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MODERN ANTIPOPES
 
The Roman Catholic Church claims that the bishop of Rome is the head of the Church and that Jesus himself created this role. He is called Pope which means father. He is considered to be the spiritual father of all Christians. The Church says under certain circumstances papal teaching is protected by God from all error. An antipope is a person who falsely claims to be the true Pope.
 
Michael Collin claimed to be Pope Clement XV and was excommunicated by Pope Pius XII. His sect still exists. And a successor has been appointed. This sect accused Pius XII of being a heretic and no longer pope. If they had done this because he proclaimed using papal infallibility the dogma that Mary was assumed body and soul into Heaven they would have had a point. There is no evidence that this doctrine is part of divinely tradition and even the pope has no authority to make a dogma that isnít. Real tradition is with the Church from the start for revelation ceased with the apostles. But this assumption dogma started off centuries after the apostles died and started in bad sources, apocryphal gospels and stories that the Church they regarded with disdain as fanciful heretical filth.
 
The next false pope was Gregory XVII who claimed to be the true successor of Pope Paul VI in 1978 having being appointed by heavenly visions without a conclave.
 
The next was Pope Michael I who was elected by his family and friends in Kansas. He was the first self-styled pope to claim that the popes since 1958 when Pius XII died were impostors and that the chair of Peter, the papal throne was empty since then.
 
There were several other claimants to be the true successor of Pius XII and the best known of them is now known as Pius XIII, elected by phone and email in 1998. The false popes Michael and Pius say that John XXIII who was elected in 1958 was a Rosicrucian and so he was not a valid pope ignoring the fact that John XXIII might have repented and might not have been a Rosicrucian and that even if he were an excommunicated heretic he could still have been a true pope for the visibility of the Church is what God puts first. Appearing outwardly to be a Catholic would be enough and God can still use a person like that.
 
They say that the Vatican II popes or the popes since 1958 were heretics and since Pope Paul IV declared that if a heretic is elected pope then the election is invalid and the result is a false pope. But Pius XII modified this law to permit men with small excommunications to become pope. Men with serious excommunications cannot truly become popes. Nevertheless, the law in any case contradicts tradition that Popes Liberius and Honorius and many other were heretics and yet true popes. God canít invalidate the election of a heretical pope because the pope is a visible mark of the true Church, God is concerned about the pope doing a job and filling a vacancy and will prevent his heresies doing much harm. Itís visibility that matters. If you think that a heretic canít become pope then what happens is that you leave it open for any pope you disagree with to be condemned as a heretic and a fake. For those who believe in women priests nearly every pope would be a heretic!
 
The two false popes, Michael and Pius, ignore the fact that you need to prove that the pope knows what the truth is and defies it in a serious manner and is pertinacious to justify thinking that he is a heretic. And even if he is a heretic does that prove you have the right to go about electing a rival or becoming a rival? Plus if this Michael and Pius can be elected the way they have been, what was to stop some married couple say in the 1960ís who having decided that the pope was apostate and no longer pope, from electing a pope with the wife electing the husband and justifying this on the basis that they couldnít find anybody else to participate? Does the husband then become pope? How do Michael and Pius know they have been the first? What if some DIY pope was elected before them and he and his supporters gave up or practice in secret so that nobody knows or at least the general public doesnít know? The point is that there has to be some way to prevent such elections from being too easy. Pius XIII and Michael I had it too easy to be real popes. We need more than a small group or man in the street judging the pope and declaring him an impostor and declaring that a new pope should be elected Ė to disagree means we might as well all have a go at becoming pope. No Church can run if people can do things like that.
 
CONCLAVIST POPE PIUS XIII
 
Pius XIII is not a pope for several reasons.
 
Reason one, all Catholics accepted John XXIII as pope when he was elected. Church doctrine says that even an invalid election elects a real pope when that pope is embraced by the Church as its head for God promised that error would never prevail over the Church. Since the pope is the marker of the true Church and infallible the Church having the wrong pope means that Satan and evil and error have triumphed over the Church. Every single Catholic bishop in the world including Marcel Lefebvre signed the Vatican II documents. The whole Church accepted Vatican II. It was only when Pope Paul VI started changing the liturgy that traditionalist Catholics started kicking up.
 
To say that John XXIII was a false pope is to say the whole Church vanished with his election for it adhered to a fake pope and became a fake Church. Even Pius XIII canít admit that the Church disappeared with John XXIII.
 
Reason two, conclavist bishops should be doing the elections for they are the rulers and the highest rank in sedevacantism. If they wonít elect then nobody has the right to go against them.
 
Reason three, Pius was not a bishop and the pope is the bishop of Rome. More about that later. Suffice to say, Pius claims to be a bishop but this depends on his dubious claim to be pope.
 
