedict, who has never been crowned in an official ceremony to suddenly start wearing a crown. Because the ceremony actually meant something — that the Pope was entitled to wear the tiara. Without it, he isn’t.

    And I’m certain that in today’s climate, nothing would bring down more mockery on Benedict from the press than a sudden decision to wear a crown. Is anyone really hoping for a “my crown is bigger than yours” contest with the Queen?

    No, we definitely don’t need the tiara.

  40. I don’t think the issue is so important. While the tiara is a small t tradition, I don’t believe that the Papacy is diminished without it.

    If Pope Benedict XVI or his successor chooses to re implement it, I won’t be offended of course, and I will defend the Church from ludicrous media claims of “moving back to the dark ages” but it doesn’t seem like it is needed in any way for the Church.

  41. Jayna says:

    I’d love to see it back. If only because I would pay to see the look on the faces of some of my fellow parishioners when they saw it.

    As to the argument that we shouldn’t use it because people misunderstand its meaning, well, isn’t that a “teaching moment”?

  42. StevenDunn says:

    I’m not a fan of its restoration, but that is one seriously beautiful tiara. If only everything in our church were so beautiful!

  43. Traductora says:

    I’m with Jayna – imagine the looks on their faces…

    That said, I doubt that he’d do it. Still, it’s one beautiful tiara, even though that probably reveals my fatal weakness for glitz and sparkly things.

  44. Thomas S says:

    The tiara has been gone for four decades. How many centuries was it present for prior to that?

    The tiara will be back eventually. Bank on it.

    As to the people who say they don’t want it back because they’d hate to see our Holy Father uncomfortable with such cumbersome headgear, I say you sound very similar to the people who didn’t want the sedia to make a comeback after the madwoman attacked the Holy Father because it would make him a target. Both strike a chord of disingenuousness with me.

    All that being said, I doubt the Pope who removed the tiara even from his coat of arms will now turn around and wear it on his head. But it’ll be back eventually. As we reform the reform it seems only natural that the sedia and tiara will ride the coattails of continuity.

  45. HighMass says:

    Its time to dust them all off! Way Past in fact! It is a symbal of His Holiness office….who cares what other think

    ITs TIME

  46. Rejection of the tierra is rooted in broader social problem, which is arguably of American or Freemasonic-ideal orgin. That leaders should lack pomp or privilage many argue will prevent a tyrannical king from ordering people around. I’m not so sure that wearing a drab suit and tie for dress up and a polo shirt at a BBQ event really has led to our leaders being any less given to corruption, but that is all for a different topic.

    Ain’t that the truth. The tyrants of our times are into drab: Stalin, Mao, Pol Pot, Kim Jong Il…

  47. Trevor says:

    This isn’t going to happen. It would be an absolute PR nightmare, and the Vatican doesn’t need anymore controversy (especially on something so trivial as headgear).

    And I think Benedict XVI has shown quite clearly that he isn’t interested in wearing the papal tiara. When he was elected, he could have easily had the tiara placed on his coat of arms. Both John Paul I and II had it on their coats even though they never wore it (and it wasn’t controversial). I think not choosing to do so is indicative of his own opinions about the tiara.

  48. TonyLayne says:

    I find the triple crown interesting as a museum piece … aesthetically, not so much. Chalk it up to my wierd sense of fitness, but HH’s miter and crozier are more impressive than the Queen’s crown and staff.

    Moreover, I agree with Lori Pieper that the time isn’t right, and the man himself doesn’t seem to be interested. Granting the premise that a lot of small-t traditions were thrown out unnecessarily (and as preparation for throwing out whole chunks of capital-T Tradition), it doesn’t follow that they all should be brought back with uncritical acceptance, or that they’re all equally necessary for building up the spiritual authority of the Church. I won’t throw a hissy fit if it were brought back … but I would expect the gesture to quickly blow up in the Pope’s face.

  49. The Papal Tiara is steeped in tradition. While the very act of acceptance at the papal conclave ‘makes’ the cardinal become the Pope that very moment, his coronation (installation) is a mere formality, theologically and canonically speaking. HOWEVER, in a world pregnant with signs, symbols and icons of every sort, sacred and profane, the Tiara represents and reminds the faithful and the world that the Vicar of Christ on earth, the Roman Pontiff, is supreme head of the executive, legislative and judicial authority of the Catholic Church. When Queen Elizabeth wears the State Crown to open Parliament, as Constitutional Monarch, her authority is extremely limited. Yet, no one in England feels threatened or intimidated by this tradition. Likewise, if the Pope was crowned on his installation day and wore the tiara for special events (canonizations, ecumenical councils, etc.) I see no harm in it. Just because a vocal minority might take something out of context is no reason to abandon a legitimate custom. The Byzantine Miters are crowns and no one seems to be clamoring for their eradication.

  50. yellowstone says:

    No Thanks

  51. robtbrown says:

    Yes, bring it back, but the English, who are so nervous, even now, about a Catholic take-over of the Anglican National Religion, would see it as a dangerous sign.
    Comment by Supertradmum

    It’s good that Anglicans see it as a dangerous sign because it is a threat to the Anglican fantasy of Apostolic Succession.

    Having said that, I realize that many English still think of the Anglican Church as connected with patriotism (which of course, as a national church, it is).

