Originally Posted by PiousTemplar
Just reading their story made me laugh...but we should pray for their enlightenment.
The Palmarian Catholic Church (One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Palmarian Church) is a schismatic Catholic sect with its own pope, Peter II. He is a rival pope, or "antipope," to Pope Benedict XVI.
The Palmarian Church as a group was established in 1975 by Clemente Domínguez y Gómez, an insurance broker from Seville, Spain, who claimed the Virgin Mary appeared to him at a shrine outside the small village of El Palmar de Troya in Andalucía with instructions to rid the Roman Catholic Church of "heresy and progressivism" and communism. Before Domínguez y Gómez styled himself as a seer, the seers at El Palmar de Troya had only been young children. From the start of the apparitions in 1968 until 1975, the seers could count on many devotees and considerable support from diocesan and regular priests.
Initially the group around Domínguez y Gomez did not style itself as a separate church, but as a new Roman Catholic order of conservative Carmelites (Order of Carmelites of the Holy Face or Carmelite Order of the Holy Face), inspired by the supposed apparitions and which styled itself as "faithful to the holy Pope Paul VI". This canonically unapproved Order has claimed that Paul VI (who is still honoured by them as a martyr-pope) was kept inprisoned in the Vatican by evil conspiring cardinals. Furthermore, the order has been isolated from mainstream Catholicism by its use of hallucinogenic drugs. The Order was run by laymen, but supported sacramentally by a range of Roman Catholic priests, many of whom have been parish priests for many years.
A key figure in obtaining Holy Orders for the Carmelites of Palmar de Troya was the Swiss Roman Catholic priest (Bernardine canon) Rev. Maurice Revaz. Revaz convinced the Vietnamese Roman Catholic Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc Pierre Martin of the authenticity of the apparitions in Palmar de Troya. Believing the mysticalist message of the seer-mystics in Palmar de Troya, the Archbishop believed he was called to raise two of the order's lay members (Dominguez and Corral) and three of the priests associated with the group, to the rank of bishop without permission of the Vatican in 1976. He also ordained some of its male lay members to the priesthood to secure the survival of these 'Carmelites'. Thuc and the five men he had consecrated as bishops were subsequently excommunicated by Pope Paul VI because the episcopal consecrations had been conducted without Vatican approval. Thuc cut off association with the Palmar de Troya group and asked Paul VI to be forgiven and absolved of canonical penalties, which request was met by Paul VI.
In 1978 Clemente Domínguez y Gomez set up his own Holy See in Seville claiming he had been mystically crowned Pope by Jesus Christ in a vision and that only he was the legitimate successor to Pope Paul VI. He took the name Pope Gregory XVII and named his own cardinals. By these actions the group formerly known as 'Carmelites of the Holy Face' transformed into the Palmarian Catholic Church. Some of the Roman Catholics previously associated with the Carmelites left the group because of this formation of a separate Palmarian Church, which they considered schismatic and unlawful.
Uniquely, the popes of the Palmarian Church do not claim to be the titular Bishop of Rome. Rather, they claim that Jesus mystically transferred the position of Patriarch of the West and Supreme Pontiff to the new episcopal see of Palmar de Troya.
Palmarian Pope Gregory XVII called the body generally recognized as the Roman Catholic Church a false church, saying "John Paul is seated on Rome's seven hills and holds in his hand the golden cup of filth and fornication." He excommunicated Pope John Paul II. He also canonized Francisco Franco and Christopher Columbus as saints. Paul VI was declared a martyr saint.
Since 1983 the Palmarian Church has drastically reformed its rites and its liturgy, which previously had been styled like the Latin Tridentine Mass. The Palmarian liturgy was reduced to almost solely the eucharistic words of Consecration. The See of Palmar de Troya has also declared the real presence of the Virgin Mary in the sacred host to be a dogma. The bodily assumption into heaven of St. Joseph was later declared a dogma also.
Between 1978 and 1983 many adherents left the Palmarian Church, among them key figure Rev. Maurice Revaz who had been consecrated a Palmarian bishop in mid-1976. He was reconciled to the Roman Catholic Church by Pope John Paul II in 1983, then laicized and cut all ties with the Palmar community. A similar case was Alfred Seiwert-Fleige who was ordained a priest for the Carmelites of the Holy Face in early 1976 by Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc, and consecrated a bishop around 1980. He left the Palmarian Church in 1981 and was finally reconciled as a valid clergyman to the Roman Catholic Church in 2001 by Pope John Paul II, and concelebrated at a Papal Mass at St. Peter's Square, Rome, after which he was publicly embraced by John Paul II from the papal throne.
Domínguez died in March 2005 whilst administering Palmarian Easter mass and in a vision state. His Church later declared him to be Pope Saint Gregory, XVII, the Very Great. Manuel Alonso Corral succeeded him as the Palmarian Pope Peter II. There has been some movement, in this extremely secretive church, to the more explicitly millennial.
Despite the name 'Peter II' the Pope does not claim to be 'Petrus Romanus', the last Pope, according to the Prophecy of the Popes (controversially accredited to St. Malachy of Ireland and generally disputed among many Catholics and secular scholars alike). Manuel Corral cannot, however, be Petrus Romanus as he is Pope 265 (of the middleness of the moon).