Meet David Bawden, the windsock who considers himself “the true Pope”

If you are a Christian, you surely know that the current world leader of the Catholic Church is Pope Francis, elected in the conclave that took place on March 13, 2013. However, according to a citizen who lives in the city of Belvue, Kansas (USA), there is only one legitimate pope in the world: himself. Learn the story of David Bawden, who strongly believes that the last "real" pope was Pius XII, killed in 1958, and decided to take up the post.

Created by devout Catholics, Bawden was born in September 1959. As a child, he was disenchanted with the reforms resulting from the Second Vatican Council - a series of meetings called by John XXIII (successor of Pius XII) that drastically altered the Church's relationship. with modern society. Masses, for example, were no longer said in Latin and were recited in the language of each country.

In addition, the assembly reformed Catholic thinking by opening the minds of its followers to greater tolerance for non-Christians, defending religious freedom, and touching on other issues considered hitherto delicate. Obviously, many people did not agree with the changes - and that includes the family of David Bawden, who decided to join the movement known as the "Society of Pius XII."

Solving the problem

Bawden was expelled from society in 1978 for "internal quarrels" and continued to be disappointed to see "false popes" being elected one after another, ruining the origins of Catholicism for a more contemporary discourse. Something had to be done, and the American found a radical way to solve the problem: to assume himself as the true world leader of the Catholic Church.

After intensively devoting himself to his studies, the American organized a conclave in 1990 and was elected with 100% of the vote - only six people attended the meeting, three of them from Bawden's own family and three others. your first followers. Entitled to Habemus papam's classic vow, he assumed the identity of Pope Michael in honor of the archangel Michael.

Alternative Pope

Since then, Bawden - or Michael - has run his own church (which survives on its own money and donations), organizing masses and calling new followers. According to him, he has 30 “solid” believers and others who “come and go” over the years. Despite his conservative stance, the American Pope has an active presence on the Internet, having a website and pages on social networks.

Bawden's story is so curious that in 2010 he starred in the documentary “Pope Michael”, which chronicles his career and that of his seminarian Phil Friedl. As strange as this story may seem, the alternative pope is convinced of his holiness and claims to be happy with his way of life.

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