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Pontiff is a title of certain religious leaders. It comes from the Latin word pontifex, which literally means bridge-maker, and is in turn derived from an Etruscan word that does not have that same meaning. Some therefore consture it to mean a bridge between God and humanity. The Pontifex Maximus was the highest religious figure in ancient Rome. Other religious leaders were also considered pontiffs, however. Today the term is almost exclusively used to describe the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church.