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09 Sep 2015 Middle East - Africa News No comments

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04 Jun 2015 Articles Q&A No comments

One priest's impact on the New York Times' David Brooks

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02 Nov 2014 Articles No comments

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11 Apr 2015 Q&A Comments (1)

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21 Nov 2014 Q&A No comments

Can I give a priest permission to talk about my confession?

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20 Sep 2016 Americas Europe Middle East News USA Vatican No comments

ISIS claims responsibility for Minnesota mall stabbing

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How can you say one of the marks of the Church is unity when, at one time in the 14th century, there were three popes?

Full Question

How can you say one of the marks of the Church is unity when, at one time in the 14th century, there were three popes?

Answer

Your facts are wrong. There never were three popes at once—and never two at once either. But there were times when there were two claimants to the office, and once, in the 14th century, there were three claimants.

The question then is: Who was the real pope? No one at the time thought there could be more than one.

Consider an analogy from recent American politics. In a close election, one might ask: Who is the real president? Even if the answer remained unclear for a while, we’d all know there can be only one president at a time, even if more than one proclaimed himself the victor.

Incidentally, these days the college of cardinals stays locked up together until any ballot disputes are resolved. Not a bad idea, that.










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