Reason four, Pius XIII should have listened to the sedevacantist view that instead of trying to elect a new pope they should leave it up to God to convert the Vatican and for it to restore the papacy itself. When the Church did without a real pope after the death of Pius XII for decades it can go on longer.
 
Reason five, Michael had been elected before him and was elected in the same way so the first elected should be the real pope.
 
Reason six, commonsense says that if there are two rival claimants to the papacy and the true pope dies and his followers do not elect a new pope but accept the rival then the rival though an antipope automatically becomes the true pope by virtue of his acceptance by the Church. This is why both sides during the Western Schism when there were two rival popes were heretics and schismatics. Neither pope headed the true Church for both churches intended to split and neither side knew for sure who was the real pope. Only false popes can head false Churches.
 
Reason seven, only a few accept Pius as the true pope. The rule of needing acceptance by the Church to be a real pope if the election is problematic is ignored. Most of the Catholic Church and sedevacantists say they are this Church not the corporation run by the Vatican were against this election so its invalid. Pius XIII has no hope of being pope when most of the sedevacantists and conclavists havenít approved of his election. Most of these reasons apply to the refutation of Michael being pope as well.
 
Reason eight, only cardinals by law have the right to choose a pope. This rule exists for the good of the people and to prevent DIY popes appearing. The old rule that the people of the diocese of Rome had the power to elect the pope for the pope is their bishop sometimes led to factions in that diocese one of which would have chosen one man as pope and the other somebody else. So it was abandoned and would be dangerous to restore. However, in a case of absolute necessity and if there were no cardinals the rule would have to be revived. If Pius XIII wants to have any chance at being pope he should have had only members of the diocese of Rome electing him or at least have them delegate the election to others which they would have the right to do.
 
Reason nine, there were breakaway Catholic Churches formed in Mexico as a result of books like The New Montinian Church (which argued that Pope Paul VI was a heretic who replaced the Catholic Church with a heretical sect). The true Catholic Church then is just a sect that broke away and appeared long after this and now claims to be the Catholic Church. The first of the earlier sects whichever one that is would have a better claim to be the Catholic Church. Breakaway sects cannot create true popes for only the organisation that is the Catholic Church by canon law and divine law and reason can have a pope. The pope after all is the head of the real Catholic Church. This final reason is the definitive proof that the modern antipopes are fakes. The trouble is they are right about the Roman Pontiff being a fake so it is impossible to deny that the gates of Hell have conquered the Catholic Church and the Church is dead. The Catholic Church is proven to be a hoax for it says using its infallibility that God has revealed that Godís true Church will never vanish from the earth. The pre-Vatican II Church claimed to be a visible society united under one head, the pope. In other words a visible Church Ė an organisation. Now it claims that Protestants are members of the Church despite their splits and schisms and the hatred many of them have towards Catholicism. This is accepting the Protestant doctrine that the true Church is not an organisation at all but just a oneness in the sense that they are united with God despite earthly differences and fall outs. The Vatican II Church then cannot elect popes for it is a Protestant Church denying a major Catholic doctrine that had been believed from the foundation of the Catholic Church.
 
Pius XIII was elected in 1998 and Michael I some years before but the timing of their conclaves was all wrong. If they had any hope of being real pope they would know that no matter how bad things look concerning the validity of the popes in the Vatican it is safer in case one is wrong to wait until the Vatican pope dies but they went and got elected when John Paul II was alive! The rule is that until you get proof that the woman you are married to was married invalidly you must consider her to be your wife and others must do the same and the same applies to the pope. There is the thesis to consider as well that though a man might be pope legally he might not be pope morally. In other words, if a heretic bent on destroying the Church becomes pope he is a real pope and should be obeyed as far as possible but not when he commands sin and shouldnít be listened to when he teaches heresy. Christ never promised to choose only good popes and many popes have been evil and did nothing against error.
 
Pius XIII was just a priest when elected. Now a true pope has to be the bishop of Rome. The problem was he was not a bishop and there was no way he could become one. Despite the fact that the Catholic Church regards Stephen II as a true pope, he was not for he was not a bishop and died before his consecration. Only the bishop of Rome can be the pope. Roman Catholicism teaches that only bishops can validly and sacramentally ordain priests and bishops. Pius XIII was then a fraud for he became pope and functioned as pope for a long time without being a bishop. It would have been different had he been elected knowing there was a bishop to consecrate him as soon as possible.
 
Pius XIII was not a bishop and had no prospect of becoming one so he came up with an ingenious solution. Pius XIII years after his ďelectionĒ decided that priests can ordain priests and if the pope grants the power they can make bishops too. He then ordained a man as bishop who then ordained him! There is no evidence that any of the popes claimed that the pope could do this and grant that authority to priests. Why couldnít he ordain himself?
 
