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POPES, ANTIPOPES AND COUNCILS
 
The pope is the rock that Catholicism says it is built on. The pope claims to stand in the place of Jesus over the Church - a claim that is totally absent from early tradition and the Bible. One would think that if Jesus gives us the pope he could protect the Church from electing a false pope or from having two or more claimants to the papal throne at the one time!

Two popes have competed with each other for the Church. The Great Western Schism being a notorious example.

Sickened by the stubborn refusal of rival popes Gregory XII and Benedict XIII to resolve the Great Western Schism for neither wanted to step down, the Church called an ecumenical Council at Pisa. The solution up to the Council was for one of these popes to resign so that the Church might accept the remaining one as true pope. Acceptance by the Church is supposed to make a pope valid even if his election was invalid. This council is not recognised by the Roman Catholic Church as a real ecumenical council or having the power to give valid and binding decrees. There is no doubt that the Council of Pisa was right to condemn both popes as schismatics – people who caused division in the Church.
 
When the conclave met which elected Gregory XII they all including the future Gregory XII took an oath at the start that anything was better than prolonging the schism and that whoever became pope must resign. Both Gregory XII and Benedict XIII the alleged antipope agreed by oath to resign if the council of Pisa could create a pope that would unite the Church, and they vowed to resign to validate the new pope’s election. Gregory XII refused to resign when Alexander V was elected by the Pisan Council so Gregory became an antipope from that point on assuming he was ever real pope. Benedict XIII also then became an antipope assuming he was a real pope. Gregory XII and Benedict XIII ceased to have any hope of being the real pope in 1409 when the Council of Pisa which was accepted by them as a true ecumenical council created Pope Alexander V. Yet Roman Catholicism denies that Alexander was pope and says it was still Gregory.
 
Alexander V died and was succeeded by the notorious John XXIII. He summoned a new ecumenical council, the Council of Constance.
 
Without Gregory as true pope the Catholic Church loses any right to hold that the Council of Constance had any authority or infallibility for it says only true popes call true councils. The Council of Constance was inaugurated by a man the Catholic Church doesn’t acknowledge as Pope John XXIII and sanctioned by a pope Gregory XII who by no means could have been a real pope at the time. Gregory XII was certainly a schismatic for he validated the election of Alexander VI and wouldn’t resign and he could have kept his word. He broke away from the true pope if that was what Alexander was and Alexander had a stronger case to be the real pope than he had.
 
If you believe that a council is above the pope which was the doctrine declared by the Catholic Church at Constance then a council can depose a pope when it has good reason to.

Despite regarding John XXIII as a real pope the council deposed him as a useless person and a heretic. Strictly speaking a pope who causes heresy and schism deposes himself – his sin involves a kind of resignation so any council deposing him is just making sure he puts this resignation into practice. Such a pope is not being the head of the Church but the enemy of the Church.

The Council got Gregory XII to recognise it just as a precaution in case he was the real pope for the council didn’t want to be rejected as illegitimate on the basis that the true pope didn’t authorise it and then it compelled him to resign obviously in case he was not the real pope for it condemned him as a heretic and schismatic. In theory then a council can get together in spite of the pope and throw him out and replace him. To accept this idea means that the Ecumenical Council of Pisa (which took place a few years before the Council of Constance and which the Church doesn’t recognise nowadays) which deposed Gregory XII and Benedict XIII and elected a third pope Alexander V was right and so Alexander V and John XXIII his successor were the real popes.

If you have two or more claimants to the papacy and neither will step down causing confusion and division and endangering the Church with heresy for the false pope will lead the Church astray then a council to sort out the mess is the only solution and it has to have the power to depose both of them. Naturally, if you are the true pope you will be supernaturally guided by God to know it so even if you are a false pope you dare not give in to those who accuse you of being an antipope. You can’t be the rock the Church is built on unless you don’t doubt and can’t doubt that you are the true pope. A council would be the only hope.
 
An infallible Church should be able to tell which rival pope was the real pope. When it is a dogma of the faith that the pope is the head of the Church then clearly it must be a dogma that say Pius XII is a real pope. There is no point in saying the pope is the head and God revealing it when God won’t reveal who the pope is. A Council of the Church, and the councils of the Church are thought to be infallible, would be the only way to infallibly determine who was the real pope. Even if the pope is the head of the Church and no council can be called without him as the Church teaches today, it still doesn’t mean the council can’t decide who the real pope is and depose the false pope. After all they are trying to make sure the true pope gets his rights as head of the Church.
 
