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Two popes, two
January 31, 2008 11:35 AM   Subscribe

"Ratzinger is an Evolutionist, which by definition makes one an athiest", is one of the reasons that this website, in which the "true" catholic faith (different [?] from the other catholic faith) is promoted, gives as to claiming Benedict XVI isn't the true pope. And to make their point they have elected a "real" pope themselves: Pope Pius XIII His real name? Lucian Pulvermacher (wikipedia) (previously)

But, How can they elect a pope when they have one in the Vatican? you ask? Well, according to the FAQ, which is a tad outdated: "John Paul II is NOT the Pope and never was. Neither were the 3 other imposters, John XXIII, Paul VI or John Paul I."

Of course, having two popes isn't news at all for the catholic church. There have been antipopes (wikipedia), a second pope unrecognized by the Vatican, intermitently for almost 1900 years now.
Once there were even three popes at the same time, couresy of the Western Schism (wikipedia).
(via)
posted by omegar (79 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
LOLCATHLICZ111!1

am I not correct?
posted by Pecinpah at 11:39 AM on January 31, 2008


From the Wikipedia link:

His episcopal consecration, held on 4 July 1999 in a hotel ballroom, was attended by 28 people.

I doubt the Vatican is overly concerned.
posted by gurple at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2008


Ratzinger athiest?
No way...I'm way athier than he is.
posted by rocket88 at 11:41 AM on January 31, 2008 [26 favorites]


Wouldn't the Pope be Catholic by definition? Maybe these guys should consider whether THEY are "true" Catholics.

Not that I want to discourage dissension in the Church. Anything that keeps them from screwing up external affairs, i.e. my government, is fine by me.
posted by DU at 11:43 AM on January 31, 2008


*reads Wiki link*

"Earl", "Capuchin Order", "Montana". Please, make it stop. My sides hurt.
posted by DU at 11:45 AM on January 31, 2008


Excellent, we haven't had a decent Antipope in ages and there's a beautiful palace in Avignon going begging.
posted by WPW at 11:46 AM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


What they don't realize, and perhaps never will, is that Gregory VII was also a Freemason. In fact, everyone (except myself) who has claimed the Papacy since that time has secretly been a Freemason.
...making me the only True Pope in all of Catholicism.

And how can you tell they've all been Freemasons? Because they won't admit it, of course! Nobody who IS a Freemason can ever admit it, ergo, they must all have been secret Freemasons! I, on the other hand, freely admit I am a Freemason -- which automatically means I am NOT a Freemason, and thus am the only legitimate Pope!
posted by aramaic at 11:48 AM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Small diversion: Philosopher/Blogger/Game Designer Chris Bateman's ongoing Pope versus Pope! competition:

It's the Catholic Pope, that is Benedictus XVI nee Joseph Alois Ratzinger (pictured wearing a saturno hat), versus the Discordian Popes; that is, everyone else on the planet...

So far, the Discordians are beating the Catholics 4 to 1.
posted by Iridic at 11:49 AM on January 31, 2008


They should ask the Cathars how going against the catholics worked out for them.
posted by mullingitover at 11:49 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Not snarking, I'm really genuinely curious.

Isn't part of the Catholic philosophy that beliefs can adapt and change over time when the Vatican sees fit to change them? I'm a little confused by using old Papal statements to disprove new ones.
posted by roll truck roll at 11:50 AM on January 31, 2008


His hat isn't that funny.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:50 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


"Ratzinger is an Evolutionist, which by definition makes one an athiest"

I was going to call bullshit on this claim, but it turns out the whole website was proclaimed by Pope Pius ex cathedra, and is therefore infallible. Huh.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 11:52 AM on January 31, 2008 [3 favorites]


LOLCATHLICZ111!1

am I not correct?


Actually, maybe not, 'cause I think most Catholics (I was raised one, but no longer consider myself one) would also LOL.
posted by Reverend John at 11:54 AM on January 31, 2008


I believe in some form of evolution and I'm not an atheist. Mutual exclusivity is so 1950s.
posted by Burhanistan at 11:54 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Well they can bitch and moan all they want, but they seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding about how the Catholic church works.

Catholicism (like many religions) is a top down organization. All "discussion" flows in one direction: Downward from the Pope.

The Pope says it. You follow it. End of story.

If you don't, you can't call yourself a good Catholic.
posted by Relay at 11:58 AM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Mutual exclusivity is so 1950s.

