Apostles of Infinite Love
|Apostles of Infinite Love|
The Apostles of Infinite Love (French: Apôtres de l'amour infini) is a religious group mainly active in Quebec and Guadeloupe. It was founded by Michel Collin, a French priest in Lille, and self-proclaimed Pope Clement XV, saying he was inspired by "unknown messages" from the Virgin Mary. The group was led by Jean-Gaston Tremblay (1928-2011), also named John Gregory of the Trinity, or Gregory XVII.
Frenchman Michel Collin or Colin, born in a village of Lorraine in 1905 and ordained a priest in 1935, announced in 1936 that he had been ordained a bishop by Christ himself. He founded a community called the Order of the Mother of God (a name later changed to "Apostles of Infinite Love"), in response to the 1846 request made by the Blessed Virgin Mary, as reported later by Mélanie Calvat, one of the seers of La Salette. In 1950 he announced that he had been crowned Pope and had taken the name Clement XV. Pope Pius XII laicized him in 1951 and publicly declared him, by name, a vitandus (one who should be avoided) excommunicate.
In 1952, Canadian Jean-Gaston Tremblay (born 1928) founded, near Saint-Jovite in Quebec, Canada, a community under the name of the Congregation of Jesus and Mary. In 1961, he met Michel Collin and the two decided to merge their communities into one called the Apostles of Infinite Love. The following year Collin consecrated Tremblay a bishop. The Saint-Jovite community grew rapidly in the first years of the Second Vatican Council.
In 1967, Collin announced that he had been divinely instructed to bypass Tremblay as designated successor to Pope Paul VI; but in 1968, Tremblay declared that he had mystically been made Pope under the name of Gregory XVII and, in the following year, Collin acknowledged that Tremblay was now Pope.
In France, Collin's movement broke up into different factions some years after his death in 1974. The Canadian group continues, using the name "Apostles of Infinite Love", and giving more prominence to the name "Order of the Magnificat of the Mother of God" and "Order of the Apostles of the Latter Times".
From 1978 to 2001, the movement was sued because of alleged abuses, including rape, extortion and sexual abuse. Its millenarianism, apocalypticism and its rejection of the world contributed to qualify it as a cult in the Francophone press. In 1999, a hundred police officers raided their reclusive community in St. Jovite. The co-accused was Reynald Huot, aka Father André. In 2001, the public prosecutor abandoned all charges against Jean-Gaston Tremblay after a 34-year investigation.
- Hurbon, Laënnec (2000). Le phénomène religieux dans la Caraïbe: Guadeloupe, Martinique, Guyane, Haïti (in French). pp. 328–32.
- (French) "Importante opération policière chez les Apôtres de l'amour infini". Centre contre les manipulations mentales. October 1999. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- Most easily available sources use the form "Collin", but "Colin" is found in a summary of the book Clément XV, prêtre lorrain et pape à Clémery by Antoine Delestre.
- Michael W. Cuneo: The Smoke of Satan: Conservative and Traditionalist Dissent in Contemporary American Catholicism (JHU Press, 1999 ISBN 0-8018-6265-5, ISBN 978-0-8018-6265-6), pp. 121–134
- "Pope Clement XV". Time magazine. 1971-03-15. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- (French) "Clément XV — L'histoire résumée". Gérard Collin. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- (French) Bernadette Rigal-Cellard (2005). "Grégoire XVII et les Apôtres de l’Amour Infini". Les Classiques des Sciences Sociales. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- (French) "Descente chez les Apôtres de l'amour infini". Radio-Canada. 1999-04-14. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- (French) "Abandon des accusations contre le pape Jean". Radio Canada. 2001-06-13. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- (French) "Les «Apôtres de l'amour infini» seront expropriés". La Presse Canadienne. 2008-09-04. Retrieved 2009-08-15.
- (French) (English) (Italian) (Spanish) Official site