How do I explain the anti-Popes to a Fundamentalist “Born Again” Christian? I know of some who like to use them as an excuse of why the Catholic church has not had the unity they claim.
Anti-Popes are false claimants to the Chair of Peter. Their election as “Pope” is not recognized as canonically valid and hence they are what we might call “pretenders”, and practically anyone can always claim to have been “elected”. They always try to exercise their “office” as “Pope” in defiance of the legally and validly elected Pontiff. Since they were never validly elected, and Papal elections are governed by rules and proceduresSee This] which must be followed to be legitimate, hence they are not Popes in any real sense of the word. Hence, there is no conflict with the unity and apostolicity of the Catholic Church, simply because the Church can produce a complete list of all legitimate, validly elected Popes from St. Peter to the present.
The following list of known anti-Popes (from the Catholic Encyclopedia):
*]Hippolytus (?), III century
*]Felix II, 355-365
*]Constantine II, 767
*]Philip, VIII century
]Leo VIII, 956-63 ](“http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09160b.htm”)Boniface VII, 974
*]John XVI, X century
*]Sylvester III, 1044
*]Benedict X, 1058
*]Honorius II, 1061-72
*]Guibert or Clement III, 1080-1100
*]Burdin (Gregory VIII), 1118
*]Anacletus II, 1130-38
*]Victor IV, 1159-64
*]Pascal III, 1164-68
*]Calixtus III, 1168-77
*]Innocent III, 1178-80
*]Nicholas V, 1328-30
*]Robert of Geneva (Clement VII), 20 September, 1378 to 16 September, 1394
*]Amadeus of Savoy (Felix V), November, 1439 to April, 1449
I found that after reading Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid I’ve been able to fend off all the pope attacks.
Theoretically, there is an Anti-Pope here in Kansas. That is right. His name is Pope Michael and he was “elected” about 14 years ago and has written some books and calls JP2 a heretic. His reasoning is almost as illogical as some flamingly anti-Catholic protestant reasoning. The best way to explain it is to say that an anti-pope would be like an anti-pastor. Someone who stands out in front of First Church ot whatever protestant denomination and says that he is the true elected pastor and preaches. Or, you could explain it like all of the 30,000 denominations that all claim to be the biblical Church but they all can’t because they don’t believe the same things.
Under the Mercy,
[quote=CatholicMatthew]Theoretically, there is an Anti-Pope here in Kansas. That is right. His name is Pope Michael and he was “elected” about 14 years ago and has written some books and calls JP2 a heretic. .
Karl Keating mentioned another do-it-yourself Pope in one of his E-letters. This one calls himself Pius XIII. I think there are a couple other anti-popes who share the same name (I think Gregory, but I’m not sure).