“And then things got weird…” #twoPopes #history

“Not knowing exactly what had happened to the Pope, and fearing the worst…the clergy of Rome assembled in August 654, after Martin had been gone for more than a year, and elected as Pope Eugenius I…. During that year, therefore, a situation existed unique in the history of the Papacy: two men simultaneously acting as Pope, but neither an Antipope. Eugenius and his electors probably thought that Martin might have resigned, or might even be dead…. But in fact Martin was alive, had not resigned, and was not incapacitated; therefore he was still in fact the Pope (since a Pope cannot be deposed or supplanted without his consent) while Eugenius was in fact simply the ecclesiastical administrator of Rome.”

— Warren Carroll, History of Christendom, vol. 2 page 244.

About The Codgitator (a cadgertator)

Catholic convert. Quasi-Zorbatic. Freelance interpreter, translator, and web marketer. Former ESL teacher in Taiwan (2003-2012) and former public high school teacher (2012-2014). Married father of three. Multilingual, would-be scholar, and fairly consistent fitness monkey. My research interests include: the interface of religion and science, the history and philosophy of science and technology, ancient and medieval philosophy, and cognitive neuroscience. Please pray for me.
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13 Responses to “And then things got weird…” #twoPopes #history

  1. drprice2 says:

    “It got weird, didn’t it?”

  2. Tony Jokin says:

    After reading the first volume and enjoying it, I had inexplicably put off reading the second one till now haha. Your comment made me pick up the book again.

    In the footnotes, it indicates that the Pope Martin was actually against an election and had even sent a letter informing that such a thing should not take place (not knowing it had already happened).

    That is where I think any possible parallels end. The postulation today that we have some confusion stems from inferring through what was not contained in the resignation letter and other actions of the resigned Pope that had put him in the spotlight. But, we fail to see the important supporting evidence that he did indeed resign.

    1) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI himself has clarified that he has resigned
    2) He himself had known and refrained from any objection toward electing a new Pope. One could say that he even made arrangements for it.
    3) He has not said anything to undermine Pope Francis as Pope
    4) There is no indication by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI that he did not intend to resign
    5) The very fact that he acknowledge a new Pope and made arrangements for the election of a new Pope confirm that he deemed his resignation to be full and valid.

    Those are important points that are ignored in postulating that there is some confusion.

    With respect to the objection that he kept part of the authority, I would like to say the following. It is a novelty to speak of a Pope as facilitating the election, then acknowledging the elected new Pope and considering him to have limited authority. If we are truly against novelty, it would seem that we should be refraining from even suggesting such things?

  3. Tony. If you’re not reading at least two books at any on e time, can you really claim to be reading?

  4. Tony Jokin says:

    Haha thing is, with respect to the series by Warren Carroll, since it follows the historical chronology, I am not sure it is possible to read two volumes simultaneously. Plus, I am someone who lacks extensive history knowledge. So while reading volume 1, every page was like “Wow” and a lot of information to take in. I used to schedule a separate time to read the foot notes for a corresponding chapter because I was getting so overwhelmed with information.

    I guess I am a poor reader and certainly not the sharpest memory 😦

  5. Tony Jokin says:


    I do want to apologize for my posts regarding this issue of the Papacy. I am a bit young so I haven’t seen much of what you or ABS have seen. But even from what I am starting to see, things are confusing. At the end of the day, one thing is certain about the post Vatican II Church:-

    Novelty is welcome!!!

    So I cannot actually say with a firmness that I would like to have that the Church won’t come up with a “Diarchy” system as another novelty. Heck, I can imagine some good Catholic man in the times of Pre-Vatican II, attacking the “ecumenism with no return to Rome” as a blasphemous novelty and being angered at those who would even suggest that very soon the Church will adopt it. But look at things today.

