Palmarian Catholic Church

Schismatic sect with its own anti-pope. Established in 1975 by Clemente Domínguez y Gómez, an insurance broker from Seville, Spain, who claimed that the Virgin Mary appeared to him at a shrine outside the small village of El Palmar de Troya in Andalusia. In 1978 he announced that he had been crowned Pope by Jesus Christ in a vision, and established his own Holy See in Seville, taking the name Gregory XVII and naming cardinals. Domínguez later declared the Catholic Church a false church, and “excommunicated” Pope John Paul II. He later canonized Francisco Franco and Christopher Columbus. Upon Domínguez’ death in March 2005, Manuel Alonso Corral succeeded him, taking the name Peter II.