I have studied the Palmarian Church for many years. In May 2017, I published a book [EDIT, see the 2nd edition here] on the subject and through the years I have written some twenty blog posts on El Palmar de Troya and the church’s development, structure and teaching. Interestingly enough, the Palmarian Church plays a part in bestselling author Dan Brown’s most recent book, Origin, which was published in September 2017.
Why haven’t I mentioned Origin in any blog post until now? The reason is simple. I think that it is a very bad book even by Dan Brown standards. In the afterword, the author, as always, claims that the book is based on much research. I doubt it and I wonder how it is possible to write such a boring book about such an intriguing theme as the Palmarian Church. Only Dan Brown knows and does he even care?
If you want to read something good about Brown and El Palmar, I would suggest that you read Damian Thomson’s “Dan Brown’s new target?: The creepy Catholic sect with its very own pope and ‘Vatican'”, published in The Spectator in October 2017 or why not Matthew Walther’s “Dan Brown is a very bad author”, published in The Week at about the same time.
Unlike most traditionalist groups with roots in the Roman Catholic Church, the Palmarian Catholic Church does not use the Tridentine Mass Order, but a very brief version which is thought to include ”the essential parts” of that rite.
Nevertheless, in his first papal decrees in 1978, Palmarian Pope Gregory XVII (1946-2005) declared that the only rite that should be used in the Palmarian Catholic Church was the so-called Tridentine Mass, promulgated in 1570 by Pius V. Shortly thereafter, however, he made changes in the rite and introduced several new elements, and, by 1980, he referred to the rite as Latin-Tridentine-Palmarian.
A much greater change came on October 9, 1983, when Gregory XVIII promulgated a new, much briefer Mass Order, which is concentrated to offertory, consecration and sacrificial communion. Making it very brief, about five minutes long, each cleric could and should read several masses a day; in fact, they say turns of Masses, not individual ones. Likewise, concelebrating was banned, as it would lessen the number of Masses that could be read per day. In this way, the Palmarian views resembles the practise in the Renovated Church of French Pope Clement XV’s, who in the 1960s introduced a much reduced Mass liturgy, celebrating series of Masses instead. Still, unlike the Renovated church, the Palmarians only say Mass in Latin.
Continue reading “The Palmarian Order of Mass” →
One of the most important sources for the study of the teachings of the Palmarian Catholic Church is their catechism. Those who consult the book will find doctrines that have much in common with traditional Roman Catholicism, but also very different teachings. Throughout the years, the church has published many versions of the catechism, including basic, intermediate and superior levels. Below you will find a scanned version of Palmarian Catechism: Superior Grade, which was promulgated by Pope Peter III (Markus Josef Odermatt; Fr. Eliseo María) on June 29, 2016. The book was published by the Secretariat of His Holiness, El Palmar de Troya in 2016.
Palmarian Catechism-part 1
Palmarian Catechism-part 2
To read more about Palmarian doctrine and the history of the church, see my new book, A Pope of Their Own, which is downloadable here
In 2005, Manuel Alonso Corral (Fr. Isidoro María) succeeded Gregory XVII (Clemente Domínguez Goméz) as pope of the Palmarian Catholic Church. He took Peter II as his papal name. Manuel Alonso and Clemente Domínguez had been friends since 1969, and Manuel was an important organizer of the movement that followed in the steps of the alleged apparitions to Clemente: the foundation of a religious order, the consecration of bishops, and, finally, in 1978, the founding of the Palmarian church and the proclamation of Clemente Domínguez, as the true pope.
Below you will find scanned versions of all the 30 apostolic letters that Peter II issued during his pontificate (2005-2011).
Peter II apostolic letters 1-10
Peter II apostolic letters 11-20
Peter II apostolic letters 21-30
For a study of the pontificate of Peter II and on the general history of the Palmarian Church, please see my new book, A Pope of Their Own, which is downloadable here.
EDIT: The second edition of the book, published in 2020, is available here.
My book on the Palmarian Church is available online.
