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Vatican 1 Dogma: If anyone then says that it is not from the institution of Christ the Lord Himself, or by divine right that the blessed Peter has perpetual successors in the primacy over the universal Church, or that the Roman Pontiff is not the successor of the blessed Peter in the same primacy, let him be anathema. This study proves how untrue this dogma and invalid this anathema or excommunication is.
Roman Catholic dogma says that the bishop of Rome is the pope, or the head of the Church. Roman Catholic doctrine says that St Peter was the first pope for he was made the rock that the Church was built on by Christ and given the keys of the kingdom of heaven. They say these keys stand for the authority of the pope to decide how sins will be pardoned in confession among other things, these keys stand for the power to bar you from Heaven by excommunicating you. The Church adds that Peter was told that whatever he bound on earth would be bound in Heaven and whatever he loosed on earth would be loosed in Heaven so he has the power to make laws in the Church and to go against them is to go against God. Absolution outside the Catholic Church is regarded as invalid everywhere except where there is danger of death. So it is a very serious disaster if you follow the wrong pope for you wonít be able to really get rid of your sins in confession. If the Church is right that a true pope cannot lead the Church into heresy for Christ promised that the gates of Hell would never prevail over the Church, then history must be lying to us for it tells us that at one time there were a number of claimants to the papacy who all had strong claims to be the real pope so that nobody knew for sure who the true pope was. Even today the Catholic Church has to resort to guessing and weak evidence to back up its claim that it knows who the true popes were. More of that in a while.
In the past there have been two or three men claiming to be the true pope at the one time and excommunicating each other and each others followers. Some Catholic apologists have come out with the incredible idea that at the time there were two or three popes, if you were a faithful Catholic and obeyed the man your conscience told you was the real pope you were not in schism even if you were wrong about who was pope! That is like the Society of St Pius X claiming that though it has bishops consecrated in defiance of papal authority and though it runs independent of the modern day pope it is not in schism! It is in schism, it is separated from the Church for it acts it. It has been excommunicated by the Vatican and even if that excommunication is null and void it has still resulted in two separate organisations. At the Western Schism, when there were at first two popes at the one time and then three each pope excommunicated the other as a heretic or schismatic or both and also threw the other popeís followers outside the Church. Each pope took away the power of each others Church to forgive sins. In some cities, there was a bishop appointed by Pope Urban VI and another appointed by his rival Pope Clement VII. Where there is no schism there is unity, where there is no visible unity and people are disagreeing in such important matters there is schism. Urban VI and Clement VII led two similar but separate Catholic Churches one of which was not the true Church and one of which was. One of these Churches had the power to determine which of the many traditions in the Church were of divine origin. If the Church today traces its lineage through even one of the false popes that means that false tradition is in the Church and a fake popeís decrees and teachings are considered to have authority.
If such a schism can happen then surely you can have a pope becoming a heretic and destroying or harming the faith. If such a thing can happen then popes are no use for they donít have any legitimate authority over the Church. The Church has to depend on hearsay, speculation and being selective with evidence and only hearing what it wants to hear to come out with a title deed, a legal list of popes, to defend the authority of its pope and itself for if its rock has no authority it doesnít have any either and is usurping it. The damage the Great Western Schism did to Catholic belief was incalculable. The next time it happens and it will be soon it will do worse damage for communications are better now. When Rome allows women priests probably half the Church will break away and create a new papacy to continue the tradition that women cannot be validly ordained. It will have a strong claim to be the real Catholic Church for tradition forbids female ordination. This schism will be irreparable for there will always be Catholics for and against female ordination. Many will admit they donít know what to think and that they donít know which of the two popes is the real one. When that happens more splintering will be inevitable, for when major schism takes place everybody starts breaking off factions off the Church. 
