Definition: The papal crown, ornamented with precious stones and pearls, which is shaped like a beehive, and is also equipped with three royal diadems. Along with the mitre (the Pope’s tall hat), the triregnum signifies the Pope’s three roles as king (temporal ruler of the Catholic Church and governor of the Vatican), priest (role as mediator and infallible teacher), and prophet (His ability to discern and speak for God). The triregnum and the other costly accoutrements reflect the historical wealth, power and pomp of the Catholic Church, and especially the Pope. The Papal crown began to be worn by the Popes from at least the 700’s. Pope Innocent III (1198-1216) declared that he was ruler of the world. Pope Boniface VII (1294-1303) claimed that he was Caesar, the Roman emperor. He also wore a crown with over 200 rubies, emeralds, sapphires and large pearls.
Discussion: The Bible describes the leaders of the Church as humble servants (1 Pet. 5:1-3) who were to be in subjection to temporal authorities (Rom. 13:1-2). Scripture also warns of an abominable Church that has been seduced by temporal wealth (Rev. 17:3-4).
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