The Pope ends the first decade of the Mantegna cards, reaching the highest point of the human conditions. In its archetypical role, the card combines wordly power with religious sacredness and presents a clear hint to the origin of Tarot in the Christian mindset.
The popes of the Renaissance were both the rulers of the church - entrusted with the spritual welfare of Christendom - and, for a long time, the heads of the Italian city states. Failure to reconcile these two positions, marred by all too human shortcomings, brought the loss of much of its moral and spiritual authority (see: The Renaissance in the History section).
The Pope is still present in traditional Tarot, in the Thoth deck he is called the Hierophant.