As is sedevacantism.
posted by Iridic at 11:58 AM on January 31, 2008


Mutual exclusivity is so 1950s.

But imbecility is timeless.
posted by ibmcginty at 12:00 PM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Actually, reading the list of Benedict's "heresies" makes him sound like much more of a reasonable person that I believed before. Ecumenical? You can talk to God in places other than church? Evolution AND creationism? Wow.
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:01 PM on January 31, 2008 [5 favorites]


Catholicism (like many religions) is a top down organization. All "discussion" flows in one direction: Downward from the Pope. The Pope says it. You follow it. End of story.

I'm assuming you're fairly knowledgeable about Catholicism to make such claims, so can I ask you what purpose ecumenical councils serve?
posted by turaho at 12:03 PM on January 31, 2008


OTOH, hyper-religiosity is kind of 1590s.
posted by DU at 12:04 PM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


Isn't part of the Catholic philosophy that beliefs can adapt and change over time when the Vatican sees fit to change them? I'm a little confused by using old Papal statements to disprove new ones.

Yes and no. There are certain Catholic Dogmas which cannot "change." These include Jesus' divinity, the real presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, etc. Then, there comes Papal proclamations where this whole thing gets whacky. When a Pope speaks and issues teaching, it is pretty much considered considered Catholic doctrine. However, it is just "pretty much" and not, as you point out, 100% infallible. Per Catholic doctrine, the only time a Pope's statement is "100% true" is when when he speaks "ex cathedra." It is some fancy way of speaking from the chair of Saint Peter and some other guidelines are met.
Popes speaking in strict Catholic infallibility has only occurred twice, and they both had to do with Mary.
So, whatever Popes said at their time as basically true at the time and their teachings ought to have been followed. But those teachings can change.
Being a Catholic is so fun sometimes!

Also, currently, the official Catholic teaching is that they officially don't care if we're evolutionists, creationists, or whatever. The whole idea is that at some point (for the evolutionists, that'd presumably be when we evolved into Homo Sapiens I suppose?), God breathed life into mankind and made us who we are at that instant.
posted by jmd82 at 12:05 PM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


And, Relay, you only have to follow what the Pope says "end of story" if the Pope is speaking "from the chair".
posted by dpx.mfx at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2008


Perhaps they would have more luck if they nailed their grievances to the door of the church, rather than posting to the internet.
posted by never used baby shoes at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2008 [4 favorites]


But. . . does he shit in the woods? (google search link)
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 12:06 PM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Traditional Catholics walk like this, apostatic catholics walk like this, amirite?
posted by Mister_A at 12:07 PM on January 31, 2008


Thanks for the response, jmd82, it was really enlightening.

As dumb as this sounds, it had never really occurred to me that the Pope was ever not speaking from the chair.
posted by roll truck roll at 12:09 PM on January 31, 2008


Some redshirt needs to run into the room when the Two Popes are together and shout "Don't you see!? This is exactly what they want! We have to stick together!"
posted by papercake at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2008


Traditional Catholics walk like this, apostatic catholics walk like this, amirite?


And Charismatic Catholics walk like this.
posted by Burhanistan at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2008


You know who else required blind allegiance "only" at certain times?
posted by DU at 12:10 PM on January 31, 2008


I'm assuming you're fairly knowledgeable about Catholicism to make such claims, so can I ask you what purpose ecumenical councils serve?

Maybe that Popes lead Ecumanical Councils?
I think that statement that the CC is a top-->down organization is, for the most part, true. However, I also think lay people are starting to feel differently about things and feeling we should have more say in the CC. Plus, Catholics aren't as apt to blindly follow every single doctrine as in the past. Just my experiences, at least.

As dumb as this sounds, it had never really occurred to me that the Pope was ever not speaking from the chair.

Don't! This is a very common misconception and even within the CC, what we must believe to be a "good" Catholic is a very contentious point of discussion.
posted by jmd82 at 12:12 PM on January 31, 2008


I came here to say what dances_with_sneetches said.

You will pay for this, dances_with_sneetches!
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:12 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


From the Truth About the Devil page:

Exorcisms are uplifting and instructive. One exorcism brings us closer to God, and fills our lives with more spirituality than many retreats. One exorcism will teach us more about the devil and his machinations than can be learned from many books.

I love it.
posted by Pallas Athena at 12:17 PM on January 31, 2008


Man you remember that movie where the pope and scads of popelings died, and Benny Goodman was his closest living relative, so he got to be pope?