Roman Catholicism teaches that only bishops can ordain priests and bishops. Ott in his book Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma reports that the popes did permit Abbots who were not ordained bishops to ordain priests. Though there is support for the view that a priest can ordain priests in tradition nothing exists in tradition to support the idea that a priest can ordain a bishop. It is heresy then for a priest to ordain bishops. The vast majority of Catholics, Orthodox and Anglicans would not accept Pius XIII for denying this tradition and would God let a true pope come up with a doctrine that is anathema and a put off to the world at a time God wants the true Church built up again? The doctrine of Pius XIII is a novelty while we must remember that doctrines accepted by the Church as a whole are considered infallible for Christ promised infallibility to his Church. The whole Church believed that priests couldnít make bishops so the doctrine is against the Magisterium or infallible teaching authority of the Catholic Church.
 
In fairness, if the pope was the rock the Church was built on and the pope was a layman or priest and the pope needed to ordain priests and bishops then logically the pope automatically gets the power to preserve the sacramental life of the Church. Though not a bishop he can ordain bishops and they can ordain him then. But the Church argues that this allows even laymen who are elected pope to ordain bishops and priests while the Church has always restricted ordination powers to bishops to prevent schism and protect Church unity. Some theologians might say that though in principle the pope should have that power he could only use it in extreme necessity and God would never let it be necessary for it is so dangerous to Church unity. Pius XIII was hardly in a case of extreme necessity for he could have waited and trusted in God and shouldnít have been elected until a bishop was found. And Pius XIII would deny that a lay pope could give a layman the power to ordain bishops. If so then priest popes cannot have the power to give a priest the power to ordain bishops. The same is true if they canít ordain themselves as bishops.
 
Granted, it would be bizarre if the pope was given infallibility to preserve the Church forever in the right faith and not granted the power to keep the sacraments alive by having the power to let a priest make him bishop. But surely a priest cannot be bishop of Rome until he is ordained a bishop? That is why I believe that there is no way the Catholic pope Stephen II could really have been a pope for he died before he was consecrated a bishop so he was not bishop of Rome. (So God chose a pope who dies before he becomes pope! How crazy does the Catholic Church think we are?) Michael I and Pius XIII were not bishops and so they are not popes. If God had meant for Pius XIII to be pope he would have sent him a bishop to ordain him rather than tolerate a controversial Episcopal consecration. Absolute proof would be needed for Pius XIII being pope before God could let him ordain bishops despite not being a bishop. But we donít have this proof and also Pope Michael has beat Pius XIII to the papacy and all sedevacantists were called on to vote in Michaelís conclave and few did. Michael has a bigger claim to be pope than Pius XIII.
 
The pope who has never undergone an Episcopal consecration canít have the power to ordain a man a bishop for the pope is not pope until he becomes a bishop himself. That is why Pius XIIIís idea that the pope can restore the ordinations even if he is not a bishop is flawed. Pius will reply that if God chooses a priest or layman as pope then God intends him to become a bishop so he can ordain somebody a bishop to ordain him back as a bishop so that is what the pope must do if he has no valid bishop to ordain him and make him pope. A papal conclave which can choose a man who is not a bishop as pope is invalid unless there is a true bishop available to do the consecration soon if not immediately. Pius XIII had nobody. God would not let Pius XIII become a bishop by the unusual way he claims he became a bishop for that enables anybody who claims to be pope to ordain not just whoever they like but ordain themselves bishops as well. God would only allow the unusual way in extreme circumstances and the Pius XIII circumstances are not extreme. There are traditional bishops who could ordain him as bishop and Pius XIII claims there was no pope since the death of Pius XII in 1958. So God could wait and the Church could wait until the right time. Pius XIII functioned as pope before he became a ďbishopĒ making him a heretic.
 
Popes who ordain themselves or who are ordained by priests as bishops while claiming like Pius XIII that their claim to be real bishops is based on the validity of the papal election demand too much faith. They say the pope gets power to restore Episcopal orders without apostolical succession. Is it not dangerous to put all your faith in the sacraments in one man? Any fake pope can claim the same thing which makes it easy for them to claim to be bishops.
 
