Segundo Ubaldo Rolón (Pedro Segundo, 2007-2016). In some respects this Argentinean papal claimant is a rather typical representative for the mystically elected alternative popes. Marian apparitions played an important role for his claim as well as the assertion that humanity lives in the End Time. He had a clear focus on the events described in the Book of Revelation and their application to the present era. Still, the symbiosis between religion and politics–in this case a form of “Transcendent Peronism”–makes it quite unique.
Antonio José Hurtado (Pedro II, 1939-1955) was a Colombian, self-trained dentist. After the death of Pope Pius XI in 1939, he proclaimed himself Pope Peter II, stating that he was elected by God. Hurtado’s claim to the papacy only ended with his death in 1955. Thus, his papal claim had nothing to do with the reforms in the Roman Catholic Church in the 1960s. The following text is not built on a detailed study of primary sources, but mostly relies on secondary material, including some fine articles about this intriguing man (see list of references).
The future pope was born in 1892 in the small town of Barbosa, some 40 kilometers north of Medellín. As a young man he studied at the Thomas Aquinas Seminary in Santa Rosa de Osos, but left when his father died. Hurtado seems to have had great entrepreneurial skills and he was a quick learner. He moved to Bogotá, where he worked in many different areas without having formal training in any of them. Among other things, he became a carpenter, a tailor, a goldsmith and an ambulating photographer.
Douglas Kuzell (Petrus Romanus – One of the Two Witnesses, 2007 (2012)–). Little is known about the early life of this Canadian man who claims that he is Petrus Romanus, the last pope in history. However, from 2009 onwards, there is a great abundance of reported celestial messages received by the couple who now are known as the Two Witnesses. One of them is Douglas Kuzell, the other being his wife, now called Mary Romanus.
The messages that the couple claim to have received is collectively known as The Testimony. It is described as the divine Great Warning and as a continuous revelation about and in the End Times, as well as a revelation about the Two Witnesses’ role during that period. Taken together, The Testimony is a very extensive document. A downloaded version (February 2017) would amount to some 1500 pages. The potential source material to this papal claim is thus enormous.
Chester Olszewski from the United States is one of the least known of the modern alternative popes. He was a cradle Catholic who converted to the Episcopalian Church and became a priest. From 1974, he served as a priest in Eddystone, Pennsylvania. In the following year he became convinced that a statue of the Sacred Heart Christ, owned by a Catholic woman, Anne Poore, bled and bore the stigmata. Olszewski brought the statue to church, where he made it the central devotion.
Shortly thereafter, Olszewski and Poore claimed to be divinely chosen to restore the traditional Catholic faith; God had converted them to Catholicism. In order to re-establish the true Catholic Church, Olszewski needed to become a bishop and he soon found an independent bishop who provided him with the much sought-after apostolic succession.
On 31 May 1977, Olszewski proclaimed himself Pope Chriszekiel Elias at a ceremony in St. Lukes’s Episcopal Church in Eddystone, alleging that God himself had elected him and provided him with his new name. Later he began to call himself Peter II, the last pope in history.
Here you can read my article on the Pope of Eddystone, Anne Poore and their church. It’s the first more extensive study on the subject.
Bryan Richard Clayton (Athanasius I, 2011-?) was born in 1975 in Chicago. He briefly attended CMRI’s seminary in Omaha Nebraska. According to some sources, he thereafter received training from a traditionalist Franciscan in Mexico. Clayton was ordained a priest around 2005, and in 2007, he was consecrated a bishop by Bishop Patrick Taylor of the Society of the Virgin Mary, who resides in Buckley, West Virginia.
The Catholic Apostolic Remnant Church
This church with its alleged center in Argentina is a complicated matter. Or not. The thing is that the church does not exist in reality. Its an internet hoax. The “church” has never been able to proof it’s existence despite claiming to have a large number of cardinals, bishops and priests, so it should be considered a hoax. Still, the Remnant Church has very active webpages, and the alleged pope publishes many formal documents. Consequently, it’s created by a person or a group with much knowledge of this type of traditionalist group. It is a well-constructed hoax. According to the creators since 2006, three men have been pontiffs of the Catholic Apostolic Remnant Church.
Joaquín Llorens Grau (Alexander IX, 2005-). According to the group’s own information, a traditionalist missionary in Guatemala, Antonio Velasco founded the Congregación Mercedaria Sagrada Tradición Nuestra Señora de la Merced, Generala de los Ejércitos Celestiales, Corredentora. They claim that Velasco was consecrated by Bishop Moises Carmona of the Unión Católica Trento, who was in his turn was consecrated by Archbishop Thuc. There is, however, no independent support for this assertion. Together with six priests and nine novices, Velasco transferred to Elche (Elx) in Spanish Alicante.