Election of the Pope Pius XIII
Planning and logistics for the election occurred over the past 3 years,
and in 1998 the Catholic Church was ready and eager for the election.
The Conclave to elect the pope was conducted with voting coming from worldwide
electors of the Remnant Catholic Church. As there were no Cardinals alive
at the start of the Conclave, Natural Law allows for Catholics, clergy
and laymen, to be the electorate to vote for the pope. This
is because the Church as a perfect society must have the means to restore
it visible head, the pope.
The Conclave Committee, a group of 3 Catholic laymen, with the approval
of the electorate, organized the logistics for the Conclave. One
of the main pre-requisites for conducting a valid election was to verify
that the electorate was indeed Catholic. (Note that the reason why
prior attempts failed was precisely because the electors were in some way
non-Catholic.) Accordingly, each elector signed 2 documents attesting
to his/her Catholic standing. These documents included such items
as baptism, age, beliefs with respect to Vatican II, affirming non-association
with any Vatican II (Novus Ordo) individual(s), and other such items which
would prove or dis-prove the elector's Catholicity.
On the evening before the start of the Conclave, the Conclave Committee
took an oath of secrecy in front of the Blessed Sacrament, pledging to
Almighty God that they would never reveal any of the proceedings or votes
that transpired within the Conclave.
The Conclave Committee, with all the plans in place, did gather in a
central place to administer the voting. Conclave voting began on
October 23, 1998 at 1:00 PM, US Mountain Time. Each ballot, according
to plans, would be of 24 hours duration.
Since the electorate, being a worldwide body, without the financial
means or resources to gather in the central place for the Conclave, cast
ballots using today’s God-given technology of the telephone.
Security of voting was ensured using secret and unique voting codes assigned
to each elector to authenticate each vote. The Conclave Committee
triple-checked each vote as it arrived as well as each other to ensure
the accuracy and integrity of the proceedings.
When the 24 hours had elapsed for Ballot 1, a tally was taken of the votes.
The tally was triple-checked again by the committee for accuracy.
A vote of 2/3 (plus 1) was needed to elect. The Dean of the Committee
according to pre-arranged procedures, contacted the elect to ask if he
accepted the papacy. When Fr. Pulvermacher accepted, at that very
moment, the papacy was restored. The Dean also asked by what name
he wished to be called. Fr. Pulvermacher indicated the name of Pius
XIII, and that his choice of name would proclaim to the world that the
last true pope was his predecessor, Pius XII.
White smoke from the burning of ballots at the Vatican was the traditional
way of informing the world that a pope has been elected. The excitement
and anticipation of seeing the new pope emerge is always a great joy for
Catholics. As this election was conducted in a way much different
from the traditional method, the College of Electors was notified via telephone
that “Habemus Papam!” or “We have a pope!” This was followed by announcing
to the world via any and every means available, including Newspapers, TV
and Radio Stations, Internet, and Short Wave Radio.
follow in the spirit of conclaves past, however, the ballots were burned
in a wood stove and white smoke ascended to the mountains of Montana.
The image to the right is the actual white smoke of the Conclave of 1998.
Instead of hundreds of thousands of cheering faithful in Vatican square,
the white smoke was seen only by a handful of the faithful, as well as
by God's creatures of the forest.