As far as we know, Archbishop Ján Maria Michał Kowalski (1871–1942), the longtime leader of the Polish (Old) Catholic Mariavite Church claimed much spiritual power, even a kind of Messiah-status, but that he never explicitly claim the papacy. Still, bishops in the Mariavite core group, at least from the mid-1920s, asserted that the Roman pontiff was not the true pope anymore, that the Holy See had moved from Rome to the Mariavite centre in Plock, and that Kowalski was the long-awaited ‘Slavic Pope’, that Polish nationalist authors wrote about: a liberator and a benevolent religious leader.
The founder of the Mariavites was Sister Feliksa Maria Franciszka Kozlowska (1862–1921), often called Little Mother (Mateczka). She claimed to receive divine revelations–‘understandings’–from 1893 onwards, and the interpretation of them played a significant role in the development of the Mariavite doctrine, both before and after her death. Posthumously many followers believed Little Mother to be divine, and Archbishop Kowalski had an almost sacred status, even during his life. Claiming ‘understandings’, too, he introduced drastic doctrinal changes throughout the 1920s. Still, Kowalski’s autocratic rule and the unorthodox doctrinal development led to a schism in 1935, when only a small minority of the faithful remained with him.
A preliminary version of my text on Kowalski and the Mariavite papacy is found here
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.
Continue reading “Palmarian Internet Presence”
On June 10, 2018, began a new, bizarre chapter in the history of the Palmarian Catholic Church. The Palmarian ex-pope Ginés Jesús Hernández (earlier known as Gregory XVIII) and his wife, Nieves Triviño climbed over the high walls of the church compound at Palmar de Troya.
They were masked and armed, apparently planning to rob the cathedral, but were discovered by a Palmarian bishop who was outside the basilica. According to testimonies, they beat Bishop S with a hammer and threatened him and another bishop, J, with a knife. However, in the subsequent fight, Hernández was severely injured, while the others escaped with less serious physical injuries.
It was on April 22, 2016, Gregory XVIII (sed. 2011-2016) resigned the Palmarian papacy. He later claimed that he had lost the faith and that the whole church was a hoax. He left to live with Nieves Triviño, whom he later married. For details, see my book A Pope of Their Own, pp. 168‒177.
Here is a brief description of the events from June 10, 2018 to May 17, 2019.
Continue reading “A Robber Ex-Pope and his Wife: From the Beginning to the End”
In 2017 we at the Department of Theology, Uppsala University launched a new open-access book series: Uppsala Studies in Church History. To date (May 2019) we have published 9 volumes: five in English and four in Swedish. The titles focus both on Swedish and international themes.
Uppsala Studies in Church History is an e-book series that is published in the Department of Theology, Uppsala University. It includes both works in English and in Swedish. The volumes are available open-access and only published in digital form on http://www.diva-portal.org.
Uppsala Studies in Church History är en skriftserie som utges vid Teologiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet. Serien innehåller arbeten på såväl svenska som engelska. Skrifterna i serien är fritt tillgängliga och utges endast i digital form på http://www.diva-portal.org.
Click on the hyperlinks below to get access to the full-texts.
Continue reading “Uppsala Studies in Church History”
My name is Magnus Lundberg and I’m Professor of Church and Mission Studies at the Department of Theology, Uppsala University, Sweden. Though much of my own research has focused on colonial Latin American church history. Still, in recent years I have devoted much time to the study of Catholic traditionalism and Fringe Catholicism, especially modern alternative popes (“antipopes”).
Here, I publish research papers and drafts on topics that are of interest to me. Most of the articles will be in English, but some will be in Spanish or in my mother tongue, Swedish. Some of the texts have been published elsewhere (as books or articles), but here they will be available open-access. Some texts are written exclusively for this blog.
For more information on my research and publications, see the “about-section”
For my series of articles on the Palmarian church, see the Palmarian page
For my series of articles on modern alternative popes, see the Pope page
For articles and monographs on Latin American church history, see the Church and Mission Studies page
For a great non-academic interest of mine, see the fountain pen page. This part of the website is in Swedish.
Om du är intresserad av äldre pennor är du välkommen att besöka den del av sidan som behandlar reservoarpennor.
I Sverige är det ovanligt att samla på pennor och det finns i princip inga omfattande texter om reservoarpennor på svenska, vare sig i tryckt eller digital form. Genom att framförallt utgå från exempel ur min egen samling vill jag därför ge ett bidrag genom skriften Reservoarpennor: design, teknik och historia (2019; 261 sid) som är tillgänglig för nedladdning här
Continue reading “Reservoarpennor: design, teknik och historia”
As a part of my extensive documentation and study of the Palmarian Church, I publish a sizeable collection of images that were published digitally by the Church ca. 2002.
The first document includes pictures of the apparition site at Palmar de Troya, the first chapel that was built there and not least the construction of the enormous Palmarian Basilica. It includes 129 images. See Palmar de Troya and the Palmarian Basilica
The second document includes pictures of Palmarian chapels around the world. It includes 197 images. See Palmarian Chapels worldwide.