Until very recently the Palmarian Catholic Church had no official internet presence at all. Even for those actively searching, it has even been difficult if not impossible to find a phone number or an email address. This was highly unusual even in the world of Catholic traditionalism. Still, in the 1990s, the church maintained a very rudimentary internet site, but it was not updated and disappeared.
In December 2018, however, the Palmarians suddenly launched a professionally looking multilingual website: www.palmarianchurch.org. The site includes basic information about the Palmarian Church, the Order of the Carmelites of the Holy Face and pope Peter III. On the site, one finds a lot of images and films, mainly documenting important religious feast and the basilica in El Palmar de Troya. There is also a growing number of texts: general overviews of the church’s history and teachings, apparition messages, extracts from official documents (including the catechism and the Palmarian Bible) and hagiographies as well as diatribes against the media and people considered enemies of the church.
Though the launching of the website came as a surprise, in recent years the Palmarian Church has received a lot of attention following the abdication of Pope Gregory XVII (sed. 2011-2016), Dan Brown’s inclusion of the Palmarians in his new book and the ex-pope’s and his wife’s attempted robbery of the basilica and the subsequent legal process against them. The media has certainly not presented the Palmarian church in a positive way, but as a dangerous and extreme sect. Still, knowledge of the church’s existence has reached an unprecedented number of people.
Today, the Palmarian Church probably has less than 2,000 adherents, though the number might have increased after the abdication of Gregory XVIII. Still, since the 1990s the decrease has been constant. Thus, it is not difficult to understand that they want to attract new members (and money). For many years, the missionary activities of the church have been very limited, if not inexistent. With the website, it is clear that they want to reach traditionalist minded Catholics, though the fact that the Palmarian Church does not use the Tridentine Mass any longer will probably deter many potential converts as well the fact that they have a Bible of their own and has banned the use of traditional Bibles. Still, there are probably some apparition aficionados and others that might be attracted by the Church’s teachings. The website is not intended for the Palmarian faithful. For them, the Internet is banned if not absolutely necessary for school or work.
Moreover, in the last months, the Palmarians have not only launched a website. Now, they are on Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, and they have a Youtube channel. Only six months ago I think that no outsider would have expected anything like that. But then again, so many unexpected things have happened in the Palmarian Church during the last three years that nothing surprises you anymore.
Instagram (Secretary of State, Fr. Benjamín María): www.instagram.com/maspbm1965
Youtube: Iglesia Palmariana