Are Orthodox Traditionalists like Roman Catholic Sedevacantists? (From a Facebok post)

I’m going to have to give a hearty “no” on this one, and for my disagreement with some of the views of Abp Chrysostomos of Etna of blessed memory, in his opinion on this matter, he was spot on.

In Orthodoxy, the fullness of Apostolic succession could be found in the Bishop. But the fullness of Apostolic unity (and therefore the sense of the Church) could be found in councils. For this reason, the requirement that if there is no larger Synod that can be found, three (or at least two) Bishops are required to create a Bishop is found in the holy canons. That is all that is required to restore a sense of ecclesiastical normalcy in a local Church. Everything can rebuild from there. This can of course lead to ecclesiastical wrangling and chaos between warring factions over who is legitimate (and has) but the faith remains preserved, and from a 2,000 year timeline, this is minor squabbling to be handled by a future, more responsible generation.

Such is not the case in Roman Catholic traditionalist groups. The Pope is not only the full and supreme head of the body, but he also supplies jurisdiction to the Bishops (both alien concepts which begin with the Hildebrandian “reform”). So in short, traditionalists “at war with the Pope” are stuck in a sort of legal conundrum: their own religion denies them the right to exist in a state of separation from the Pope, which leads either to some level of distant obedience (the SSPX) or to the need to elect another Pope (SSPV, sedes, conclavists). 

Put simply, the Roman Church cannot function without a Pope. The Orthodox Catholic Church has never had that problem.