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Pope Matthai Reese (マタイ=リース Matai Rīsu?) is a character introduced in Toaru Majutsu no Index. A stern-looking old man, he was the Bishop of Rome and the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, and for much of the God's Right Seat Arc was in an antagonistic position until Fiamma of the Right's introduction into the story.

After the events of World War III, the Roman Catholic Church was reorganized and Pietro Yogdis became the new Pope.[1]

EtymologyEdit

The katakana used for his given name is the one used by the Japanese to refer to Matthew the Apostle, likely derived from his Hebrew name Mattay (מתי).

It is unknown what his Papal name is, or if he even has one.

AppearanceEdit

He's an elderly man with a white beard. He wears the typical papal regalia and bears a crosier bearing a crucifed Christ and the hanged body of Judas on the opposite end.

PersonalityEdit

Like all Popes he was voted into his position and strongly believes in the Roman Catholic Church doctrines. Despite the honor of being chosen, Matthai isn't satisfied with this, believing that the majority that voted him into office has no Holy value.[2] Moreover, he feels that he's disconnected from the Christian masses, and even wonders how Archbishop Laura Stuart is able to easily connect with her constituents as if her position as the head of Anglican Church didn't matter.[3]

When the magic world learns of the existence of Kamijou Touma and his powers, God's Right Seat convinced the Pope that he, Kamijou Touma, was a heretic and his powers are a threat to the world, thus he must be eliminated.[2] He is willing to consider war and violence in order to protect the Church, as shown when he allows the usage of the La Regina del Mare Adriatico to destroy Academy City, as well as to invade Academy City.[2]

However, in spite of his pragmatism in Church politics, he is an inherently well-meaning person. In fact, Laura Stuart herself calls him a kind man.[4] He believes himself to truly serve both God and the greater good with his actions. He has shown a willingness to negotiate and would rather not risk a great conflict if he can, this is likely the main reason for using the La Regina del Mare Adriatico and the invasion of Academy City by Vento of the Front, as a quick and effective means of ending the building chaos in the world that is centered in Academy City. Though this is exemplified with his justification to Fiamma of the Right on attacking Academy City instead of England as attacking England would spread the war to Europe.[4] He has entertained negotiations with the Anglican Church during the height of the prewar tension between the two great Christian churches.[4] Moreover, he believed that Touma could still be redeemed as he thinks he is a boy who is unfamiliar with God, and would rather prefer Acqua of the Back removing his right hand than outright killing him.[5] Perhaps his greatest act of kindness is when he stood against Fiamma of the Right, a man who would plunge the world into war just to complete his Holy Right, and willingly used his own body to defend a populated streets from his magic despite knowing that despite knowing it would most likely kill him.[4]

ChronologyEdit

Toaru Majutsu no IndexEdit

La Regina del Mare Adriatico ArcEdit

Main article: La Regina del Mare Adriatico Arc
Toaru Majutsu no Index II E16 23m 16s

The Pope is left alone by Vento after ordering him to sign a certain document.

Matthai Reese is first introduced after the events reqarding the Queen of Adriatic Sea's failure to activate and eventual destruction at the hands of Kamijou Touma. Vento ordered him to sign the document that authorises the attack on Touma to end his life, and by extension an invasion into Academy City to ensure the elimination of a enemy of the Church.[2]

Document of Constantine ArcEdit

Main article: Document of Constantine Arc

Some time before the beginning of the October riots, the Pope, along with Acqua of the Back, comes upon Terra of the Left drinking cheap wine, trying to replenish his strength. The Pope comments on his brusque nature of slovenly drinking in the middle of a square, as well as the fact that two of God's Right Seat are out and about without protection. He later scolds Acqua of the Back for smirking at Terra's joke regarding his knowledge of wines despite being a mercenary. Terra of the Left prepares to leave, intending to use the Document of Constantine to cause mayhem among the constituents of the Church against Academy City in order to draw the Russian Orthodox Church to their side. Acqua of the Back objects to the use of civilians, but Terra of the Left states that it would be unnatural not to use the Church's vast human resources, much to Acqua of the Back's chagrin. Terra of the Left later leaves, and the Anti-Academy City October riots begin.[6]

