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For the country itself, see the Papal States.

The institution of the Papacy is the religious center of the Catholic faith, a moral authority for all Catholic nations. It is 'located' in the Papal States, but is separate from the country and can reform elsewhere by event if the country no longer exists via event for any Catholic theocracy with more than one province. Cardinals now appear at random or appear via events in provinces with at least 10 Development. Each country can have at most 7 cardinals. One nation is designated the current Papal Controller, also known as the Curia Controller, earning bonuses and able to use its power diplomatically (see below).

Papacy can be disabled if the Papal States form the Kingdom of God, or if any Orthodox nation restores the pentarchy.


The Curia Controller will gain the following bonuses:[1]

Diplomat.png +1% Diplomats
Yearly prestige.png +1% Yearly prestige
Stability cost modifier.png −10% Stability cost modifier
Possible advisors.png +2% Possible advisors
Advisor cost.png −20% Advisor cost
Leader(s) without upkeep.png +1% Leader(s) without upkeep
Aggressive expansion impact.png −20% Aggressive expansion impact
Technology cost.png −5% Technology cost
Clergy loyalty equilibrium.png 10% Clergy loyalty equilibrium
  • Can break royal marriages without the -1 stability hit.
  • During the Age of Discovery.png Age of Discovery and Age of Reformation.png Age of Reformation:
    • Can excommunicate Catholics
    • Can call crusades on non-Christians


The Curia controller can excommunicate an enemy during the Age of Discovery.png Age of Discovery and Age of Reformation.png Age of Reformation. This requires the enemy to be Catholic, and for the Papal States to have a negative opinion of the target. If the Papal States do not exist this requirement is waived and the Curia Controller can excommunicate any Catholic ruler. Excommunication gives every other Catholic nation a Casus Belli against them and decreases prestige yearly.

Excommunication penalties

  • Yearly prestige.png −2 Yearly prestige
  • Papal influence.png −10 Yearly papal influence
  • Yearly devotion.png −5 Yearly devotion
  • Tolerance of the true faith.png −3 Tolerance of the True Faith
  • Icon diplomacy relations.png -50 Relation with Catholic nations
  • Icon diplomacy relations.png -200 Relation with Catholic theocracies

Call a crusade

The Curia controller can also call a crusade against a single target during the Age of Discovery.png Age of Discovery and Age of Reformation.png Age of Reformation. This target must be a heathen and the Papal States must have an opinion of -50 of the target. Catholic nations that border the crusade target receive a Casus Belli against it, and all Catholic nations at war with the crusade target receive bonuses to manpower, morale, prestige and yearly papal influence while they are at war with them, controls at least 1 province owned by the crusade target and the Army Maintenance slider is at maximum. Crusades may no longer be called as of the Age of Absolutism.png Age of Absolutism, but if a crusade called before it starts hasn't expired yet, it will continue to stay in effect until 30 years have passed since its start, as before.

Crusade bonuses:

  • National manpower modifier.png +30% National manpower modifier
  • National tax modifier.png +10% National tax modifier
  • Morale of armies.png +10% Morale of armies
  • Yearly prestige.png +1 Yearly prestige
  • Papal influence.png +1 Yearly papal influence
  • Yearly devotion.png +0.25 Yearly devotion

The Curia

The Curia is the administrative body of the Catholic Church overseen by a group of cardinals. There are 49 seats in the Curia, and a new cardinal will be inducted on the first day of each year should any seat be empty. New cardinals are randomly selected from among the Catholic provinces of Catholic nations. Cardinals are loyal to the Catholic ruler who has ownership of their province, so it possible to earn the allegiance of more cardinals through conquest. The primary benefit of controlling more cardinals is to increase one's papal influence. Per cardinal controlled, you gain 0.5 Papal Authority per year.

Cardinal selection

The top ten Catholic provinces in Catholic nations will compete for empty seats in the Curia. The chance of a cardinal being picked from any province can be seen in the tooltip over the Active Cardinals ribbon in the papacy interface. Factors that affect cardinal selection chance are as follows:

The Papacy
  • Development of candidate province must be at least 10
  • Total provincial base tax of all Catholic provinces owned by nation (worth more)
  • Total provincial base tax of all non-Catholic provinces owned by nation (worth less)
  • Number of cardinals already controlled by nation

The selection of cardinals tends to favors countries whose wealth is concentrated in a few valuable provinces, rather than spread out over many poorer ones. Cardinals can only be elected from provinces on the same continent as the Papal States (usually Europe). If the Papal state does not exist, this restriction is removed. Cardinals can be selected from vassals but they cannot be selected from Colonial nations.