The Catholic Encylopedia regarding Pisan so-called antipope Alexander V says: “Whether or not Alexander was a true pope is a question which canonists and historians of the Schism still discuss. The Church has not pronounced a definite opinion nor is it at all likely that she will. The Roman "Gerarchia Cattolica", not an authoritative work, which prior to 1906 contained a chronological list of the popes, designated Alexander V as the 211th pope, succeeding Gregory XII, resigned.” If Alexander V was the true pope then so was his successor John XXIII who was deposed by the council and if councils have no right to depose popes as many Catholics believe then it follows that Pope Martin V upon whose election the Great Western Schism ended was a fake though Catholicism accepts him as real. If John XXIII was a true pope he was forced to resign by the Council and if you can’t force a pope to do that then the Council was not infallible and Martin V was an antipope.
 
The Council of Pisa expected Europe to support the new pope it come up with, Alexander V, and most of it did but Gregory XII and Benedict XIII wouldn’t abandon their offices. The only reason the modern Church doesn’t believe in the Council of Pisa is because it supposedly met without the sanction of the pope whoever he was and because it deposed the two popes as heretics and schismatics and the Church was to believe that one of them had to be the real pope. But the two popes didn’t run the Pisa council and did consent to it and even promised to step down to accept the pope they would come up with. Alexander was elected and was succeeded by John XXIII when he died.
 
The alleged antipope and rival to the supposed real pope, Gregory XII of Rome, John XXIII summoned the Ecumenical Council of Constance. The Church to this day regards it as a true council and infallible despite its doctrine that a council called in opposition to a true pope and without the consent of the pope cannot have any authority! The Church shouldn’t recognise the council if it says John was a fake pope but it does even though it considers another man, this Gregory XII, to have been the real pope.
 
The Church says that maybe John XXIII called it but the real pope validated it for he sanctioned it. It makes no difference. John XXIII who embodied great materialistic infamy and was rumoured to be an atheist would not have summoned the council except he thought that his brand of Catholicism would win out and the rival popes would be vanquished. Any sanction he got wouldn’t have been entitled to get taken seriously.
 
However the Council deposed John XXIII even though he was believed to be the true pope because he lost most of his support and they accepted Gregory XII, the pope in Rome in his stead who immediately resigned to let Martin V step in and with Martin’s election the Great Western Schism ended. Gregory reiterated the call for the council to come together so as to make it legitimate (page 200, A Concise History of the Catholic Church) which was of little use for nothing changes the fact that he didn’t summon or control or supervise the council. He had representatives there but what use is that? The infallible head of the Church should not be using fallible go-betweens for that means they are the ones with the power. The pope would be dependant on hearsay to make decisions and ratify. Such councils cannot be valid if the Catholic doctrine that conciliar decrees must be observed and ratified by the pope to be valid is true. The Catholic Church claiming that the true pope Gregory XII made the Council of Constance authoritative and legitimate is dubious.
 
The Ecumenical Council of Basle which curiously is recognised by the Church as infallible up until the twenty-fifth session was decreed and established by Martin V but when it started it was dogged by the hostility and opposition of Martin’s successor Pope Eugene IV who ordered it to stop meeting. It ignored him (page 332, The History of Christianity). Here we have proof that if this council really was infallible then it had the right to defy the pope. The Catholic idea that a council can’t be infallible unless called by the pope is contradicted by the Church accepting this council. The pope moved the council to Ferrara that is Florence but many of the ecclesiastics refused to move and the result was two rival ecumenical councils. One in Basle and the other in Florence. Each claimed to be the real continuation of the council that originally met in Basle. The rival in Basle declared Eugene deposed and created the last of the listed antipopes Felix V who resigned in 1449 after a ten year reign. These issues are accompanied by such intricate and difficult political slants and facts, semi-facts and lies that the layperson could not possibly hope to learn who was right. This is far from the simplicity that Jesus allegedly wanted for his Church. We all know politicians lie to us but it isn’t always easy to tell exactly in what they lied. Could the papacy have a divine origin when it is so despairingly political and complicated?
 
