You may have come across people who call themselves "Sado-Vacantists". Who are these people and what do they believe?
Firstly, they are advocates of very extreme forms of mortification.
Secondly, they believe that the Pope isn't really the Pope. That's right - he may have been elected as Pope, he may dress in white and everyone may call him the Pope. But, they say, he isn't really the Pope. It's not just this Pope, it's the Pope before him, and the Pope before him, and the Pope before him, and the Pope before him and the Pope before him!
In fact, some sado-vacantists say there hasn't been a real Pope since Pope Pius XII died in 1958!
You are probably thinking to yourself: "Doesn't Vatican One solemnly teach that the institution of the papacy will endure until the end of time?". If you are thinking that - you're absolutely right. The sado-vacantists, however, have an answer to this objection. When a Pope dies there is always a gap before the next Pope is elected - usually it is just a month or two but it was once over three years. What we are currently experiencing is just a really really really long gap which so far has lasted 55 years! So far, so good, but how will there ever be a 'true' Pope again? How will we know that he is a 'true' Pope? "Who knows?" they will respond "God works in mysterious ways!"
And people call us a bunch of fruit loops!