Cardinal acquisition

  • If you conquer a province with a cardinal - you get the cardinal.
  • There's an event where a cardinal can move from a province to an adjacent province and another event that allows you to gain a cardinal by gaining 0,5 corruption, spending money and having a 20% risk of having the relations worsend with the Pope ( Or to gain a Spymaster )

Papal influence

Papal influence is earned by all Catholic countries. A country can store at most 200 papal influence.[2] It can be spent in exchange for various benefits.

The change in papal influence is:

+0.5 yearly Base increase[2]
+0.5 yearly for each controlled Cardinal icon.png cardinal[2]
+1 yearly as Become Defender of the Faith.png defender of the Catholic faith[3]
+1 yearly for having the triggered modifier “Crusade[4]
−10 flat penalty for violation of the Treaty of Tordesillas[2]
−10 flat penalty for having the country modifier The Statute in Restraint of Appeals (obtained by decision)
−10 yearly during excommunication[4]
−10 yearly for having the triggered modifier The Occupation of Rome[4]
−100 yearly as Revolution target.png revolution target[3]
  • converting a province gives papal influence on completion equal to the development of the converted province.

Also the following ideas increase papal influence:

Papal influence.png Traditions Ideas Bonuses Policies
+2.0 yearly
  • Italian traditions
  • Liège traditions
  • Nivernais traditions
  • Tuscan traditions
  • Religious idea 4: Devoutness
  • Breton idea 4: Breton Catholicism
  • Clanricarde idea 6: Catholic Holdouts
  • Ferraran idea 1: Papal Recognition
  • Jerusalem idea 2: Latin Patriarch
  • Rigan idea 1: Legacy of Bishop Albert
  • Spanish idea 1: Devout Catholicism
  • Urbinate idea 6: Papal Loyalty
  • Utrecht idea 2: Ex Cathedra
  • Knights Hospitaller ambition
+1.0 yearly
  • Münster traditions
  • Wurzburgian traditions
  • Bavarian idea 4: Establish the Geistlicher Rat
  • Clevian idea 3: Avid Reformers
  • Irish idea 4: Loyal Catholics
  • Icelandic idea 3: Christian Identity
  • Moravian idea 6: Jesuit University
  • Otomo idea 5: Christian Converts
  • Sardinian idea 2: Papal Restoration
  • Sardinian-Piedmontese idea 3: The Shroud of Turin
  • Savoyard idea 2: The Shroud of Turin
  • Teutonic idea 4: Assume Religious Authority
  • Trierian idea 5: The Seamless Robe of Jesus
  • Tyrone idea 5: Catholic Diplomacy
+0.5 yearly
  • Sienese idea 6: The Saints of Siena

Additionally, implemented decisions and events can give gains or losses to papal influence. One of the possible requests for a seat in Parliament is Send Delegation to Holy See, which will buy that seat's vote at a cost of 10 papal influence.

The yearly change of papal influence is affected by the opinion of the Papal state towards a country, namely by 0.5% times this opinion. If the Papal state does not exist, this modifier is always zero.

Papal influence can be spent in the following manner:

Action Papal Influence cost Effect
Invest influence 5 + 0.5 * current influence Gain +10 influence towards election of next Curia controller
Levy church tax 50 Gain the "Papal Sanction for Increased Taxes" modifiers for 20 years:
  • +15% National tax modifier.png Global tax modifier
Grant indulgence for sins 50 Gain the "Papal Sanction for our Dynasty" modifiers for 20 years:
  • +1 Legitimacy.png Yearly legitimacy
Forgive usury 50 Gain the "Usury Forgiven" modifiers for 20 years:
  • -1 Interest per annum.png Interest per annum
  • -0.1 Yearly inflation reduction.png Inflation per year
Send papal legate 50 Gain the "Papal Legate" modifiers for 20 years:
  • +1 Diplomatic reputation.png Diplomatic reputation
Bless ruler 50 Gain the "Papal Blessing" modifiers for 20 years:
  • +1 Yearly prestige.png Yearly prestige
Beatify local saint 100 Stability.png Stability: +1
Proclaim holy war 50 Gain the "Papal Sanction of War" modifiers for 20 years:
  • +15% Manpower recovery speed.png Manpower recovery speed
Sanction commercial monopoly 50 Mercantilism.png Mercantilism: +1


  1. See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt (Static modifiers#Curia controller).
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/defines.lua
  3. 3.0 3.1 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/static_modifiers/00_static_modifiers.txt.
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 See in /Europa Universalis IV/common/triggered_modifiers/00_triggered_modifiers.txt.