Irrational Apparition Followers

El Palmar de Troya, Spain

In 1968 just outside of Seville, Spain three young girls claimed to witness an apparition of the Virgin Mary above an Olive tree near the town of Palmar De Troya. This lasted 7 years until 1975 and attracted many followers and even support from diocesan and regular priests. At this point it may or may not have been a true apparition because I don’t know anything about these apparitions or even if there was any message.  Also, at this point I cannot say that the followers were irrational, which means not rational, or illogical, even stupid.  However, in 1975 things changed and all the above can be applied to the followers of this apparition.

Among the many followers there also came two Spanish individuals, Clemente Dominguez y Gomez (an accountant and insurance broker from Seville with an erratic history) & Alonso Manuel Corral (a shrewd Lawyer). These two guys, and in particular Clemente, claimed to also see the apparition and receive messages.  As a result of these two guys, things went from a simple prayer group of followers into a full blown Cult with Clemente crowning himself Pope (Gregory XVII) with Corral as his Secretary of State (Fr Isidore).

Clemente became Pope Gregory XVII, because, as he said, Christ crowned him Pope.  He founded the Palmarian Catholic Church (One Holy Catholic Apostolic and Palmarian Church).  This is a schismatic sect with its own pope, now Peter II. He is held as an antipope (a false claimant to the papacy) by the Roman Catholic Church.

How is it possible that such an irrational claim could have been accepted by so many people to the point that this new schismatic sect could have so many followers, millions of dollars in donations, and even real priests and one bishop accepting them as true?

The Palmarian Church as a group was established in 1975 (right after the apparitions of the three young girls ended) by Clemente Domínguez y Gómez. It already had a large following because of the three innocent girls, and was simply taken over by two very clever men, who knew that many people were unhappy with the changes in the Church since Vatican II.  He convinced them that the Virgin selected him to clean up the mess and form a remnent of “special people” to move the Church from Rome to Palmar.  He 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.

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 honored by them as a martyr-pope) was detained in the Vatican by Catholic cardinals. Furthermore, the order has been isolated from mainstream Catholicism by its use of hallucinogenic drugs. The Order is 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. This is a departure from traditional Roman Catholic doctrine, which identifies the Pope with the Bishop of Rome and holds that personal revelations are not universally binding on the whole Church.

The Palmarian Church claims to have 60 priests (all of whom are bishops), 70 nuns and 2,000 followers. It has chapels in Britain and Latin America as well as Australia and New Zealand.

Palmarian Pope Gregory XVII called 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.", and declared Pope John Paul II excommunicated. He also canonized Francisco Franco and Christopher Columbus as saints and declared Paul VI a martyr saint, according to the group's claim he had been kept a hostage and drugged in the Vatican while Masonic cardinals usurped his authority.

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 and the bodily assumption into heaven of St. Joseph to be a dogma. By 2004 they had their own version of the Bible.

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, 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 and took the name, 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), as he does not claim to be the Bishop (titular orotherwise) of Rome and has no personal ties to Rome either.

To see pictures and their own propaganda see:  You will be surprised at the money they have generated and the great number of followers.

The Palmarian Catholics generally accept the conventional list of popes but none after Paul VI’s deathe in 1978/

Clemente claimed visions, prophecies & staged stigmata & other scared wounds, he also lost his eyes in a car crash & was blind from 76 until 05 when he died.    

Comments of ex-members:
”All I know of Clemente … is that his mother is not a follower of her son & described him as "disturbed" to the Spanish media.”

”All funding came from donations, several people were very rich & gave vast amounts, I heard of one Boston woman who in her will left millions (I'm not sure of the exact figure but I think it was somewhere between 10-20 million, I could be corrected on that figure though).”

”At their height one could only imagine the amount of money they brought in, as well as the Basilica, statues, robes etc; Clemente & his closest confidants went out almost every night & spent thousands on having a good time, apparently one restaurant in Seville added an extension specifically to accommodate them.”

”There are also stories of Corral walking around with plastic bags full of bank notes, putting them through all their bank accounts, at this point it was not illegal to have several bank accounts in the same name, they are also tax-exempt as a religious organization, they had to remove the word Cult from their teachings to gain this title. They actually used to use the term in describing themselves.”

"Sinéad O'Connor went through a form of ordination in a Lourdes hotel bedroom. The ceremony was performed by Thucite "Bishop" Michael Cox, who claims to be bishop superior of the Irish Orthodox Catholic and Apostolic Church (cf. The Irish Times, May 5, 1999).”

Cox's consecrator was "Bishop" Ciaran (Kevin?) Broadbery who, according to "Bishop" Pat Buckley (The Irish Times, April 29, 1999) was "laicized by the Bishop of Ferns and is now married."

"Bishop" Broadbery was consecrated by then "Bishop" Clemente Gómez who, upon the death of Pope Paul VI, declared himself to be Pope Gregory XVII of the Holy Palmarian Church.”

”Pope Gregory himself was consecrated by Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc, former Archbishop of Hue. Archbishop Ngo Dinh Thuc earned for himself and for all those consecrated by him and their consecrands ipso facto excommunication for consecrating a bishop without a papal mandate."

