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Two antipope Benedicts XIVs?Edit

Is there any evidence for the second Benedict XIV? The standard sources (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes, The Catholic Encyclopedia, the Liber Pontificalis) are silent about him, the source seems to be a novel, and, most importantly, it makes no sense for a successor to style himself identically to the person he is succeeding. There were two Pope Benedict XIVs, one a pope and one an antipope, but I'm not buying the story about Carrier... Ansat (talk) 04:27, 25 April 2010 (UTC)

According to the article about the anti-pope Benedict XIV, Carrier, styled a cardinal, elected Garnier by himself.If he was the cardinal who elected Benedict XIV, how could he be the preceding anti-pope? And yes, why would Garnier take Carrier's regnal name and nominal? Confusing.--Gazzster (talk) 07:18, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
The Catholic Encyclopedia [[1]] does not mention an anti-pope Benedict XIV.The Britannica doesn’t. [[2]]. This unreferenced document does. [[3]]. It’s hard to find stuff on the web about these figures because almost all information is sourced from the Wikipedia article. It’s possible that they were minor characters who had very little support, not enough to be considered a challenge to the Council of Constance. In a similar vein there is an anti-pope Peter II at Palmar de Troya (two actually – the other Peter II is in Australia), a Linus II and a Michael I, elected by his family. These are of course not serious anti-popes. And if the article on Benedict XI is to be credited, one of them was elected by one cardinal (who had been the previous anti-pope?). That’s hardly an election. I suggest we remove them from the list.--Gazzster (talk) 07:40, 25 April 2010 (UTC)
Kelly's book (The Oxford Dictionary of Popes) confirms antipope Clement VIII and (the first) antipope Benedict XIV (Garnier) existed, but, as you say, they were minor characters from after the Western Schism ended (Benedict XIII refused to abdicate, but the rest of the world ignored him, and these fellows succeeded him). The second Benedict XIV appears to have come into existence in a novel by Raspail and been legitimized in a French work of speculative history by Bavoux (Le porteur de lumière). I'd vote at least for removing him.Ansat (talk) 00:16, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

You will not find anything (anywhere) about any anti-pope named Benedict XVI. There isn't one.--Djathinkimacowboy 18:31, 24 January 2012 (UTC)

Please assist in editing, correct me if I'm wrongEdit

This diff here[4], look at that edit summary. Please, fellow editors! Extensive work on an article is not a 'takeover'. If I am in error in something specific please let me know. Come and discuss the work here, and please feel free to drop me a line if you prefer.--Djathinkimacowboy 03:54, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

I'm sorry, I don't understand this objection to the edit. The Annuario Pontificio does mention Sylvester III's takeover, or whatever you want to call it, of the papacy in 1045, indicating that it occurred on 13 or 20 January of that year and lasted until March of the same year (page 14* of the Annuario). I may well have been wrong in saying that the Annuario "makes no specific comment" on his taking possession of the papal throne. I was thinking of the generic comment on page 12* about the popes of the mid-11th century, that it is impossible to decide definitively which side was legitimate, and I had not adverted to the footnote on page 14* regarding Benedict IX: "The pontificate of Benedict IX was interrupted a first time by the intrusion of Sylvester III; on a second occasion Benedict IX resigned and was succeeded by Gregory VI; and finally Benedict IX became pope for the third time after the death of Clement II". Perhaps this footnote could be called a specific comment on Sylvester's takeover of the papacy. If so, I was wrong in saying that the Annuario "makes no specific comment on his (Sylvester's) taking possession of the papacy in 1045". But let me add, with full respect for Djathinkimacowboy, that the statement that I changed, namely, that in the Annuario "there is no reference to, or opinion of, his (Sylvester's) takeover of the papcy in 1045", was certainly mistaken and needed correction. I think we should go back to the old text, which I would copyedit as follows: "Because of obscurities about mid-11th-century canon law and historical facts, the Annuario Pontificio expresses no judgement on the legitimacy of his takeover of the position of pope in 1045". Esoglou (talk) 07:41, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Firstly, I apologise to Esoglou: you are quite right and editing in good faith. I did not mean to seem confrontational. As to the information which you know well, what if we simply put the text as a block quote into the article? I think it merits quoting and surely no one will change it. Does that seem acceptable? I find this issue fascinating and think it deserves a full quote from the Annuario.--Djathinkimacowboy 16:15, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
I may edit in good faith, but far too frequently I make mistakes that I wish I hadn't made.
The Annuario Pontificio, as its name suggests, is in Italian. An (unofficial) English translation of the footnote on page 12* regarding the uncertainty about what was canonical and what actually happened in the period preceding and immediately following the year 1000 is given in the lead of the article. The footnote on page 14* that I have translated here is attached to the mention of Benedict IX and is only partly and, one could say, indirectly concerned with Sylvester III. A reference to the translation in the lead of the page 12* text was previously given in connection with Sylvester but, as you know, it has been removed. Perhaps it need not be restored and it would be enough to insert something like what I suggested here earlier today. Esoglou (talk) 17:16, 7 February 2012 (UTC)
Oh! It is my middle name, Errore. We all do it! I agree with your post above, and further, I think it will look well if simplified to its basic content. Then the Annuario can be cited for the facts. That way, in simplifying, we can avoid confusing explanations of what the Annuario has preceding and succeeding. Those Church works can be long-winded.--Djathinkimacowboy 19:40, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Actually I wonder if any of my very few sources state anything with regards to the subject. Mainly I have a brief book with the official list and biographies of the popes, no antipopes. Perhaps you have other historical references to check? I think my list has Sylvester III without any antipope mentioned, but then, which Sylvester III is it? I must find this listing and see. Sylvester III does not ring a bell with me as antipope at all, and I cannot recall seeing references to Sylvester III ever being an antipope. My area of great interest was always Pope Sylvester II. Fascinating man!--Djathinkimacowboy 19:44, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

