An antipope (Latin: antipapa) is a person who, in opposition to the legitimately elected pope, makes a significant attempt to occupy the position of Bishop of Rome and leader of the Catholic Church. At times between the 3rd and mid-15th centuries, antipopes were supported by important factions within the Church itself and by secular rulers.
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Persons who merely claim to be pope and have few followers, such as the modern conclavist antipopes, are not classified with the historical antipopes.