After Acqua of the Back eviscerates, with a pillar in St. Peter's Basilica, Terra of the Left after he discovers that he used children and sight-seers in order to make alignment adjustments to his Execution of Light spell, the Pope arrives. Here, he tells Acqua of the Back to be careful on not destroying the St. Peter's Basilica, not just because of aesthetic and historical reasons, but also because of its importance in defensive functions. Acqua then states that the problem in organizations, that there is always someone out of control in it, and cites God's Right Seat and Terra of the Left as an example. He tells the Pope that it is not enough for God's Right Seat to achieve its goal and become La Persona Superiore a Dio for his desure to save more believers, and states that in order for God’s Right Seat to continue functioning as it should, it needs someone outside of it to watch over it and to guide it. Acqua of the Back tells the Pope that he is the one most suited for that position. The Pope smiles and says that when he first heard about God's Right Seat, he was overjoyed that there was such a quick way of guiding believers. However, he then states that he realized that God does not wish for an easy path to salvation, and comments on how the Father watching over him truly likes trials and tribulations. The Pope then asks what his next move will be, to which Acqua of the Back comments that there is only one option after Terra was purged and Vento still recuperating. The Pope asks if he is going to attack Japan via Russia as Terra suggested. Acqua of the Back states that civilians should not stand on the battlefield, and that only soldiers need to cross swords, implying to the Pope he will act himself. The Pope mubles to himself on how the man who is both a member of God's Right Seat and having the disposition of a Saint will now act.[7]

Acqua of the Back ArcEdit

Main article: Acqua of the Back Arc

Prior to the start of the arc, he visited London for a meeting with the Anglican Church bringing with him three Roman Catholic secretaries. Later meeting with Archbishop Laura Stuart, the three secretaries later fainted after being unable to catch up to the tension that developed after talking with her. Later, the Pope's limousine later stops by near Lambeth Palace, overhearing a conversation between Laura and Kanzaki Kaori. It was a vivid memory for the Pope as he wonders how Laura is able to easily connect with her subordinates and still instill respect.[3]

The Pope later recalls this memory after his short speech in Basilica of Sant'Agostino, walking the 1.5 kilometers back to the Vatican with his bodyguard who complains about his situation and the needless danger he put himself in, which annoys the Pope. As he laments his situation in being isolated from the common people of the city, he comes upon a ball that is owned by a street urchin girl. The Pope tries to pick it up but is advised from doing so by his bodyguard, stating that it would dirty his fancy clothes. At which point the girl retrieves the ball itself and returns to the alleyway from which she came from. The Pope references the situation he was in as a problem, to which the bodyguard mistook it for the girl having no manners in approaching the Pople.[3]

In a lull in his attempt to retrieve Touma's right arm, Acqua of the Back is in a conversation with the Pope, using magic through a phone, likely to disguise it. He warns the Pope that despite being in the park away from all the technology, there is still a chance that they're being spied on like the Amakusa Christians. The Pope asks about Acqua of the Back not killing Touma but just taking his right hand, saying that he recalls Vento of the Front telling him that God's Right Seat won't change their goals. Acqua of the Back however tells him that is a problem in Vento of the Front's character as God's Right Seat change according to how the situations plan out, and Terra of the Left himself went overboard. Pope tells Acqua of the Back that what he is doing now is the better method. However, he says to him that if Touma really intends on defying God, they need to kill him, though says that since Touma isn't all familiar with God he is against killing it because of this reason, which Vento of the Front. Acqua of the Back tells the Pope that he is neither a good man nor a philanthropist, saying that if it comes to the point where he needs to kill Touma he will still do it, though there is still a possibility that he doesn't need to kill at all. The Pope then relates on how though God's Right Seat was set-up as a negotiating tool to enter the enemy's stronghold, he can only watch from the Vatican. After pondering the purpose of God's Right Seat in the Roman Catholic Church, Acqua of the Back tells the Pope that the next time he contacts him it will all be over, and that whether the target will still be alive after that then he'll tell him later.[5]

Just then, he hears a loud noise, tucks away the phone as he senses danger, and jumps away from where he is standing. The effects are instantaneous as the place he was previously in is ripped to shreds, an attack from Mimosa. Although not knowing what attacked him, he successfully hypothesizes that strange particles have been scattered into the air that then decomposes the contents it touches. Acqua of the Back then also notice that School District 22 has announced that the 3rd level district is low on air and advises people to evacuate designated buildings and wear their oxygen flasks, which Acqua of the Back notes later that Academy City is testing his battle strength and at the same time create a battlefield without bloodshed. Furthermore, he then notice unmanned Powered Suits approaching him. The Pope tells him to try and not to kill anyone, though he tells him that they seem to be unmanned. There, the Pope ended his communication with Acqua of the Back.[5]

