Gino Frediani (Immanuel I, 1974-1984) was born in 1913 and served as a parish priest in Gavinana in Italian Pistoia from the 1940s onwards. Beginning in 1973, he claimed to receive apparitions from Old Testament prophets. On 5 September 1973, he asserted that the prophet Habakkuk had placed a hand on his head saying that the Italian parish priest was chosen to fulfil a great universal mission: “to build a Holy Church to the Sacred Heart of Jesus”.
Gaston Tremblay (Gregory XVII, 1968-2011) was born in Rimouski, Quebec 1928 into a rather poor family. His father died when he was young, and his mother became a nun. At age sixteen, Tremblay moved to Montreal to join the Brothers of St. John, the Hospitalers. There he was renamed Brother Jean and worked with terminally ill patients. Around 1947, he began to receive apparitions, and in 1949, he claimed to have seen the face of a future pope in a vision.
Genom åren har jag sysslat en hel del med katolsk traditionalism, speciellt i den spanskspråkiga världen. 2015 skrev jag en kort artikel om en traditionalistisk kommunitet, en “helig stad”, som ligger i provinsen Michoacán i Mexiko och benämns Nueva Jerusalén, Nya Jerusalem. Den har sin grund i en serie uppenbarelser av jungfru Maria och en rad andra helgon från 1973 och framåt. Kommuniteten har många gånger varit skådeplatsen för, ibland våldsamma, sammandrabbningar mellan olika schatteringar och grupper av personer som ledarna uppfattar som heterodoxa har drivits ut. Trots detta har inte polismyndigheten eller andra delar av det mexikanska samhället ingripit.
Here is a select bibliography of published works on the Palmarian Catholic Church.
Alonso, Javier & Rafael Canales. 1976. El Palmar de Troya: Festival del integrismo. Madrid: Sedmay Ediciones.
Barrios, Manuel & María Teresa Garrido Conde. 1976. El apasionante misterio del Palmar de Troya. Barcelona: Planeta.
Beltrán y Bachero, José Carlos. 1989. “Unerlaubte bzw. ungültige Priester und Bischofsweihen in El Palmar de Troya.” Pp. 419-433 in Ius et historia: Festgabe für Rudolf Weigand zu seinem 60 Geburtstag. Würzburg: Echter.
Cadoret-Abeles, Anne. 1981. “Les apparitions du Palmar de Troya: Analyse antropologique d’un phénomène religieux.” Mélanges de la Casa de Velázquez 17, 369-378.
Cebolla López, Fermín. 1976. El vidente ciego: Cisma sin teólogos en El Palmar de Troya. Bilbao: Editorial CLA.
Garrido Vázquez, Moisés. 2004. “El Palmar de Troya: 35 años de cisma.” Chapter 6 in El negocio de la Virgen, Madrid: Ediciones Nowtilus.
Garrido Vázquez, Moisés. 2008. “El Palmar de Troya: Cuatro décadas de integrismo mariano”, Misterios y fenómenos insólitos 84, 4-12. Accessed from on 12 August 2015
Gómez Burón, Joaquín & Antonio Martín Alonso 1976. El enigma de El Palmar de Troya, Barcelona: Editorial Personas.
Hall, Maria. 2015. Reparation: A Spiritual Journey, Haven Publishing, 2015.
Apart from my main research area (colonial Latin America) for many years I have done research on the Palmarian Catholic Church, a Spanish dissenter group or, if one prefers, a new religious movement. The church has a basis in purported apparitions of Christ, the Virgin Mary and many other saints at Andalusian Palmar de Troya from the late 1960s onwards. Through the 1970, the group around the leaders Clemente Domínguez and Manuel Alonso. A new religious order was founded, clerics were ordained and consecrated and in 1978, at the death of Pope Paul VI, Clemente Domínguez claimed that he was divinely elected pope. The church of Rome had apostatisized and the Holy See was moved to Palmar de Troya. I have published two articles on the church, its organization and beliefs. One is a briefer profile, while the other is a 60-page article. They can be consulted here: Articles about the Palmarian Church
“Modern Alternative Popes”
Article published online in 2015
The Second Vatican Council (1962-1965) is arguably the most important event in modern Catholicism, and a major act on the twentieth-century religious scene at large. On several points, the conciliar fathers made changes in how the Catholic Church perceived the modern world. The language in the decrees was different from earlier councils’, and the bishops opened up for ecumenism and interreligious dialogue, seeing at least “seeds of truth” in other religious traditions. The conciliar fathers also voted in favour of liberty of religion, as meaning something more than the right to practise Catholic faith. A very concrete effect of the Council was the introduction of the New Mass Order (Novus Ordo Missae) in 1969 that replaced the traditional Roman rite, decreed by Pius V in 1570. Apart from changes in content, under normal circumstances, the new mass should be read in the vernacular, not in Latin as before.
Though many Catholics welcomed the reforms of Vatican II, many did not. In the period just after the end of the Council, large numbers of priests and nuns were laicized, few new priest candidates entered the seminaries, and many laypeople did not recognize the church and the liturgy, which they had grown up with. In the post- conciliar era, there developed several traditionalist groups that criticized the reforms and in particular the introduction of the Novus Ordo. Their criticism could be more or less radical, and more or less activist.
Many stayed in their parishes and attended mass there, but remained faithful to traditional forms of devotions and paid much attention to modern Marian apparitions. The apocalyptic contents of many apparitions helped them understand the crisis they saw in church and society. They can be called Catholic Conservatives. Others joined traditionalist groups that were very critical of the developments and though that the Tridentine mass was the only legitimate, but still accepted the Roman popes and episcopacy. However, a much smaller group maintained that a true pope would never accept the radical changes of Vatican II, and therefore argued that the Holy See was vacant, as the pope and the curia had become heretics. A manifest heretic could not be pontiff. Furthermore, from the 1960s onwards some individuals claimed that they had been elected true popes, either by direct divine intervention or through alternative conclaves.
In this article, I will concentrate on people (males), who have claimed or still claim that they, and not the vastly more recognized popes in Rome, are the true pontiffs. I will refer to these men as papal claimants or alternative popes. From Rome’s perspective they are antipopes, while the papal claimants denounce the popes in Rome (and other alternative popes) as antipopes, who they think have nothing to do with the Catholic Church founded by Christ.
Read my full article “Modern Alternative Popes”, written in 2015 and only published online: Modern Alternative Popes