Felix V was elected mainly by conciliarists, Catholics who believed that ecumenical councils had the power to depose a pope if he was not doing his job or if he was teaching heresy for the councils have supreme authority. They declared Pope Eugene to be deposed for denying and working to destroy this doctrine forever and to make the Church definitively declare it heresy. Obviously if they were right to put councils above the pope then Felix V was a true pope and they did legally and morally depose Eugene. Eugene’ successor Nicholas V was appointed two years before Felix V gave up his papal claim so Nicholas V would have been an antipope if Felix was a true pope. Even if the pope is the rock the Church is built on there has to be some circumstances in which he can be deposed by an ecumenical council. When a pope calls a council and it declares certain dogmas infallible obviously the council is above even the pope because he is not declaring them. Commonsense says that even if the pope is infallible it is better for a large crowd of bishops to make dogmas not him for he is still a single man. Jesus gave the apostles the same powers as he gave Peter meaning that Peter was not to be a superbishop but to work together with the rest. If the pope is the rock the Church is built on he is rock by his cooperation and his obedience to previous popes and to ecumenical councils. Ecumenical councils have made decisions without the pope dictating to them so it is clear: the pope being rock does not mean the pope must give us all the infallible doctrines or make all the rules. The current Catholic Church is in schism and heresy from a past true pope Felix V. The doctrine that the Church can depose a heretical and dangerous pope is right for the Church when it is infallible should at least be equal with the pope and able to fire him under some circumstances. Actually, the Church being more representative of what people want and being a number of people should have this power for these reasons. People have the right to remove their dictator and their king. We see the Catholic Church rejects Felix V just because of a silly doctrine that the pope must be absolute monarch of the Church and it is unfair to mark down anybody as an antipope just because of your doctrinal prejudices. It’s a matter of evidence and inquiry.
 
If the Church has the right to depose popes that would mean that some of the currently accepted popes who were deposed and refused to accept it ceased to be popes and became antipopes. In the first millennium, there were no laws saying the pope couldn’t be deposed so the Church must have that right for what a Church doesn’t forbid it allows, that’s the case with all law.
 
Is infallibility any good or is there any evidence for it when the Church can drop popes from the list and even Councils that were alleged to be infallible for one reason or another and then change its mind in say a few years time? What happens is that if a Council says something the Church doesn’t like the Church just declares it invalid and having no infallibility – it isn’t hard to claim to be infallible and get away with it when you can tailor things that way!
 
Councils that have been considered infallible and authoritative by the modern Church and which have been for years are shown to be false when they were convened by fake popes contrary to the law that only true popes can call together authoritative and infallible councils. Martin V due to the Avignon line of popes being probably the real line who had to have been a false pope set up the Council of Basle, Florence under Eugene IV was set up by a validly deposed pope. How could a Church that is guided by God and given infallibility make such errors?

The all too human history of the Catholic Church says it is just a human construct.

Read www.mostholyfamilymonastery.com
Read www.novusordowatch.org
Read www.the-pope.com/library.html
Read www.sedevacantist.com
Read www.trosch.org
Read http://www.geocities.com/prakashjm45/michaeline.html
Read http://www.sedevacantist.com/pontiffs.html This page shows how unsure the Catholic Church is of exactly how many popes it has
Read http://www.sspxasia.com/Documents/SiSiNoNo/2003_March/errors_of_vatican_II.htm
Read http://www.sxws.com/charis/pope-20.htm for proof that the Church has no idea how many real or false popes it has see also http://www.trosch.org/for/popes-ca.htm
http://www.catholicrestoration.org/
www.tracts.ukgo.com/loraine_boettner.htm
http://www.catholicism.org/pages/sedevac.htm
http://www.christorchaos.com/PrayforthePopeTheLastOneandtheNextOne.html Condemns the heresy and blasphemies of John Paul II
Read www.catholictreasures.com – Proves Modern Vatican is anti-Catholic
Website of “Pope Peter II” http://custodi.club.fr/Indexangl.htm
Website on “Pope Linus II” http://www.tboyle.net/Catholicism/Unknwn_%20bp's_Consecrations.html
Page that supports view that new mass is a novelty http://www.seattlecatholic.com/article_20031027.html
Heresies of Pope Benedict XVI http://holywar.org/Ratzinger.htm
http://www.traditioninaction.org pictures showing the outrageous defiance of Catholic teaching by the recent popes
http://www.traditionalmass.org/articles/
Read http://www.catholicapologetics.info/