« Antiphon Antipope Antitactæ »


ANTIPOPE: A papal usurper, not elected in the canonical way, but resting his claims on fraud or force. Political intrigues, the ambitions of sovereigns, and the action of a minority of the cardinals have generally been responsible for rival popes. In 1046 there were four claimants of the papacy: Sylvester III., Benedict IX., Gregory VI., and Clement II. It has not always been easy to decide which of the rivals was the true pope, and in such cases schism has been the result. The longest schism (known as “the Great Schism”) succeeded the death of Gregory XI. (1378) and lasted fifty years (see Schism). For the names of the antipopes, see the list given in the article Pope, Papacy, and Papal System.

« Antiphon Antipope Antitactæ »
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