In view of your comments here and of the erroneous nature of my statement that the Annuario Pontificio makes no specific comment on Sylvester III's installation, I am provisionally altering the text about Sylvester III, inserting a reference to some histories that consider him an antipope. You can then indicate how you think the text should be altered. Our Sunday Visitor's Catholic Encyclopedia puts the question hypothetically: "Benedict IX was forcibly removed in 1044; if this action was not legitimate, then Sylvester III was an antipope" (emphases added). Esoglou (talk) 21:24, 7 February 2012 (UTC)

Well, Eso, this is what is there now:

Sylvester III, sometimes listed as an antipope, appears in the Holy See's Annuario Pontificio as a pope: because of obscurities about mid-11th-century canon law and the historical facts, it expresses no judgment on his legitimacy. The Catholic Encyclopedia places him in its List of Popes,[1] but with the annotation: "Considered by some to be an antipope". Some other sources do classify him as an antipope.[2][3]

--but I like your idea. I'll leave it up to you, and let you place the Sylvester ref. as you wish to do. This is an interesting situation, finding the right way to express this. I still have had no time to consult my book and read if it mentions antipope Sylvester. Let me know what you think. I think it is close to what it should say, but I think you have a better idea in general.--Djathinkimacowboy 04:38, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Perhaps we can, for now, leave it as it is, with some sources (not the most recent) saying he was an antipope and others classifying him as a pope but expressing uncertainty about that classification. Esoglou (talk) 08:35, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Citations, wording & Sylvester IIIEdit

Esoglou, I hope you don't mind my starting a new section. The thread's getting too long. Your suggestion is very good. I will try to get to my library in the next day or two, see if I can find some new citation regarding Sylvester for the article. Perhaps we don't have it right, I'm not certain. Ciao, Esoglou.--Djathinkimacowboy 14:10, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Ah! We need to find a generic but reliable source for 11th century Rome and the papacy. That way, we might find something more specific about Sylvester III. What I think I'd like to see in the article now is whether or not he's considered an antipope or not. My belief is the Church does not accept him as antipope and lists him in proper succession- but I can't be certain other than I know I have seen him listed after the predecessor. I recall because it wasn't many years after Pope Sylvester II, who was feared and hated but was never an antipope.--Djathinkimacowboy 14:14, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
E., guarda:

Benedict IX, circa 1032-1044: At the death of John XIX... [his nephew] Theophylactus was elected. [He] took the name Benedict IX.... Benedict was one of the most disreputable popes.... [His reign] was one of complete turmoil. In 1036 the Romans rose against him and drove him from the city... Benedict returned to Rome, only to be driven out again in 1044. John, Bishop of Sabina, was set up as Pope Sylvester III... within two months... Benedict... sent Sylvester back to his diocese in Sabina, and restored himself as pope. [I]n 1045 he abdicated, and handed the papacy to... John Gratian. [Later] Benedict returned, clamoring to be pope [again]... Emperor Henry III came to Rome to settle the matter. He held a council which disposed [of] Sylvester and Benedict. He installed his own man... as Clement II. Benedict... made one comeback. After the death of [Pope Clement II], he returned... and took control.... until 1048. Henry III insisted on his removal.... John Gratian was chosen to succeed Benedict and took the name Gregory VI.

