Family tried to reach out to Brigid
Published 24/11/2015 | 00:00
One of the late Brigid Crosbie's siblings blames her membership of the Palmarian Catholic Church for her isolation.
'She belonged to the Palmarian sect and as a result of belonging to it, she lost contact with her family,' she said.
'Her family wanted to try to reach her but could not.'
'I tried many times to reach her, but she wouldn't even answer the door,' said the woman, who asked not to identified.
She said her elder sister had always been a fun-loving person in her youth.
She went to England where she was trained as a nurse and midwife and moved back to Ireland 'quite a number of years ago' where she cared for her parents until their deaths.
At some stage, probably in the early '80s, she became a member of Palmarian Church - which believes that its own Pope, currently Pope Gregory XVIII in the See of El Palmar de Troya in Spain, is the true pope.
'We lost a lot of our life together because of this.
'Our family was very concerned for her, it's not as it we ignored the situation.'
The woman said she last saw her sister in Wexford town a couple of years ago.
'We met on the street by chance and did talk. That was the last time I saw her,' said the woman, one of three surviving siblings out of a family of seven.
The Palmarian Church regards Pope Paul VI, whom they revere as a martyr, and his predecessors as true popes, but hold, on the grounds of claimed apparitions, that the Pope of Rome is excommunicated and that the position of the Holy See has, since 1978, been transferred to the See of El Palmar de Troya.
According to the Palmar de Troya Support mission, set up to provide support and information to those touched or adversely affected by the Order of the Carmelites of the Holy Face - the full name of the Palmerians - strictures on its members include bans on attending non-Palmarian religious services including weddings, funerals and christenings, even those of family members.
The support mission says, another rule is that there should be no social contact with any persons not dressed to the Palmarian dress code: Women are banned from wearing trousers, shorts are banned as are tights and any garment with short sleeves. The sect also has its own bible and says any copies of other bibles should be burnt.