Before the eyes of believers and non-believers, without interruption for over two thousand years, one Pope has succeeded another. Some Papacies have lasted a long time, and many have left their marks on the world, although their interpretation is often controversial. The Pope’s presence on the world stage and his role as head of the Roman Catholic Church have evolved significantly over the centuries, yet the Pope remains a figure known in every corner of the world and is associated with a moral authority of universal relevance. Who is the latest successor of the apostle Peter? What role has the papacy played throughout history? Can one anticipate the Papacy’s future? Will the Pope “from the end of the world” radically change the institution?
Roberto Rusconi teaches History of Christianity at the Third University of Rome.