A political-religious system in which civil and religious power are united in a single authority, that of the emperor. More specifically, the identification of state and church power in one person, who assumes in himself alone the functions and power of emperor and pope in their respective spheres. “Caesaropapist” theory or practice attributed to the Christian emperor at least part of the following functions and powers Alivisatos: 1 protection of the faith and concern with other ecclesiastical questions as a basic duty of the state, considering belief a state problem; 2 special care and preservation of church property; 3 giving legal status to ecclesiastical canons; 4 guaranteeing episcopal authority by means of state authority; 5 regulating and supervising liturgical functions; 6 regulating and monitoring the moral life of clergy and the life and rule of monks; 7 to the emperor belong clerical privileges, power to set up bishoprics, archbishoprics and metropolitan sees, to transfer bishops, and to punish clerics and laypeople guilty of lèse-majesté with spiritual penalties.
The term is recent Boehmer, Caesaropapia and is not the aptest for defining a theory and practice which, historically, has never fully corresponded to the concept described above. The term is anachronistic and antihistorical because it refers to a power of the bishop of Rome who took exclusive use of the name pope only from the 6th c. usurped by the emperor, a power which never existed in the exact way it is described; the term is also ill-adapted to express a reality similar or analogous to that defined above, yet too complex and extended in time to be constrained by definitions. Nevertheless, it has been consecrated by use, and as such we accept it while acknowledging the note of contempt that unfortunately often accompanies its use, even by some historians.