Antipope Paschal III (or Paschal III) was Antipope from 1164 to 20 September 1168. Paschal III was the second of the antipopes to challenge the reign of Pope Alexander III.
His real name was Guido of Crema; he was a nephew of cardinal John of Crema. In 1159 he joined the obedience of Victor IV and organized synods in England and France in favor of the antipope. Pope Alexander III interdicted him. In 1164, Victor IV died. A small number of cardinals, who had been obedient to Victor IV, met again in Lucca to vote a successor. Guido was elected as the successor, took the name Paschal III and was consecrated by Henry II of Leez, bishop of Liège. The new Pope was established at Viterbo and successfully prevented the legitimate pontiff from reaching Rome. However, he was soon driven from Rome, leading to the return of Alexander III in 1165.
In order to gain more support from Emperor Frederick Barbarossa, Paschal canonized Charlemagne in a magnificent celebration at Aachen in 1165. Paschal soon lost the support of Burgundy, but the emperor crushed opposition in Germany, and gained the cooperation of Henry II of England.
The Catholic Church has never recognized Charlemagne's canonization, since Paschal was an antipope. In 1179, the Third Council of the Lateran annulled all of his ordinances, including the canonisation. Charlemagne remained in good regard still, however, among Catholics, and Prosper Guéranger even composed a prayer to Charlemagne.
Paschal died of cancer on the 20 September 1168. He was succeeded by Antipope Callixtus III.