noun (plural-cies) Etymology: Middle English papacie, from Medieval Latin papatia, from Late Latin papa pope — more at popeDate: 14th century 1. the office of pope 2. a succession or line of popes 3. the term of a pope's reign 4.capitalized the system of government of the Roman Catholic Church of which the pope is the supreme head
Papacy Pa"pa*cy, n. [LL. papatia, fr. L. papa a father, bishop. See Pope.] 1. The office and dignity of the pope, or pontiff, of Rome; papal jurisdiction. 2. The popes, collectively; the succession of popes. 3. The Roman Catholic religion; -- commonly used by the opponents of the Roman Catholics in disparagement or in an opprobrious sense.
also PapacyThepapacy is the position, power, and authority of the Pope, including the period of time that a particular person holds this position. Throughout his papacy, John Paul has called for a second evangelization of Europe.N-SING: usu the N