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.

What happens is the pope is elected and some then don't like him and elect a rival. This still happens today.

Even traditionalist Pius XII had a creature trying to rival him.
Michael Collin claimed to be Pope Clement XV. He 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 isn’t. 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 can’t 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. It’s visibility that matters. If you think that a heretic can’t 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 1960’s 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 couldn’t 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 doesn’t 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 – 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.

Some think that the best way to handle the alleged problem of modern popes changing the Catholic faith is to wait until the pope dies and then take the keys to elect the new pope from the Vatican. They would need to canonically take the power to elect the pope and elect before the Vatican does. This cannot really be done at the present time.

They would assert the following.
Anybody can organise a conclave and be elected pope like Michael and the other claimants to the papacy. The only way to be sure is to keep the visibility intact. In other words, we must recognise the Roman Pontiff as pope and when he dies if we can’t get the Church to reform itself then annul its power to elect the pope and take the power to ourselves and elect a pope. This way the pope we elect is a clear successor to the previous popes. No room for doubt is left.
The Church has always taught that if elections of popes are invalid or doubtful due to force or cheating by the cardinals or electors the acceptance by the bishops and people who are true members of the Church of the man they put forward as pope validates the man’s papacy. It is vital that in order to elect the true pope that the electors sign a declaration of orthodoxy in the Catholic faith first.
Gregory is not pope for he claimed to have been appointed by an apparition and that the see of Rome was moved to Palmar de Troya. So he doesn’t claim to be Bishop of Rome. The true pope has to be at least titular bishop of Rome and it is of faith that this is the least that is necessary for him to become pope. Gregory also praised the heretic Pope Paul VI. Gregory claimed to be the successor of Pope Paul VI. His Church is the Holy Palmarian Church.
Michael is not pope having been appointed by a tiny group of six. The group contacted all the sedevacantists (those Catholics who believe that there is no real pope in Rome) they could find in relation to holding a conclave. Most were not interested so they did it themselves. The pope cannot be appointed without the consent of the true Catholic Church and without the authority of canon law. Canon law must validly declare the Holy See vacant before such an action can be attempted. This pope shows no evidence of divine guidance. For instance, he doesn’t know that the true pope can restore holy orders. Michael or his sect has no power to continue holy orders so he is not pope. The true conclave involves Roman Catholic Clergy so the Michael conclave is invalid for it didn’t. God will not restore the papacy without giving it priests and bishops first.
Pius XIII being a cleric and elected by over sixty people has a better claim to represent sedevacantists. But most of them disapproved so the election didn’t represent the Church. Another problem is that sedevacantists are not Catholics but Protestants. God defined through the Church at Vatican I that the Church would never be left long without a pope and Pius XIII like Michael and the next false pope all declared that there had been no pope since 1958.
Linus II makes many dubious claims about being episcopally consecrated. The true pope will be able to restore the hierarchy of bishops and his orders are doubtful so he is not pope. This antipope makes little effort to spread the gospel and get people into his Church. There is no website. Linus II doesn’t seem to believe he is pope so why should we? The Church seems to have been formed after the pope!
The group formed by Pius XIII, the True Catholic Church, teach as follows.
They say the Roman Catholic Church has been continued as a disorganised remnant since the apostasy under John XXIII and this remnant elected a pope, Pius XIII, and called itself the true Catholic Church. As this was the first attempt since the council to set up an organised remnant they say that their group is the true Catholic Church and has the power to consecrate the pope. They say that if many sedevacantists oppose this election and reorganisation of the Church they have no right to because it is heresy to be opposed to the election of the pope. They say that the situation with Pope Michael was different for a totally unacceptable person was put forward and proposed to them. But with Father Pulvermacher now Pope Pius XIII they have a candidate they should accept. They claim that the visibility of the Church and its continuity with the past is preserved for the remnant of the Roman Catholic Church chose him as pope. Visibility is vital in order for it to be possible to elect a true pope. They say true Catholic Church has the best understanding of what is going on in the Vatican II Church which marks it as the true Church.
The answer to this is that it was just a group of sedevacantists got together and formed the True Catholic Church. There are other bigger sedevacantist groups and older ones. Why should we recognise the True Catholic Church as the continuation of the Roman Catholic Church? The visibility was indeed broken with.
He would say that he was the first claimant to the papacy to realise that Peter being the rock means Peter can restore holy orders by virtue of being pope. Michael and Linus didn’t indicating that they didn’t have divine inspiration in this most important of doctrines.  But he might have a point about the orders.  It seems logical enough.
Some say that even if Pius XIII is not pope he would become pope by acclamation of the true Catholic Church upon the death of John Paul II because the heretics in the Vatican cannot be trusted to elect a pope. Acceptance by the people suffices if the election is invalid and the election is always invalid if the pope is a serious and contumacious heretic and no acceptance can validate it but God will not let such a thing happen to his Church. But is the true Catholic Church the Roman Catholic Church? It broke visible union so it cannot be.

