Are there any individuals who are claiming to be the pope that are not Pope Francis?

I came across the Wikipedia link on the Palmarian Catholic Church and they claim to have their own Pope. And it is not Pope Francis!

Their present leader is Gregory XVIII.

Claim to the papacy

Following the death of Paul VI in 1978, Domínguez claimed that he had been mystically crowned pope by Jesus Christ in a vision. This reported vision took place in Santa Fe de Bogotá in Colombia, on the 6th of August 1978. He took the papal name Gregory XVII, and appointed his own cardinals. By these actions, the "Carmelites of the Holy Face" evolved into the Palmarian Catholic Church. Some Catholics previously associated with the Carmelites left the group as a result.

The popes of the Palmarian Church do not claim to be the titular bishop of Rome. Rather, they claim that Christ transferred the position of Patriarch of the West and Supreme Pontiff to the new episcopal see of El Palmar de Troya. This is a departure from traditional Catholic doctrine, which identifies the papacy with the bishop of Rome. Catholic teaching also holds that personal revelations are not binding on the Church as a whole.

In his capacity as pope, Domínguez called the Catholic Church a false church and declared Pope John Paul II excommunicated. Gregory XVII canonized Franco, Escrivá, and Columbus; and declared Paul VI a martyr or saint with Palmarian Catholic faith. - Palmarian Catholic Church

My question is quite simple:

What other individuals or groups, if any, claim to have a Catholic pope in lieu of the the Sovereign Pontiff who resides at the Vatican and who is presently known as Pope Francis?

  • 1
    This raises a good question no one will ever answer here, "According to the Palmarian Catholic Church by what criteria was Francisco Franco canonized?"
    – Peter Turner
    Oct 14, 2019 at 16:44
  • @PeterTurner Go for i!
    – Ken Graham
    Oct 14, 2019 at 17:48

1 Answer 1


Yes, there have been several. Salza & Siscoe's True or False Pope (1st ed.) pp. 7-8:

Mirko Fabris (d. 2012), a stand-up comedian from Croatia, was elected by a "Conclave" in 1978 and became "Pope" Krav (his stage name). David Bawden, a seminary drop-out who lives with his mother in a farmhouse in Kansas, was elected "Pope" Michael by six lay people including his parents in 1990. During his "reign," Bawden has had to compete with various other Sedevacantist groups who have elected their own "Popes" – namely, Linus II (in 1994), Pius XIII (in 1998), Leo XIV (in 2006), Innocent XIV (in 2007), and Alexander IX (in 2007). Still other Sedevacantists have simply declared themselves Pope without an election, even claiming their election came from Heaven itself, such as Gregory XVII (in 1968), Emmanuel (in 1973), another Gregory XVII (in 1978), Peter II (1980), Gregory XIV (in 1983), another Peter II (in 1995), yet another Peter II (in 2005), Gregory XVIII (in 2011), and John Paul III (in 2015), among others.

David Bawden ("Pope Michael I") from Kansas is one such anti-pope. He has no apostolic succession, being invalidly elected by a conclave comprised of laymen, including his parents and four others. Pope Michael: A Documentary Film is free to watch online.

Conclavists are sedevacantists who elect their own popes.


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