We see Pope Francis on TV holding masses. We look at photos of him waving from his Popemobile. We read about him holding pizza parties for the poor. He carries babies, accepts mugs of mate, and of course, prays.
But what are the official duties of a pope? Just like every adult living in the world, the pope has a list of to-do lists, too. We list down five of his many responsibilities! (Read: Pope Francis stuns crowd as he kneels, kisses South Sudanese leaders’ feet)
Pope’s Duties: He holds blessings.
Getting close to the devoted is one duty that Pope Francis particularly loves. One way he accomplishes this is through the weekly Papal General audiences that he usually holds at St. Peter’s square, where he greets the crowd in a Popemobile. He also gives his papal blessing on Sundays, where he appears by his massive apartment window at 12 noon, gives a short speech, prays the Angelus, and blesses the crowd below.
Pope’s Duties: He names bishops.
It’s the Pope’s responsibility to appoint bishops, who act as heads of their dioceses. As part of his duties, the Santo Papa meets with an estimated 20 bishops a week to check on what is going on with the Catholic Church all over the world. (Read: Pope Francis Appoints New Bishops for Taytay, Malaybalay)
Pope’s Duties: He appoints cardinals.
Only the Santo Papa has the power to ordain cardinals. And only cardinals have the power to elect a new pope!
Pope’s Duties: He gives the title “Saint.”
It is up to the Pope to approve or veto the promotion of a deceased catholic to sainthood. Becoming a saint is a long and onerous process, where proving the candidate’s heroic virtue and verifying the miracles attributed to him or her are just two parts of the procedure. After much research and study, the evidence is presented to the Pope who in the end has the final say. (Read: Meet the New Saints Canonized by Pope Francis)
Pope’s Duties: He leads his flock.
Since he was elected as leader, the Holy Father is just like a nation’s president. He studies strategies that help run the state of Vatican City more efficiently and makes important decisions for the Catholic Church. Holding titles such as Vicar of Christ, Bishop of Rome, and head of the Vatican, the Holy Pontiff is the representative of the church and has both political and religious roles and duties.