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
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On February 19, 2020, the Spanish newspaper El Confidencial published a long interview with Ginés Jesús Hernández. Between 2011 and 2016 he was Gregory XVIII, the pope of the Palmarian Catholic Church. In April 2016, he left the papacy and the church and moved to his girlfriend Nieves Triviño, whom he later married. Shortly after leaving El Palmar, he publicly claimed that the church was a hoax (see my summary of the events).
In June 2018, once again the couple made front-page news when the Spanish press reported that they had climbed over the high wall of the church compound in an attempt to rob the very centre of the Palmarian Church: the Basilica in El Palmar de Troya. In a subsequent fight, both two Palmarian bishops and the couple were wounded. Ginés Hernández was very severely injured, being stabbed in the chest. Still, he recovered and both he and his wife were prosecuted for armed robbery. In May 2019, they were sentenced to prison for six and five years respectively, but directly released on probation (see my summary of the events).
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There are several TV-documentaries about El Palmar de Troya and the Palmarian Church, but by far the most ambitious and well-researched is the new series, “El Palmar de Troya” that is broadcasted in February 2020 on the Spanish Moviestar+ Cero Channel. The series is produced by Movistar+ in collaboration with 100 Balas (The Mediapro Studio) and 93 Metros directed by Israel del Santo and with Daniel Boluda in charge of the research.
“El Palmar de Troya” includes four 55-minute episodes following the Palmarian phenomenon from the beginning in 1968 until today. It includes testimonies by former church members including ex-Pope Gregory XVIII (Ginés Hernández) and his wife Nieves Triviño, who used to be a Palmarian nun. But there are also testimonies by other ex-bishops and ex-nuns as well as former lay members. Apart from them, some outsiders, including me, talk about El Palmar and the Palmarian Church.
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Until very recently the Palmarian Catholic Church had no official internet presence at all. Even for those actively searching, it has been difficult if not impossible to find a phone number or an email address. This was highly unusual even in the world of Catholic traditionalism. Still, in the 1990s, the church maintained a very rudimentary internet site, but it was not updated and eventually disappeared.
In December 2018, however, the Palmarians suddenly launched a professionally looking multilingual website: www.palmarianchurch.org. The site includes basic information about the Palmarian Church, the Order of the Carmelites of the Holy Face and pope Peter III. On the site, one finds a lot of images and films, mainly documenting important religious feast and the basilica in El Palmar de Troya. There is also a growing number of texts: general overviews of the church’s history and teachings, apparition messages, extracts from official documents (including the catechism and the Palmarian Bible) and hagiographies as well as diatribes against the media and people considered enemies of the church.
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On June 10, 2018, began a new, bizarre chapter in the history of the Palmarian Catholic Church. The Palmarian ex-pope Ginés Jesús Hernández (earlier known as Gregory XVIII) and his wife, Nieves Triviño climbed over the high walls of the church compound at Palmar de Troya.
They were masked and armed, apparently planning to rob the cathedral, but were discovered by a Palmarian bishop who was outside the basilica. According to testimonies, they beat Bishop S with a hammer and threatened him and another bishop, J, with a knife. However, in the subsequent fight, Hernández was severely injured, while the others escaped with less serious physical injuries.
It was on April 22, 2016, Gregory XVIII (sed. 2011-2016) resigned the Palmarian papacy. He later claimed that he had lost the faith and that the whole church was a hoax. He left to live with Nieves Triviño, whom he later married. For details, see my book A Pope of Their Own, pp. 168‒177.
Here is a brief description of the events from June 10, 2018 to May 17, 2019.
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As a part of my extensive documentation and study of the Palmarian Church, I publish a sizeable collection of images that were published digitally by the Church ca. 2002.
The first document includes pictures of the apparition site at Palmar de Troya, the first chapel that was built there and not least the construction of the enormous Palmarian Basilica. It includes 129 images. See Palmar de Troya and the Palmarian Basilica
The second document includes pictures of Palmarian chapels around the world. It includes 197 images. See Palmarian Chapels worldwide.
A religious group known as the Palmarian Church plays a quite prominent role in Dan Brown’s most recent book Origin (2017.) Though Dan Brown’s Origin is a work of fiction, as in earlier works in the Robert Langdon series, he claims that the book is based on thorough research. Based on my long-time research into all things Palmarian, I have written an evaluation of the factual claims that Dan Brown makes about the Palmarian Church.
In the text, I first give a very short introduction to the history and teachings of the Palmarian Church to know what we are talking about. Then, I will say something about what “research” is or can be before I turn to my appraisal of Dan Brown’s assertions. There are statements that, indeed, are correct, while there are many claims that are wrong, half-wrong or at least very questionable. My conclusion is that there is nothing that indicates that Brown has done any individual research on the matter, let alone any thorough investigation, and has misunderstood several things in even the most easily available online sources.
Here you can read my text “Dan Brown and the Palmarian Church. Or What is this Thing Called Research”