In 1378, cardinals in Rome elected pope Urban VI. Urban showed signs of madness and soon they gathered in a new conclave and produced a rival pope, Clement VII. Today, the Catholic Church claims that Clement was not a true pope at all. A fake who claims to be pope is called an antipope. Back to Urban VI . He wasnít mad all the time. He knew he shouldnít stay on as pope and should have resigned in favour of Clement VII. Surely a pope who causes division and heresy like this and who is unsuitable must be considered an ex-Catholic who deposes himself from the papacy? It is ridiculous to say that a person who breaks from the Church becomes an ex-Catholic by excommunication and that a Catholic who causes others to break away or who keeps that kind of trouble up is still a true Catholic. Even if Clement wasnít the true pope, Pope Urban VI could have conferred the true papacy on him.
All of the cardinals agreed that the election of Urban VI was invalid for they didnít have any freedom during the conclave due to threats from a mob demanding a Roman or an Italian. The mob had even invaded the building they were in. The two rival popes caused the Great Western Schism and resulted in one Roman Catholic Church being led by Urban in Rome and another led by Clement VII in Avignon, France. Nobody knew then who the real pope was. St Catherine of Siena backed Urban and St Vincent Ferrer backed Clement VII. Both popes excommunicated one another and one anotherís followers as well. Each Church claimed to be the true Church and that the other was a fake Church. They launched violent crusades against one another with a view to killing each other. The confusion was caused by the fact that the election of Urban was indeed carried out under threats of violence. In those times the idea of deposing a pope was very acceptable and the cardinals didnít try that route though they didnít want a schism. This indicates their sincerity, the election really was fiddled. They didnít have to admit it and they did. Before they let Urban know he was pope, they presented a Roman in pontifical robes to the mob as their pope. This was strange for they knew the mob would go berserk if they thought they were being fooled. Was this the man they really elected? It certainly must have been the case. They changed their minds and lied about Urban being elected probably because they thought he would be a better political choice. The Church today says that if an election is fiddled the pope chosen is still a valid pope for God doesnít want schism and God doesnít necessarily like the new pope. They donít believe this at all. If a female to male transsexual or somebody that had no intention of being a valid pope and who didnít believe in it or if a plastic surgery copy of some papable person was made pope they would consider this an invalid election resulting in a fake pope no matter if the Church accepts them or not. So why should it be different if the election is invalid in the sense that the votes were fiddled? If acceptance by the Church is valid then why donít they acknowledge Alexander V who was appointed when the Council of Pisa deposed both the Roman and Avignon popes as heretics and schismatics as a real pope when he had the most support and the Roman pontiff Gregory XII who they consider the true pope had hardly anybody? Didnít the whole Church accept antipope Vigilius leaving the alleged real pope Saint Silverius in a dungeon without any followers or support? (page 125, Reasons for Hope). Today the Church regards Urban VI and his line as the real popes. They were not so the Church today is in communion with fake popes and so is schismatic and heretical. To follow the wrong pope is heresy for it means you believe in the wrong rock and regard the wrong man as shepherd and father and teacher of all Christians. Antipopes are not infallible so they are dangerous and since the supreme authority in Catholicism is tradition it follows that the wrong pope means separation from tradition and the means of its protection. 


Please go to the Catholic Encyclopedia which is now online to verify these details. I found it vital to my research. If you go to Antipopes on this site finding the information will be easier.
At times there have been two and even three popes without people knowing who was the real and who was the phoney. Sometimes the two contending popes didnít know themselves! The worst example of this took place with the Great Western Schism.

Do these fiascos prove that the pope is not infallible? Protestants may say that they do for God would not let the world be confused about which man was infallible. There is more than that at stake. The wrong pope means that the Church he leads can go into error for it is not the true Church. If you canít tell which claimant is the real pope then how can any of them really be leading the true Church?
The Protestants say that if Jesus made the pope the infallible rock he built his Church on, that the Church and the pope would have been inspired to prevent these disasters. This is true for if Jesus will not allow the Church to err in doctrine and morals as the Church teaches then he cannot allow the Church to end up being built on the wrong rock or not knowing which rock is the real rock.

