Reverend Father Earl Lucian Pulvermacher, OFM Cap (born April 20, 1918) was elected Pope Pius XIII of the "true Catholic Church" in 1998. The "true Catholic Church" is a small Catholic sect based in Montana. Pulvermacher could be considered an antipope, although he has far fewer followers than the historical antipopes.
Pope Pius XIII
of the true Catholic Church (tCC)
Earl Lucian Pulvermacher was born in 1918. He entered the Capuchin Order in 1942 (where he was given a religious name of Lucian) and ordained a Roman Catholic priest in 1948. After an initial period as a priest in Milwaukee he served as a missionary priest in Amami Oshima and later Okinawa. From 1970 to 1976 he served as a missionary in Australia. He left his Order and Australia without permission in 1976 and associated with some traditionalist Catholic organizations that had opposed Vatican II.
None of these satisfied him: he judged them all as too liberal and in error. He gradually drifted away until the 1990s. In the mid-1990s he became convinced, based on unproven allegations, that Pope John XXIII had been a freemason, and that thus his election as pope in 1958 had been invalid. Were that to be so, not just his papacy and all his acts such as the calling of Vatican II would be invalid, but so in a chain reaction would be the conclave necessitated by his death, the resultant election of Paul VI and in turn both Popes John Paul. According to Pulvermacher's theory, the See of Peter had been vacant since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.
White smoke announcing the election of Pius XIII in Montana in 1998
In 1998, a conclave of conservative catholics, both lay and clerical, in a telephone vote elected Pulvermacher to the allegedly vacant papacy (see Sedevacantism). The new pope has now established his College of Cardinals to provide an ecclesiatical mechanism for the election of his successors.
The new pope, formerly a priest, is raised to the episcopate by Cardinal Bateman
Though he has adherents, his support is mainly limited to a few conservative catholics in Montana. Only 28 attended his episcopal ordination in a hotel ballroom following his election to the papacy. It is noteworthy that he castigates not only the "Roman Catholic Church" but also (and often with greater fervor) all traditionalist Catholics who reject his claim to be the true pope.