This page will detail why there was no pope from 1958-1990 and why one was elected in 1990.
For now, here’s a short summary I will need to improve:
The Holy See Becomes Vacant after 1958 and is not filled
In 1958, pope Pius XII died, leaving the Holy See vacant. Cardinals then assembled to hold an election to elect a pope. Cardinal Roncalli was “elected” as “John 23rd”. In turn, he called the Vatican 2 “council” in to session and also created the missal of 1962 which controversially inserted St. Joseph’s name in to the canon. At the time, many were deceived, but in hindsight it became evident that Roncalli was a pre-election heretic and ineligible to be elected according to the papal bull Cum Ex Apostolatus Officio which states that the “elections” of heretics shall be null and void, no matter how many people support such an “election”. This was the same problem with Montini who was a pre-election heretic and “elected” in 1963. He took the name of “Paul VI”. Montini closed the Vatican 2 “council” and made it “official” teaching within this new schismatic church that formed around these men and the Vatican 2 teachings, thus making papal claimants after this time into heretics as they believed the Vatican 2 teachings. Both “John Paul I” and “John Paul II” were elected in 1978 and were pre-election heretics and ineligible to become pope. (Please see HERESIES OF VATICAN 2 to understand why these men were heretics for holding the teachings of Vatican 2)
So, when invalid “elections” started happening, why did this happen and what should have been the response by Catholics? What did Catholics finally do?
The Cardinals at that time failed to do their duty and elect a Catholic, instead “electing” heretics. First, 1) cardinals should have separated from the invalidly elected and other cardinals that adhered to them and should have held a new conclave to elect a true pope. Failing this, 2) the remaining bishops who rejected the false claimants to the papacy should have held a general imperfect council of bishops to elect a pope. Failing this second back-up plan, the 3) clergy of Rome ought to have held an election. Up to 1990, 32 years later after this vacancy began, none of these elections had happened. The SSPX talked about holding an election, as well as the Thuc-line bishops, however no election came about. The longest prior vacancy to this time was 3 years long, and this vacancy was 10x that length. So, given that a pope is necessary to the unity of the Church, 4) the Church Universal, all remaining clergy and people who did not defect to the schismatic Vatican 2 church, were invited to hold an election to elect a true pope. David Bawden was elected and took the name “Pope Michael”, and has reigned as pope up until this day, from 1990-2015 at the time of this writing.
For addressing specific objections to the validity of pope Michael’s election, please see: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS AND OBJECTIONS TO POPE MICHAEL’S PAPACY