In 6 months, conservative Catholics will be put to the test

Today is April 4th of 2015. The Synod of Bishops begins October 4th, six months from now. At that time, Pope Francis will issue controversial decisions on doctrine and discipline. In reaction, some conservative and many traditionalist Catholics will falsely accuse Pope Francis of heresy, thereby committing formal schism, and they will depart from the one true Church.

The decisions of Pope Francis at the Synod will not be in agreement with the majority opinion of conservatives; it will not reflect the version of Catholicism found in the hearts and minds of traditionalists. And unfortunately, many Catholics do not accept teaching or correction from any Pope, nor from any group of Bishops. They can point to some Church doctrines and disciplines, which they accept. But if the Pope or the Church issues any teaching or decision they dislike, they do not accept it. They only worship according to the version of religion in their own hearts and minds, not according to Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium.

This set of events is the work of God. The Holy Spirit guides the Magisterium in teaching on faith and morals. And each Pope is the Vicar of Christ, our Lord. It is false to say that any Pope who teaches error becomes invalid or reveals himself to be invalid. What type of Church would that be? One in which the members are unable to be taught or corrected, since any teaching they dislike, they reject. Who appointed you as the judge over the Magisterium, to decide that one teaching is right and another wrong? Most of these arrogant persons, who even now speak as if they are the judges over the Pope and all the Bishops, have never written a single book of theology. Their arrogance is exceeded only by their ignorance. They couldn’t defend their own views with a sound theological argument if their salvation depended on it.

If you think that the Roman Pontiff has fallen into heresy by some teaching or by some decision on discipline, think again. The Pope can never fall into apostasy, heresy, or schism personally, nor can he ever teach material heresy, because the Church is indefectible. But Cardinals, Bishops, priests, deacons, religious, theologians, traditionalists, and popular bloggers are each capable of sinning by apostasy or heresy or schism. We know that some Cardinals and Bishops in the past fell away from the true faith. But no Pope ever has.

If you think that the Pope has taught heresy, because he seems to have contradicted infallible dogma, then you must be mistaken. You can err. You can misunderstand doctrine and discipline. You can fall away from the true faith. The Pope cannot.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and
translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.

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