The Pope later entertains negotiators from the Anglican Church in order to come to an agreement with them. He later later dismess them after hearing of Acqua of the Back's defeat, giving a severe blow to the Church's fighting strength and had allowed its enemies to assume superior fighting strength for themselves. As the Pope concludes that Kamijou Touma is truly a dangerous opponent, Fiamma of the Right appears before him, implying to him that the Pope hoped for Acqua of the Back's defeat and mocking the Roman Catholic Church for erasing all traces of it stirring trouble. Fiamma of the Right then criticizes the Pope's leadership in the midst of crisis, specifically in the defeat of Acqua of the Back, prompting the Pope to ask what he is going to do now that all of the rest of the God's Right Seat have failed, telling him that a plan to crush Academy City is needed. Betraying the Pope's expectations, Fiamma of the Right says that they must bring England down to its knees, pointing out that with their alliance with the Russian Orhodox Church, all of Europe is in their grasp, giving the means of crushing England. The Pope doesn't understand, to which Fiamma of the Right points out that since they are allied, if England were to come under attack, it would deal a severe blow to Academy City as it would be unable to continue the war. The Pope however says that conversely, if the war were to fall on Academy City first, England's actions would be halted as going to war with the other great denominations of Christianity would be unthinkable.[4]

Fiamma of the Right retorts that his target isn't Academy City, but something which in England and that the Church must focus all of its attention on England instead. The Pope doesn't understand what Fiamma of the Right saying. He states that his actions is not entirely out of the Pope's wishes as if he acquired that thing in England, he can utterly shatter the entire science side. The Pope tries to ask what the "thing" Fiamma of the Right is referring to, Fiamma of the Right instead slams two columns of the basilica down upon him. Shocked, the Pope asks if Fiamma of the Right is truly of Christianity. Here, Fiamma of the Right reveals that he's been using him all along. Knowing that Fiamma of the Right's isolation of England would surely cause a war in Europe, the Pope tries to contend against Fiamma of the Right, though he is unperturbed by the Pope's threats. With that, the Pope used magic based on the suffering of Judas after his betrayal of Jesus Christ to trap Fiamma of the Right in 40 years of despondency. In spite of the Church's billions of followers and thousand years of history, Fiamma of the Right uses his own power to easily destroy the Pope's magic and destroy part of the walls that surround the Vatican and severely weakens the defensive array that surrounds the city.[4]

The attack sends the Pope flying one-hundred meters though he survives. Fiamma of the Right reveals to the Pope his power, the Holy Right. However, Fiamma of the Right reveals that though the Holy Right possess immeasurable power he is still human, and that he is unable to utilize its full potential. Fiamma of the Right asks the Pope if his Holy Right is what he wanted, as it is the Right Hand that creates all miracles and destroys all evil, and asks if he isn't curious what would happen if masters the Holy Right, though he needs materials to master it. Then the Pope realizes something, Fiamma of the Right may be after the Imagine Breaker, the Right Hand that destroys all miracles if touched. Moreover, he realizes that even if he had gathered the materials to master the Holy Right, he needed the knowledge to create the spell, and the only way for him to do that is to get the Index Librorum Prohibitorum. The Pope realized that Fiamma of the Right is targeting England in order to draw Index back there. The Pope tries to charge Fiamma of the Right again anew but almost instantly is blown away by his overwhelming attack, enough to destroy the rest of the basilica, and even destroy a part of the perimeter wall separating the Vatican from the Rome.[4]

Vatican soldiers finally respond and attacks Fiamma of the Right, though are completely defeated as well. Fiamma of the Right however realizes that the damage to the rest of the Vatican was too minimal and finds out that the Pope manages to divert the spell onto himself to save the city, impressing him. FIamma of the Right later leaves, not hiding that he was the one that caused the destruction. The Pope later regains consciousness and is content with the fact that there were no casualties. The Pope later sees a dirty street urchin girl, likely the same one from after his recent speech Basilica of Sant'Agostino, worrying about him. Vento of the Front later arrives to comment on the destruction, and calls back to their conversation after the failed use of the La Regina del Mare Adriatico, asking him if he still hates to be voted by the people after saving the lost sheep. The Pope tries to tell Vento of the Front to go to England where Fiamma of the Right is going, to which Vento of the Front says not to command her, though says that since Fiamma of the Right's goal is to kill everyone she'll just let it be. Vento of the Front then notices the street urchin glaring at her, and praises her hostility, though states tha she is lucky as if she had her original weapon, she would've died. Vento of the Front later leaves, and medical personnel later take care of the Pope.[4]

