Pope John XXIII


#1

I was reading about Pope John XXIII and learned that he was the one who started Vatican II, but died before it’s completion.

What I was wondering was, if of the other 20 Ecumenical councils that have been, were there ever any other popes that died before their Completion?

Thank you


#2

Lateran V–Julius II convoked it and Leo X finished it.

Trent: Paul III convoked it, and Pius IV finished it, with Julius III, Marcellus II, and Paul IV presiding in between.

Also, Constance was called by an antipope while the real Pope Gregory XI was still alive. Then Gregory XI legitimately signed on. The Council was called to fix the Great Western Schism (among other things) and so all the papal claimants resigned (Greogry XI may have died first or shortly thereafter, I can’t remember) and Martin V was elected and then he finished it off.


#3

Yes, and so for Constance, only the last 3 sessions or something like that were legitimate, because those were the only three where the real Pope was involved, and any of the documents from previous sessions he chose to retroactively approve and promulgate.


#4

Good point–the infamous decree that a council is higher than the pope was not approved (anti-Catholic controversialists like to bring that one up a lot) The Council of Basel-Florence is similar in that the Council did a lot of stuff before Eugene IV got involved and some the earlier decrees were not accepted as well.


#5

Thank you for your help.

Another thing I am not understanding though is… if the Holy Spirit is the one who inspires a pope to start a council…why would the pope be allowed to die before it’s completion?

(And on a side, after reading your response about this antipope who started Constance…) I trust that the Holy Spirit does guide our church and keeps it from error. How and why though would the HS allow an antipope to be in the Chair of Peter

The other thing I was wondering is…is the only way an elected pope can no longer be pope is through his death?


#6

The Church does not teach that the Holy Spirit inspires a Pope to convene a Council. A Pope may do so for many reasons-- responding to a crisis, politics, etc, or via inspiration.

The Holy Spirit protects the Council from error. That does not mean the Holy Spirit intervenes in the natural course of things-- including someone’s death.

This article on Councils may help.

An anti-pope is not a validly elected pope-- he is a mere pretender, a false claimant Therefore, he does not occupy the Chair of Peter.

This article on Antipopes may help.

This would be governed by Canon Law.


#7

As has been pointed out, usually Popes pray about it first, but they are not directly inspired. Likewise, the Holy Spirit continues working through the College of Bishops even when Bishops or the Pope die and are replaced :thumbsup:

(And on a side, after reading your response about this antipope who started Constance…) I trust that the Holy Spirit does guide our church and keeps it from error. How and why though would the HS allow an antipope to be in the Chair of Peter

As has been pointed out, an antipope would not be in the Chair of Peter. There have been throughout history, people who claim to be Pope, but who are not the true one. For example, there’s a guy in Kansas City who has seriously declared himself Pope Michael I :rolleyes:

The other thing I was wondering is…is the only way an elected pope can no longer be pope is through his death?

No, there have been a couple who have resigned. St. Celestine V (his story is pretty interesting) and Benedict IX (who served multiple times after resgining in between) are a couple examples.


#8

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