In the following video, Mr. Louie Verrechio respectfully criticizes Archbishop Lefebvre’s position on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Conciliar Church. The Archbishop held that the pope of the Catholic Church can at the same time be the head of a schismatic church (i.e., the Conciliar Church). Mr. Verrechio believes that this is false. He proceeds with using the schismatic Orthodox as an example to make his point. He states that the head of an Orthodox schismatic sect (e.g., Russian Orthodox) cannot at the same time be the head of the Catholic Church. While this statement is true, Mr. Verrechio fails to make the proper distinction in using this example to criticize the Archbishop’s position. In regards to the Orthodox sects, they are formally schismatic. They don’t claim to be Catholics. Many of them would actually be insulted to be called such. However, the Conciliar Church does claim to be Catholic even though, ontologically, it is not Catholic. So whereas the Conciliar Church is truly schismatic, it is only materially so. The matter of schism is there even though it is not acknowledged as such. The distinction between “formally” and “materially” cannot be overlooked. For example, one may perform an act that is a violation of the Divine Law. However, the person may be inculpably ignorant that such an act is so. Therefore, the act is materially sinful but not formally sinful. In other words, the matter of sin is there, but the person performing the act did not subjectively (i.e., formally) commit a sin before the Eyes of God. This distinction between “formal” and “material” is also important in its application to the subject of heresy, which Sedevacantists get wrong in regards to the conciliar popes. But that’s another story.
The distinction between “formal” and “material” gives Archbishop Lefebvre the ammunition he needs to correctly show how the pope of the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church can at the time be the head of a sect. Nevertheless, the Conciliar Church will morph to become formally schismatic and will move from being a heretical sect, which it is now, to being an apostate sect (it could be argued that it is already an apostate sect). This morphing is happening right now under Jorge Bergoglio. Pope Benedict XVI and his successors will continue to rule the Catholic Church.
Here are some resources for faithful reflections of the position of Archbishop Lefebvre on the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Conciliar Church:
The video will automatically start and stop at the relevant section after clicking the “Play” button. The section is 3.4 minutes long.