After Clement VII and Urban VI died, the schism continued through their respective successors, Pope Boniface IX (who became the 'Roman' pope in 1389) and Benedict XIII (the Avignon antipope
who was crowned in 1394).
The cardinals largely supported Alexander, while the Roman clergy tipped toward the antipopes
, especially the first of them, Victor IV.
The list curiously includes 10 antipopes
-- leave out these 10 and we might have another century of popes to go.
The story of the more than 260 popes (and 39 antipopes
) has no parallel in history.
Indeed, there have been 39 antipopes in the history of the church, that is, individuals who claimed title to the chair of Peter while someone else was sitting on it.
"Well, these antipopes were surely easy to distinguish from the real popes," one might say.
In fact, one future pope (Pius II) served for a time as secretary and principal adviser to one of the so-called antipopes
. Yet somehow the church managed to survive, without the security or necessity of a pope to define the meaning of Catholicism.
In addition to 20 centuries of popes going back to Peter, the impetuous fisherman from Bethsaida in Galilee, the church has endured 39 antipopes. Some were self-appointed, others installed by one unholy Roman emperor or another feuding with the real pope.
More than 10 have been rubbed out, including Benedict VI (973-74) who was strangled by a priest contracted by an antipope and John XII (955-64), elected pope at age 18 and killed at 27.
In addition, the 900s had three of the 37 illegally elected popes, or antipopes. The last, Felix V, was a saintly lay duke who abdicated in 1449 and was then created a pensioned cardinal.
In the 900s the overthrown Leo V lasted 30 days and was murdered in jail; the deposed Benedict V ruled for a month and a day; Benedict VI for six months - antipope Boniface had him strangled; the deposed Landus lasted six months and 11 days; Leo V, seven months; the deposed John XIV, nine months, after which he was jailed and died of starvation or poisoning.
History lists Boniface VII with the antipopes
, not the real ones.