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  #1  
Old Feb 17, '13, 2:54 pm
garysibio garysibio is offline
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Default Anti-pope Question

With the recent announcement by Pope Benedict XVI, I've been doing a little reading in church history. I've known about the anti-popes for quite some time but never thought much about them. These guys thought they were pope. They must have appointed bishops who, in turn, ordained priests. Would these be considered valid bishops and priests? Would the sacraments they performed be licit?
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  #2  
Old Feb 17, '13, 3:05 pm
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Anti-pope Question

Do not confuse Anti-Popes with Anti-Christs. Anti-Popes are not evil.

An anti-Pope is someone who claims to be validly elected as Pope, and usually believes his own claim. Anti-Popes are usually men of good will and intent who are answering the call to serve, usually unaware that the call is not legitimate. They are not acting out of evil intent (heck, one Anti-Pope is a Saint of the Church).

The process of electing Popes has changed over the years At times the process has not been very well defined, leading to confusion. At times, it has been very unclear whose claim is valid (and historians sometimes still argue about who was "really" the Pope in certain situations). The usual action is for both (or, in one situation, all three) claimants to renounce their claim so that an undisputed selection may be made (this is what happened 600 years ago, the last time a Pope resigned before Benedict).

All Anti-Popes (who have been recognized by the Church) are legitimate Bishops who exercise valid and licit Sacraments.
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Last edited by DavidFilmer; Feb 17, '13 at 3:15 pm.
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  #3  
Old Feb 17, '13, 3:55 pm
garysibio garysibio is offline
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Default Re: Anti-pope Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFilmer View Post
Do not confuse Anti-Popes with Anti-Christs. Anti-Popes are not evil.

An anti-Pope is someone who claims to be validly elected as Pope, and usually believes his own claim. Anti-Popes are usually men of good will and intent who are answering the call to serve, usually unaware that the call is not legitimate. They are not acting out of evil intent (heck, one Anti-Pope is a Saint of the Church).

The process of electing Popes has changed over the years At times the process has not been very well defined, leading to confusion. At times, it has been very unclear whose claim is valid (and historians sometimes still argue about who was "really" the Pope in certain situations). The usual action is for both (or, in one situation, all three) claimants to renounce their claim so that an undisputed selection may be made (this is what happened 600 years ago, the last time a Pope resigned before Benedict).

All Anti-Popes (who have been recognized by the Church) are legitimate Bishops who exercise valid and licit Sacraments.
I know they weren't all evil. I'm sure some of them were holier men than the valid pope of the time.

You made a good point that they were still bishops so that takes care of the issue of the priests they ordained but what about the bishops? It is my understanding that only a Pope can appoint a bishop. Is that not the case?
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Old Feb 17, '13, 11:05 pm
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DavidFilmer DavidFilmer is offline
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Default Re: Anti-pope Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by garysibio View Post
It is my understanding that only a Pope can appoint a bishop. Is that not the case?
Popes rarely ordain Bishops, although the Pope's consent is required (as a matter of Canon Law) in the modern Church. This is a rule only. Any Bishop can validly ordain any Baptized male as priest or Bishop.

But questions of validity have not had the opportunity to arise in the case of any anti-Pope which has been recognized by the Church. The dispute over the validity of the Papal appointment has always been made a short time after the coronation of the Pope (nobody comes along months or years later and claims to be the "real" Pope).

But, even if an anti-Pope had any actual opportunity to approve an Episcopal Ordination, it would not matter provided that (at least one of) the Consecrators were valid Bishops - the consecrations would be valid. Indeed, in 2009, the Church lifted the excommunication of the four surviving Bishops consecrated by Marcel Lefebvre and formally recognized them as ordained Bishops, even though they were ordained by a single Bishop (as opposed to the rule that a Bishop should have (at least) three Consecrators) and they were ordained against explicit instructions to the contrary from the Roman Pontiff.
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Popes are designated "the Great" by popular acclaim. Please join me in always referring to Pope St. John Paul-2 as "St. John Paul the Great."

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  #5  
Old Feb 17, '13, 11:23 pm
garysibio garysibio is offline
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Default Re: Anti-pope Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidFilmer View Post
Popes rarely ordain Bishops, although the Pope's consent is required (as a matter of Canon Law) in the modern Church. This is a rule only. Any Bishop can validly ordain any Baptized male as priest or Bishop.

But questions of validity have not had the opportunity to arise in the case of any anti-Pope which has been recognized by the Church. The dispute over the validity of the Papal appointment has always been made a short time after the coronation of the Pope (nobody comes along months or years later and claims to be the "real" Pope).

But, even if an anti-Pope had any actual opportunity to approve an Episcopal Ordination, it would not matter provided that (at least one of) the Consecrators were valid Bishops - the consecrations would be valid. Indeed, in 2009, the Church lifted the excommunication of the four surviving Bishops consecrated by Marcel Lefebvre and formally recognized them as ordained Bishops, even though they were ordained by a single Bishop (as opposed to the rule that a Bishop should have (at least) three Consecrators) and they were ordained against explicit instructions to the contrary from the Roman Pontiff.
Thanks
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