Fifty years after the second Vatican council and the reaction of the traditionalist movement in the crisis of the subsequent church, we can distinguish three different tendencies in what to think of [the difference between] the Catholic Church and the official Church. That is to say, between the mystical body of Our Lord Jesus Christ and the clergy and faithful attached to the hierarchy and the post-conciliar reforms.
For some, they are two substantially different churches, absolutely separate, and one cannot belong to both at the same time. Both of these churches have a different faith, different rites, different laws, and one must choose between the one or the other. This logic also leads to no longer publicly praying for the reigning pope, since he is pope of another church, which is not, or no longer, Catholic.
For others, however, the official church, hierarchical, Roman and conciliar, is not a separate Church, but it is really the Catholic Church, the only one, the true one, the visible one, the current Church, and it is inadmissible to make a real distinction between the conciliar, official Church and the Church founded by our Lord Jesus Christ. The logic here leads us to [want to] belong officially, visibly and canonically to this hierarchy, to be also assured of belonging to the one Catholic and Apostolic Church.
These two concepts, during half a century of debate among traditionalists, divided them and lead to the formation of two extremes, simply called "sedevacantists" and "uniters." Our analysis may appear a bit simplified, but experience has proven : when a traditionalist, cleric or lay, no longer distinguishes between the official Church and the Catholic Church, he'll end up one day or another at the service of the former, and thus gives up the fight of faith required by the latter in times of immanent and general apostasy.
In fact, the problem is formulated incorrectly, as if it were a dilemma between two sides of an alternative. For there is indeed a distinction we have to make between the official Church and the Catholic Church, as it was made by all our forebears in the fight for the Faith after the Council. It's enough to refresh our memory by reminding us of the well known terms : "The occupied Church", "occupied Rome". The conciliar and neo-modernist Church is therefore neither a substantially different church from the Catholic Church, nor absolutely identical, it mysteriously has something of the one and of the other : it is a foreign body which occupies the Catholic Church. So we need to distinguish between them without separating them.
We must emphasize : a "body", and not a "disease", a "tendency", a "spirit" or a "distorted view" as they tried to demonstrate in DICI number 273, refusing on principle to consider the conciliar Church as "one society which is distinct from another" (p. 8). This denial must be seen as in the sense defined above, a society absolutely, substantially different from the Catholic Church. But it seems dangerous to us in its obvious sense, and in any case contrary to the teaching of St. Pius X, who would describe the modernists as a secret association (clandestinum foedus; Motu proprio of 1-09-1910) that hides in the bosom and in the heart of the Church (sinu gremioque Ecclesiae; Pascendi, 1907).
What the magisterium taught at the start of modernism, our forebears recalled in vivid terms on the subject of neo-modernism, calling its leadership a "sect"; and one cannot see how the principle would be different today ... It should be at least allowed, even if this debate today displeases some people in Tradition, to recall some pertinent quotes :
Archbishop Lefebvre: "It is a sect that has seized Rome, the control levers of the Church." (Conference in Flavigny, December 1988 Fideliter n. 68, p. 10.)
Father Tissier de Mallerais: "[...] in the circumstances of a Church occupied by a progressive sect […]." (Fideliter n. 53, p. 38, September-October. 1986.)
Father Calmel: "[...] occult organizations of a false church, an apparent Church." (N Routes 123, p 174, of May 1968..); "An apparent Church within the true Church [...]. "(Best n. 106, p. 178, of September 1966.)
Father Marcille: "[...] the sect in power in the Church [...] the conciliar sect, thanks to the power that she occupies [...]. "(Fideliter n. 96, pp. 67 and 71, Nov.-Dec. 1993.)
Marcel de Corte "It is the part that poses as the whole, the sect poses as the one, holy, Catholic, Apostolic and Roman Church. At the moment, the part resides in the whole, which it corrupts bit by bit."(Itinéraires no. 131, p. 266, March 1969.)
Jean Madiran: "[...] the sect encamped in the Church [...]." (Itinéraires no. 137, p. 28 of November 1969.)
Henri Rambaud: "[...] the sect, small in number compared to the entire flock, but installed in positions of power [...]. " (Best n. 143, p. 111, May 1970.)
Let us summarize with Father Berto : Jacques Maritain, in 1966, spoke of the néo-modernist "fever". But we should not forget that this is the reason that it materializes in these men, these neo-modernists who would never admit this, and who would remain at all costs within the Church, in order to "subject her from within to a substantial change, that would leave the Church only her name [...]; they form within the Church a secret association of murderers of the Church." (Itinéraires no. 112, p. 69, April 1967)
In 1964, in the middle of the council, Jean Madiran wrote a special article entitled: "The secret society of modernism" in Itinéraires. Fifty years later, his diagnosis is still valid :
A secret society that survives when we fight it, would it not thrive when one fights it no longer ? After the death of St Pius X, one was concerned with other things, including doctrinal, legal and social modernism, but one was no longer concerned with the secret society installed in the bosom of the church. The consequence of such neglect is that the secret society has strengthened its installation, furthered its progress, developed its power; that it's occult power became much greater; that it has become much stronger in promoting its followers, in liquidating its opponents, and in avoiding anyone talking about it : to impose public silence about itself is the common goal of all secret societies. (Best n. 82, April 1964, p. 100.)
To reduce the conciliar and neo-modernist Church to a concept, a trend, a spirit, thus denying it the status of a sect, a society or an association (Ecclesia = Greek for assembly), in which one must be incarnated, and through which one must in fact work concretely and effectively, is to ignore the lessons of Saint Pius X and our predecessors in Tradition. This is not only a theoretical error but also in its practical consequences a mental predisposition to simply identify [it as] the Catholic Church to which all of us wish to belong, the official and visible hierarchy that occupied and directed it for decades, to which we do not (yet..) belong. Therefore an “abnormal” situation, that ought to be regularized in one way or another.
Let us quote some relevant phrases by Bishop Fellay:
"The fact of going to Rome does not mean we agree with them. But it is the Church. And it is the true Church. "(Sermon in Flavigny on 2-09-2012, Nouvelles de Chrétienté, n. 137, p. 20.)
"The Church of Christ is present and acting as such, that is to say, as the only ark of salvation, there where the vicar of Christ is." (Letter to friends and benefactors of 13-04-2014.)
"The official church is the visible Church; it is the Catholic Church, end of story. "(Sermon at the Seminary of La Reja on 20-12-2014.)
Compare this with what Archbishop Lefebvre said to our priests gathered in Écône, on 9 September 1988 : "Lately, we are told that it is necessary that Tradition enters into the visible Church. I believe they are making a very serious mistake, [...] it is in mistakenly equating the official Church and the visible Church. We indeed belong to the visible Church, the society of the faithful under the authority of the Pope, because we do not deny the pope's authority, but what he does ... thus, to leave the official Church? In a certain way, yes of course. The whole book of Mr. Madiran, L’Hérésie du 20e siècle, is the history of the heresy of the bishops. We must avoid the company of these bishops, if we don't want to lose our soul. "(Fideliter n. 66 to Nov.-Dec. 1988, p. 27-28.)
Conclusion : with St. Pius X, we must always keep in mind that the néo-modernists form a sect that never wanted to leave the Church, that subverted her from within, and they are the worst enemies, real wolves in sheepskins.
With Archbishop Lefebvre, let us not join with those "who confuse the Catholic, Roman and eternal Church with the human Rome, susceptible to being invaded by enemies covered in purple." (Letter to Figaro, of 2-08-1976.)