There is now no longer any mystery as to where to find the Roman Catholic Church. Although many have observed the fall of the Vatican institution, few have been able to account for it, let alone explain where all of that therefore places the Church. It is Lumen Gentium (a document of Vatican II) which decreed into existence in 1964 a distinction between the Vatican institution and the Roman Catholic Church. No further speculation is necessary.


Lumen Gentium
(Vatican II Document)

Consequences and effects seen since its promulgation

"Conciliar Church" portion of Vatican institution ¾ not working under the Indult
(no longer Roman Catholic Church)

  1. Decreed "Roman" schism into existence
  2. Detached Vatican institution from the Roman Catholic Church so that while still overlapping, their boundaries differ
  3. Made Vatican institution
    on the whole no longer answerable to previous Catholic teaching

All effects of schism seen (compare to results of English "Declaration of Royal Supremacy" on English Church):

  1. Damaged and varied liturgies
  2. Relaxed disciplines
  3. Damaged and heretical catechisms
  4. Loss of sanctity
  5. Decline and decay
  6. Loss of all Marks of the Church (One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic)

All portions of Traditional Catholic Movement ¾ both inside and outside Vatican institution
(now the entirety of the Roman Catholic Church)

  1. Generated charter for Catholic priests and bishops to retain full and bilateral union with Eternal Rome while functioning outside conventional Vatican institution boundaries
  2. Delegated jurisdiction to all validly consecrated bishops who hold and teach the Catholic Faith, regardless of relationship (if any) to the Vatican institution
  3. Mandated that a portion of the Catholic Church would nevertheless "subsist" in the Vatican institution

Miraculous continuation of the Church as promised by Christ (compare to status of Rome in the years following the English schism):

  1. Stable and unified liturgy
  2. Sustained disciplines
  3. Stable and orthodox catechism
  4. Progress in sanctity
  5. Growth and vibrancy
  6. Possession of all Marks of the Church (One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic)

As you can see from the illustration, the bounderies of the Vatican institution and the Roman Catholic Church no longer coincide, even though there still exists an overlap between the two organizations. As Abp. Lefebvre sensed back in the mid 1970's, there are two "Romes" and a distinction between Modernist "Rome" and Eternal Rome. Under the present arrangement (decreed by Lumen Gentium), the Vatican institution is ruled by Modernist "Rome" while the Catholic Church is ruled by Eternal Rome. Both entities exist as visible, corporate societies. The "Conciliar Church" most properly refers to that portion of the Vatican institution which is not part of the indult nor the Eastern Rites, although some writers have misused the phrase to encompass the entire Vatican institution (Indult and Eastern Rites included).

When Lumen Gentium formally declared (and with all authority of Pope and bishops) that their institution (the Vatican institution) was merely some organization in which "the Church" subsisted, this legal action changed the nature (or essence, in the philosophical sense of the word) and identity of the Vatican institution from being the Roman Catholic Church, to being some other corporate entity which, owing to its distinct identity from the Church, is no longer (as a body) answerable to the teachings and authority of the Roman Catholic Church, whose leader does not possess universal jurisdiction as a Pope (in the strictly Petrine sense of the word) does, and (like all merely human and secular organizations, including schismatic churches, but unlike the Church), which is subject to change.

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