Lucian Pulvermacher
Pope Pius XIII
ChurchTrue Catholic Church
Papacy began24 October 1998[1]
Papacy ended30 November 2009
Opposed to
Personal details
Earl Pulvermacher

(1918-04-20)20 April 1918
Rock, Wisconsin, United States
Died30 November 2009(2009-11-30) (aged 91)
Springdale, Stevens County, Washington, United States

Lucian Pulvermacher (born Earl Pulvermacher, 20 April 1918 – 30 November 2009) was a traditionalist schismatic Roman Catholic priest and a modern-day antipope. He was the head of the True Catholic Church, a small conclavist group that elected him Pope Pius XIII[1][2][3] in Montana in October 1998. At the time of his death, he lived in Springdale, Washington, United States.

Life and career

Early life

Born on April 20, 1918, in Rock, Wisconsin, near Marshfield, Earl Pulvermacher was one of nine children of a farm family.[4] His three brothers (Robert, Omer, and Gerald) also became priests in the Capuchin Order.[5] [6]

Capuchin friar

In 1942, at the age of 24, he joined the Capuchin Order, taking the religious name Lucian. He was subsequently ordained to the priesthood on June 5, 1946.[7] At first he was posted to a parish in Milwaukee, but in 1948 he was sent to the Ryukyu Islands of Japan.[8][9] He spent the greater part of his career as a Capuchin (from 1948 to 1970) in the Ryukyu Islands, including Okinawa. In 1970, he was transferred from Japan to Queensland in Australia, where he continued his missionary work until his disillusionment with the changes that followed the Second Vatican Council of 1962–1965.[10]

Traditionalist ministry

In January 1976 he left the Capuchin Order and returned to the United States to join forces with traditionalist priest Conrad Altenbach in Milwaukee. "I was without money," he later remembered, "without a home or anything. The few things I brought along with me I could carry in two bags." He left what he called "the Novus Ordo, bogus Council Vatican II Church" and began to collaborate with the Society of Saint Pius X, which rejected Vatican II, until he distanced himself from them as he adopted more extreme sedevacantist views. He later wrote that he had spent eight months "with the general Latin Mass traditionalists until I saw there was no unity. Hence, I am alone on the job here in the States since August 1976."[1][9][10][11]

From 1976 on, Pulvermacher lived with his parents in Pittsville, Wisconsin, celebrating Mass in the traditional rite in private chapels, until 1992, when he moved his ministry to Antigo, Wisconsin. By 1995 he had adopted conclavist views. In 1998 he moved to Kalispell, Montana, invited to say Mass in a chapel there.[9]

In October 1998 a group of sedevacantist lay Catholics met in Kalispell, constituting a conclave for a papal election. They elected him, and he adopted the title of "Pope Pius XIII".[1][12] From Montana he issued statements, appointed advisors as cardinals, and performed ordination rites. After 2005, he made no more public statements as his health declined.[9]

Pulvermacher died on November 30, 2009.[13][14]

Holy Orders

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Pulvermacher claimed that by becoming Pope, he would become able to confer the Sacrament of Holy Orders despite not actually being consecrated a bishop before.[15][better source needed][16][better source needed] He then ordained Gordon Bateman on June 13, 1999[17][better source needed] and eventually consecrated him a bishop on June 20, 1999.[18][better source needed] After this, Bateman consecrated Pulvermacher on July 4, 1999.[19][better source needed] Although Pulvermacher and Bateman claimed to be bishops, no other religion with apostolic succession has recognized them as such.[citation needed]

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Perrin, Luc (2013). "La question de l'autorité dans le traditionalisme catholique". Revue des Sciences Religieuses (in French) (87/1): 61–76. doi:10.4000/rsr.1306. ISSN 0035-2217. Quelques sédévacantistes ont poussé leur logique jusqu'à devenir des antipapes, tel le P. Lucian Pulvermacher ofm cap (1918-2009), entré en dissidence en 1976 d'abord au côté de la F.S.SP. X avant d'en être éloigné et de se faire élire par un micro-conclave en 1998 en tant que Pie XIII.
  2. ^ Joseph P. Laycock (3 November 2014). The Seer of Bayside: Veronica Lueken and the Struggle to Define Catholicism. Oxford University Press. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-19-937967-5. Father Lucian Pulvermacher of Springdale, Montana, argued that Paul VI's predecessor, John XXIII, had defected to Freemasonry during a secret ceremony held in Turkey in 1935. On October 24, 1994, Pulvermacher was "elected" pope by a conclave consisting primarily of his own family and held in rural Montana.
  3. ^ Christopher Hodapp; Alice Von Kannon (4 February 2011). Conspiracy Theories and Secret Societies For Dummies. John Wiley & Sons. p. 318. ISBN 978-1-118-05202-0. Father Lucian Pulvermacher, known to his flock as Pope Pius XIII... Pulvermacher was elected pope on October 24, 1994, in a conclave held in rural Montana.
  4. ^ "His Holiness Pope Pius XIII". Archived from the original on September 27, 2012. Retrieved 18 August 2010.((cite web)): CS1 maint: unfit URL (link)
  5. ^ "Parents and Siblings of His Holiness Pope Pius XIII",; accessed August 19, 2021.
  6. ^ "Obituary for Fr. Carl Pulvermacher"
  7. ^ The Messenger, vol. 9, no. 3 (March 1946)
  8. ^ Catholic Answers: Karl's E-Letter of April 6, 2004 (archived copy)
  9. ^ a b c d Magnus Lundberg (15 May 2016). "Modern Alternative Popes: Pius XIII". Retrieved 23 August 2018.
  10. ^ a b Warnung vor "Papst Pius XIII." - KzM(letter of Pulvermacher quoted on German sedevacantist website)
  11. ^ "Biography on True Catholic website". Retrieved 2018-08-23.
  12. ^ Thomas J. Craughwell (February 23, 2013). "We Have An American Pope!". The American Spectator. Retrieved 20 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Death of A Pope". Stumbling After Francis.
  14. ^ "RIP: Pius XIII". A Minor Friar.
  15. ^ "Orders & Consecration by Pope". Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  16. ^ "The Minister of Holy Orders". Retrieved 2021-01-24.
  17. ^ "Ordination of Fr. Gordon Bateman". Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  18. ^ "Episcopal Consecration of + Gordon Cardinal Bateman". Retrieved 2021-01-23.
  19. ^ "FAQs about the papacy of Pope Pius XIII". Retrieved 2021-01-23.