“Here is a list of rules that Palmarian's have to follow:

1. Woman may not wear trousers.
2. Shorts are banned
3. It is forbidden to wear any shirt or similar garment with short sleeves.
4. Sleeves can only be rolled up for the duration of any work such as washing dishes etc.
5. Females must wear skirts no shorter than two fingers width below the knee.
6. Tights are banned as they are classed as mens attire. Female teens and adults may only wear stockings, female children only socks.
7. Female babies cannot wear all in one baby suits.
8. Shirts and blouses must be buttoned to the neck.
9. You cannot play any sport that requires you to wear short sleeves or shorts.
10. Visiting beaches is banned.
11. All voting banned. e.g. Local and general elections, referendums etc.
12. Visiting and using swimming pools is banned.
13. Visiting night clubs is banned
14. Denim cloth is banned, therefore wearing jeans is banned.
15. Listening to popular / modern music is banned.
16. Watching boxing matches is banned.
17. Attending non-Palmarian religious services such as weddings, funerals, christenings etc is banned, for all non Palmarians, even family.
18. Males are banned from dying or bleaching hair
19. Males cannot wear ear jewelry or other face jewelry.
20. Receiving organ transplants is banned.
21. Leaving or providing organs for transplant is banned.
22. All contraception is banned.
23. Disco’s are banned.
24. Later introduced in addition to rule 16, All functions associated with non Palmarian religious services such as wedding breakfasts, evening functions, i.e. social functions before or after, christenings, weddings, funerals etc are banned you cannot attend even if function is family or relatives.
25. Later above rule no. 5 was changed to increase the length of skirts below the knee from 2 to 4 or 5 fingers width.
26. Children must be told Christmas presents are from parents and not Santa Claus as he doesn’t exist
27. New Bible introduced, any copies of any other bibles must be burnt. This bible was authored in Spain and has many changes in comparison to the standard bible.
28. TV programs that have people or cartoon characters outside the Palmarian dress code may not be watched. In effect this is most television, it would encompass news, documentaries, etc. etc.
29. No social contact with any persons not dressed to the Palmarian dress code. This in effect means virtually all non-Palmarians.
30. Nobody allowed in the home if not dressed to Palmarian dress code except workmen.
31. In work, contact with non-palmarian co-workers must be kept to a minimum, i.e. only talk to when necessary to carry out the job and no social chat.
32. Only religious books approved by Palmar are allowed all others banned and must be burnt. This in effect means virtually any non Palmarian authored book is banned.
33. Any photos/images with priests who have left the order must be burn/destroyed.
34. Religious films are banned.
35. All prayers and hymns not contained in the Palmarian missal are banned
36. Birthday candles on birthday cakes are banned.
37. Contact with anyone including relatives who are living with partners and not married is banned. This would include all marriages outside the Palmarian Church since the early 1980's as these marriages are considered invalid.
38. Throwing coins in a fountain/well/water is banned.
39. Children must be removed to another room from their classes where non palmarian religious instruction is given.
40. Horoscopes are banned
41. Movies containing references to magic are banned.
42. The neckline of a shirt or blouse etc must when worn be at least 2 fingers width above the breast bone.
43. Christmas trees are banned.
44. Images of Santa Claus are banned
45. Giving or opening presents on Christmas day (25th December) is banned.
46. Christmas presents must be given and opened on the feast of the Epiphany

“Regarding the Car accident, there were 3 or 4 people in the car late at night, Clemente in the front passenger seat, when the car was overtaken by "demonic forces" and went off the road & hit a tree or pole, the glass from the shattered windshield lacerated Clemente's eyeballs & they had to be removed. The others in the car emerged unhurt as far as I know. Other than his loss of sight he had only minor injuries that healed quickly.”

”The whole thing is Vaticanized so that the faithful (who defected to Palmar in the light of Vatican II) would believe that Clemente was carrying on the "True Church" That’s how he hooked his followers.”

”As for the stigmata I totally agree with your observations, he's showing it off with pride for the onlookers & cameras. That particular wound came from the incident with the shard of glass that I mentioned earlier.”

”He wasn't too happy about his eyes though, he never got to see his mini empire for himself, he used to get drunk and go into depression over his blindness, I've been told.”

”On a last note he claimed to the Palmarians that the Virgin Mary appeared to him during Mass & for his great service offered him his eyesight back, but good oul' Clemente said No. He would wait a little longer for penance.”

”Convenient huh?”

”He offered everyone that they would be spared in the coming war with the Anti-Christ, where he would become a Military Leader & Emperor & lead Gods army to victory, take back Jerusalem, march into Moscow & convert them all to Palmar, Oh and of course, Moses himself would come down from the Planet of Mary to fight alongside him.” 

All that is true!!”

“They say all mass in Latin, everything.  They say the Rosary everyday & have other Masses that the devised, every Easter & Christmas they have a week of praying where all the faithful from around the world congregate at the Basilica. This is how I met Clemente, Corral & other Bishops.”

”The Basilica is surrounded by a huge wall with only one gate in, this is guarded by men with machine guns & guard dogs (I'm not kidding here, I seen it myself).”

”In my opinion & experience with these guys they are very dangerous & just prior to Clemente's death his sermons were becoming more militant & martyrdom references were commonplace. I shudder to think what he would have done if he had lived.”

”Corral (now Pope Peter II) I'm not sure about, I don't think he likes being Pope, he preferred to run the show from behind the scenes.”


I am posting this Newsletter on the same day that I also post a Newsletter on a true apparition, Our Lady of America.  This will give you a good comparison to judge the true from the false, the obedient from the disobedient, the irrational from the rational, the logical from the stupid.  What is sad, is that tens of millions of dollars are pumped into these false apparitions and little is done to help, promote and bring about the requests of Our Lady in the true apparitions.  How God will judge these irrational followers I do not know, but I do know that it angers me.  I hope that it does not anger God, but I think it must.

Richard Salbato  11-09-2007