Pope Donus II and the revised list of Popes (1947)
The Case of the Missing Pope (Donus II) - the revised list of Popes from 1947
Date: 07-23-95 | From: P | To: MICK JAMES | Subj: Battle for Romanism | Conf: Open_Bible
P> Have you ever had a Roman Catholic give you answers to these?
MJ> Attempts have been made. Nothing significant though.
THE CASE OF THE MISSING POPE -- SOLVED!
MJ> WHO WAS POPE DONUS II?!!!!!!!!!!!!
MJ> How come in January 18th 1947 a news report from the Vatican stated that Pope Donus II NEVER EXISTED?!!!!!!!!!!!!
How come????? How come????? No need to get so excited!!!!!!!!!! You remind me of our JW friend Mike Nelson???????????!!!!!!!!!
Here's the explanation, tough guy. Here is how come.....
First, there WAS a Pope named Donus. He is in the official list of the Popes. See the NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA (1967) for the official list or a scholarly Protestant work such as THE OXFORD DICTIONARY OF POPES by J.N.D. Kelly (Oxford Univ Press, 1986) which I have in paperback version published in 1988.
From the NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA (1967) volume 4, page 1010 --
[now please notice this last sentence solving the case]
There's the explanation. It was simply a case of a mistranslation from the Latin by an ancient chronicler of a list of Popes. No big deal.
If you could give me more details about what that Vatican "news report" dated 1/18/47 actually stated you would probably answer your own question. I assume you never saw this "news report" but are relying once again on secondary sources. You also misunderstand it. Let me explain further . . . .
MJ> A copy of this article can be found at most public libraries
The same analogy can be made with regard to the Scripture which you believe is infallible and inerrant in what it teaches (so do Catholics). Contrary to what some KJV Onlyites believe, we do NOT have a 100% perfect translation of the Bible nor do we have 100% certainty on the original Hebrew or Greek text (a "succession of texts" if you will) from which our English Bibles are translated.
Does that mean we must throw out our modern Bibles as worthless? Does that mean the Bible is NOT the Word of God? Of course not. Get James White's new book (The King James Only Controversy, 1995) as he discusses that in great detail.
Under the list of Popes from the NEW CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA (1967) in volume 11, the article begins by explaining (p. 574) --
The bibliography at the end of the article lists the following --
A. Mercati "The New List of the Popes" MedSt 9 (1947) 71-80;
H. Leclercq, DACL 13.1:1111-1345;
Duchesne LP. G. B. Ladner, _Die Papstbildnisse des Altertums und des Mittelalters_ 1 (Vatican City 1941);
There were other sources listed. The Mercati research is probably what the Vatican "news report" was talking about since it is dated
1947. If you really want the scholarship behind the "dropping of six popes" I suggest locating the above. But again, that has
nothing to do with apostolic-Petrine succession since the above is a matter of historical scholarship not Catholic doctrine.
St. Irenaeus gives such an early list of successors to Peter as Bishops of Rome in a classic passage (see AGAINST HERESIES 3:3:1-3 c. 180 AD).
St. Augustine in his Letter to Generosus (c. 400 AD) also gives such a list --
The Battle for the Papacy to be continued. . . .
J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (Oxford Univ Press, 1986)
Eamon Duffy, Saints and Sinners: A History of the Popes (Yale Univ Press, 2015, fourth edition)
Adrian Fortescue, The Early Papacy: To the Synod of Chalcedon in 451 (Ignatius Press, 2008)
Back to Apologetics Articles
Back to Home Page
About | Apologetics | Philosophy | Spirituality | Books | Audio | Links