That was awesome.
posted by Mister_A at 12:17 PM on January 31, 2008


Of course he believes in Evolution. He's a Nazi.
posted by tkchrist at 12:20 PM on January 31, 2008


Pope of the Garden Fence. I'm amazed 28 people showed up to this. I think the only person in his church is this Pope guy.

But I love this. I desperately want to be be my own Pope so I perform solemn services like the Anointing of the Nachos and the Holy Surfing of the Channels.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:22 PM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


But I can't even spell skizim. schizm. skism. Whatever.
posted by GuyZero at 12:23 PM on January 31, 2008


The prayers of exorcism begin with the Litany of All the Saints, after which are recited the prayers contained in the Roman Ritual in the section entitled “RITUS EXORCIZANDI OBSESSOS A DAEMONIO,” and they should be continued without interruption for at least two hours at a time.

At which point, "CRUCIO!"
posted by Pastabagel at 12:24 PM on January 31, 2008


Well they can bitch and moan all they want, but they seem to have a fundamental misunderstanding about how the Catholic church works.

Catholicism (like many religions) is a top down organization. All "discussion" flows in one direction: Downward from the Pope.

The Pope says it. You follow it. End of story.

If you don't, you can't call yourself a good Catholic.
posted by Relay at 12:24 PM on January 31, 2008


Monterey Pope.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:31 PM on January 31, 2008


Under Canon Law, if a group of Catholics were physically isolated from the Vatican and no longer were sure the Vatican existed (say, after a nuclear war destroyed technological civilization), under what circumstances could some minimum quorum of bishops or cardinals elect a Pope? Or would bishops just consecrate successor bishops? What if the isolated group had no bishop to confer Holy Orders? They couldn't have Apostolic Succession, but could they elect a Pope?
posted by orthogonality at 12:35 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Pope Earl from Montana, you win the white carnation.
posted by Brocktoon at 12:35 PM on January 31, 2008


Relay writes "The Pope says it. You follow it. End of story."

Only if he proclaims it ex cathedra. Anything else he says is like dicta in a court decision; you respect it, but it isn't law. If the RC Church were as rigid as you understand it to be, it wouldn't have weathered 2000 years of threats, attacks, and changes.
posted by orthogonality at 12:39 PM on January 31, 2008


Relay, I'm pretty sure that's a double.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:39 PM on January 31, 2008


There is even some openness to atheism at the Vatican, with Raniero Cantalamessa, Preacher to the Papal Household, writing:
We can say that the mystics, in the night of the spirit, are “a-theist,” that Jesus himself on the cross was an “a-theist”, without-God.
posted by No Robots at 12:43 PM on January 31, 2008 [2 favorites]


Crap!

How the hell did that happen?

I hit "post", and it spun for weeks ... I come back and check, and it posted double?

Weird ... it's a SIGN!!
posted by Relay at 12:43 PM on January 31, 2008


Are you sure you didn't misspell your username, Relay? Or should I say, Repeat?
posted by chimaera at 12:44 PM on January 31, 2008


D'oh.
posted by chimaera at 12:44 PM on January 31, 2008


Catholicism (like many religions) is a top down organization. All "discussion" flows in one direction: Downward from the Pope.

That has certainly not been true for the whole history of the church. In the middle ages and well into the 19th century at least there was a widely held school of thought that said that the power of the church was distributed amongst the body of the priesthood. Many of the objections to papal infallibility in the 1870s and 1880s were based on the idea that only the church as a corporate body - that is, the priesthood and hierarchy as an entity - was infallible.
posted by atrazine at 12:50 PM on January 31, 2008


I was very disapointed when I found out that antipopes didn't come from some bizarre dark matter universe where the laws of physics are curiously inverted.
posted by Artw at 1:30 PM on January 31, 2008


I love the fact that the new Vatican is driving distance from my house in Seattle. You just *knew* there was a Montana connection...
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 1:34 PM on January 31, 2008


Wasn't the vatican in A Canticle for Lebowitz in the NorthWest?
posted by Artw at 1:35 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Isn't Mel Gibson part of a group that similarly denies the legitimacy of the pope?
posted by briank at 1:36 PM on January 31, 2008


Catholicism (like many religions) is a top down organization. All "discussion" flows in one direction: Downward from the Pope.

The Pope says it. You follow it. End of story.

If you don't, you can't call yourself a good Catholic.