    Therefore I apologize. You are raising a valid concern given the turn of events that you and ABS have witnessed. Perhaps you and ABS were one of those pre-Vatican II good men who defended the faith and Orthopraxy. If a person like me who has grown up in the time steeped with Vatican II can see problems and feel a sense of fear at what might come next, I can see how you would feel more fear and dread in seeing the current developments. So I was out of line in belittling your concerns. Sincerely sorry about my first post above as well.

  6. Tony. ABS was born into the church in1948 and the church he was born into has vanished from sight. It has not ceased to exist and it can not cease to exist but what one sees on a daily basis is its shadow and those in control of the hierarchy are diligently striving to complete the project of remaking the church in their own ecumenical image but as it is the case that ecumenism is the universal solvent, they, ineluctably, are doomed to failure.

    Ecclesia Docens has become Ecclesia Dialogus and all of its works are amounting to very little.

    So, one waits on the Lord and finds his sanctuary in an FFSP or ICK, or any other traditional order in communion with their local Bishop and the Pope.

  7. Tony Jokin says:


    I know what you are saying. The more I look and read about the beliefs and practices of Catholics before Vatican II and after, the more I realize there is a jarring difference. There are things that any faithful Catholic would have held as “not going to happen” and defended with love for the faith that have come to pass.

    In my particular case, there is no FSSP, ICK or any traditional orders where I live. There are some about 100+ km away in the adjacent diocese but unfortunately that is not a very feasible option. So I do get a bit frustrated at how things are sometimes. But at the end of the day, it is a cross I must carry.

    Lets pray and hope that this crisis ends soon.

  8. Tony:

    I’m 30 years younger than ABS and I’ve only been a Catholic since 2005. A year ago I didn’t even know what things like TLM, Vetus Ordo, etc. meant, but this papacy has pushed me into a painful sobriety about the past generation or two of the Church’s development. For years I instinctively latched onto classical resources (LOTS OF TAN BOOKS!!) and devotions, but I had not idea that doing so made me a “traditionalist”, much less a “rad trad”. If favoring the devotions, vocabulary, worship, customs, etc. which make me more like the past 1900 years of Catholics, and yet makes me seem like an antediluvian, atavistic curmudgeon relative to all this agonizing aggorniamento, then so much the worse for the failed) aggiornamento.

  9. Tony. Hoping the crisis will end soon is to actualise the theological virtue of Hope – when there is no rational reason for Hope. So, you’ve got that going for ya , which is nice 🙂

    ABS is blessed to be able to assist at the Real Mass in Sarasota every fortnight or so but he well knows what it is like to be in your predicament and so I sympathise. ABS lived for a long time in the dead Diocese of Maine (Diocese of Portland encompasses the entire state) and probably the sole thing that helped me to hold it together was discovering a few like-minded men and we formed a trad study group.

    We found one another via the Diocesan Newspaper whenever it was foolish enough to publish one of my letters; as an aside, you don’t know what love is until you get a call from the Chancellor of a Diocese, a Priest, who tells you Everybody thinks you are insane, Larry

    ABS doesn’t know if you will ever be blessed receiving such a call (not kidding; it was a blessing) but you seem to me a likely candidate. Soldier on, brother.

    And remember the words of my Uncle, Jerry, It is always darkest before the storm

  10. Tony Jokin says:

    Thanks for your comforting words ABS and Codg! I am in my mid twenties now so I guess it is that age where one is a tad quick to feel anger and frustration at times. I know I must learn to carry the cross God gives me in patience. Yet I am quick to fall and almost go to the point of throwing the towel.

    This blog has certainly been a help for me though because I meet like minded folks like yourself here and get to discuss things and raise my own concerns. There was a time when I felt like going crazy just meeting people who either acted or actually believed that everything was just fine and even great today. So this blog has been the equivalent for me of the trad study group ABS had I guess 🙂

  11. Tony: Did you get my reply to your email?

  12. Tony Jokin says:

    Yes, I saw your e-mail only about an hour ago and replied :). Sorry about the delay. I don’t check e-mail too often during the weekends so didn’t see it till today.

  13. Jerry says:

    Sugprisinrly well-written and informative for a free online article.

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