Francis Konrad Maria Schuckardt (Hadrian VII 1978?/1984?-) was born in Seattle in 1937. He graduated from a Jesuit University in 1959 and briefly entered the priest seminary in Carthage, Missouri, which he had to leave due to illness. Thereafter, he worked as a high school teacher and was very active in the Blue Army of Our Lady of Fatima, eventually becoming a member of its International Council. In the mid-1960s, however, Schuckardt was dismissed from the Blue Army for publically condemning Vatican II, and he became one of the first active sedevacantists in the United States.
Category: Modern alternative popes
Modern Alternative Popes 7: Chriszekiel Elias/Peter II
See updated article here:
Chriszekal Elias a.k.a Peter II: The Pope of Eddystone, Pennsylvania
Modern Alternative Popes 6: The New Universal Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
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”.
Continue reading “Modern Alternative Popes 6: The New Universal Church of the Sacred Heart of Jesus”
Modern Alternative Popes 5: The Palmarian Church
The Palmarian church evolved from a series of purported apparitions at Palmar de Troya in Spanish Andalusia from 1968 onwards. One of the seers, Clemente Domínguez Gómez and his brother in arms, Manuel Alonso Corral soon began to dominate the cult. The movement led by them became institutionalized. A religious order was founded, priests were ordained a bishops consecrated. At the death of Paul VI, in 1978, Clemente Domínguez testified that Christ had crowned him pope under the name Gregory XVII. The Holy See was moved to Palmar de Troya and the Holy Catholic Apostolic Palmarian Church was founded. The first pope was thus mystically elected, but he elected his successor Manuel Alonso (Peter II), who in his turn appointed Ginés Jesús Hernández Martínez (Gregory XVIII) his successor. When Gregory XVIII left the church in 2016 he was succeeded by the Swiss Markus Joseph Odermatt (Peter III)
For a detailed study on the Palmarian church, see my 2017 book A Pope of their Own: El Palmar de Troya and the Palmarian Church [2nd edition, 2020]
Modern Alternative Popes 4: The Legio Maria
Without any doubt, the Legio Maria, founded in Kenya in the early 1960s, is the largest of the churches in this overview. Although it is very difficult to estimate the numbers of followers, some researchers state around one million followers, while some give even higher estimates. During its existence, it has had at least three popes. The founder, Simeo Ondeto could be included, too, but he was also considered the Messiah, and today they are two claimants to the Legio Maria papacy.
Continue reading “Modern Alternative Popes 4: The Legio Maria”
Modern Alternative Popes 3: Apostles of Infinite Love, Canada
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.
Continue reading “Modern Alternative Popes 3: Apostles of Infinite Love, Canada”
Modern Alternative Popes 2: Apostles of Infinite Love, France
The relations between the popes related to the Apostles of Infinite Love is a complicated matter. The first pope, Clement XV, asserted that he from 1950 onwards assisted Pius XII and that he continued to support John XXII under his pontificate. To him, both Pius and John were true popes, though enemies in the Curia hindered them from acting freely. In short, they needed help from Pope Clement.
First with the election of Paul VI, in 1963, Clement claimed that he was the only true pope, moving the Holy See to Clémery, the small French town where he lived. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, the Apostles were divided into several groups, and a Canadian cardinal declared that he had been divinely chosen to replace the founder and took the name (John) Gregory XVII. Several other splinter groups appeared, and after Clement’s death in 1974, at least two other men have claimed to be his papal successor. Continue reading “Modern Alternative Popes 2: Apostles of Infinite Love, France”
Modern Alternative Popes 1: Introduction
This is the first of 24 posts on post-World War II alternative popes (“antipopes” from the perspective of the Roman Catholic Church). Here I give an overview of different kinds of post-Vatican II traditionalist groups, including sedevacantists, who believe that the pope in Rome is not the true pope. I also discuss two types of alternative popes: those who claim supernatural election (“mystically elect”) and those who have been chosen in some type of conclave (“conclavists”). This post will be a useful introduction to the following 20 posts on different alternative popes and religious groups.
The Palmarian Church
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
Here is another article about the Palmarians, published in Nova Religio in 2013.
Modern Alternative Popes
“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