Q: If we can’t trust the Church to tell us who the Pope is, doesn’t that mean the Church has defected?
A: Well, apparently not, because Antipope Anacletus II was backed by a majority of Cardinals and the entirety of Rome with the exception of the Corsi family and illegitimately ruled EIGHT YEARS until his death.
Version - Versions - NewAdvent - Org - Wikipedia
Here’s the short version. You can read the long versions at NewAdvent.org and Wikipedia.
Pope Honorious II dies, and in rules established by a predecessor (Nicholas II) and Honorious II, the election of Honorious II’s successor is left to a special commission of eight Cardinals. They validly and canonically, albeit hurriedly and insistently, elect Pope Innocent II Papareschi the next day.
Day - Cardinals - Roman - Families - Pope
Later that same day, other Cardinals, backed by all the Roman noble families declare Pope Innocent II’s election invalid, except it WAS valid, as we will see, and instead elect their very corrupt boy, Cardinal Pietro Pierleone and name him Anacletus II.
Both men are crowned Pope/Antipope on the same day – the Antipope Anacletus II in St. Peter’s Basilica, and the true Pope Innocent II in Santa Maria Nuova (now called Santa Francesca Romana).
Antipope - Anacletus - II - Pierleone - Backing
Antipope Anacletus II Pierleone, having the backing of most of the Cardinals, all of the Roman noble families except one (the Corsi), and all of the Roman populace, drives the true Pope Innocent II out of Rome and he flees to France where he resides for three years, whereupon he is escorted back to Rome by King Lothair of Germany, albeit with an insufficient calvary force of only 2000, and upon Lothair’s departure, Pope Innocent II has to flee Rome again to nearby Pisa, where he remains for four more years.
During these eight years, Antipope Anacletus II enjoys essentially unanimous support in Rome as he plunders the Church’s wealth and spends it lavishly to...
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