Just before their final Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Rome April 22, from left, Oakland Deacon
Derrick Oliveira, Bishop Salvatore J. Cordileone and Father George Mockel, vicar general.
Father George Mockel
Why do they call it the "Holy See?"
In fact, all dioceses are "sees." The term "Holy See" is simply used to distinguish it from other dioceses. "See" comes from the Latin word "Sedis" meaning chair or seat. It does not refer to a physical chair but rather the actual seat as in "residence."
The "Holy See" is the universal government that functions and operates from Vatican City. It is not the same as Vatican City since the government of the church extends beyond the physical reality of the Vatican.