Alternative History

The head of certain churches is known as the Pope: see [1] for complete list.

Links on Althistory Wiki[]

Roman Catholic Church

Popes and kings of Italy (Interference)

Individual popes:


In OTL there have been a number of persons designated Antipopes - who were in opposition to the Pope in Rome.

In the present era a number of Catholic figures, often of a more conservative frame of mind have declared the See of Rome vacant, and have set themselves up as Popes: they are usually known as sedevacantists, and often have a fairly minor support.

There are various althistory possibilities arising - for example the various Antipopes were recognised as the true pope. Alternatively the Antipope and Sedevacantists gain enough support to form recognisable 'breakaway Catholic churches' (as outsiders might so define them.)

Relevant Wikipedia pages are [2] for earlier antipopes and [3] for the more modern ones.

More general possibilities[]

Presently only cardinals under 80 can vote in a Conclave: it would be possible, if a relatively young Pope were incapacitated for a long period of time that upon his death that there would be no competent cardinals.

There appears to be no procedure for a Pope who adopted positions that were genuinely heretical, or who becomes incapable of ruling through physical incapacity or mental incompetence.