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`Pope Gregorio XVII´ dies in southern Spain
ThinkSpain , Wednesday, March 23, 2005

The leader of a secretive Spanish religious sect, who once claimed that the Vatican was controlled by the devil, has died at the sect´s headquarters in the southern Spanish village of El Palmar de Troya (photo) near Utrera (Sevilla).

58 year old Clemente Dominguez Gomez, who proclaimed himself Pope Gregorio XVII and head of the Roman Catholic Church in 1978 after the death of Paul VI in 1978, once described  current pope, John Paul II, as the "anti-pope."

Dominguez Gomez, who lost his sight in a car accident, claimed that he had received a message from the Virgin Mary in 1969 telling himself to prepare to proclaim himself Pope Gregorio XVII of the Carmelite Order of the Holy Face.

The sect canonised a number of people including Spain´s former fascist dictator, Francisco Franco, and Christopher Columbus. Dominguez Gomez excommunicated the Spanish royal family, and believed that the Vatican had been infiltrated by marxists and freemasons.

An information pack handed out to worshippers at the sect´s church show pictures of Gregorio with bleeding hands, forehead, and torso similar to the wounds of Christ on the cross. 

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