One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Adherence to or support for the Pope or the papacy; specifically belief in or support for a system of ecclesiastical government in which the highest authority of the Church is embodied in the Pope (often opposed to conciliarism). Also: the papal system, the papacy, Roman Catholicism.
Mid 19th century. From papal + -ism. Compare earlier papism and papalist.
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