The Schism and the Warning of Garabandal

The Synod

The Synod of Bishops did not prompt a schism, as I thought it would. However, the last document of the Synod will be issued by the Pope, and it is scheduled to be released in early March (less than one month from now). I expect that Pope Francis will issue some controversial decisions, in that document, on doctrine and discipline. And as a result, conservative Catholics, especially traditionalists, will renew and increase their opposition to Pope Francis, the Vicar of Christ and Supreme Teacher of the Church on earth. For they never accepted his authority and his role to teach and correct them.

Did they accept the authority and role of past Pontiffs? Not really. For a long time, many conservatives (not all) have ignored or radically reinterpreted any teachings of Popes or Councils contrary to their own understanding and preferences. They disparage and denigrate the Second Vatican Council. But they also ignore and contradict some teachings of the Council of Trent (e.g. that non-Christians who receive a baptism of desire are children of God). The problem is not that Pope Francis is liberal, but that some conservatives had already fallen away, through pride, from the teaching authority of the Church. They replaced the Magisterium with the majority opinion of the conservative Catholic subculture. They literally believe that they are more Catholic than the Pope. The way that they speak about Pope Francis is shameful. These are the Pharisees of today. But, as I said, not all conservatives and not all traditionalists are like this — many, but not all.

The sword of truth that issues from the mouth of Jesus Christ will cut through the conservative Catholic subculture, dividing the faithful from the unfaithful, the humble from the arrogant, the wise from the foolish. The latter will depart from the Church by falsely accusing Pope Francis of heresy, and they will treat the Vicar of Christ the way that the Pharisees treated Jesus on the Cross. The former will accept the teachings of Jesus issued through Pope Francis, and they will forebear the human imperfections and faults of each and every Pope. The Pontificate of Pope Francis will shine a light on the pride of some conservatives, and in response, they will scurry into the darkness.

The Warning

You might think that the Warning, which illuminates the conscience of each person, would solve the problem of the impending schism. But the Warning does not infuse knowledge of morality; a sincerely mistaken conscience will not be shown its errors. For the Warning is not a replacement for the particular judgment (when the soul appears before God after death). Many Catholics have gone astray, not only by the sin of pride, but also due to their ignorance. Many Catholics — including many teachers and leaders within the Church — have a poor understanding of the basic teachings of the Faith. They err by ignorance in many ways, and the Warning will not give them knowledge from God. So those who disagree with Pope Francis, because they have a poor understanding of the teachings of Jesus and His Church, might still continue in ignorance after the Warning, unless their negligence in learning the Faith is a sin on their conscience, and they repent from that sin and seek a better understanding of the Faith.

Then, too, some Catholics will reject the call to repentance gifted to them by the Warning. They will remain in the sins of pride and self-exaltation, of denigration and contempt for those who disagree with them, and of the idolatry of conservatism (or, for others, the idolatry of liberalism). Some, whose conscience is seared by their refusal to accept correction at the Warning, will renew their efforts to spread their errors to more persons, so that it might appear as if they are correct in their errors by the sheer number who agree with them.

The Warning will strike many souls with fear. And in fear some will cling to false teachers or false prophets, or they will cling to a particular subculture in the Church.

To accept correction at the Warning is to accept the humiliation of admitting one’s sins. To accept correction at the Warning is to deny yourself, so that you can change and become more like Christ. But those who have, for many years now, been filled with pride in their own version of Catholicism, will be tempted to reject the correction and humiliation of the Warning.

Others, who do repent at the Warning, will later backslide into their past sins. For the Warning is followed by confusion in sinful secular society and turmoil in the Church. Those who do not have deep roots in the Faith may be swept away by the difficulties of subsequent events.

So it is that the Warning causes some persons to fall away from the true Faith, because of their own failings and sins.

Salvation Theology

At the Warning, Pope Francis will suggest building three places of worship in Jerusalem, for Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

[Matthew 17]
{17:1} And after six days, Jesus took Peter and James and his brother John, and he led them onto a lofty mountain separately.
{17:2} And he was transfigured before them. And his face shined brightly like the sun. And his garments were made white like snow.
{17:3} And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, speaking with him.
{17:4} And Peter responded by saying to Jesus: “Lord, it is good for us to be here. If you are willing, let us make three tabernacles here, one for you, one for Moses, and one for Elijah.”
{17:5} And while he was still speaking, behold, a shining cloud overshadowed them. And behold, there was a voice from the cloud, saying: “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased. Listen to him.”
{17:6} And the disciples, hearing this, fell prone on their face, and they were very afraid.
{17:7} And Jesus drew near and touched them. And he said to them, “Rise up and do not be afraid.”
{17:8} And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one, except Jesus alone.

He will speak of the unity of all believers. He will teach that all who love God are children of God by supernatural adoption, and that non-believers can also be children of God in the same way, by loving their neighbor. This teaching is already found in Tradition, Scripture, Magisterium. But the conservative Catholic subculture has sown and tended a new heresy, which recently blossomed in its ugly flower: the claim that only baptized Christians have supernatural adoption as children of God. This new heresy is the wicked offspring of Feeneyism, the heretical claim that only baptized Christians can be saved. (A related heresy, which I call semi-Feeneyism, claims that very few persons are saved by a baptism of desire or blood, and presumes that all who commit objective mortal sin also commit actual mortal sin.)

So this proclamation and teaching at the time of the Warning by Pope Francis — on the topic of the universal salvific will of Jesus Christ — will be the final trigger that initiates the conservative schism. They will fall away by seeking to narrow salvation to only faithful Christians. Ironically, by rejecting the teaching of Jesus Christ through His Church, they themselves become unfaithful — thereby failing to meet their own definition of who (supposedly) is saved.

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

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5 Responses to The Schism and the Warning of Garabandal

  1. Jack Gallagher says:

    But what if, instead of the words you are expecting from Pope Francis, you hear him make declarations that are antithetical to the Magisterium, Scripture and Tradition?

    • Ron Conte says:

      The grace of God prevents the Pope from teaching heresy, and from committing heresy, schism, and apostasy, so that the Church will remain indefectible. If the words of the Pope seem antithetical to TSM, then you have misunderstood.

  2. Nicholas says:

    This is a solid commentary.

    Personally, I’ve worked for a family of parishes now for about five and a half years in the city. There is a broad spectrum of Roman Catholics going to Mass. At some sites they are more liberal and others more conservative. Its quite a mix and this is good because it balances. I’ve benefited from being around and learning from a little more liberal types who are more concerned for the poor, and I’d even say living the Faith, with deeds, mercy, forgiveness, inspiration, joy, in contrast with words and teachings (also important but overemphasized in other side). This is important for a City. It is cosmopolitan, and you know in our world people can get pretty sinful and messed up, so one has to start simple with mercy and openess and be welcoming. Anyone could step through our doors with any sort of history possible. So its very important how one is going to relate to them to help them to Jesus and Mary.

    I grew up aside and closely associated with ultra-conservatives and radical traditionalists in early adulthood. The latter were by far the worst influence in my life. But with the more liberal side there is definitely some holes in understanding. So if you don’t have some sort of strong roots, I could easily see confusion and division happening. So I think it is important to get focused.

    This year’s Ash Wednesday was electric. I really felt that it was even more momentous than usual. Year of Mercy. I sincerely feel like we are in a time of grace. Other than that I think Pope Francis is exercising fine wisdom in waiting a few months to release this letter. And I guess we will see what happens!

  3. Antoinette says:

    I don’t know why you say that the grace of God will prevent the Pope from teaching heresy, what about free will.Did Jesus not pick the twelve and one betrayed Him

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