In theory.

In practice, Catholicism is as varied a community as you would expect from a population north of one billion people, and "good Catholicism" is ultimately judged by personal and communal standards. That means that if Kenny O'Doyle in Minnesota decides to sleep in on a particularly intemperate Sunday or agitate for abortion rights, there's no "end of story." His priest might be concerned, but he's not likely to refuse Kenny the Eucharist. His neighbors and fellow Catholics - most of whom have been "bad Catholics" themselves at various times of impure thought and impious meat consumption - are not likely to judge Kenny too harshly. (Their attitude may vary from parish to parish, ranging from "condemnation" to "celebration." But that's the point; it varies.) The Pope could be infuriated if he discovers Kenny's comments on Daily Kos, but he's not going to summon the Cardinals and excommunicate the guy. The modern Catholic (at least in America, at least among those I have known) holds and exercises rather more authority over their own actions than a non-Catholic might realize.

So of what real value is the Pope, then? He serves as a sort of living constitution for the Catholic church, both an embodiment of and authority on doctrine. He's also a mechanism for the sort of change and flexibility that Orthagonality was talking about, because ultimate authority resides in (an admittedly conservative) person rather than in an unchanging text.

That's why the Church has been able to accomodate evolution more easily than sects that put all their chips on the Bible. And that's why this Biblical-literalist splinter cell will implode violently as soon as Pope Pius does or says something inconsistent with their literature.
posted by Iridic at 1:36 PM on January 31, 2008


So far, the Discordians are beating the Catholics 4 to 1.

There's about a billion Catholics and about six billion Discordians, so we're actually up more like six to one.
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:02 PM on January 31, 2008


hail eris!
posted by Pope Guilty at 2:02 PM on January 31, 2008


Isn't Mel Gibson part of a group that similarly denies the legitimacy of the pope?

IIRC, it's Second Vatican II that they rejected and thus any Papal successor is not legitimate. I have some acquaintances who, while they don't outright reject the current Pope, they come pretty damn close based in "Catholic liberalism." It's weird to me, but hey, Catholicism is whacked to a lot of people.
posted by jmd82 at 2:25 PM on January 31, 2008


As a practicing, small-o-orthodox Catholic, I can confirm the lulz.
posted by jquinby at 2:55 PM on January 31, 2008


funny that they are depicting Benedict as some kind of liberal traitor of the true faith, when the people I knew from the small catholic university institute in Berlin were i worked in the library literally in tears when he was elected, because they thought a new more liberal Pope would perhaps make the changes needed to let them keep a beloved professor who was expelled because he got married, and let the female students actually attain priesthood.
posted by kolophon at 3:12 PM on January 31, 2008


This smacks of the same type of confusion McDowell's is causing for McDonald's.

"They have the Big Funny Hat. We have the Big Funny Cap with no jewels. They have the Golden Tabernacle. We have the Golden Tabernaculum."
posted by JibberJabber at 3:18 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


There's only one way to settle this. As I understand doctrine, we have to find out which one shits in the woods.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:21 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Somehow Springdale, Washington doesn't have the same aura of religious power as Vatican City.
posted by yellowbinder at 3:36 PM on January 31, 2008


So far, the Discordians are beating the Catholics 4 to 1.

There's about a billion Catholics and about six billion Discordians, so we're actually up more like six to one.


Each of us has thousands and thousands of Body Thetans, so I think Scientology is winning this one.

Hail Xenu
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 3:43 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


Ecumanical Councils

If by Ecumenical Councils, you mean big meetings of bishops like the Council of Trent or the Second Vatican Coucil -- well, based on a non-expert knowledge of church history:

Basically, the pope wasn't (to start with) the POPE - he was just another bishop (the Bishop of Rome), and authority in the church was based on what the bishops agreed in their Ecumenical Councils. Over the early middle ages, the pope began pushing his authority over the other bishops, as he had apostalic sucession from St Peter, and Christ said that St Peter would found the Church. Other bishops didn't agree with this - and this is part of what the Roman Catholic and Orthodox churches split over in the early medieval period.

So the pope kept authority in the Western Church. But ecumenical councils still kept meeting (like the - and as of the 1400s, I seem to remember that there was still a debate over where the final authority of the Church rested: in the papacy, or in the bishops.

wikipedia has more, and it's less vague.

