Definition of Prince of the Church in US English:

Prince of the Church


  • A dignitary in the Roman Catholic Church, especially a wealthy or influential cardinal or bishop.

    • ‘At the end of the service the congregation stood until the family had progressed down the aisle to where the Princes of the Church had stationed themselves to bid farewell to the family and the congregation.’
    • ‘Next Wednesday, at a special ceremony outside St Peter's in Rome, Pope John Paul will bestow the title of Cardinal and Prince of the Church on 44 men from all over the world.’
    • ‘Archbishops from India, Vietnam, Poland, the United States and Guatemala also had their promotion to Prince of the Church confirmed yesterday.’
    • ‘These words came from an anthem written by a Prince of the Church and a prince among Polish poets, Ignacy Krasicki.’
    • ‘Already, senior Vatican cardinals are openly discussing the next conclave, and Princes of the Church, including Ireland's Cardinal Desmond Connell, have their bags ready to travel to the Vatican.’