Self-proclaimed 'Pope' Gregory

Courier Mail, Australia/March 24, 2005

Religious leader

Born Seville, Spain, April 29, 1946

Died Utrera, Spain, March 22, 2005

The self-proclaimed Spanish "pope", right, who claimed the Vatican was controlled by the devil, had a vision of the Virgin Mary before being blinded in a car accident in 1976.

Clemente Dominguez Gomez, otherwise known as Pope Gregorio XVII, considered current Pope John Paul II to be the "anti-pope". Fr Gomez declared himself head of the Catholic Church on the death of Paul VI in 1978.

The 58-year-old said he had received a message from the Virgin Mary in 1969 telling him to prepare to proclaim himself Catholic Church leader under the title of Gregory XVII of the "Carmelite Order of the Holy Face".

Influenced by radical French excommunicated priest Marcel Lefebvre, he became an ordained priest and then, in 1976, was ordained a bishop by Vietnamese bishop Pedro Martin Ngo-Din Thuc in a liturgy not recognised by the Catholic hierarchy.

Fr Gomez had a high-walled basilica built at Palmar de Troya with his order, estimated to include several hundred worshippers, being recognised as a religious association by Spanish authorities in 1988. He liberally canonised those he judged suitable, including the late Spanish military dictator General Francisco Franco as well as Christopher Columbus.

To see more documents/articles regarding this group/organization/subject click here.