Pope Michael


1958 (October 9):  Pope Pius XII died.

1959 (January 25):  The new pope, John XXIII, announced his intention to summon a general council in Rome.

1959 (September 2).  David Bawden was born in Oklahoma City.

1962–1965:  The Second Vatican Council was held in Rome.

1969 (April 5):  Pope Paul VI promulgated a new Roman Order of the Mass, colloquially known as the Novus Ordo.

1970:  French Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre founded the traditionalist Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).

1970–1973:  The new Roman Missal, translated into the vernacular, was gradually implemented throughout the Catholic world, drastically limiting the possibility of using the pre-conciliar Order of the Mass.

1972:  The Bawden family stopped attending Novus Ordo parishes and sought Masses, said by traditionalist priests, including priests from SSPX.

1973:  Excommunicated Mexican Jesuit Joaquín Sáenz y Arriaga published Sede Vacante, arguing that Paul VI was not a valid pope and that a new conclave should be held.

1976 (May22):  Sáenz y Arriaga met with Archbishop Lefebvre in Stafford, Texas, to discuss the possibility of a new conclave.

1976 (May 22):  Archbishop Lefebvre confirmed David Bawden in Stafford, Texas.

1977 (September):  Bawden was admitted to SSPX’s seminary in Ecône, Switzerland.

1978 (January):  Bawden was transferred from Ecône to the SSPX seminary in Armada, Michigan.

1978 (December):  Bawden was dismissed from the seminary.

1979:  The Bawden family moved to St Marys, Kansas, where David Bawden worked at the SSPX-run school.

1981 (March):  Bawden resigned from his work at the school and left SSPX.

1981–1983:  Vietnamese Archbishop Pierre Martin Ngo-Dinh Thuc consecrated sedevacantist bishops who, in their turn, consecrated other bishops for work in the United States.

1983 (26 December):  David Bawden signed an open letter arguing that none of the traditionalist groups conferred valid sacraments as they lacked proper jurisdiction.

1985:  Bawden wrote “Jurisdiction during the Great Apostasy,” developing his ideas about the lack of sacramental validity in the traditionalist movement.

1987:  Bawden began to be convinced that a new conclave would be possible.

1988:  Bawden examined, and for some time believed in, the claim that Cardinal Giuseppe Siri was elected pope in the 1963 conclave but was forced to decline.

1989 (March 25):  Bawden took a wow to work towards the election of a pope.

1989 (May):  Mainly based on earlier writings, Teresa Stanfill Benns and David Bawden started preparing a book where the case for the conclave was expounded.

1990 (January):  Benns and Bawden published Will the Catholic Church Survive the Twentieth Century? It was distributed to sedevacantist clergy and laypeople calling for a papal election.

1990 (16 July):  A conclave with six electors was held in Belvue, Kansas.  Bawden was elected pope, taking Michael I as his papal name.  The Vatican in Exile was established.

1993:  The Bawden family moved to Delia, Kansas.

2000:  Pope Michael initiated an active online ministry.

2006:  The group planned the ordination and consecration of Pope Michael, but the ceremonies were canceled shortly before the event should take place.

2007:  Teresa Benns and two others who had participated in the 1990 conclave left, denouncing the validity of the election and, consequently, Bawden’s papal claims.

2011 (December 9-10):  Independent Catholic bishop Robert Biarnesen ordained Pope Michael, a priest, consecrated him a bishop, and crowned him pope.

2013:  Pope Michael moved to Topeka, Kansas.

2022: (August 2):  Pope Michael died in Kansas City.