Critics would complain that Pius XIII divines with a pendulum and so he is an occultist and excommunicated under canon law and not the pope. What if you elected a new pope and you found he was doing something that merits excommunication?
It could be replied, “A real occultist uses pendulums to communicate with demons or spirits. There are many who believe there is a natural explanation for how the pendulum works. Fortune telling with cards is not a sin in itself. It is only a sin when it is not for fun and when dangerous powers are invoked. It is the same with pendulums. However we do not approve of the pope using this practice but no pope is perfect. Many popes have let error thrive – they supported heresy in that sense but they were still real popes. Also the pope using a pendulum for divination would not be a serious enough excommunication to warrant an invalid papal election. A candidate for the papacy who knew of the canon law or who misunderstood it but broke it without meaning to might not incur an excommunication at all. Canon law excommunicates those who strike the Roman Pontiff. What if the Roman Pontiff strikes himself as it were? What if he attempts suicide or has sex with a prostitute and will put himself at risk of a killer disease like Alexander V? Does he cease to be pope at that moment? We deny it. Pius XIII even if he intends to do wrong is not doing anything that proves the invalidity of his election. We must not judge the Pope because no pope is perfect. Those who object to Pius XIII being real pope because of his divination need to remember that the matter is not simple and needs to be judged in a court of canon law.”
Perhaps the election of Pius XIII is in accordance with the 1917 Code of Canon law. But this canon law has been validly abrogated and now there is a new Canon Law since the eighties through Pope John Paul II. Pope Michael and Pope Linus II are in breach of both codes of canon law and so are not popes. The law implies that the papacy should be restored only when the pope can become a bishop which eliminates Michael who is not even a priest, and Linus sought ordination from heretical bishops so he is condemned. Compliance with canon law in so far as it is possible for the law doesn’t command the impossible is necessary to ensure the validity of the pope because without law anybody can become pope.
Canon Law must be respected. Without it, there will be no laws to tell who is the true pope or which sect if there is a dispute is the true Roman Catholic Church founded by Jesus Christ. The 1917 Canon Law, whether it was right or wrong, has been validly abrogated. The laws of the Church even if strange are binding. It is only when they seriously breach justice that any laws become invalid.  And even then they are to be respected though we may try to work for change in the Law.  To say this 1917 Canon Law is still in force and the Code of Canon Law from John Paul II isn’t is to say the Church has vanished. To say the popes hadn’t the power to do away with it is to claim that the popes were not true popes- a view that is unacceptable and leads only to the type of chaos we are familiar with among sedevacantists.
Not every law of the Church is in Canon Law. Jesus reportedly laid down the law that obdurate sinners were to be excluded from the community and nobody should be friendly to them. This is a Canon Law that should be in the code but is not. The law that three witnesses must be questioned before anybody can be declared guilty of a crime is another omission. This law was reaffirmed by the apostles.

MY CONCLUSIONS: The pope might be called head of the Church and rock but in the real world things are more complicated.  Canon law in extreme circumstances will fail to apply so the ground is laid for those who seem to be true Catholics to proceed and try to elect a pope.


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