There it is Esoglou, with NO listing of Sylvester III at all anywhere else. From Lancioni, Enrico (1978). The History of the Popes, Manor Books, pps. 115-116. How do we insert all that? As a block quote just as I have it, or do we re-word it and insert a cleaner form? I can do either way, what is your advice?--Djathinkimacowboy 14:35, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Then Clement II succeeds followed by Damasus II. And you know, Esoglou, in this list there is no listing of Sylvester III ever again after the mention in the quote above- I think this is good enough.--Djathinkimacowboy 14:40, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
SOLUTION: What I think we need to have is this: Sylvester III listed as an antipope, a man who seems to have been 'set up' (I presume by cardinals) during the forced abdication of Benedict. Sylvester reigned only for a few short months, and we must say as antipope since he was clearly not elected properly. Then we say Benedict returned, took power and sent Sylvester back to be bishop of his diocese, never to be heard from again in papal history. Simple, no?--Djathinkimacowboy 14:46, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Ha, I see the one we cannot get rid of is Benedict IX, who returned to mess with Damasus II! It seems clear why the Church goes back and forth about him and Sylvester. It seems at one time, both he AND Sylvester were legitimate and at other times they were not legitimate... which I don't understand because Sylvester only reigned 2 months and then after Benedict sent him away, King Henry dismissed Sylvester's claim for good. What a mess!! Until we can clear this more, I think Sylvester III is not worth mentioning. Too many disagreements in the Church itself, it seems.--Djathinkimacowboy 14:55, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
It isn't for us to decide whether Sylvester was a legitimate pope or an antipope. We can only report what reliable sources say. They are not agreed. The Church has made no declaration. Some historians call Sylvester an antipope. Others, on the contrary, say he may have been a legitimate pope. We can only report this disagreement, not declare that one side was wrong and the other right (WP:OR). Adding one or more additional sources in support of one view or the other will not change the fact that there are reliable sources for each of the two views.
According to one of the two views, it is false to say Sylvester "was clearly not elected properly". Henry dismissed no less than three local claimants to the papal throne and had a German of his choice installed as pope. Nobody is questioning the legitimacy of the papacy of that German, Pope Clement II. While the legitimacy of Sylvester III as pope is disputed, there is no dispute about the fact that the disreputable Benedict IX was in possession for about two years in 1042-1044, that Sylvester III was in possession for about two months in 1045, that Benedict IX was again in possession for just under two months in 1045, that Gregory VI was in possession for over a year and a half in 1045-1046, that the German Clement II was in possession from 24 December 1046 until he died on 9 October 1047, and that Benedict IX was in possession for the third time for most of a year after that, until Henry once more imposed an outsider, Damasus II, and, when Damasus died within a month, Saint Leo IX, again from outside. Esoglou (talk) 15:58, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

I think I was in error stating Sylvester was an antipope. I realised this after I had posted everything else, because we don't seem to have a record of how Sylvester got the papacy. Presumably, it was legitimate. If the Church says or implies it was legitimate, then why are we even discussing whether he was an antipope?

My quote above shows only what Lancioni published. So we are not 'deciding' anything except the best way to list these men in the article if applicable. See, this is why we discuss what we think here on the talk page. We don't put it into the article.

Myself, I tend to see Sylvester III as legitimate- but my source doesn't say how he came to be elected because he says Sylvester was 'set up' as pope. How does one 'set up' a pope? What does it mean? I think it means Sylvester is legitimate.

In fact I wonder whether it was Benedict IX who was an antipope, part-time, at least. History tells that he returned to Rome, but did he usurp the papacy? No one says yes, but no one says no. Was he hated? Yes he was. Was he an antipope? I don't see how, but then how is he excused if he did simply come back and take the papacy through force? He deposed Sylvester originally. Doesn't that make Benedict an antipope for part of his career?

All this is what we need to discover; this is why we discuss it here.

But yes, in your post your facts are clear and accurate. So, as I suggested all along, how do we simplify and explain this with clarity?--Djathinkimacowboy 16:37, 8 February 2012 (UTC)

Frankly I think the lines about Sylvester as they are in the article now are fine. Nothing more can be done with it, nothing more added to it. If we do, then we risk what you warned, about putting in conflicting claims from the sources. We have already stated the facts and we state the fact that there is controversy that can't really be answered. We also know the Church's view of Sylvester, yet I don't actually see him listed that often....--Djathinkimacowboy 16:51, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
I agree with you that we should leave the present text about Sylvester III as it is. We don't have an exact record of how any of those involved got the papacy - that's what the Annuario Pontificio says when talking about obscurity regarding the historical facts - and we don't know what was the thought and the law of the time with regard to beginnings and endings of pontificates - that's what the Annuario Pontificio says when talking about obscurity regarding the criteria of theology and canon law. The Church has not spoken on the matter. The list of popes and antipopes at the start of the Annuario Pontificio is not a Church statement; and even if it were, it expressly indicates that the matter is uncertain. Esoglou (talk) 19:43, 8 February 2012 (UTC)
Agreed and in return, I'm glad you agree with me. I have to thank you, I learned a great deal from reading your posts about that period. It is so confusing, I want a good book about the whole papacy at that time. It is probable that I'll fail to find one.--Djathinkimacowboy 04:19, 9 February 2012 (UTC)

In other denominations?Edit

Have Antipopes only ever happened in the Roman Catholic Church? The head of the Coptic Orthodox Church is also a Pope, and I'm wondering if there has ever been an Antipope to that other denomination. (I suppose we could use the term for any kind of Anti-Patriarch in Eastern Orthodoxy or some other Apostolic sect, but for now, as I only know of one denomination other than Roman Catholic that uses the word "Pope" for its head, I'm asking if there have been any Antipopes there.)

