Patriarch of the Latin-Rite Church
RomanRomaPope Francis (87)Francis (Pope)
Patriarchs of Ancient Patriarchates
(1824.08.15, restored 1895.11.26)
Patriarch Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak (68)Ibrahim Isaac Sedrak
Greek-MelkiteAntioch, Alexandria,
Patriarch Youssef Absi, M.S.P. (77)Youssef Absi
Patriarch Gregorios III Laham, B.S. (90)Gregorios III Laham (emeritus)
MaroniteAntiochCardinal Béchara Pierre Raï, O.M.M. (84)Béchara Pierre Raï (Cardinal)
SyriacAntiochPatriarch Ignace Youssif III Younan (79)Ignace Youssif III Younan
(1099, restored 1847.07.23)
Cardinal Pierbattista Pizzaballa, O.F.M. (59)Pierbattista Pizzaballa (Cardinal)
Patriarch Fouad Twal (83)Fouad Twal (emeritus)
Patriarch Michel Sabbah (91)Michel Sabbah (emeritus)
Minor Eastern-Rite Patriarchs
Patriarch Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian, I.C.P.B. (77)Raphaël Bedros XXI Minassian
Cardinal Louis Raphaël I Sako (75)Louis Raphaël I Sako (Cardinal)
Residential Latin-Rite Patriarchs

suppressed in 1751


suppressed in 1451

Patriarch Rui Manuel Sousa Valério, S.M.M. (59)Rui Manuel Sousa Valério
Cardinal Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente (75)Manuel José Macário do Nascimento Clemente (Cardinal) (emeritus)
Patriarch Francesco Moraglia (70)Francesco Moraglia
Cardinal Angelo Scola (82)Angelo Scola (Cardinal) (emeritus)
Titular Latin-Rite Patriarchs

suppressed in 1964


suppressed in 1964


suppressed in 1964

RomanEast Indies
Cardinal Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão (71)Filipe Neri António Sebastião do Rosário Ferrão (Cardinal)
RomanIndias Occidentales


Before the Council of Nicaea, the bishops of Rome, Alexandria and Antioch had been exercising patriarchal authority over a large territory, and this right was confirmed in the Council of Nicaea in 325. Later in 451, the Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon extended the title of Patriarch to the titulars of the five great sees of Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch and Jerusalem. In addition to being the Patriarch of the West, the Bishop of Rome also exercises jurisdiction over the whole Church.

During the Crusades, residential Latin Patriarchates were set up at Constantinople, Antioch and Jerusalem, but that of Alexandria was always a mere title. After the period of the Crusades, these Latin Patriarchs generally resided in Rome and were titular only. Pope Pius IX, by the Bull Nulla Celebrior, reconstituted the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem in 1847 and henceforth Jerusalem has a residential Latin-rite Patriarch.

The heads of some dissident Churches separated from Rome during the first millennium and took also the title of Patriarch. When some of these returned to Catholic unity, the Holy See preserved their title and privileges, as well as jurisdiction over the faithful of their rite. In this way there exist today a Patriarchate of Alexandria for the Copts and three of Antioch (for the Melkites, the Syrians and the Maronites). In a similar way, the Armenians retained the patriarchal title of Cilicia and the Chaldees with the title of Babylon, but they would more properly be designated as Catholicos (i.e. delegated ad universalitatem causarum).

In the Latin Church, the title of Patriarch is given to the archbishops of some prominent sees, but only carries with it only a prerogative of honour but not of jurisdiction. This includes the Bishop of Aquileia, later of Grado (607), and transferred to Venice by Pope Nicholas V (1451); the Bishop of Bourges, France (1232), but only for a short period of time; the grand chaplain of the Spanish king as the Patriarch of the West Indies (under Leo X); the Patriarch of Lisbon (1716); and the Archbishop of Goa with the title of the Patriarch of the East Indies (1886).

Popes traditionally held the title of the Patriarch of the West. However, Pope Benedict XVI made the decision to drop the title, wishing to eliminate the notion that the Holy See represents the Church of "the West" only, and is therefore separate from the Eastern tradition. The Holy Father wishes to emphasize the service that the Bishop of Rome performs for the entire Christian community, as the focus of unity in the universal Church.

Last updated on 2024.05.19

See Also




Major Archbishops

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