World War III ArcEdit

Main article: World War III Arc

When he finally regains consciousness and he immediately tries to contact Vasilisa having exchanged the information on how to do so earlier at the talks between their respected churches, when he does contact her she comments that she is currently dealing with a group of rebellious subordinates.[8]

After his recovery he sets out to stop Fiamma and his plans, while protecting the Vatican from civil unrest that started since World War III has erupted in Europe. He single-handedly stops the riot in Rome and took back the leadership of the Roman Catholic Church without bloodshed from the bishops that supported Fiamma of the Right, as his holiness stopped all conflict and hostile intentions just by his presence. As all the Roman Catholic Church's forces stood in awe at Matthai Reese's return making his way through the basilica, while Pietro Yogdis started to breakdown similar to that of a child about to burst into tears as he vainly tried ordering the forces all around to kill the pope. Matthai Reese, unconcerned with the threats that he had no intention of stopping the papal conclave, only sought the great Vatican library to use in stopping Fiamma’s Star of Bethlehem. As the pope stepped closer to him Pietro was sure he would be killed but, instead he complemented him on handling the situation in his absence while calling himself an incompetent leader.[9]

To fully understand the spell she contacts Matthai Reese to coordinate their plans ignoring the fact he is no longer the pope and all the while going on about the Patriarch's cuteness.[10]

Shinyaku Toaru Majutsu no IndexEdit

Freshmen ArcEdit

Main article: Freshmen Arc

He is mentioned on a news show that Hamazura Shiage is watching that after the events of World War III the Church was reorganized and he was replaced by Pietro Yogdis.[1]

AbilitiesEdit

As the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church, he is empowered by the holy power of two billion followers passed down through two thousand years of history. In addition to this, he can utilize the powers of St. Peter's Basilica and the combined power of the Vatican itself as if they were spiritual items. He also has the ability to absorb great amounts of magic damage that can destroy the entire Vatican and survive.[4]

Symbol of the Son of God and the Twelve ApostlesEdit

The Pope can use the symbols of the Son of God and the Twelve Apostles for his restraining spell. When first used, an explosion rings out though no destruction is apparent, though the space where the spell is performed will afterwards tremble with a strange noise, and is told in the narrative as like being "inside a large container and watching the box implode due to an external force". From there, the Pope would then recite an incantation: "All the Apostles, from the First to the Twelfth who believe in the same God, Thou shall overflow me with strength, thou shall understand the intent of Man, and thou shall plead for power to crush the enemy."[4]

Afterwards, numerous orbs of light appear and is described as "dancing in the air." Each one of them contains the symbols of the Apostles, such as the inverted cross (likely a reference to St. Peter) and seashells. Since Fiamma of the Right references the Pope using the symbol of the Son of God, it is likely his symbol is present as well. This is later corroborated at lease when the barrier that surrounds Fiamma of the Right has 13 sides instead of 12. The lights then surround the "enemy" or target of the spell, at which point these orbs then create a thirteen-sided barrier around the target, sealing it tightly. After another sound of an explosion, the restrain spell not only restrains the target's actions physically but also separated their flesh from their soul, referenced as a "woundless bind", and nothing more than a hollow existence. The Apostle Judas is of apparent significance in this spell, as it also employs his symbol. The spell's effects are apparently based on the Judas' despair the moment he hung himself out of immense guilt he felt after betraying the Son of God. The spell's effects and restraint on the target would then remain for 40 years.[4] It is unknown if the spell can be stopped with the Pope can choose to or if he can make it last indefinitely.

Character Art DesignsEdit

Design evolutionEdit

Matthai Reese's design remains static all throughout the series. Haimura felt that designing him similarly to the real life Pope would not fit the story, and as such stayed his hand from basing it off the Pope, instead basing him off Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series, and Ian McKellen's movie portrayal of Gandalf from the Lord of the Rings novels.

GalleryEdit

QuotesEdit

  • (To Vasilisa, from Index volume 22): "It matters not. … It is meaningless to have power that cannot protect everyone. As long as it can protect the people, even if the power of the Roman Catholic Church is weakened we must stop Fiamma of the Right"
  • (From Index volume 22) "I can still fight. For the road that leads to a hopeful tomorrow, I cannot possibly stop here."

ReferencesEdit

Roman Catholic Church

Pope2 Pietro Yogdis Biagio profile Snapshot20101218212703
Pope Matthai Reese Pietro Yogdis Biagio Busoni Lidvia Lorenzetti
Aureolus Balb Parsifal Template Placeholder other
Aureolus Izzard Balbina Parsifal Vittorio Cassera
Others
Agnese Forces Thirteen Knights of the Roman Catholic Church God's Right Seat

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