Lundberg, Magnus. A Pope of Their Own: Palmar de Troya and the Palmarian Church.
Series: Uppsala Studies in Church History, volume 1.
Uppsala: Uppsala University, Department of Theology, 2017.
Full-text is available here
Abstract: A Pope of Their Own
Continue reading “Book on the Palmarian Church” →
There is a Facebook group that I have referred to several times, and which is devoted to critical studies on the Palmarian Church. It provides a forum for ex-Palmarians, others who have been affected by the church as well as outsiders, like myself, who have an interest in this group. Particularly during 2016, when pope Gregory XVIII left the church, the Facebook group developed into the most important source of information to all things Palmarians, publishing news, images and documents.
Now, they have published another recent document written by Pope Peter III. It’s his fourth Apostolic Letter, dated on December 8, 2016. The letter-here in its English version-contains six pages of information about the histories of three devotions that are important to Palmarians (as well as to many Roman Catholics): The Infant Jesus of Prague, Our Many of Perpetual Succour and Mary Auxiliatrix. Nevertheless, the first two pages of the apostolic letter includes the Palmarian pope’s description of the current situation of the church, the ex-pope and not least diatribes against ex-Palmarians and Palmarians who have contact with such people, providing them with information.
Peter III Apostolic Letter, December 2016
In November 2016, the Facebook group also published a brief papal report about the ceremonies at the Cathedral-Basilica of Our Lady of Palmar on October 12 and 13, 2016. This document is also found here:
Continue reading “Recent Documents by Palmarian Pope Peter III, November 2016-January 2017” →
This is a link to a very unusual video. It is filmed in the cathedral-basilica of Palmar de Troya in Andalusia, in mid-July 2016 at the official crowning of pope Peter III, who has acted as pope since late April, when his predecessor Gregory XVIII left.
I have never seen a longer video from within the cathedral. It shows a finished church with lots of golden and silvery paraphernalia, and plenty of Palmarian clergy in full ornate. More than twenty bishops are present and behind a screen it is possible to see about the same number of nuns.
The faithful who fill the church include a large number of children, women wearing mantilla and men wearing dark brown shirts and trousers. Footage include the papal crowning, the celebration of the mass, according to the Palmarian rite, the handing out of the communion and different processions inside and outside the cathedral.
Video from the Palmarian cathedral July 2016
Since news about the 22 of April escape of Pope Gregory XVIII from Palmar de Troya was made public by me and others, there have been many articles about the matter in the Spanish press. The combination of a hermetically closed religious group and a pope leaving to live with his girlfriend, claiming that he does not believe in the church teachings anymore is of course thrilling to many, including me.
Below you will find links to a selection of articles published from late April onwards. Many are quite interesting and not too speculative, including several interviews with the ex-pope, who now wants to “turn the page”and leave everything behind him, presenting the Palmarian church as a “scam” (montaje).
By May 2016, one month after the departure of ex-pope Gregory from Palmar de Troya, several Spanish TV channels have broadcast longer documentaries about the history of the Palmarians and the current events.
Continue reading “Media Coverage of the Palmarian Church, April-September 2016” →
The Facebook group The Palmarian Church/Iglesia Palmariana, which is directed to ex-Palmarians and others interested in the developments in the church, recently published Palmarian pope Peter III‘s first apostolic letter. Below you will find a scanned version of the original, which is written in German. Here’s a brief summary of the German text.
Continue reading “The New Palmarian Pope’s First Apostolic Letter” →
I have received a very shocking and well-written text from Joshua Daly from Ireland, who was a member of the Palmarian church from his birth in 1991 until early 2015. It is one of the few detailed testimonies about the extremely harsh conditions that Palmarians had to suffer during the papacy of Gregory XVIII (2011-2015), the man who now is giving cozy interviews in Spanish media and pretends that he is a victim of an elaborate hoax. This document shows that Gregory XVIII was the harshest of the Palmarian popes. I sincerely thank Joshua Daly for allowing me to publish his very important text in extenso:
Continue reading “Testimony from within the Palmarian Church” →