03: Distinguishing True from False: Popes…

An antipope can sin gravely, teach heresy, and can commit apostasy, heresy, and schism as well as idolatry, sacrilege, and blasphemy. On the other hand, it is possible for an antipope to be sincerely mistaken, perhaps be in a state of grace, even be relatively holy, and only teach error inadvertently. Recall that Saint Hippolytus of Rome was an antipope and schismatic, who later repented. By comparison, a true Pope can be a Saint, or a true Pope can be very sinful, like Pope Alexander VI. (Note that Alexander repented on his death bed, spent much time considering his sins and sorrowing over them, and he received Confession with the Last Rites before his death.) Consider also the great schism, which gave rise to the Eastern Orthodox Churches. There are many holy persons in those Churches, but they are in fact schismatics and heretics. They reject the dogmas on the Roman Pontiff. And they are not in communion with the See of Peter.

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