I was reading about the Western Schism and came across this: **
** "The line of Roman popes is now recognized as the legitimate line, but this was not true before the 19th century". source wikipedia
It also referred to the fact that there were three Popes in the 13th century at the same time. source New Advent…
I believe in Apostolic Succession, but I wonder how that can be if there were three Popes at the same time. We are going to Rome next year with some very close protestant fundamentalist friends and they are bible savvy and if this comes up.
What the wikipedia article is saying is that in the 19th century Catholics came to the conclusion that of the three papal lineages existing in the late 14th and early 15th centuries, the “Roman” lineage was the valid one. I don’t know if the article is correct that Catholics had no consensus on this point before the 19th century, but I don’t know anything to the contrary. (The 19th-century historian Ludwig Pastor made this argument for sure–I had always assumed that he was following an already established line of argument, but perhaps it was newer than I thought.) I’d be interested to hear evidence that Catholics did adopt this explanation before the 19th century.
Either way, the article is not talking about apostolic succession or the validity of the Papacy in general, but about the specific issue: which of the three Popes in the early 15th century (two for several decades in the late 14th) was the true Pope?
No. The OP is clearly talking about a wikipedia article on the Western Schism of the late Middle Ages. This is not about the Petrine succession in general, but about a very specific issue: who was the true Pope between 1377 and 1415? Was there a consensus on this point before the 19th century (when Catholic historians such as Pastor asserted confidently that the “Roman” as opposed to the “Avignon” or Pisan Popes were the true ones)?