The "Anti-Popes"

In this century, it seems, we have a number of individuals that think they are the legitimate Pope, and that the five men that has set on the Chair of Peter sense the demise of Pius XII have all been Anti-popes. This web site will look at each of their claims, contact each one, (when possible [some of these “popes” are in hiding]) and ask them to state their case and give them a chance to refute any finding I post.

Monday, December 31, 2007

Below is a few definitions for terms that will be used that the reader may not be familiar with:

A true Sedevacantist is one that claims that the Chair of Peter has been vacant sense the demise of Pope Pius XII. The word comes from the Book, "Sede Vacante" by Fr. Saenz Arriaga of Mexico.

A Conclavist is someone that reject the claims of the Legitimate Popes (i.e.: John XXIII, Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI) and believe that the person of their group that was elected in an irregular fashion is the true pope.

A Mysticalist is someone that claims to have received their authority from God, Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Blessed Mother, or one of the saints from either a vision or apparition

Saturday, April 15, 2006

David Bawden

David Allen Bawden (born September 22, 1959), is an American citizen who was elected "Pope Michael I" by a very small group of Conclavist or post-Sedevacantist Catholics to fill the vacancy they consider to have been caused by the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958. He is one of a group of self-proclaimed papal pretenders (or antipopes), including Fr. Lucian Pulvermacher (proclaimed Pius XIII) in Montana and the late Clemente Domínguez y Gómez (proclaimed Gregory XVII) in Spain.

Bawden's claim to the papacy

Bawden's supporters argue that the elections of Pope John XXIII, Pope Paul VI, Pope John Paul I, Pope John Paul II, and Pope Benedict XVI were invalid because they are all modernists. Pope Pius X had in Lamentabili Sane, condemned the heresy of Modernism. This Index was Supplementary to the general Syllabus of Condemned Errors issued by Pope Pius IX.

In 1907 Pope Pius X had issued Praestantia Scriptura where he imposed automatic excommunication upon all remaining Modernists who remained within the Church. He stated:

We declare and determine that if anyone, which may God forbid, should go forward so brazenly as to defend any proposition reprobated in either of these documents, by that fact itself, he incurs excommunication reserved to the Roman Pontiff.
The claim that Pius XII's successors are modernists as conceived by Pope Pius X is dismissed as factually inaccurate by the vast majority of Catholics, who point out that to date every Ecumenical Council has seen some controversy, especially councils which perform major revision and reform work such as the Council of Trent which codified the Tridentine Mass and numerous other reforms in response to the Protestant Reformation.

Claims against popes

Michael Bawden's supporters accuse Pope John XXIII of "modernistic heresy". They also condemn Pope John Paul II's supposed association with pornography, specifically the appearance of "immodestly clad" acrobats at a performance in the Paul VI Hall in the Vatican and the presence of "half-naked natives" at some of Pope John Paul II's Masses in Papua New Guinea.

Justification for electing a pope

According to Catholic theology, the Church possesses popes in perpetuity (First Vatican Council, 1870), and it has always the right to supply itself with the Pope. The official process of election, through a papal conclave of the College of Cardinals is not a divinely ordered process for selection but a method created by the Church to replace earlier methods. Sedevacantists argue that if the College of Cardinals will not or cannot elect a valid pope, ordinary Catholics can do so, under the principle of "Epikeia" (Equity).

According to sedevacanists, none of the appointments made since 1958 to the College of Cardinals is valid, as the popes who made them were themselves invalid. As there are no surviving members of the pre-1958 College of Cardinals, according to their theory there is no college to do the electing, necessitating a new interim procedure to elect a new pope who would then fill the vacancies and so create a valid College of Cardinals.

Process for his election

Acting on the basis of this, David Bawden was elected Pope by six people (including himself, his parents Mr. Kennett Bawden and Mrs. Clara Bawden, a Mr. & Mrs. Robert Hunt, and a Mrs. Teresa Stanfill-Benns, who had been the main motivator of the Election) on July 16, 1990 in Belvue, Kansas in the United States in a store owned by the Bawden family.

Mrs. Benns and Mr. David Bawden, who together summoned the assembly to elect the Pope in 1990, claim to have invited all orthodox Catholics to join, but receive only six respondents. They then formed the assembly which elected Bawden, who took the reign name Michael. He said that his motivation Pope Leo XIII's decision to institute the Invocation of St. Michael Archangel, and to add it to every Tridentine Mass.

That invocation was deleted following the Second Vatican Council by Paul VI.

No clerical involvement

Unlike other papal pretenders, David Bawden's election did not involve any previously ordained clergy from the Catholic Church. As he is not and has never been ordained a Priest, David Bawden has never offered a Mass as "Pope."

