antipope


antipope
/an"ti pohp'/, n.
a person who is elected or claims to be pope in opposition to another held to be canonically chosen.
[1570-80; ANTI- + POPE; r. antipape < ML antipapa, modeled on Antichristus ANTICHRIST]

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In Roman Catholicism, a person who tries to take the place of the legitimately elected pope.

Some antipopes were elected by factions in doctrinal disagreements, and others were chosen in double elections arbitrated by secular authorities or picked as third candidates in an effort to resolve such disputes. The earliest of the antipopes appeared in the 3rd century. During the Investiture Controversy, Henry IV appointed an antipope, and several more antipopes claimed the papal office over the next 200 years as a result of disputed elections or further struggles with secular rulers. The principal age of the antipope came after the papal court was moved from Rome to Avignon in the 14th century (see Avignon papacy), an event that led to the Western Schism of 1378–1417. During this era, the popes now considered canonical were elected in Rome, and the antipopes were elected in Avignon.

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▪ Roman Catholic history
       Tentative list of antipopes Tentative list of antipopesin the Roman Catholic church, one who opposes the legitimately elected bishop of Rome, endeavours to secure the papal throne, and to some degree succeeds materially in the attempt. This abstract definition is necessarily broad and does not reckon with the complexity of individual cases. The elections of several antipopes are greatly obscured by incomplete or biased records, and at times even their contemporaries could not decide who was the true pope. It is impossible, therefore, to establish an absolutely definitive list of antipopes, but it is generally conceded that there were at least 37 from 217 to 1439. Felix V (1439–49) was the last. Historically, antipopes have arisen as a result of a variety of causes; the following are some examples:

      1. Doctrinal disagreement. The spread of Monarchianism (a Trinitarian heresy) led a Roman priest, Hippolytus (Hippolytus of Rome, Saint), to try to replace Pope Calixtus I in the 3rd century. Hippolytus was later reconciled to Pope Pontianus during the persecution of Maximinus and died a martyr's death (235).

      2. Deportation of the pope. The Arian emperor Constantius II exiled Pope Liberius for his orthodoxy (355) and imposed the archdeacon Felix on the Roman clergy as Pope Felix II (Felix (II)). Eventually, Liberius was allowed to return, and Felix lived in retirement until his death.

      3. Double elections arbitrated by the secular authority. In 418 the archdeacon Eulalius was elected by a faction partial to him, and he was supported by the imperial prefect and the Byzantine court. The rest of the clergy, however, chose the priest Boniface I (Boniface I, Saint), who was eventually given official recognition by the emperor.

      4. Double elections and subsequent recourse to a third candidate. In the 7th century Paschal (Paschal (I)) and Theodore were rivals for the papacy, and both were unwilling to renounce their claims. Finally, a part of the community more inclined to moderation gained the papacy for Sergius I. (Sergius I, Saint)

      Somewhat similarly, in the 14th century the official residence of the papacy was moved to Avignon (Avignon papacy), Fr. This led to a schism (the Great Western Schism) beginning in 1378 that resulted in a papacy in Rome (regarded as canonical), a papacy in Avignon (regarded as antipapal), and eventually a third papacy established by the Council of Pisa (also regarded as antipapal). Unity was finally achieved by the election of Martin V on Nov. 11, 1417.

      5. Change in the manner of choosing the pope. In 1059 a new procedure for electing popes, proclaimed by Pope Nicholas II, deprived the German emperors of the leading role that they had played in earlier papal elections and also limited the influence of the Roman nobility. This led to the election of the antipope Honorius II in opposition to the canonically elected Alexander II, who was eventually recognized by the emperor. See also papacy (table).

Additional Reading
An alphabetical list of antipopes appears as Appendix B in Frank J. Coppa (ed.), Encyclopedia of the Vatican and Papacy (1999), p. 467.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Antipope — • A false claimant of the Holy See in opposition to a pontiff canonically elected Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Antipope     Antipope      …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • Antipope — An ti*pope, n. One who is elected, or claims to be, pope in opposition to the pope canonically chosen; esp. applied to those popes who resided at Avignon during the Great Schism. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • antipope — (n.) also anti pope, early 15c. (mid 13c. in Anglo Latin), from M.L. antipapa, from Gk. anti against (see ANTI (Cf. anti )) + papa (see POPE (Cf. pope)) …   Etymology dictionary

  • antipope — [an′ti pōp΄; an′tēpōp, an′tīpōp] n. a pope set up against the one chosen by church laws, as in a schism …   English World dictionary

  • Antipope — For the book by Robert Rankin, see The Antipope. An antipope (Latin: antipapa) is a person who opposes a legitimately elected or sitting Pope and makes a significantly accepted competing claim to be the Pope,[1] the Bishop of Rome and leader of… …   Wikipedia

  • antipope — noun Etymology: Middle English antepope, from Middle French antipape, from Medieval Latin antipapa, from anti + papa pope Date: 15th century one elected or claiming to be pope in opposition to the pope canonically chosen …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • antipope — noun A person who claims or claimed to be the pope as the result of a disputed election, but is not considered by the Roman Catholic Church to be the real pope …   Wiktionary

  • ANTIPOPE —    a pope elected by a civil power in opposition to one elected by the cardinals, or one self elected and usurped; there were some 26 of such, first and last …   The Nuttall Encyclopaedia

  • antipope — n. pope who is elected in opposition to a canonically chosen pope …   English contemporary dictionary

  • Antipope —    One who claims to be Pope in opposition to the lawfully elected Pope …   Who’s Who in Christianity


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