Catholics say there was a real but unrecognised pope. They say they know who he was now which as we will see is not true and scholars continually argue over such matters and the Vatican has times changed its mind about who the pope was. It might be thought that doesnít matter if they do know or not for the Holy Spirit has the power to ensure that the Church does not lose the legacy of the true pope. Jesus said there would be false Christs who would do miracles so why wouldnít he allow false popes or anti-popes? He told us to be careful that the false Christs would not deceive us meaning it is possible to see through them for you cannot resist them unless you have evidence that they are deceivers. When Jesus let the Church be misled by a false rock why would he preserve the legacy of the true rock? He cannot be trusted to do that. We cannot trust the Lord so we cannot trust the papacy.
The whole point of the papacy is preserving the true Church and the faith. Faith includes the doctrine that you are in the true Church marked out by the pope who is its head. For example, to believe in the legitimacy of Pope John Paul II is as much as part of the Catholic faith as is the divinity of Jesus Christ or the existence of God. It has to be even though they will say it is not. If you are attached to the wrong visible head of the Church you are not in the true visible Church of Christ because the true visible head is the rightful leader.
The fact of the matter is if you have more than one person making a plausible claim to be the pope you donít know who the preserver of the faith is and which one has the true Church? The true pope could not be really a true pope then because then he is not the rock? He would have to be able to be rock in practice to be the real rock. He would not even be a marker for the true Church never mind a rock!
The Great Western Schism started over Pope Urban VI who was elected in 1378 at one of the quickest conclaves ever Ė the speed itself indicates that something was amiss. The cardinals later said they were forced by a mob that bayed around them for an Italian or Roman pope. If they hadnít been forced they could have taken a bit longer, obviously the mob wasnít going to listen to reason and give them time to find a pope that would please Italy. They wanted a pope and wanted one fast.
Urban VI was undoubtedly insane his mind having snapped when he was chosen and most of the cardinals who elected him said they did so by force so the election was invalid. Urban being insane couldnít give the necessary consent to becoming pope so his consent and therefore his papacy was null and void. He was not pope. The Catholic Church will say that he must have been for that would contradict Christís promise to Peter the first pope that he would be the rock of the Church and the gates of hell will never prevail over the Church. They guess that he was sane despite outward appearances. That is just rationalisation. It is refusing to admit that he might have been crazy and Christ wrong. Some would say the gates of hell didnít prevail for the cardinals soon corrected their fake election by admitting it and coming up with a new solution to the Urban VI problem. The gates prevailed briefly then if they are right. That cannot be hidden away.
Urban VI was nicknamed the ďMad PopeĒ. He had his cardinals tortured to death. At the feast for his coronation he drank and made a total fool of himself and tried to assault a cardinal. He was notorious for slander and foul language and of extreme rudeness even to the most diplomatic of men. Many thought he was nothing like the man that had been Archbishop of Bari just a few days before his elected, pious, quiet, easygoing and humble. He had hallucinations of St Peter appearing to him.
The Cardinals who elected Urban VI soon had a new conclave and elected Clement VII, Robert of Geneva a Frenchman, leaving the Church with two popes. Nobody was ever able to prove that Clement VII who is listed as an antipope or false pope really was that. I would add that the insanity of Urban VI is clear evidence that Urbanís election must have been invalid for would God want a lunatic running the Church and teaching the Church? The Catholics just assume that he was validly elected and they assume it for convenience. That is not good enough and proves that the papacy is not of divine institution.  A Church that cannot prove the credentials of its past rocks is not the true Church. A house that breaks the foundation off itself cannot stand or be a house. Urban VI got unbalanced as soon as he was elected but he must have shown signs of mental illness before his election. It is nonsense to argue that he was an easygoing normal man up until then for he might have just started to get sick a short time before his election and when he got absolute power as pope he didnít hide his problems anymore. An insane pope must depose himself automatically. If you are a car mechanic and you lose your arms you automatically cease to be a car mechanic. Itís the same principle.
