The Upcoming Sede Conclave
John C. Pontrello
August 11, 2018
Introduction: This is a follow-up to "Orthodox Sedes?"
In March, I received a lengthy email from a Conclavist. A Conclavist is a Sedevacantist who thinks the Sedevacantists must assemble in conclave and elect a pope. I like Conclavists because these people are all about action. Unlike most Sedes who remain too contented with their self-constituted Latin Mass Clubs, Conclavists demand a serious resolution to the perceived crisis of the Holy See. Most Conclavists rightfully place the responsibility upon the Sedevacantist bishops (men who snatched the sacrament of Holy Orders) whom they believe comprise the true remnant impotent hierarchy of the Roman Catholic Church. Now the Conclavists want them to perform and who can blame them? Well, not me. There is no argument from me that the Sede bishops ought to be held accountable for doing pretty much nothing for 50 years.
The sincere and passionate Conclavist who wrote to me was annoyed that I didn’t give the Conclavists the same attention that I gave the R & R traditionalists and the Sedes in my other writings. It was very important to him that the Conclavists should be distinguished from these two traditionalist groups and given equal status. As I continued to read his email I began to find myself agreeing with him on a number of points. Then it dawned on me; this is Conclavism’s moment to shine. After decades of continuous ranting against the Vatican II Church, the Sedevacantists who see themselves as the remnant Catholic Church need to put up or shut up. To this point, the Conclavists have remained shelved by the Sede establishment but I think it is time for this movement to take center stage. That is why I support the Conclavists. With enough support, Conclavism can wipe out a large percentage of the Sede Virus with one action. What action?
Anyone who has followed the Sedevacantist movement for any length of time has heard this term thrown around forums. According to theologians such as Cajetan, an Imperfect Council (which does not include the pope) may be called under the following circumstances: “when there is a single heretical pope to be deposed or when there are several doubtful supreme pontiffs.” At least one theologian speculated on what would happen if an enemy wiped out the pope and the College of Cardinals at the Vatican. According to that theologian, if that were to happen, the responsibility for electing a pope would fall to the Roman clergy. Yet, according to the Sedevacantists there are no Roman clergy because they all defected to the “Novus Ordo Sect.” For the moment, I will ignore the fact that defection of the Holy See equates to defection of the Roman Catholic Church. What is important is that the Sedevacantists insist that their bishops are the successors of the Apostles and that the responsibility of electing the next pope devolves to them. Excellent. Let us see if they can prove it.
Although the Sedevacantists have had conclaves in the past, none of their pope products has stuck. When asked why, they claim that none of their past elections were legitimate because they were not “Imperfect General Councils.” From what I have gathered from Sedes themselves, an Imperfect General Council must include an assembly of Sedevacantist bishops from around the world. This they insist they can do. Very well then, let us get on to business. Traditional Catholics are you hearing this? This is the good news you have been waiting for. The Sedevacantists claim that they can call an Imperfect Council and bring an end to fifty years of chaos and confusion. So why haven’t we seen this Imperfect Council yet?
I wrote this piece to shine the spotlight on Conclavism. The importance of the Conclavists cannot be understated. In fact, Since none of the current Sede bishops has shown any inclination to put their Latin Mass Clubs on hold for the good of the Church Universal and call this conclave, I want to help the Conclavists by inviting the Sedes (and a whole bunch of heretics as advisors and observers) to participate in the upcoming Sede Conclave. I may even offer to hold the conclave at my house.
But why would an Orthodox Christian be interested in helping the Sedevacantists hold an Imperfect Council? First and foremost because even a properly executed Sede Imperfect Council will only produce another antipope. This will be a catalyst for many new converts to Orthodox Christianity.
Who will attend?
To answer this question we have to consider at least two of the reasons why this election hasn’t already happened in 50 years. At the top of the list is the fact that Sedevacantism is a position that doesn’t require a pope… or a living magisterium, a holy see, apostolic authority, a visible body, Rome, etc. From a Sede perspective, why mess up a good thing? The truth is some prominent Sedevacantists have nice little gigs set up for themselves. Some have made names for themselves; donations come in; books, pamphlets and DVDS are selling and they are viewed as superheroes among their followers. To certain kinds of personalities, this is all important stuff and they really do not want their interests threatened by Conclavists. That is why some Sedes will always, always find fault with any Sedevacantist bishop or priest who comes along. It is just a matter of time. If they cannot find some heresy with which to hang their competition on, they will invent one. Otherwise, they would have to submit to other Sedevacantists and support the upcoming Sede conclave.
Another important reason why the Sedes have not assembled an Imperfect Council is that they know that every time the Sedevacantists produce another “pope” they expose Sedevacantism as the farce it is. Therefore, the longer the Sedes can continue their charade the better for them. Yet, the restoration of the Holy See in Rome is the only answer for the Sedevacantists and deep down they know it. That is why no Sedevacantist should let the Sedevacantist bishops off the hook for holding this conclave now.
Every Sedevacantist must get on board with Conclavism and force the election of a pope in an Imperfect Council and no one should support any Sedevacantists who refuse to participate. Do not attend their Masses, do not request their sacraments or prayers, do not circulate their materials, and most of all do not give them as much as a dime. "No Pope? - No money" should be the motto of Sedevacantists everywhere. Instead, the Sedes will be invited to contribute to a new fund drive for the upcoming Sede Conclave. Stay tuned for details.
As for the conclave? When the Sedes prove they cannot elect a true Vicar of Christ (either by failing to hold this Imperfect Council or by actually producing the 35th Sede antipope) they will also prove that nobody should ever be a Sedevacantist again. And that is where many new Orthodox Christian converts will be made.
I wish I could say that an Imperfect Council will cure the Sede Virus but that would be naïve on my part. Even after an Imperfect Council, the work of eradicating the virus will not be finished. One thing we have learned from history is that heresies never die completely. With this one, we are dealing with craftiness. Upon threat of extinction by way of Conclavism, the Sede Virus will mutate into other strains such as "Sedeprivationism." I wrote about Sedeprivationism or “Partial Pope Theory” in my article “Full or Partial Pope?” Indeed, with pressure mounting by Conclavists, Sedeprivationists are on the rise. This idiotic theory serves as an escape clause for the Sede Virus and I will probably have more to say on it after the upcoming Sede election. Nevertheless, an Imperfect Council will cure many people of Sedevacantism and that is what is important.
The next time a Sedevacantist tries to convert you to their invisible church club, help them out by inviting them to the upcoming Sede conclave. Tell them you’d be glad to join their church if they can elect a Vicar of Christ and restore the Holy See first. If you think about it, it makes perfect sense. The papacy is the foundation of the Roman Church not the faith of the Fathers. It should go without saying that any church that claims to be the true Roman Catholic Church but which cannot elect a Roman Pontiff is a fake. Help me weed them out one by one. Anyone interested in supporting the upcoming Sede conclave can write to me at .