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For the country itself, see the Papal States.
For the government form, see Papacy.
The Papacy

The institution of the Papacy is the religious center of the Catholic faith and 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).

The Papacy can be disabled if Byzantium restores the pentarchy.


Curia Controller

A new Curia Controller is elected whenever the Pope (ruler of the Papal State) dies.

When this happens, every country that has at least 10 invested influence can be chosen as Curia Controller in accordance with a formula:


Current chance is displyed in the Chance column in the Papacy view.


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

  +1 Diplomats
  +1 Yearly prestige
  −10% Stability cost modifier
  +2 Possible advisors
  −20% Advisor cost
  +1 Leader(s) without upkeep
  −20% Aggressive expansion impact
  −5% Technology cost
  10% Clergy loyalty equilibrium
  • Can break royal marriages without the -1 stability hit.
  • Special diplomatic actions (listed under papal actions) available during the   Age of Discovery and   Age of Reformation

Papal actions

The Curia controller gains several diplomatic actions available for use during the   Age of Discovery and   Age of Reformation. As a base requirement, these actions require the   Papal States (if exists) to have a negative   opinion of the targeted nations.


Excommunication requires the targeted nation to be Catholic, and for the Papal States to have a negative opinion of them (note: Papal actions are located under diplomacy menu). The targeted nation cannot be the Defender of the Faith. If the Papal States do not exist the negative opinion requirement is waived and the Curia Controller can excommunicate any Catholic ruler that is not the Defender of the Faith. Excommunication gives every neighbouring Catholic nation a Casus Belli against the targeted nation. It can be lifted if the curia controller has good relations with the excommunicated nation.

Excommunication penalties

  •   −2 Yearly prestige
  •   −10 Yearly papal influence
  •   −5 Yearly devotion
  •   −3 Tolerance of the True Faith
  •   -50 Relation with Catholic nations
  •   -200 Relation with Catholic theocracies

Call a crusade

The Curia controller can also call a crusade against a single target (note: Papal actions are located under diplomacy menu). This target must be a heathen and the Papal States must have an opinion of -50 or below 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, 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. However, , the Curia controller can extend this period using a golden bull.

Crusade bonuses:

  •   +30% National manpower modifier
  •   +10% National tax modifier
  •   +10% Morale of armies
  •   +1 Yearly prestige
  •   +1 Yearly papal influence
  •   +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 is 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 Influence per year.

Cardinal selection

The top ten Catholic provinces in Catholic nations except   The Papal State 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:

  • 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.
  • The event Cardinal Across the Border can cause a cardinal to move from one province to another.

Papal influence

Papal influence is earned by all Catholic countries except for   The Papal State. 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[2]
+1 yearly with loyal   Clergy estate (scaling by influence)
+1 yearly as   defender of the Catholic faith[3]
+1 yearly for having the triggered modifier “Crusade[4]
−10 yearly for violation of the Treaty of Tordesillas[2]
−10 yearly 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[3]
  • converting a province gives papal influence on completion equal to the development of the converted province.

Also the following ideas increase papal influence:

  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 bribes 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 Prerequisites Papal Influence cost Effect
Invest influence
  • Has at least   1 cardinal
5 + 0.5 * current influence Gain +10 influence towards election of next Curia controller
Levy church tax
  • Is at peace with   The Papal State
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Sanction for Increased Taxes”
50 Gain the “Papal Sanction for Increased Taxes” modifiers for 20 years:
  • +15%   Global tax modifier
Grant indulgence for sins
  • Is at peace with   The Papal State
  • Has less than   100 Legitimacy
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Sanction for our Dynasty”
  • (hidden) Is a monarchy and not the junior partner in a personal union
50 Gain the “Papal Sanction for our Dynasty” modifier for 20 years:
  • +1   Yearly legitimacy
Forgive usury 50 Gain the “Usury Forgiven” modifier for 20 years:
  • -0.25   Interest per annum
  • -0.1   Inflation per year
Send papal legate 50 Gain the “Papal Legate” modifier for 20 years:
  • +1   Diplomatic reputation
Bless ruler
  • Is at peace with   The Papal State
  • Has less than   100 prestige
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Blessing”
50 Gain the “Papal Blessing” modifier for 20 years:
  • +1   Yearly prestige
Beatify local saint 100 Gain   +1 Stability
Proclaim holy war
  • Is at war
  • Is at peace with   The Papal State
  • Does not have the modifier “Papal Sanction of War”
50 Gain the “Papal Sanction of War” modifier for 20 years:
  • +15%   Manpower recovery speed
Sanction commercial monopoly 50 Gain   +1% mercantilism


  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.

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