In two ways a rotten apple may cast a little light in the darkness of today’s eclipsed Church. Firstly, we do not wait for every part of an apple to be rotten before we call it rotten as a whole, yet parts of it are still not rotten. In answer then to the question whether the apple is rotten, we must make a double distinction: as a whole, yes; in these parts, yes; in those parts, no. And secondly, while apple is not rot and rot is not apple, yet the rot is inseparable from its apple and cannot exist without it. Let us apply the first part of this common sense to the Novus Ordo Mass and the “Conciliar church,” the second part to the “Conciliar church” and the Papacy.
As for the New Mass, it is rotten as a whole by its Conciliar man-centredness, but while some parts are clearly not Catholic (e.g. the Offertory), other parts are Catholic (e.g. the
Kyrie eleison.). Because it is rotten as a whole and slowly makes Catholics into Protestants, it is not fit to be attended, but that part which is the Consecration may be Catholic and valid. So one can say of the Novus Ordo Mass neither that it is valid so it can be attended, nor that it cannot be attended so it is invalid. In truth it may be valid in its essential part, but that is not a sufficient reason to expose one’s faith to the danger of attending it as a whole.
Similarly, today’s Church is rotten as a whole insofar as Conciliarism is widespread throughout it, but that does not mean that every single part of the Church is rotten with Conciliarism. So it is as wrong to condemn any part still Catholic because of the Conciliar whole, as it is wrong to excuse the Conciliar whole because of those parts still Catholic. To fit one’s mind to the reality, one must distinguish both between the different parts, and between the whole and the parts.
And if we apply to today’s Church also the second part of the comparison with a rotten apple, we can say that it is genuinely useful to speak of two churches, the “Conciliar church” and the Catholic Church, because Conciliarism is to be found in real life all through the Church, although in their pure state Conciliarism and Catholicism exclude one another like apple and rot. But they are not in real life separable any more than are the rot from its apple or any parasite from its host. In real life there is only one Church, the Catholic Church, suffering today all over from the Conciliar rot.
Therefore as to a Conciliar Pope, it is a genuinely useful way of speaking to say that he is one head of two churches, because by his words and actions, sometimes Catholic, sometimes Conciliar, he places himself all the time at the head of both the Catholic Church and its Conciliar rot. But that is not to say that he is the head of two churches separate in reality. It is to say that he is head of both the Catholicism and the Conciliarism in the one real Catholic Church presently disfigured all over by the Conciliar rot.
And why in Heaven’s name are our Church leaders so enamoured of the Conciliar rot? Because of the modern longing for liberty. That is another story. But meanwhile we must pray with might and main for Benedict XVI that he may see once more the difference between apple and rot!