BOOKS CONSULTED
 
A CONCISE HISTORY OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Thomas Bokenkotter, Image Books, New York, 1979
A HANDBOOK ON THE PAPACY, William Shaw Kerr, Marshall Morgan & Scott, London, 1962
A WOMAN RIDES THE BEAST, Dave Hunt Harvest House Eugene Oregon 1994
ALL ONE BODY Ė WHY DONíT WE AGREE? Erwin W Lutzer, Tyndale, Illinois, 1989
ANTICHRIST IS HE HERE OR IS HE TO COME? Protestant Truth Society, London
APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA, John Henry Newman (Cardinal), Everymanís Library, London/New York, 1955
BELIEVING IN GOD, PJ McGrath, Millington Books in Association with Wolfhound, Dublin, 1995
BURNING TRUTHS, Basil Morahan, Western People Printing, Ballina, 1993
CATHOLICISM AND CHRISTIANITY, Cecil John Cadoux, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, 1928
CATHOLICISM AND FUNDAMENTALISM, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
DAWN OR TWILIGHT? HM Carson, IVP, Leicester, 1976
DIFFICULTIES, Mgr Ronald Knox and Sir Arnold Lunn, Eyre & Spottiswoode, London, 1958
ENCOUNTERS OF THE FOURTH KIND, Dr RJ Hymers, Bible Voice, Inc, Van Nuys, CA, 1976
FROM ROME TO CHRIST, J Ward, Irish Church Missions, Dublin
FUTURIST OR HISTORICIST? Basil C Mowll, Protestant Truth Society, London
GODíS WORD, FINAL, INFALLIBLE AND FOREVER, Floyd McElveen, Gospel Truth Ministries, Grand Rapids, MI, 1985
HANDBOOK TO THE CONTROVERSY WITH ROME, Karl Von Hase, Vols 1 and 2, The Religious Tract Society, London, 1906
HANS KUNG HIS WORK AND HIS WAY, Hermann Haring and Karl-Josef Kuschel, Fount-Collins, London, 1979
HITLERíS POPE, THE SECRET HISTORY OF PIUS XII, John Cornwell, Viking, London, LONDON 1999
HOW SURE ARE THE FOUNDATIONS? Colin Badger, Wayside Press, Canada
HOW DOES GOD LOVE ME? Martin R De Haan II, Radio Bible Class, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1986
INFALLIBILITY IN THE CHURCH, Patrick Crowley, CTS, London, 1982
INFALLIBLE? Hans Kung, Collins, London, 1980
IS THE PAPACY PREDICTED BY ST PAUL? Bishop Christopher Wordsworth, The Harrison Trust, Kent, 1985
LECTURES AND REPLIES, Thomas Carr, Archbishop of Melbourne, Melbourne, 1907
NO LIONS IN THE HIERARCHY, Fr Joseph Dunn, Columba Press, Dublin, 1994
PAPAL SIN, STRUCTURES OF DECEIT, Garry Wills, Darton Longman and Todd, London, 2000
PETER AND THE OTHERS, Rev FH Kinch MA, Nelson & Knox Ltd, Townhall Street, Belfast
POPE FICTION, Patrick Madrid, Basilica Press, San Diego California 1999
PUTTING AWAY CHILDISH THINGS, Uta Ranke-Heinemann, HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1994
REASON AND BELIEF, Brand Blanschard, George Allen & Unwin Ltd, London, 1974
REASONS FOR HOPE, Editor Jeffrey A Mirus, Christendom College Press, Virginia, 1982
ROMAN CATHOLIC CLAIMS, Charles Gore MA, Longmans, London, 1894
ROMAN CATHOLIC OBJECTIONS ANSWERED, Rev H O Lindsay, John T Drought Ltd, Dublin
ROMAN CATHOLICISM, Lorraine Boettner, Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing Company, Phillipsburg, NJ, 1962
SECRETS OF ROMANISM, Joseph Zacchello, Loizeaux Brothers, New Jersey, 1984
ST PETER AND ROME, J B S, Irish Church Missions, Dublin
THE CHURCH AND INFALLIBILITY, B C Butler, The Catholic Book Club, London, undated
THE EARLY CHURCH, Henry Chadwick, Pelican, Middlesex, 1987
THE HISTORY OF CHRISTIANITY, LION BOOKS, Herts, 1977
THE LATE GREAT PLANET EARTH, Hal Lindsay, Lakeland, London, 1974
THE PAPACY IN PROPHECY! Christadelphian Press, West Beach S A, 1986
THE PAPACY ITS HISTORY AND DOGMAS, Leopold D E Smith, Protestant Truth Society, London
THE PETRINE CLAIMS OF ROME, Canon JE Oulton DD, John T Drought Ltd, Dublin
THE PRIMITIVE FAITH AND ROMAN CATHOLIC DEVELOPMENTS, Rev John A Gregg, BD, APCK, Dublin, 1928
THE SHE-POPE, Peter Stanford, William Hienemann, Random House, London, 1998
THE VATICAN PAPERS, Nino Lo Bello, New English Library, Sevenoaks, Kent, 1982
TRADITIONAL DOCTRINES OF THE ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH EXAMINED, Rev CCJ Butlin, Protestant Truth Society, London
VICARS OF CHRIST, Peter de Rosa, Corgi, London, 1993
WAS PETER THE FIRST POPE? J Bredin, Evangelical Protestant Society, Belfast
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO HEAVEN?, Dave Hunt, Harvest House, Eugene, Oregon, 1988