How do we know a pope is an Antipope?

So how do we know if a pope is an antipope. There have been a few antipopes in the past.

That is a good question.

The Bishop of Rome is the Pope (the term “Pope” was not restricted to this Office until the Sixteenth Century).

(for those who might not know: an “antiPope” is someone who has a claim to the Chair of Peter that is not obviously nonsense.)

At times, even with the Roman Emperor’s support, people were named the Bishop of Rome who are now recognized as anti-Popes. This was a particular problem during the Arian heresy.

The ultimate answer is that the valid Pope “won.” If we believe that Our Lord prayed for Peter, that his faith would not fail, and entrusted Peter with the Keys of the Kingdom, then whomever “won” (regardless of his theology) would be the valid Pope (such as Pope Damascus). Pretenders to the throne would not prevail, regardless of their support both politically and among the Christian community.

But, although I don’t believe this has occurred, if an invalid pope somehow overcame a valid Pope in recognition, it would not matter to us today. There is no such thing as Papal succession, so the presence of an invalid Pope in our list of succession would make no difference. It would be like saying that US President Benjamin Harrison was somehow invalidly elected. It would not matter to us today. The US could still elect valid presidents.

Matthew 7:20 I repeat, you will be able to tell them by their fruits.

If a Pope and an Antipope touch, is there an explosion? :hmmm:

:rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

what anti-popes in the past? who are their names? don’t make such blanket statements without some kind of actual link and backup.

If one were an anti-pope, they would also be an anti-Christ. That is putting themselves in place of Christ himself to be worship as he were God himself. As long as the church is putting Jesus first and the Pope is simply a servant of Christ then there is nothing to worry about.

Here you go. List of Antipopes:

hahaha nice one!

Ok, look at the list which end in the middle ages. The anti-popes listed where guys trying to claim to be Pope but were not elected to the seat of Peter and these anti-popes were during times of war and turmoil. So your own question is answered by looking at this list. Now if you are reading SSPX sites etc which claim that there hasn’t been a "real’ Pope since St. Pius X, that is another issue. It seems like in this day an age, there isn’t going to be some anti-Pope claims but you didn’t quote those types of sites for the obvious reasons.

anti-pope is someone claiming to be the real Pope but has not been elected to the seat of Peter. Anti-Christ in another things. People influenced by dispensationalist rapture ideas of the end times often imply or claim that the Pope is either the anti-Christ or the false prophet that supports the anti-christ. Martin Luther was the first one to state that the Pope was and going to be the anti-christ.

The simple answer to the titular question is that we look at how the person supposedly became Pope. If it was not through the legitimate procedures of the Church, then he is an anti-Pope rather than a true Pope.

Sometimes the term is used for all false claimants to the Papacy, other times only for false claimants who had the support of a significant number of Catholics (or supposed Catholics; generally support of an anti-Pope would constitute schism), including in comparatively modern times a faction of Cardinals. The general pattern in the late Middle Ages was that some Cardinals would be unsatisfied with man legitimately elected as Pope and hold a little “conclave” of their own, analogous to a faction of nobles unsatisfied with their king and deciding to throw their support behind a pretender.

The anti-popes in history all had things about them that made it obvious that they were not the true Pope. For example, someone is an anti-pope if they suddenly claim to be the Pope when there is already a validly elected Pope. Or if a female were to ever claim to be the Pope she would automatically be an anti-pope since female ordination is impossible in Catholic teaching. It has also happened that cardinals validly elected a Pope and then changed their mind and elected an anti-pope. The second election wasn’t valid since the first one was a validly elected Pope even if the cardinals changed their mind afterward.


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