The Papal Tiara
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Summary: Although the tiara hasn’t played a prominent role in any papal coronation ceremony in recent years, it is still an important papal symbol, appearing on official documents, buildings and insignia.

The tiara is the pope’s crown. There are more than twenty actual papal tiaras in existence. Over a period of about one thousand years until recently, each new pope was crowned with a tiara at his coronation.

Since the 14th century the Pope’s tiara has had three tiers. According to the Vatican, the three layers symbolize “the triple power of the Pope: father of kings, governor of the world and Vicar of Christ.”i

What do these titles signify?

Father of kings

A father is one who produces, nurtures and guides his offspring. It’s interesting to note that many heads of state, politicians, business leaders and other key decision makers have been trained in Jesuit schools. As “father of kings” the Pope claims right to instruct and guide world leaders.

Governor of the world

Merriam-Webster defines “govern” in this way:

to officially control and lead (a group of people)
to make decisions about laws, taxes, social programs, etc., for (a country, state, etc.): to control the way that (something) is done
to control or guide the actions of (someone or something)ii

Vicar of Christ

Pope Pius X in papal tiara.

New Advent, the Catholic Encyclopedia, defines “Vicar of Christ” as, “A title of the pope implying his supreme and universal primacy, both of honour and of jurisdiction, over the Church of Christ.”iii

According to the same source, primacy is defined as, “The supreme episcopal jurisdiction of the pope as pastor and governor of the Universal Church.”iv And Episcopal jurisdiction is, “The right to guide and rule the Church of God.”v

By definition, it is clear that the papal tiara symbolizes the Pope’s claim to universal political and religious authority.

The globe and cross

Atop the tiara sits a globus cruciger, a small globe with a cross standing upon it. From ancient times, statues and coins have depicted gods and monarchs holding a globe in the hand to show authority. For instance during the period that Jupiter was chief deity of the Roman religion (from around 500 BC), he is often depicted holding a globe in his hand. The globe topped with a cross symbolizes the Pope’s dominion over the world on behalf of

Phrygian cap

The foundational design of the tiara is based on the Phrygian cap originally worn by people in the kingdom of Phrygia in what is now Turkey. The cap was associated with Phrygian religion. In ancient depictions, the cap is worn by the gods Mithras and Attis, who were adopted by Roman and Hellenic cultures during the same time period of the early Christian church.vii In practices of the cult of Attis and Mithraism, we can see Satan’s perversion of the story of salvation by faith in Christ, through the incorporation of abominable rites of sun worship.


The triple crown of the papacy.

The cult of Attis has many similarities to the Tammuz-Osiris story with some different details. In ancient Phrygian religion, Attis, a shepherd, was loved by Cybele, the Mother of Gods. He was the miracle son born of a virgin.

When he was a young man he bled to death from a wound inflicted through self-mutilation. His blood covered the ground at the base of a pine tree. Following his death and burial, Attis arose from the grave, bringing salvation.

From this story come the icons of the cult of Attis: the sacred pine tree, eunuch priests, blood festivals, celebration of a spring carnival where participants wore disguises.

There was also a secret set of rituals for initiates.viii One of these involved the sacrifice of a bull in which the novice was reborn and received remission of sins.

St. Peter’s basilica was built in the place on Vatican Hill where Cybele’s sanctuary stood—the very place where the sacrifices took place along with related disgusting sexual rituals.


Mithraism, a mystery religion, was practiced in Rome during the same period as early Christianity, from the 1st century to the 4th century BC. Due to its strict secrecy, few literary sources for Mithraism exist, but many ancient Mithraic temples have been found. The temples, called mithraea, are underground cave-like halls which featured an altar and tauroctony, a depiction of Mithra slaying a bull. Some scholars believe the tauroctony was symbolic of Mithra’s conquering of the universe, thereby making him one with the “ultimate divine forces” who inhabited the realms beyond the cosmos.ix Mithra’s birthdate was December 25, which was also the festival of the Birth of the Unconquerable Sun.x

The Romans adopted religious practices from around the world and it wasn’t unusual for Roman priests to officiate in more than one religion or cult. This fusion of beliefs is known as syncretism and is practiced by the Catholic Church today as can be seen in the Pope’s ecumenical actions and statements. Sun worship is also apparent in the design of Vatican buildings, sacerdotal vestments and rituals.

As has already been noted, the Vatican Mount was the site of a temple of the Mother Goddess Cybele. It was also a place where the Mithraic mysteries were practiced. John Robertson notes, “…we know from monumental remains that Mithraic worship was conducted on the Vatican Mount, where also was a temple of the Mother-Goddess Cybelê, and where also dwelt the Archi-Gallus, or arch eunuch, the head of the cult of Cybelê and Attis.”xi

Would Jesus keep the tiara?

Whereas the Pope claims authority over earthly monarchs, Christ repeatedly disappointed the Jews by refusing to mingle in political affairs. (See Mark 12:17.) The tiara signifies the Pope is “governor of the world.” In contrast, Christ said, “My kingdom is not of this world” (John 18:36) and identified Satan as the ruler of this sinful world (See John 14:30.)

The papal tiara is just one of many pagan icons the Roman Catholic Church has borrowed or “Christianized.” As a symbol, it is rooted in ancient sun worship and mystery religions along with their detestable practices. It also represents the authority claimed by the Papacy.xii Whether it’s worn or not is irrelevant. It is significant that it is retained as an official symbol by a church that claims to represent Christ on earth.




Disclaimer: The contents of this article and website are not intended to accuse individuals. There are many priests and faithful believers in Roman Catholicism who serve God to the best of their ability and are seen by God as His children. The information contained herein is directed only towards the Roman Catholic religio-political system that has reigned in varying degrees of power for nearly two millennia. Under the influence of its successive popes, bishops, and cardinals, this system has established an increasing number of doctrines and statements that clearly go against Scripture.
It is our sincere desire to lay the clear Word of God before you, the truth-seeking reader, so you may decide for yourself what is truth and what is error. If you find herein anything contrary to the Word of God, you need not accept it. But if you desire to seek for Truth as for hidden treasure, and find herein something of that quality, we encourage you to make all haste to accept that Truth which is revealed to you by the Holy Spirit.
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