Apostolic see – Definition & Meaning

The term “apostolic see” is often used in the context of the Roman Catholic Church, but what exactly does it mean? In this article, we will explore the definition and meaning of apostolic see, its origin, associations, synonyms, antonyms, and example sentences.


The apostolic see refers to the authority and jurisdiction of the Bishop of Rome, also known as the Pope. It is the seat of the Roman Catholic Church and is considered the spiritual center of the Catholic faith. The term “apostolic” refers to the belief that the Pope is the successor of Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus Christ.


The origin of the apostolic see can be traced back to the early days of Christianity when Saint Peter was appointed by Jesus Christ as the leader of the apostles. After his death, his successors became known as the Bishops of Rome and were considered the spiritual leaders of the Church. Over time, the authority of the Bishop of Rome grew, and he became known as the Pope.

Meaning in different dictionaries

According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, the apostolic see is “the see of Rome, having St. Peter as its first bishop and the pope as its bishop.” The Oxford English Dictionary defines it as “the see or bishopric of the pope, as bishop of Rome, regarded as the successor of St. Peter.”


The apostolic see is closely associated with the Roman Catholic Church and is considered the highest authority in matters of faith and morals. It is also associated with the Vatican City, which is the sovereign city-state that serves as the headquarters of the Catholic Church.


Synonyms of apostolic see include the Holy See, the Roman See, and the See of Rome.


Antonyms of apostolic see include non-apostolic see, non-Roman see, and non-Catholic see.

The same root words

The same root words as apostolic see include apostle, apostolic, and see.

Example Sentences

  1. The Pope is the head of the apostolic see.
  2. The apostolic see is located in the Vatican City.
  3. The Holy See is another name for the apostolic see.
  4. The apostolic see is the highest authority in matters of faith and morals.
  5. The Bishop of Rome is the successor of Saint Peter in the apostolic see.
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