IF THE CARDINALS WERE LYING WHEN THEY SAID THEY INVALIDLY ELECTED URBAN VI THEN WHY DIDNíT THEY TRY TO DEPOSE HIM BEFORE THEY CREATED A NEW CONCLAVE TO ELECT POPE CLEMENT VII INSTEAD? They were not lying at all. At that time, the idea of deposing a pope for heresy or for mental instability was more acceptable and the later Councils of Pisa and Constance reflected this tradition Ė the first to a greater degree than the second. Deposing Urban VI would have made sure that they would appear in a good light and would have cleared the way go ahead with a new conclave and would have guaranteed that most and possibly all of the Church would accept Clement VII. If they couldnít get rid of Urban VI they simply had to declare him deposed in the sight of canon law and God. That would mean that even if he didnít leave the Vatican and step down he was still not pope. They took the risk of electing a new pope when Urban VI was in Rome and causing a schism nobody including themselves wanted. Why? Because it was true, they had produced a fake pope in Urban VI. They wanted to avoid this risk so they would have deposed him but they wanted the truth to be known about the election so they had to take the risk. You might ask why not try to depose him as well as declaring his election invalid to make double sure that nobody could doubt that he was a fake pope? Perhaps the answer is that they thought that the truth was enough, Urban VI was deceitfully elected.
And the Church ignores the possibility that the cardinals did fiddle the election to a large extent to prevent non-Italians from being elected and rigged it to pacify the mob so that a Roman or an Italian, a Tebaldeschi or an Urban VI to be would be elected. This would mean the election would be undoubtedly invalid and unfair. A Concise History of the Catholic Church says that sixteen cardinals were in the conclave in Rome and were attacked in the streets and threatened to elect a Roman or an Italian on pain of being torn to pieces and the mob had invaded the papal wine cellar (page 194). It seems ridiculous to disbelieve the cardinals when they said they chose a fake pope in Urban VI which was putting themselves in very bad light and it is true that they were not free and to believe them when they said that Urban VI was the true pope. What else could they say until the idea occurred to them to elect another? There is no doubt that the election of Clement VII is more plausible as a real election for there was no pressure. The Church also ignores the fact that the mob was delighted with the announcement that Urban VI was pope and the cardinals would have expected this, the mob did state they would be content with an Italian. It should be remembered that nearly all the cardinals involved in the ďelectionĒ of Urban VII testified that they fiddled the election. If only half of them were saying it and the others contradicting them there would be some reason to believe then that they validly elected Urban VII.
Urban VI reigned from Rome and Clement VII reigned from the papal palace in Avignon, France. Rival lines of popes began with this schism.
Nobody knew at the time who the real pope was. If the pope is the rock the Church is built on and the sign indicating which Church is the one true visible Church of Jesus Christ as the Church claims and if you donít know which pope is the rock then there is only one solution. Both of them are fakes. They are fakes not because of evidence but because Godís promise doesnít fail. This would mean that if there is no marker then the proper judgement was to obey neither pope. Neither man was a marker so neither man was pope. So during the Great Western Schism from 1378 to 1415 there were nine antipopes including the popes recognised as valid by Catholicism. With all the antipopes there have been we see it is silly of the Church to say that the line of popes is impressive and a sign of Godís care for the Church. The mess seems to mean that the papal chair was vacant for decades. There was no head of the Church and no centre of unity. How the Catholic Church could be the true Church and suffer that cannot be explained.
To recognise Clement VII as true pope means you recognise his successor Benedict XIII and Clement VIII his successor as true popes. Clement VIII reigned from 10th January 1423 until he resigned on 26th July 1429. Urban VI, Boniface IX, Innocent VII, Gregory XII, Martin V would be have to be dropped from the Churchís list. Martin V wouldnít be a real pope for the papal line following Clement VII was the real line and still existed. Benedict XIII who was deposed to make way for Martin V was still alive and well and claiming to be the real pope. Also the Church says real popes cannot be validly deposed. Benedict XIII and then Clement VIII led a tiny Church in the end and excommunicated nearly all Christendom. Benedict XIII died in 1423 and had a successor in Clement VIII who reigned until 1429 so that means that there was no pope until Rome elected Eugene IV. There was no claimed successor to Clement VIII and so the succession would pass to whoever Rome elected if there were no other line claiming to continue the Avignon papacy. If it passed to Rome then when Clement VIII died in 1429 ending the line of rival popes to Rome. The next pope to be elected in Rome after that year was Eugene IV who was chosen in 1431. In that case, Eugene IV then whether he knew it or not was the successor of Clement VII. The list would continue from there.
