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Antipope

Antipope. A person in Christianity who claims (or exercises) the office of pope illegitimately. The RC Church lists thirty-seven, from Hippolytus (d. c.235) to Felix V, who abdicated in 1449. The major and serious conflict over the papacy took place in the W. schism, 1378–1417. After the election of Urban VI in 1378, some cardinals, claiming that he was mentally unstable, elected Clement VII, who returned to Avignon as the centre of papal authority. Attempts to heal the schism included the election of a third pope, Alexander V, at Pisa. The attempt to locate continuing authority in these circumstances led directly into the conciliar controversy, raising the possibility that a general council, or the college of cardinals (with or without such additional figures as certain university professors), had the ultimate authority—a position condemned by Pius II in the Bull Exsecrabilis, and also by the First Vatican Council. The schism was ended by the elevation of Oddo at the Council of Constance (1414–18) to become Martin V.

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antipope

antipope [Lat.,=against the pope], person elected pope whose election was declared uncanonical and in opposition to a canonically chosen pontiff. Important antipopes were Novatian; Clement III (see Guibert of Ravenna); Nicholas V (see Rainalducci, Pietro); Clement VII (see Robert of Geneva); Benedict XIII (see Luna, Pedro de); John XXIII (or by a different count, John XXII; see Cossa, Baldassare); and Felix V (see Amadeus VIII), who was the last antipope.

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antipope

antipope Name given to rivals of legitimately elected popes, generally ‘appointed’ by unauthorized religious factions. The first was Hippolytus (217–35), a Trinitarian heretic and rival of Calixtus I. The most famous were the Avignon popes, who rivalled those of Rome during the Great Schism (1378–1417).

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antipope

antipope a person set up as Pope in opposition to one canonically chosen, and applied particularly to those who resided at Avignon during the Great Schism. Recorded from late Middle English (in form antipape) the name comes from medieval Latin antipapa, on the pattern of Antichrist.

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antipope

an·ti·pope / ˈantiˌpōp/ • n. a person established as pope in opposition to one held by others to be canonically chosen.

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