Pope Michael: The Movie

In a small town in Kansas, a small group of Conclavists believe that all every Pope elected since Vatican II is a heretic (and the appointments to the College of Cardinals since 1958 to be invalid), so they’ve elected their own  — David Bawden, or Pope Michael.

Bawden was elected Pope Michael in 1990 by a group of six lay lay Sedevacantists, which included himself and his parents, to fill the vacancy they consider to have been caused by the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958.

Thomas Frank interviewed Bawden for his book, “What’s the Matter with Kansas?” While we never contacted Pope Michael for our movie, he is featured in a new documentary film by Adam Fairholm.

From the film synopsis:

Half an hour outside of Topeka, in a small town of 150 people, a man named David Bawden lives with his elderly mother in a blue farmhouse surrounded by soybean and wheat fields. David Bawden is known as “Pope Michael”, a man who believes that the changes to the Catholic church in the 1960’s have driven a small group to elect him pope of what they believe is now the only true Roman Catholic Church. He has spent 19 years trying to get his word out through the internet and other mediums, and now he is bringing two young men into his house to train as priests.

The movie is complete and will play the film festival circuit later this year.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Pope Michael Doc. Pope Michael Doc said: Blog post about "Pope Michael" on the "What's the Matter with Kansas?" documentary blog: http://bit.ly/dgyfFD […]

  2. Rev. Doug N. Ayer Ocp
    April 7, 2010

    I believe that Pope Micheal-Is The Rightful Pontiff; The Rightful Pope; The Rightful Head of the Roman Catholic Church! I also believe that Pope Micheal should be addressed as: His Holiness, The Holy Father Pope Micheal I.

  3. Rose
    April 7, 2010

    Rev. Doug,

    If he’s your pope, you should know how to spell MICHAEL…

  4. John
    April 7, 2010

    I watched the film and I’m STILL a sedevacantist…


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