  52. robtbrown says:

    I’m not opposed to the papal tiara.

    On the other hand, there are scads of serious problems facing the Church, and I cannot see wearing the tiara as a solution for any of them.

  53. AMDeiG says:

    Nothing could be worse.

    We,and the world, have this Pope of power and steadfastness. This tradition if brought back would diminish this aspect just a bit. Given the storms and fury the Pope has weathered on behalf of the Church and the world recently his steadfastness is underscored.

    A tiara suggests the “Pope of Pomp” and that is exactly not what the Church nor the world needs at this time.

  54. Good points have been raised here!

  55. Lori Pieper says:

    A tiara suggests the “Pope of Pomp” and that is exactly not what the Church nor the world needs at this time.

    Bravo, AMDeiG!!

  56. Those who oppose it read the words of St. Pius X:

    “Their general direction for the Church is as follows: that the ecclesiastical authority, since its end is entirely spiritual, should strip itself of that external pomp which adorns it in the eyes of the public. In this, they forget that while religion is for the soul, it is not exclusively for the soul, and that the honor paid to authority is reflected back on Christ who instituted it.”

    The tiara has symbolism reflecting what the office of the Pope is. Further, as St. Pius explains, all honor paid to authority in “external pomp” is reflected back to Christ. Don’t fall prey to Modernism.

  57. Mark R says:

    Is the Church a monarchy? There is the Kingdom of God, but is the Church the Kingdom of God? Democracy does not preclude monarchy, the U.K., for example. If the Church is a monarchy, would not our Lord be the monarch rather than the Holy Father.

  58. MarkR,

    The Church is a monarchy, with Christ as Her King and Peter as His Vicar.

    Having said that, it is also worthwhile to mention that the Pope is a monarch.

    Indeed, the triple crown is a sign of his power Spiritual, Temporal and Monarchical.

    The problem is not with what the triple tiara symbolizes, but with how it symbolizes it.

    Put another way: the question is whether reintroducing the triple tiara in England on the Pope’s first-ever official visit of state to another monarchy – and what monarchy! – , would be rhetorically prudent.

    I tend to think not.

    It is a prudential consideration, though, strictly this.

    Best,
    C.

  59. edwardo3 says:

    While I think it would be wonderful to have the Tiara in regular use again, I’d be very happy to start off by introducing it back into Papal Liturgies by its being carried by a Cardinal Deacon before the Holy Father in procession, even better if the Sedia, canopy and Flabelli are used, and maybe then placed on the Altar as it appears to have been in the old photos. Definately take steps in the right direction, but not in the same manner and with the same insensitivity as the changes of the 1960′s and 1970′s. We want to draw people into the tradition and Catholic culture, not drive them away from it.

  60. edwardo3 says:

    Mark R:
    Yes, the Church is a monarchy, an absolute monarchy to be precise and cannot be otherwise. This is why the temporal authority is so important, The Holy Father, being a soverign, allows him to act freely. Look at the history of the Church from the reign of Pius IX until Pius XI, the Popes didn’t call themselves “the prisioner of the Vatican” for no small reason.

    The UK hasn’t been a monarchy since Parliament installed william and Mary as King and Queen. Any time an elective (or unelected)body can make and unmake someone a monarch, the political system is no longer monarchical. The Queen is merely a figure of State, with no real authority, not even the right to vote.

  61. Thomas S says:

    Alexander Verbum comes up with the best post in the discussion. Everyone go back and read it, and if you already did, then go back and read it again.

    What the hell is wrong with pomp? I want a Chartres Pope, not a Taj Mahony Pope.

  62. HighMass says:

    What is everyone so hyped-up about? What if the Holy Father should wear the Tiara?? Isn’t it a symbol of the office? Isn’t the Holy Father Christ’s Representative on Earth….?

  63. patrick_f says:

    Where as it would be nice that this occurs

    A couple facts

    Did not the pope remove “Patriarch of the West” from his titles?

    Also, lets look at his heraldry – While he does have the three “Levels” , they exist onthe MIter,not a Tiara.

    I VERY much doubt Benedict brings it back. Plus on a more basic level- its just not his Personality. WAY TOO HUMBLE a person, respectfully speaking, of course

  64. Mark R says:

    Thanks for the replies.

    I personally would rather not see the Holy Father wearing a tiara, or to consider him a monarch. I think to be fully considered a monarch would require a lot more muscle which the Holy Father objectively lacks, and for a good reason as a Vicar of Christ and visible Head of the Church. Something also is missing from the papacy that other instances of monarchy usually had…such as biological heirs, or at least a royal family (Poland went through quite a long period after the Middle Ages with an elected monarchy, but there was still a royal family). Then there is the question of territory, who is and who is not the Holy Fathers subjects, etc. that I sometimes wonder if attributing monarchy to the Papacy isn’t just a matter of inaccurate analogical thinking, comparing the power of the Papacy to what resembled it most surrounding it at a time when monarchies were prevalent in Europe.

    Is there any official document or official teaching of the Church that explicitly says she is a monarchy? Or is it just boosterism?

    I worry that categorizing the Papacy as a monarchy would be actually selling it short, or characterizing it beneath its dignity.

    I believe, in the case of England — I don’t know enough about Scandinavia and Belgium — that an elected parliament can have a say about who is the hereditary monarch if that power is already in its constitution, viz. Poland.