Ultramontanism is a religious philosophy within the Catholic Church that places strong emphasis on the prerogatives and powers of the pope. In particular, ultramontanism asserts the superiority of Papal authority over the authority of local temporal power.
The term originates in ecclesiastical language from the Middle Ages and means literally "beyond the mountains" (referring to the Alps).
The word was revived after the Protestant Reformation in France. In France, the name "ultramontain" was applied to people who supported papal authority in French political affairs. "The man beyond the mountains" referred to the pope, located in Italy.
Those of an Ultramontanist philosophy take comfort in the retention of doctrinal and disciplinary supremacy by the Roman Pontiff and the Roman Curia which serves and represents him.
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