Skip to comments.‘Pope Michael’ Performs Duties in Kansas Plains
Posted on 05/29/2005 7:29:40 PM PDT by marshmallow
DELIA, Kan. (AP) The weathered, blue farmhouse stands just off a dirt road in the rolling hills northwest of Topeka.
There are childrens toys lined up in the yard and irises blooming in the garden around a statue of the Virgin Mary. Satellite dishes and solar panels point toward the southern sky.
"Good morning," the dark-haired man on the front porch says. "How are you? Im Pope Michael."
This is David Bawden.
He has never been ordained as a priest and hasnt been to Mass since 1989. But to his tiny flock, numbering about 100 and scattered as far away as India and Australia, he is the rightful leader of the Catholic Church.
Bawden, 45, has claimed the title of Michael I since 1990, when he was elected by six people two of them his mother and now-deceased father meeting in his fathers consignment store in nearby Belvue. He has maintained his "Vatican in Exile" near Delia for the past dozen years.
And yes, he has heard all the wisecracks.
"Junk Store Pope."
"Thrift Shop Pope."
If that bothers him or his mother, Clara, with whom he shares the farmhouse he doesnt show it.
"They called Jesus a kook, too," he says.
Even most other traditionalists who reject the reforms of the Second Vatican Council in the 1960s and maintain that no legitimate pope has ruled from the Vatican since Pope Pius XII died in 1958 dismiss his election, which they largely ignored despite what Bawden said were months of preparations and publicity.
"They had the right idea (i.e., that an election was necessary), but the wrong execution," the Rev. Robert Lyons, a cardinal in the "true Catholic Church" led by the Rev. Lucian Pulvermacher, wrote in an e-mail.
Pulvermacher, a former Capuchin priest who took the name Pope Pius XIII after his followers elected him in 1998, lives near Spokane, Wash.
At least 10 other people around the world have claimed the papacy since 1958, some by election and some by what they said was divine revelation.
"Bawden was elected pope by his parents and a lady friend," Lyons wrote. "Anyone with an ounce of common sense would see such as a flawed election."
But to the "lady friend," author Teresa Benns, the fact that Bawden was the only eligible man present at the 1990 election was a sign from God.
"I had never considered him a real candidate until the very day of the election," said Benns, who lives in La Garita, Colo. "We had expected priests. We had expected more response. It was a disappointing thing, but it was like God saying, This is the choice I give you. "
And to Bawden and his followers, low numbers mean nothing.
"The communion of saints consists of all the people in heaven, in purgatory and the militant on Earth," Clara Bawden said. "Were the militant. Weve got a few people here. Weve got all the people in purgatory and all the people in heaven on our side."
David Bawden, who was born in Oklahoma City in 1959, said he had no plans to lead disaffected Catholics when he and Benns wrote "Will the Catholic Church Survive the 20th Century?" and published it in early 1990.
"That was never the intention," he said. "I figured it was my duty to do all I could to bring about a papal election. God would provide someone. Id leave that up to him."
Raised by parents who rejected Vatican IIs changes, which included allowing Mass to be celebrated in local languages rather than only in Latin, he had attended two seminaries run by The Society of Saint Pius X. The priestly society professes loyalty to the pope but rejects the reforms of the 1960s and is considered schismatic by the Vatican.
Dismissed from a Michigan seminary in 1978, he moved to St. Marys, only a few miles from Delia, and took a job at a society-run college in an effort to prove himself worthy of being readmitted to the seminary.
But by 1984, disillusioned with the society after his seminary application was rejected, he had come to the position of sedevacantism, the belief that the throne of St. Peter was vacant and that everyone who had held it since 1958 was a heretic who was unfit for the job.
He based that on statements made in the 1940s and 1950s by then-Cardinal Angelo Roncalli, who became Pope John XXIII in 1958.
Those statements appear to put Orthodox and Protestant Christianity on the same level as Catholicism. That, Bawden said, made Roncalli guilty of heresy and therefore ineligible to become pope and made all his successors anti-popes as well.
"My home is Rome," Bawden said. He then added with a laugh, "But I dont see getting there until Benedict XVI moves out of my apartment."
LOL! You can't make this stuff up.
LOL lord have mercy!
Actually, you know I think he's onto something. Those that are dissatisfied with the RC church should take a page from the hootnanny fundies. Go and form your own church with your own pope.
Too funny. This from a Pulvermacher "cardinal". At least the author of this story went to a fitting "Vatican-in-exile" expert. LOL
OK, I think this is the best one, posing next to a large rock like thing, seems to give him added credibility. ;-)
Looks like we now have a distributed networked papacy. Call it Popester.
I think we might have some of them here...lol.
I am beginning to come to the conclusion that sedevacantism is, in fact, either a mood or personality disorder.
"LOL! You can't make this stuff up."
Gosh, we can't have people from such humble origins being made pope! They first have to have a long career of manipulation, flirt with heresy and be so erudite beyond comprehension.
Dismissed from a Michigan seminary in 1978, and But by 1984, disillusioned with the society after his seminary application was rejected,
It is LOL funny. Sounds like he had some disappointments. Join the crowd. Yet it irks me when they pass off nutjobs like him as legit Catholic news, while others, say those who think they are president, are immediately dismissed and the article is written under the 'silliness' or 'weird' news sections. Me? I'm Queen of all around me!
Is this a great country or what?
I just have to ask, what is his FR name?
They don't make anti-popes like they used to.
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