" This article is on the doctrine of the universal peaceful acceptance of a Pope. Archbishop Carlo M. Vigano has published a speech that he had intended to give at the Catholic Identity Conference in Pittsburgh on October 1st, 2023. But his speech and appearance were “deleted”, he explains, from the program. So here is his publication of the speech, which he calls Vitium Consensus, meaning Vice of Consensus. In the speech, he argues against the position of Bishop Athanasius Schneider on the universal peaceful acceptance of a Pope as a clear sign that the Pope is valid. So Vigano is referring to this particular type of “consensus” as if it were corrupt. Bishop Athanasius Schneider: “There is no authority to declare or consider an elected and generally accepted Pope as an invalid Pope. The constant practice of the Church makes it evident that even in the case of an invalid election this invalid election will be de facto healed through the general acceptance of the new elected by the overwhelming majority of the cardinals and bishops.” [Schnieder’s Article | My Commentary] The usual doctrine of the universal peaceful acceptance of the Pope (UPA) is based on the Church as a whole — Bishops, other clergy, religious, laity — accepting a Pope as the true successor of Peter. However, I agree with Bishop Schneider that the acceptance of a Pope by the body of Bishops is sufficient to prove that the Roman Pontiff is valid. The reason I would give is that the Church is always necessarily apostolic and indefectible. So it is not possible for the body of Bishops, successors to the Apostles, to go astray following a false or invalid or heretical successor of Peter (or claimed successor of Peter). If that happened, the Church would lose Her apostolic character, which is not possible, and would lose Her indefectibility, as the visible Head of the Church, Vicar of Christ, and foundational Rock of the Church would have gone astray along with the body of successors to the other Apostles. God does not permit the gates of Hell to prevail over the Church in this or any other way. The usual version of the UPA of the Pope relies on the body of the faithful, including the clergy, as a witness to the validity of a Roman Pontiff. This is also true, since the indefectibility of the Church prevents the body of the faithful, even if that body were considered apart from the Bishops, from going astray. For the Church can never be the Shepherds without a flock, nor a flock without the Shepherds. And so neither the body of Bishops, nor the body of the faithful can ever go astray by following a false, invalid, or heretical Pope. Cardinal Billot’s teaching on this subject is often cited, as follows: Cardinal Billot: “Finally, whatever you still think about the possibility or impossibility of the aforementioned hypothesis [of a Pope falling into heresy], at least one point must be considered absolutely incontrovertible and placed firmly above any doubt whatever: the adhesion of the universal Church will be always, in itself, an infallible sign of the legitimacy of a determined Pontiff, and therefore also of the existence of all the conditions required for legitimacy itself. It is not necessary to look far for the proof of this, but we find it immediately in the promise and the infallible providence of Christ: ‘The gates of hell shall not prevail against it,’ and ‘Behold I shall be with you all days.’ For the adhesion of the Church to a false Pontiff would be the same as its adhesion to a false rule of faith, seeing that the Pope is the living rule of faith which the Church must follow and which in fact she always follows. As will become even more clear by what we shall say later, God can permit that at times a vacancy in the Apostolic See be prolonged for a long time. He can also permit that doubt arise about the legitimacy of this or that election. He cannot however permit that the whole Church accept as Pontiff him who is not so truly and legitimately. “Therefore, from the moment in which the Pope is accepted by the Church and united to her as the head to the body, it is no longer permitted to raise doubts about a possible vice of election or a possible lack of any condition whatsoever necessary for legitimacy. For the aforementioned adhesion of the Church heals in the root all fault in the election and proves infallibly the existence of all the required conditions.” [Source of this quote: an article by Robert Siscoe here] Notice that the acceptance of the Church (or of the body of Bishops) “heals in the root” any problems with the papal election. This circumvents and invalidates any arguments or claims about the papal election. No one can undermine the authority of any true Pope by telling stories and making accusations about a conclave, which is relatively easy for dishonest schismatics to do. It is a dogmatic fact that Pope Francis is the Roman Pontiff, and true successor of Peter, because he has been accepted by the body of Bishops and by the body of all the faithful. This doctrine of UPA does not require the adherence of every Bishop, since of the 12 Apostles, one named Judas betrayed Christ. It is the body of Bishops which demonstrates that a Pope is valid by their obedience to the Pope, by their acceptance of his decisions on doctrine and discipline, and by their cooperation with him as both a fellow Bishop AND the head of the Bishops and head of the Church. Similarly, the doctrine does not require the adherence of every member of the faithful. It is the body of the faithful who show the validity of a Pope as successor of Peter, by accepting that he is the true Pope. For the Church cannot lose Her indefectibility, nor her characteristics as one, holy, catholic and apostolic. The unity of the Bishops as a body, and the faithful as a body, is therefore guaranteed by the grace of God, in the work of the Holy Spirit (who is the soul of the Church). Archbishop Vigano rejects this doctrine of universal peaceful acceptance, regardless of whether it is based on the body of the Bishops or the body of the faithful.