Is Pope Capitalized?

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Religious titles, like the pope, or a pastor, have their very own grammatical rules. And since the Catholic Church does a lot of things differently than the rest of the Christian world, one can’t help but ask, what is pope capitalized? Or should pope even be capitalized?

Is “Pope” Capitalized?

The times when the word “pope” is capitalized

As we all know, every word that comes at the beginning of a sentence should be capitalized so “pope” should be capitalized if it is the first word of a sentence. Additionally, if the word pope is being used to infer some sort of honor or high standing of a person, and it comes before the name of that person, it should also be capitalized. Pay special attention to the titles of people when you first mention them. It is a polite and wise thing to put their title or profession before their full name when you first mention them in your writing.

For example:

  • “Pope Benedict the XVI had a murky, some would even say sinister, youth.”
  • “Everyone loved Pope John Paul II, as he was a friend to many nations and a staunch enemy of communism.”
  • “Pope Alexander VI is considered by many to be one of not just the worst popes, but also a despicable human being.”

The times when the word “pope” is not capitalized

For every other case, pope should not be capitalized. No matter where the word stands, and no matter in what kind of a sentence, if it isn’t the first word in the sentence, or an honorific before a title, it has to be lowercased.

For example:

  • “Italy has given the biggest percentage of popes in history.”
  • “English royal houses have more often than not, clashed with popes.”
  • “Some people think that Alexander Pope was indeed a pope.”

To learn more about proper title capitalization rules, give our free title capitalization tool a try.


Capitalize My Title is a dynamic title capitalization tool used to make sure your titles or headlines use proper capitalization rules according to various style guides include APA, AP, MLA, and Chicago. It also counts your words and checks for grammar issues.

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