When alleged antipope Clement VIII was elected Cardinal Jean Carrier claimed the election was invalid and regarded himself as the sole college of cardinals and he elected Benedict XIV in 1424. Benedict XIV then was antipope to Clement VIII. So Benedict XIV claimed to be the real successor of Benedict XIII. Benedict XIV is really an antipope for Cardinal Jean Carrier wasnít invited to the election and claimed it was invalid because of that! So the world had three men with a claim to the papacy, Clement VIII, Benedict XIV and Martin V. Some however might think that Cardinal Carrier was right. Benedict XIV appointed a Cardinal Jean Farald and three others before dying or resigning in 1429/30. These cardinals then chose Cardinal Jean Carrier as Pope Benedict XIV in 1433. Carrier chose this numbering probably because of some doubt about a previous Benedict being pope. Carrier ended up in jail and died there about 1437. It is alleged that his followers continued electing popes until 1470 but this is unclear. If Carrier was really pope then Eugene IV was not a real pope for he was elected during Carrierís reign in 1431.
 Felix V who is listed as the last antipope in the records of the Church would then have been a true pope for he was in opposition to Eugene IV assuming that no successor was chosen for Carrier. If Felix V was an antipope then the list canít continue until 1447 when Nicholas V was made pope in Rome. If the line of Clement VII was valid then it follows that Carrier when he became Benedict XIV in 1430 even if a successor to an antipope was the real successor for he was the first pope of the Avignon line after the end of the reign of Clement VIís and Benedict XIIIís successor Clement VIII.
Eugene in a few years after his election had to contend with the last officially listed antipope Felix V. However for reasons we will see later the real line seems to be Gregory XI, Clement VII, Benedict XIII, Alexander V, John XXIII, Eugene IV. (Martin V who modern Catholicism says preceded Eugene IV and was a real pope was not a true pope because he was elected by the Council of Constance which claimed the right to depose popes. It deposed popes to make him pope. Yet he rejected its decrees that gave it this right and said the other decrees were right. So he was simply dogma sifting for if an ecumenical council is infallible you canít just pick and choose what decrees you like. If the council was wrong to depose the popes to make way for him then he was not pope. The Bible Presbyterian Reporter December 1958 www.tracts.ukgo.com/loraine_boettner.htm .)
Whatever the real list of popes is, it is very different from the accepted and official Roman list which has Gregory XI, Urban VI, Boniface IX, Innocent VII, Gregory XII, Martin V, Eugene IV. It means that the present pope Benedict XVI may really be Benedict XVII if the Avignon papacy line was valid and John XXIII who inaugurated Vatican 2 was really John XXIV if the first John XXIII was a true pope. There was a debate in the Vatican about the numbering when he chose the name John when elected pope. The Church recognising the wrong popes means the Church is in schism from them and is not the true Church.