But most of the big doctrinal things have not historically been decided by the pope, but by the congregation of the bishops (who are in communion with the Pope).
posted by jb at 3:49 PM on January 31, 2008


He's anti-pope, sure, but why the Antipope? If I say the emperor has no clothes, do I then automatically become emperor?

Pulvermacher's supporters were few in number and geographically wide-spread. In October 1998, an election was held in a conclave in a wooden house in Montana, where many of Pulvermacher's followers lived.

Oh. So I just need my roommates to vote me in? Sweet.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:50 PM on January 31, 2008


(obviously, my last sentence refers only to Roman Catholic Ecumenical Councils - Wikipedia does a good job of laying out who recognised/recognises what.)
posted by jb at 3:50 PM on January 31, 2008


Each of us has thousands and thousands of Body Thetans, so I think Scientology is winning this one.

I'm pretty sure that means they're losing, actually.
posted by Sys Rq at 3:52 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I'm okay with all of this so long as I can call him The Pulvermacher. Failing that, I'd settle for making Pulvermacher a verb of some sort.
posted by katillathehun at 3:56 PM on January 31, 2008


There's also this pope (currently in jail for child-abuse etc)(official website here)
posted by ninazer0 at 3:58 PM on January 31, 2008


Kills us both, Archbishop Spock!
posted by Snyder at 4:04 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


I desperately want to be be my own Pope

Getchyer Pope Card
posted by oncogenesis at 5:16 PM on January 31, 2008


Why the hell can't atheists spell "atheist"?
posted by beagle at 7:04 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


If you date the founding of the Catholic Church as approximately 30 A.D., it's amazing to consider how the institution has survived the fall of the Roman Empire, the Great Western Schism, the Babylonian Captivity, the Dark Ages, the Thirty Years' War, the Protestant Reformation, the French Revolution, and two world wars. In other words, I think Mr. Pulvermacher may discover that the Catholic Church ain't nothin' to f*ck with. And Benedict XVI knows how to muthafuckin' roll, knowhutImean?
posted by jonp72 at 7:22 PM on January 31, 2008


Nobody likes you when you're John XXIII. (?)
posted by prosthezis at 8:06 PM on January 31, 2008 [1 favorite]


well, here's the real vatican

they couldn't find a michaelangelo to paint the ceiling, but he did get his cousin george to do this

very lifelike, don't you think?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:44 PM on January 31, 2008


CEILING CAT IS WATCHING YOU PONTIFICATE
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 9:31 PM on January 31, 2008 [6 favorites]


I can haz Papasy?
posted by No Mutant Enemy at 12:56 AM on February 1, 2008


Artw: "Wasn't the vatican in A Canticle for Lebowitz in the NorthWest?"

Interesting that you mention this, since I just (within the last few days) finished re-reading it. While reading it, I never thought that the location of New Rome was given precisely, although my feeling was that it was in Europe somewhere, since I thought a sea voyage was mentioned as necessary to get there. Wikipedia claims that it's actually St. Louis, MI, so perhaps I just misread something.

Canticle also deals with the issue of 'bootstrapping' a new Church if the old one is completely destroyed. I don't know how closely the author researched Canonical law, but the procedure involved seemed not dissimilar from the "medieval" reciprocal delegation performed by Pulvermacher and Bateman (described in the wiki article). I don't have the book available right now so I can't find the section where it's described, but it's in "Fiat Voluntas Tua".
posted by Kadin2048 at 9:32 AM on February 1, 2008


I understand there’s a more legitimate bear excreting feces in the woods.
posted by Smedleyman at 1:54 PM on February 1, 2008


Pastabagel says:
Pope of the Garden Fence. I'm amazed 28 people showed up to this. I think the only person in his church is this Pope guy.
Here and here are pictures of him with "Cardinal Bateman".

Cardinal Bateman was heavily involved in the "legitimizing" of this guy's papacy. Namely, Pulvermacher (being an ordained Catholic priest) ordained Bateman as a priest. When Pulvermacher was elected Pope Pius XIII, Bateman then used his newfound priest powers to ordain Pulvermacher as a Bishop. The new pope then ordained Bateman as a bishop. I guess these guys really believe in pulling yourself up by your own bootstraps.

Unfortunately, Cardinal Bateman later discovered that Pope Pius XIII "divined" with a pendulum, he left the church, since "occultism" rendered Pulvermacher's claim on the papacy invalid.

So maybe now the only person in his church is this Pope guy, but there was at least one other guy.
posted by Flunkie at 12:37 PM on February 2, 2008


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