the office, dignity, or jurisdiction of the pope.
the system of ecclesiastical government in which the pope is recognized as the supreme head.
the period during which a certain pope is in office.
the succession or line of the popes.
Contemporary Examples

Recently released transcripts from that private meeting shed light on the power of the papacy.
Putin to Meet Pope Francis in Rome Barbie Latza Nadeau November 24, 2013

But, then again, the changes in store under this papacy have only just begun.
Vatican Science on Christmas and Creationism Christopher Dickey December 21, 2013

Each edition of the magazine will include a new chapters to be torn out and collected to form a book of the Pope Francis papacy.
Pope Francis Gets A Fanzine Barbie Latza Nadeau March 4, 2014

Thank God: Pope Benedict is still making footwear waves three months after the end of his papacy.
Pope Benedict Still Inspiring Shoe Trends Misty White Sidell May 28, 2013

But he might not have to die to relinquish the papacy—he could retire.
The Pope’s Failing Health Barbie Latza Nadeau October 27, 2011

Historical Examples

The Sphere of the papacy extends in all directions around Italy taken as a local center.
Renaissance in Italy, Volume 1 (of 7) John Addington Symonds

In temporal affairs, the theory of the papacy rejects the theory of the democracy.
The Eternal City Hall Caine

The papacy we must now recognize as the first clearly conscious attempt to provide such a government in the world.
The Outline of History: Being a Plain History of Life and Mankind Herbert George Wells

The theory of the democracy rejects the theory of the papacy.
The Eternal City Hall Caine

When once it held them in its arms, it would have stifled them; but God blinded the papacy, and thus saved his Church.
History of the Great Reformation, Volume IV J. H. Merle D’Aubign

noun (pl) -cies
the office or term of office of a pope
the system of government in the Roman Catholic Church that has the pope as its head

late 14c., from Medieval Latin papatia “papal office,” from Late Latin papa “pope” (see pope). Old English had papdom in this sense.

The office or position of the pope.


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