The real reason the Catholic Church today wants to pretend that Urban VI was the real pope is because it doesnít want to admit that an impostor reposed on the chair of Peter from the death of his predecessor until the election of the alleged antipope Clement VII. That makes a mockery of the idea that the pope is the rock the Church is built on and the gates of Hell cannot prevail over the Church to give it a pope who is a fake and who teaches doctrine without authority and divine protection which is putting the Church in danger of error. When God could allow such a disaster he could allow a pope to give fake infallible teaching and lead the whole Church astray. The Catholic Church admits that it is nothing without its doctrine of infallibility. To admit that Urban VI was an antipope would be to encourage the scourge of sedevacantism in the modern Church. Sedevacantists are traditional Roman Catholics who reject all Roman popes since Pius XII and hold them to be invalidly elected and condemn them for heresy, blasphemy and liberalism. They have FBI documentation proving that Cardinal Siri was elected after the death of Pius XII as Pope Gregory XVII but a group of cardinals forced him out of the picture and elected an antipope John XXIII. If Siri was the real pope and couldnít act it and Siri certainly did indicate that there could be a hidden pope then it means that Paul VI, John Paul I and John Paul II were false popes. Benedict XVI who many sedevacantists nickname as ďPopeĒ Ratzinger would be a real pope being the first to be appointed after Siriís death. Many say that since Paul VI wrecked the Episcopal consecration rites making them invalid and that unlike the previous popes Ratzinger was consecrated a bishop under this invalid rite he is not a true bishop and cannot be the real pope. Ratzinger is the first pope to have been consecrated a bishop under the new liturgy that came in following Vatican II. One thing for certain is that if there is the slightest room for doubt about an Episcopal consecration it has to be repeated to make sure and until then the person cannot be treated as a true bishop. This is the law and doctrine of the Church and the reason it requires three bishops to do the consecration of a new bishop. And yet this Church wrecks the consecrations with a vague liturgy that doesnít express the intention of creating a bishop properly.

The Catholic Encyclopedia says that the cardinals re-elected Urban VI to show they were free after Urban came to the Vatican. But what else could they do then? This re-election was held just for the purpose of confirming the choice they had made so they couldnít make a different choice then. It had to be rigged too. When they rigged the second election they might have rigged the first one too. The mob would have hounded them again. The cardinals could not admit at that stage that they were forced to choose a pope they didnít want. They planned to say nothing for the sake of an easy life.
Pastor, a Roman Catholic historical expert wrote: ďIt is extremely difficult for those who study the question in the present day with countless documents before them, and the power of contemplating the further development of the schism, to estimate the difficulties of contemporaries who sought to know which of the two popes had a right to their obedience. The extreme confusion is evidenced by the fact that canonised saints are found among the adherents of each of the rivals ÖAll the writings of the period give more or less evidence of the conflicting opinions which prevailed, and upright men afterwards confessed that they had been unable to find out which was the true popeĒ History of the Popes Vol One pp 138-139 or pages 258-9 of A Handbook on the Papacy. The Church regards the antipope Hippolytus as a saint which shows that the Church must agree he couldnít be blamed for thinking that he was the real pope! The Church that floats away from its rock is not the true Church any longer.
The history of the popes which reveals that many popes were really antipopes and which reveals how hard it was to discern the true pope from the false shows that the pope cannot be the mark of the one true visible Church of Christ at all. Roman Catholicism is not the one right religion. The list the Church has of popes has been produced by men who took sides. Even if you have evidence for one pope being real who is to say that the case for him is just based on hearsay and gossip and the case against his rival isnít based on hearsay and gossip? Many antipopes took office after the deposition of the pope. If you disagree with the Catholic doctrine that the Church cannot depose a valid pope the whole thing gets far more murky and means that plenty of men rejected by the Church as antipopes were in fact real popes. What list you will accept will depend on your prejudices. However if you are biased towards reason your list will be drastically different to that of the modern Church. The number of papal disasters is too high to deny that the papacy is just a human institution.
The Church says that reason shows that the Church needs a simple marker to indicate that it is the true Church so that even the most uneducated person can see where the true Church is. But none of this papacy stuff is simple. Even the experts in the Vatican were wrong about who was pope and who was a pretender. So how then can the pope mark out the true Church?
To have a situation in which the true pope cannot be known and nobody knows which of two or more claimants is the true pope proves Catholicism is false because tradition is the supreme authority in Catholicism and the wrong pope means you have the wrong person telling you what divine tradition is. The true pope alone can have the means of working out what true tradition from God is and can have the power to protect it.
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