Let's vote in another Pope (anti-Pope)?


When there were two / three Popes in the 1500’s (anti popes), did the same group of bishops elect them. I have a friend who has made a statement that the Pope elected after the one who came back after being spoken to by St Catherine died shortly after returning to Rome. Another bishop of Rome (Pope) was elected (largely due to duress) and a short time after that the same folks decided to elect anther one because they didn’t like what the first one was doing. …he claims this as evidence the Catholic Church is not the true church and has no apostolic succession.

I told him there is a perfectly logical explanation and likely they were not the same cardinals or “electoral committee” even if the Italian cardinals abstained from the vote. Does anybody have some historical evidence I can show. I understand there was a lot of questionable things happening in the Church at that time and would like to be able to show him the truth (Historically and what both sides of the argument believe). Seems like any time a bring up the Church he always reverts to this issue this is a major stumbling block for him.


It all happened in the fourteenth century. The events tell a story of Christ’s faithfulness to His Church in the face of very chaotic circumstances. I suspect your friend would grab at any straw if he thought it would be opposed to the Church. The straw of claiming that Apostolic Succession does not exist is particularly problematic. If it could be proven false the entire Christian Church would fall and Christ would be proven to be a false prophet.

So what religion is your friend? Atheism I should think.



He is a Presbyterian but doesn’t believe what his church teaches either so he takes scripture for what he thinks it says…he is almost a non-denominational but not quite. He sees a lot of truth in the Catholic Church and respects our history and wishes we were still all one faith but can not accept all the RCC doctrines and claims we “Catholics” have built our Church on man (the Pope). He is far from atheist and has some very strong Christian beliefs. I believe you are correct in him grabbing at any straw…I have convinced him of prayer to the saints or communion of saints, the Eucharist (not the way we believe it) but definitely has come a long way from his only symbolic view and baptism. With all that said he has a lot of prejudices against the Catholic Church which still come out when the discussions get a bit heated…mostly reference to the Pope and his infallibility. I have used many techniques but his misconceptions and conspiracy theories run deep in his understanding of the Catholic Church.


Since before Luther people have protested the Church along the lines of power for themselves or power for laity over clergy. Many theorist contend that if one carries protestantism to its extreme one gets some form of Atheism. They seem to have a point. I’m glad your friend seems to be moving in the right direction. Evangelization is not an easy process. I’ll keep you in my prayers.



Two of the three “popes” were elected by the same group.

I told him there is a perfectly logical explanation and likely they were not the same cardinals or “electoral committee” even if the Italian cardinals abstained from the vote. Does anybody have some historical evidence I can show.

It depends on whether an angry mob outside the conclave shouting for the death of the Cardinals if they didn’t elect a Roman would constitute a logical explanation.

The Cardinals put forward a man that they thought would appease the mob. It was never their intention to keep him as a Pope. The electors then fled to Pisa where they elected the “real” Pope. Only problem was, the first Pope decided that the first election was valid, and had no intention of stepping aside for Pope number 2. So in that case there was an Avignon Pope, a Pisan Pope, and Roman Pope. Since then, it has been decided that the true Pope was the Roman, the one who wouldn’t step down.


Hi bculllum,

A very complicated issue that set saint against saint. The Catholic Encyclopedia deals with this at length :


Sinc we eventually ended up with one pope, apostolic succession was not affected. If it did, then the Church of God would have gone astray permanently, which goes against the promise of Christ.



It happened a number of times, and history has been revised a number times more.

I could see how the revisionism would see it as a story of Christ’s faithfulness to His Church. And for the survival of the Church and in the face of chaotic circcumstances, it is. But for an argument for the primacy, infallibility and unity under Rome, that’s another matter.


Apostolic succession was never in danger.

The papacy is another matter.


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