An aged Roman Catholic prelate, allegedly in the lineage of Pope Pius XII, is said to have in the 1990s consecrated as bishop a sedevacantist priest elected Pope Linus II by supporters gathered from around the world.
The identity of this alleged consecrating bishop was for years kept secret, supposedly to protect his life.
For some time, this consecrator was rumored to be a retired Italian bishop, Msgr. Arrigo Pintonello (1908 - 2001), but this was vigoroudly denied both by Msgr Pintonello (during his lifetime) and by many leading sedevacantists skeptical of Linus II.
Following Msgr. Pintonello's death in June 2001, however, Linus II along with some of his suppoerters began claiming that Msgr. Pintonello had indeed consecrated Linus II a bishop.
Here is the history of this lineage. On June 25-29, 1994, a gathering of delegates (calling themselves a "concilium") representing various sedevacantist groups from twelve countries met in an 800-year-old chapel located atop a hill on the grounds of the Hotel Europa, in Assisi, Italy.
Ten times this consilium, by wide margins, elected to be Pope Victor von Pentz, a former student at Archbishop Lefebvre's seminary in Switzerland who allegedly was later ordained a Eastern Rite Roman Catholic priest. Each time, though, Fr. Von Pentz declined the office. On the eleventh ballot, however, after again being elected, and this time unanimously, he accepted and took the name "Linus II."
There followed in that same chapel a Coronation Mass, where the newly elected pontiff was crowned with a papal tiara.
Then, on June 29, 1994, the participants in the concilium drove from Assisi to Rome, with plans to acknowledge Linus II publicly as Pope in the Lateran Basilica. The group, however, was prevented from entering the Basilica by armed Italian policemen.
Linus II, though styling himself Pope, was not yet consecrated a bishop. When exactly, and by whom, he was raised to the episcopacy is therefore disputed.
Some have said that he was consecrated in Assisi or elsewhere in Italy in June 1994 by Msgr. Pintonello.
Others, while agreeing it was by Msgr. Pintonello, say that the consecration did not happen until four years later, in November 1998, at a ceremony in London, England.
Linus II's consecration is, of course, so far unverifiable. One complication is that some sources also report that the bishop who consecrated Linus II also, at the same time, consecrated Emmanuel Korab as a bishop.
Bp. Korab, though, is reported by some as having been consecrated a bishop during the Assisi consilium, but not by any retired Roman Catholic bishop. Instead he is reported to have been consecrated there by José Ramon Lopez-Gaston, an independent bishop in the lineage of Archbishop Pierrre Martin Ngo Dinh Thuc.
Certain other backers of Pope Linus II, however, claim that Bp. Korub was later consecrated a bishop, sub conditione, in 1998 in London, England, by that same un-named retired Roman Catholic bishop who supposedly came to Britain to consecrate Linus II. Still other backers of Linus II deny this and say that what happened in 1998 was only that Linus II, Bp Korub and Bp Richard Bedingfeld (also of the Thuc lineage) came together in London to consecrate Philippe Cochonneaud as a bishop.
Pintonello (b. in 1908; d. in 2001).
Ordained a Roman Catholic priest on 10/9/1932 at xxxxx, Italy,
Consecrated a Roman Catholic bishop on 11/30/1953 at xxxxx, Italy,
Msgr. Pintonello was the Military Vicar for Italy, 1953-65,
and Titular Archbishop of Theodosiopolis in Arcadia, 1953-67. He
was the Apostolic Administrator for the Diocese of Velletri,
Italy, 1965-67; He was the Archbishop of Latina, Terracina,
Priverno and Sezze, 1967-71. He resigned his see on June 25,
Later ordained a priest, sub conditione, on 06/xx/1994 in Assisi, Italy,
Reportedly also later ordained a priest, sub conditione, on 11/xx/1998 in London, England,
Reportedly also later consecrated a bishop, sub conditione, on 11/xx/1998 in London, England,
He resides at xxxxxx, Czech Republic.
Later ordained a priest, sub conditione, on xx/xx/19xx at xxxxx,
Bp. von Pentz has since June 1994 acted as Pope Linus II.
He resides in Hertfordshire, England..
In 1999, Dr. Elisabeth Gerstner, his German-language secretary wrote that it would be too dangerous to publish the name of the Roman Catholic bishop who ordained and consecrated Victor von Pentz. Dr. Gerstner has, however, stated that Linus II was consecrated as "Bishop of Rome" on 7 November 1998 in London, England, by a bishop in apostolic succession through Pope Pius XII.
She went on to write that this bishop's name would not be revealed until his death out of concern for his safety.
The secretary also wrote that Archbishop Arrigo Pintonello is a close friend and "co-fighter", who participated "in writing" in the concilium in Assisi. She added that Pope Linus II celebrates Mass both in the Byzantine and in Roman (neaning Traditional, not Novus Ordo) rites.