What about multiple popes?



I was wondering if someone could answer this question:

How can the Pope speak “ex cathedra” if there are multiple popes presiding? I understand that there have been (in the history of the catholic church) 35 times when there was more than one pope in office. When that happens, which one is the vicar of Christ, and which one is phony?

Also, I was wondering why, if the pope is truly infallible, that it came about that Pope Honorius I was condemned for teaching heresy by the Sixth Genera Council? How could a pope teach error?


Big difference between infallible declarations and just written statements.

As for the multi-pope time. Only one was a valid pope and that was resolved…therefore statements etc by the rest (anti-popes) were neither valid nor binding.


Thanks - I’m not sure I understand, since it seems kind of convenient that the body that declares to be infallible can essentially let itself off the hook by merely stating that Honorius was not speaking officially - but I guess that’s the answer given. It just seems too easy to declare that the popes that taught in error weren’t valid, especially in the case of Honorius, where he was seen as “valid” for 13 years.



Lets say Pope Benedict writes in a book some heresy. It is not an official pronouncement and eventually another Pope can declare that that writing is heretical once it is examined.

Catholics do not just go off of every comment or statement by a Pope as infallible teaching. Popes can make a mistake, yet if they are officially pronouncing a defense of the truth they have never and will never pronounce a lie.
This is because Jesus promised that the Gates of Hell wouldn’t prevail against His Church. There are other passages but the most important part is that God desires all men to know truth so He preserves it.
So no matter how stupid or holy the man is it doesn’t matter, we put our trust in Jesus.

In Christ

I would suggest you read Pope Fiction by Patrick Madrid for more on Pope Honorius, it should answer your question better. If you cannot purchase it, I would be happy to send you my copy. Just PM me.


I don’t know that that is actually the case. Most likely you’ve got hold of some bad info.


What is interesting is that the early Roman church had multiple bishops presiding at once. This was the norm until the monarchial bishopric developed later.

closed #7

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