Supporters of 'Pope Michael'

The movement to elect a Pope in opposition to the Pope in Rome began in the mid 1970s with Fr. Saenz Arriaga of Mexico, who wrote a book 'Sede Vacante'. There were rumors that he desired Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre to be elected. He visisted Lefebvre in Houston, Texas in 1976, possibly to discuss a Papal Election. He died two months later in Houston. Dr. Benjamin Franklin Dryden took up the cause, writing several articles to promote such an election and circulating them privately. Influenced by the rumors of a Papal Election in the early 1980s Teresa Benns wrote an article asking all Catholics to join together to hold such an election, which was published in a small "Traditionalist" newsletter. In 1987 Daniel Leonardi sent a letter to people throughout the world asking them to gather and promote and hold a Papal Election. At the same time David Bawden became convinced of the necessity of a Papal Election and began working with Benns, Leonardi and several others to accomplish this project for the good of the Church. In 1990 Benns and Bawden published 'Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century' in order to state their claim that a Papal Election was necessary, as well as to refute the many heresies they ascribed to Traditionalists. On July 16, 1990 a group of six, including Bawden, his parents and Benns, gathered and held their election, which elected David Bawden as Pope Michael.

His claim to the papacy is generally ignored by the world at large and apart from a few articles and a single television interview, his presence has not spread beyond the Internet.

Sedevacantist criticism of 'Pope Michael'

Some sedevacanists criticised the method of election of "Pope Michael" because three of the six 'electors', including David Bawden himself, belonged to his family, and a fourth was his friend Teresa Benns, requiring only one other elector to vote for him. Other critics have noted that the Bawden family are themselves the publishers and authors of sedevacantist books, with the implication being that the proclamation of a member of the family as a 'pope' provided a higher profile and so enabled the promotion of their books. The family deny the allegation.

Thomas Frank interviewed Bawden for his 2004 book, What's the Matter with Kansas?, and devoted a chapter to him.

The Vatican-In-Exile

Monday, January 23, 2006

Father Earl Lucian Pulvermacher, OFM Cap (born April 20, 1918) became Pope Pius XIII of the “true Catholic Church” October 24, 1998. The “true Catholic Church” is a small group based in Montana, Which claims to be the “true” Catholic Church, as against all other groups or entities claiming that name.


Earl Pulvermacher is one of 9 children of catholic parents; Hubert Pulvermacher and Cecilia Lenerz. Four of their sons would become priest, two are still in communion with Rome and a brother Carl is a member of SSPX. He made Solemn Vows in the Capuchin Order on August 28, 1942 and Ordained a Priest on June 5, 1946. He chooses the religious name of Lucian.
Fr. Pulvermacher has served as a priest in Milwaukee, Wi. and as a missionary priest in Amami Oshima and Okinawa. From 1970 to 1976 Fr. Pulvermacher served in Australia. He left his order without dispensation in 1976 and for a time associated with some traditionalist Catholic organizations that opposed the doctrines of Vatican II.

After leaving Australia, Fr. Pulvermacher was affiliated with the Society of St. Pius X. His brother, Fr. Carl Pulvermacher, joined SSPX after Fr. Pulvermacher left and is still affiliated with the Society. After leaving the SSPX Fr. Pulvermacher established a circuit of private chapels throughout the U.S. claiming he had the authority to provide the Mass and Sacraments to these people. David Bawden, aka: Pope Michael I, demonstrated that Fr. Pulvermacher did not have such authority in an article entitled “Jurisdiction During the Great Apostasy”. He then claimed that he had jurisdiction from the bishop in Okinawa (who was and still is in full communion with Rome). According to Canon Law a priest may hear confessions if he travels by boat or airplane, provided he has jurisdiction somewhere in the world. If he claimed authority from a Bishop in communion with “The Novus Ordo Church” then one can come to the conclusion that Fr. Pulvermacher was still in communion with that same church.

In the mid-1990 Fr. Pulvermacher became convince that Pope John XXIII had been a freemason and that his election as pope in 1958 had been invalid. This leads to the argument that not only John XXIII papacy and all his acts, such as calling for Vatican II and his encyclicals, were invalid but also this would cause a chain reaction by invalidating the conclave necessitated by John XIII death, the election of Paul VI, John Paul I, John Paul II, and Benedict XVI. According to Fr. Pulvermacher, the See of Peter has been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.
In 1998, a conclave of sedevacantist, both lay and clerical, in a telephone vote elected Fr. Pulvermacher to the “papacy“., and took the name Pius XIII. He has established his College of Cardinals to an ecclesiastical mechanism for the election of his successors.

Though he has followers, it seems that his main body of supporter is in Montana. Where his Papal Chair is situated is not clear. It could be in Montana where the Episcopal Ordination in a hotel ballroom following the Election that was attended by 28 people, but Karl Keating of Catholic Answers received a letter from Pius XIII dated April 6th, 2004, that was postmarked “Springdale, Washington” .

It is noteworthy that he castigates seemly anyone who rejects his claim to be the true pope.