|Papacy began||July 16, 1990|
|Opposed to||John Paul II|
|Ordination||December 11, 2011|
by Robert Biarnesen
|Consecration||December 11, 2011|
by Robert Biarnesen
|Born||22 September 1959|
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
David Allen Bawden (born September 22, 1959 in Oklahoma City), who takes the name "Pope Michael", is an American citizen and a conclavist claimant to the papacy. He stated in 2009 that he had approximately 30 "solid followers".
Bawden was elected by a group of six laypeople, which included himself and his parents, who had come to believe that the Catholic Church had apostatized from the Catholic faith since Vatican II, and that there had been no legitimate popes elected since the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.
In 1975, Bawden and his family began to follow the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX). Bawden attended the SSPX seminary in Écône, Switzerland, and Saint Joseph's Priory in Armada, Michigan, but was dismissed from the seminary in 1978.
Claim to the papacy
Bawden believes that all the popes since the death of Pope Pius XII on October 9, 1958, are modernists, heretics, and apostates, and that, therefore, their elections are invalid because of the changes of Vatican II. He considers them to have incurred latae sententiae, or automatic, excommunication, not so much for violating Pope Pius X's laws on modernism, as the laws of God.
Bawden says he was elected to the papacy in 1990, in a papal conclave attended by five other people, including his parents. Bawden had tried to contact many independently ordained bishops in order to show up for the election, but out of the hundreds of them that he messaged or sent info packages to, none came to the election.
Bawden was ordained a priest and then consecrated a bishop on December 11, 2011, by an Independent Catholic episcopus vagans, Bishop Robert Biarnesen of the Duarte-Costa and Old Catholic episcopal lineages although it is unknown whether proper form was used in the solo ordination and consecration. Bawden claims that he is able to validly confect Catholic sacraments, offer the Mass, ordain other men to the priesthood, and consecrate them as bishops as the Duarte-Costa and Old Catholic lineages are valid in the eyes of the Church.
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