Horrible Popes, Heretical Popes, and Antipopes

The spontaneity of the new Pope was much praised by the Liberal press…




Stellar blog post from “Catholic Defense” explaining, inter alia, the difference between an heretical Pope and an Antipope. 

I suggest that my readers follow the link and take the time to digest its content, because it is of great help in navigating these horrible times both keeping one’s sanity and avoiding abstruse and clearly untenable theories about why a Pope we don’t like can’t actually be the Pope. 

Perhaps because of my long habit of loving a Country notwithstanding the quality of both the people governing it and those who send them into power, I never found any difficulty in separating the Institution from the people living in it and/or representing it. 

One loves the Fatherland irrespective of who is in power, in the same way as one loves his football team irrespective of his esteem for the manager and the owners. The allegiance goes to the Institution, not to individuals. 

The more so this should apply to the Church, an Institution founded by Christ and infinitely more sacred than, say, the Fatherland. 

We have a horrible Pope. Bad news, I agree. But certainly not an excuse to escape from reality and declare that, therefore, the Pope must not be Pope. 

But can the Pope be a heretic? Of course he can, and the linked article makes the obvious examples of Honorius and John XXIII, both of them often mentioned on this blog. I can’t find the sources anymore, but I am sure there have been several others. 

What if you have an heretical Pope? You refuse him obedience in his heretical error, but even then he is still the Pope. One day, he will be disposed of. It happens to everyone. 

Our duty as faithful Catholics is, I think, not to undermine the Papacy withbthesecfantasy tales, but to defend the Papacy by exposing those who abuse of their office in order to spread heresy and error. 

You live with a horrible Pope in the same way as you live with an excellent one: upholding the Truth, doing your best to live after it, and doing every effort to die in a state of grace whoever is the Pope of the day. A bad Pope may make it necessary to blog, or to have heated discussions with your friends, or he may make persecution more probable. But we were never promised that we would have an excellent Pope, or no persecution. 

I direct your attention on point IV of the argument. This truly excellent explanation also shows that we aren’t the first to be confronted with obscenely bad Popes. Plus ça change…

I also do not see any possibility of a credible Antipope, unless Francis were to become mad enough that, say, a couple of dozen Cardinals declare the see vacant and elect a new one. In this case you would have at least a claim to papacy from someone elected by Cardinals, though men of common sense would immediately see the difficulty of this, at least until Francis does not become so stupid that he tries to proclaim an heretical dogma and the Sea can therefore be seen, and is in fact seen, as vacant by righteous Catholics. 

An Antipope isn’t really in the card in this day and age. A materially heretical Pope is obviously in charge. I doubt he will ever have the effrontery of a John XXII, and start very officially – though not infallibly – to proclaim an alleged new doctrine. 

Francis is an old man badly lived, who has spent his life not caring what he was saying or doing, provided it served his purposes. He wants to be popular, and want to tell people what they want to hear. 

This is not like Dr Moriarty had been made Pope. 

Mr Bean, more like. 






Posted on June 4, 2014, in Traditional Catholicism. Bookmark the permalink. 12 Comments.

  1. I read the blog article this morning and again at your suggestion. I was not impressed, mostly because the author seemed to deny that a heretic pope is not the pope (basically denying St. Robert Bellarmine’s position). Was that your take?

    • You mean Skojec or the author of the article?

      A heretic Pope is a Pope who is an heretic.

      St Robert Bellarmine’s position is, besides being rather isolated for what I know, a dangerous one. It has caused the modern sedevacantist frenzy. In past ages (say, IX-XI century) it would have caused huge problems.

      There can be a strong case (I think, there is no other alternative) than a sedevacantist position if a Pope tries to proclaim a wrong dogma, but I can’t see any space outside of that.

      AFAIK, Bellarmine was also supposing other events – like, the vast part of the clergy proclaiming the sea vacant – that are utterly absent from the modern Sedevacantist rants.

      But again, I do not think this is the time for us to try to become experts in Sedevacantism.

      We do not have a problem of vacant Sea. We have a problem of its occupant being unfit for the job.


  2. THE

    The Pope
    Is the Pope
    In cope
    Ya dope

    But never
    Was there
    Such a Pope
    To cope

    I hope
    This Pope
    Won’t have
    To grope

    When he
    Finally comes
    To his

    The Pope
    Has a head
    Of argentine

    But never
    Was there
    Such a Pope
    Oh nope

    No trope
    Of hope
    He makes
    Me mope

    But he’s
    And not

    The Pope
    Is the Pope
    Not soap

    But never
    Was there
    Such a Pope
    To lope

    His passive
    Pride will
    Make you

    But he’s
    I must

    The Pope
    Throws a rope

    Oh nope
    The Pope

    With Christ
    From this Pope’s

    And pray
    For this
    My friend!

  3. I’d say the handling of the FFI is a stratagem far more sophisticated than Mr. Bean could ever muster. The BoR, bumbler that he may be, has a method to his madness, and that is what is so unsettling.

  4. Longskirts: Start a cottage industry–Pope on a Rope Soap. Wash with Francis daily!

  5. Wash away those “holy card faces”, eradicate traditionalism in those hard-to-reach pelagian creases with Pope Francis Soap on a Rope!

  6. Soap on a Rope: Probably an American gimmick popular in the 60s and 70s where a bar of scented soap–say, Faberge Brut or Old Spice, was embedded with the ends of a length of soft cotton rope, forming a loop. That way, a feller could hang his bar of soap on the shower knobs and never have to worry about it gumming up the soap dish. Have not seen soap on a rope in years.

  7. Just checked on Amazon and you too can have soap on a rope, Mundabor. Dana English Leather scent for US $6.95 or Aramis for $14.00 Just in time for Father’s Day. You might drop a hint…

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