What's an anti-pope?


I read in some articles re: popes in our religion that there were a few “antipopes”. What (and who! ) were they? Why were they called antipopes?


(My question isn’t related to our new Pontiff, but I didn’t know in which other foru to post it. Moderator, if you think there is another forum where my q. is more “at home”, feel free to move it there.)


Anti-popes are people who called themselves pope but for one reason or another were not in the Apostolic line of succession. A pretender to the chair of St. Peter, if you will.

More information is here:





Usually when a faction of cardinals were unhappy with the result of a canonically valid papal election, they would go into a separate conclave among themselves and elect one of themselves as “pope”.


An illegitimately “elected” claimant to the Chair of Peter.

There is only one, legitimate Pope (such as Benedict XVI) but there can be dozens of so-called antipopes at a time.

Gerry :slight_smile:


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