Maurice Archieri (Peter II, 1995-2016), born 1923 was a former car mechanical, who lived in Le Perreux-sur-Marne, France. After an “intellectual vision” at Pentecost 1995, he claimed to be Vicar of Christ (in spiritualibus) in the end times. He took the name Peter II but did not claim to be the pope. The reason given by Archieri was that there could be no pope in the current era, as the Roman Church had “eclipsed” and no orthodox Roman hierarchy was left. According to Archieri the true church in the end time is L’Église Réelle Occultée, the Real Hidden Church, and not the Roman Catholic Church.
Valeriano Vestini (Valerian I, 1990-1995) was born Olinto Vestini, taking the name Valeriano when he joined the Capuchin order. He later became superior of the Mater Domini monastery in Chieti. In 1983, a local woman called Rita claimed to have dreams which featured Vestini as a representative of Padre Pio. The dreams included a divine command: that the group around her should work for the salvation of souls, joining forces with the seers of Lourdes, Fatima and Medjugorje. Rita left the group in 1989, and the role as the voice-box of heaven was taken over by Nicola Di Carlo and Alessandro Di Donato.
Aimé Baudet (Peter II or Peter Athanasius II, 1984?) is a Belgian man, who lived in Brussels. According to some reports, this man enthroned pope before St. Peter’s grave in 1984. Allegedly, he was a Palmarian ex-bishop. Still, this seems to be something of an urban legend.
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.
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”.
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]
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.
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”
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.
Although the religious situation in Palmar de Troya was very weak before the first apparitions in 1968, it was not extreme (For a study of the early apparitions). In many rural parts of southern Spain, the share of Catholics who practiced their faith by going to church regularly was low. Only a small minority fulfilled the church’s precepts: confessing and taking communion at least once a year. Priests were rare guests and, due to their working conditions, day laborers had few possibilities to attend religious services.