Anyway, have there been any Coptic Orthodox Antipopes? If so, the Article should at least have a section on them. The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 02:00, 30 March 2012 (UTC)

I dare say there are, but 'pope' in that meaning would be a disambiguation and deserve its own page. 'Pope' simply means 'father', and is used by other denominations.Gazzster (talk) 05:50, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

I'm a bit concerned that any attempt to broaden the scope of this article may run into a serious definition problem. A number of protestant denominations consider all popes after the great schism to be, in effect, antipopes. So we run into the problem then of having all regular popes also being antipopes and the whole thing becomes a complete mess from there.--||bass (talk) 02:28, 25 December 2014 (UTC)

Sorry for the delay, Mmxbass, I know it's been a while. Anyway, the definition I was thinking of is someone within the respective denomination who falsely claims to be its Supreme Archbishop (whether they call their Supreme Archbishop "Pope," "Patriarch," "Catholicos," or some other name). This would be an internal perspective to each respective group, so no leader (Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox) or other would be defined as an "Antipope" just because Protestants say none of them are legitimate. Does that make sense? The Mysterious El Willstro (talk) 00:34, 1 February 2016 (UTC)

Someone's idea of a joke - Modern antipopesEdit

The entry "Mirko Fabris Krav" under modern antipopes is someone's idea of a joke. First of all, Croats wouldn't elect an antipope because they are too loyal to the Pope. Second, you can simply Google "Mirko Fabris Krav" and you'll see that he is a stand-up comedian. I'll try to erase this. If it re-appears, please erase it. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:23, 15 November 2012 (UTC)

Antipope Kaplan I has got to be a joke, doesn't he? I see nothing on the web about him, and the information seems to be copied from the prior antipope. I am not going to spend time fixing it, but someone should look at it. )Just looking, not a frequent Wikipedia editor. (talk) 02:04, 12 February 2013 (UTC

Some might cynically say that they are all, or nearly all, a joke. Esoglou (talk) 08:31, 12 February 2013 (UTC)
Would the editor(s) who are constantly re-adding Mirko Fabris Krav please stop? We know that he is a stand-up comedian, not an antipope [5] [6]. If by some amazing chance there are two people by this name, one of whom was a claimant to the papacy, please supply a source for this claim. Also, please stop blanking this section of the talk page. Thanks! — Lawrence King (talk) 23:54, 27 March 2013 (UTC)
The mention of Krav is The+Pope+in+Winter#hl=en&q=Chryssides+Krav&tbm=bks sourced. Esoglou (talk) 15:44, 8 October 2013 (UTC)
The link you provided is not a legitimate source. It leads to a google search page for John Cornwall. If his book, The Pontiff In Winter, mentions Krav, please cite chapter and page. Nahum (talk) 05:15, 20 August 2015 (UTC)

Constantine IIEdit

It is difficult to argue that Constantine II was in opposition to Stephen III, as Stephen was elected more than a year after Constantine and had to wait a week until Constantine was dethroned before being consecrated himself. It might be more accurate to say Constantine was in opposition to Christophorus's belief that there was a sede vacante --Rumping (talk) 22:51, 9 December 2012 (UTC)

3rd century and already Popes??Edit

Hello. I am a bit confused about the article. In the history division I see a lot of talk about some (as if) clerics sticking with the pope or antipope in the 3rd century but to my knowledge the Roman Empire was not officially a Christian state before the 4th century and it is impossible to have popes as well as antipopes already in the 3rd century. But maybe I misunderstand something. So if I do, please explain. (talk) 06:47, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

When do you propose discussing the early, pre-State church leaders? The Bishop of Rome was already a powerful figure at that time. Ogress 23:19, 24 March 2016 (UTC)

Not to be confused with...Edit

Antiope. And/or vice versa. I didn't actually read the name of the asteroid as "Antipope" myself, but it could happen...? Oh, wait, there's an Antipop as well. Having opened the can of worms, I shall now depart... (talk) 04:48, 23 May 2016 (UTC)


The term "secular" in the second paragraph is suspicious, as monarchs who interfere with religion and install their own religious officials are not simply "secular," which is a modern term misapplied to ancient times, sometimes they are just political and anti-religious. -Inowen (talk) 05:20, 28 February 2018 (UTC)


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