Avignongreenspun.com : LUSENET : Catholic : One Thread
When there was a pope at Avignon , who was considered the real pope? The one at Avignon or the one at rome? And today who is considered to have been the real pope.Thanks Danny
-- Danny (email@example.com), August 07, 2004
Bump to New Answers to invite comment.
-- (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 07, 2004.
The one at Avignon is considered to be the real Pope, and only Pope, the whole time.
-- G (email@example.com), August 08, 2004.
There were two distinct periods during which Avignon was involved. In 1305 Pope Clement V was forced to move the Holy See from Rome to Avignon due to violent civil unrest in Rome. After that move the Holy See remained in Avignon for 70 years, during which time there were 7 different popes, all of whom were legitimate popes. Finally, Pope Gregory XI moved the Holy See back to Rome. During the 70 years that the Popes were located in Avignon, there were no anti-popes in Rome or anywhere else.
When Gregory XI died, he was succeeded by Urban VI, who unfortunately turned out to be a very poor leader. It was at that point that a group of cardinals got together and decided to replace Urban. They secretly elected another "pope", Clement VII, who turned out to be a much better leader and ruler then Urban VI was. However, in spite of Clement VII's talents, he was not the true Pope. He was an anti-pope. Urban VI was the true Pope. Clement VII then moved to Avignon and set up shop there. He died soon thereafter, and was succeeded by another anti-pope, Benedict XIII. The matter was finally resolved in 1414 at the Council of Constance, which denounced Benedict XIII (as well as another anti-pope who had subsequently been set up by another group), and elected Martin V.
So, to address your original question ...
The 7 Popes who ruled from Avignon between 1305 and 1375 were all true Popes. They were:
Clement V - John XXII - Benedict XII - Clement VI - Innocent VI - Urban V - Gregory XI
Those who claimed to be Pope and were situated in Avignon after 1375 were anti-popes. They were ...
Clement VII - Benedict XIII
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), August 08, 2004.
How is a Pope declared an Anti-Pope? I'm sure the Popes involved must have believed they were true Popes. They must have had supporters. Were they declared to be anti-Popes at the time, or was this judgement made in retrospect?
Also, why do they use the prefix "anti?" Almost makes these men sound evil or sinister. (perhaps they were?) Seems like "not valid" would do.
-- Jim (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 08, 2004.
Jim, I wonder if the term "anti-pope" versus the Pope is drawn from the Biblical language in which the "anti-christ" is a false christ who is opposed to Christ. Thus, an "anti-pope" would be a false pope who is opposed to the Pope. This is just speculation. But for those who try to steal authority in such a serious way, sufficient warning is required for the faithful.
-- Emily ("email@example.com), August 08, 2004.
"How is a Pope declared an Anti-Pope?"
It's primarily a matter of how the "pope" in question was selected/elected/appointed. If it wasn't done according to the protocol required by the Church, then it wasn't valid, regardless of whether the Church officially declared it invalid or not.
"I'm sure the Popes involved must have believed they were true Popes."
A: That's hard to say. They certainly did their best to be recognized as valid. On the other hand, they were men trained in theology and Church teaching and surely should have recognized, at least intellectually, that they could not act in opposition to the Church and still be legitimate. Then again, there are bishops today who act in opposition to Church teaching on various issues, and who apparently think they are right in doing so.
"They must have had supporters."
A: Indeed they did - to the point where the situation nearly split the Church between "Rome followers" and "Avignon followers". However, if I declared myself President of the United States, and got half the population to sign a petition in support of me, that might very well split the country; but it would not give the country two Presidents, for that is impossible. I would be a fraud, even though a well supported fraud. The nation has a specific means of electing a President, clearly laid out in law, and anyone "elected" by any other means simply is not a President. Same with a Pope.
"Were they declared to be anti-Popes at the time, or was this judgement made in retrospect?"
A: The judgement was made while the last of the invalid Popes was still "in office". He was formally denounced, and the true Pope formally affirmed. However, it doesn't take such a denouncement to "make" someone an anti-pope. A man claiming to be Pope either is the duly elected Pope or he is not. If he is not, then he is an anti-pope, whether he has been formally denounced as such or not.
"Also, why do they use the prefix "anti?"
A: "anti" means "against". These "popes" were set up as a movement against the true Pope who was in office at the time. So I think the term is fitting. It's like thesis vs. antithesis. Nothing sinister or evil is necessarily implied. Literally, it just means that one side is against the other. However, that having been said, schism is not within the plan of God, and the anti-popes were in schism.
-- Paul M. (PaulCyp@cox.net), August 08, 2004.
"The nation has a specific means of electing a President, clearly laid out in law, and anyone "elected" by any other means simply is not a President."
Gee Paul, I hope you're not condemning our glorious Dubya? :-)
I believe most if not all of the anti-popes were basically good men who sincerely believed that they were Pope. One of them (Hippolytus in the early 3rd century) died as a martyr (together with the true Pope) and is acclaimed as a saint. He was also the greatest Catholic scholar and writer of his day. He set himself up as Pope because he believed (probably correctly) that the real Pope was too soft on heresy.
-- Steve (firstname.lastname@example.org), August 09, 2004.