The Conservative Catholic Schism will definitely happen soon

Every day, conservative Catholics are publicly expressing contempt for the authority of the Roman Pontiff. Every day, they exalt themselves above the Supreme and Universal Pastor, speaking as if HIS decisions on doctrine and discipline were subject to THEIR judgment, as if he had no authority over them, unless they happen to decide his decisions are right. Some even go so far as to suggest that the errors which are possible in his decisions on doctrine and discipline have no limits at all, as if the Father and Teacher of all Christians could teach heresy, or could lead the Church away from the path to Heaven.

Their arrogance knows no bounds. They judge all things, as if they were each their own Supreme Pontiff. They have dogmatized their own understanding of doctrine and discipline. They speak as if they had the role to teach and correct the Pope, and as if he had no role to teach or correct them, unless he is telling them what they wish to hear. Is not the Magisterium the sole authoritative interpreter of Tradition and Scripture? And yet they speak as if they had that same role, or even a role above the Magisterium itself, to judge whether any idea is of the Magisterium or not.

Truly, many of these persons are already in a state of schism: “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff” [Canon 751]. Therefore, they are already automatically excommunicated [Canon 1364]. And yet they continue to speak and act as if they were in full communion with the Church. They continue to receive Communion, even though Communion is forbidden to them as excommunicates. And what is their main complaint? that the Church gives Communion to those who (supposedly) should not receive.

When will the schism occur openly? When will large numbers of conservatives publicly renounce the Successor to Saint Peter, falsely accusing him of teaching heresy? I think it will be relatively soon. Amoris Laetitia has already caused them to be poised at the starting blocks of a race away from communion with the Ruler of Christ’s whole fold. All that is needed is one sharp sound, to set them running away from the Rock on which the Church is founded.

I think that Amoris Laetitia is not quite enough for them to depart openly and unequivocally from the True Vicar of Christ. But I trust that Pope Francis will continue to teach, and I think that some teaching of his in the near future will be the last straw for them. This teaching may well be on salvation theology. As far as I can tell from his limited comments so far, Pope Francis seems to have much the same opinion as I hold on the universality of the offer of salvation.

My view:
* non-Catholic Christians can be saved without converting to Catholicism
* non-Christian believers can be saved without converting to Christianity by formal baptism
* atheists and agnostics can be saved without converting to belief in God.
By love of neighbor they can enter the state of grace. By love of neighbor, they can return to the state of grace, if they fall away by actual mortal sin. Everyone who truly loves his neighbor also truly loves God, at least implicitly.

When Pope Francis eventually teaches on salvation theology, I believe he will teach similarly. And then the pride-filled conservatives will falsely accuse him of heresy, and will openly and unequivocally depart from communion with him.

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

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7 Responses to The Conservative Catholic Schism will definitely happen soon

  1. Bob says:

    Very very sad. I see what you say happening now. There is so much misinformation on the internet in favor of the four Cardinals and the Dubia that many are being deceived. I hope you are mistaken – but sadly I fear not.

  2. Tom Mazanec says:

    Some have left long ago…these hold the last six Pontiffs to be Antipopes:
    [link deleted]

    • Ron Conte says:

      Yes, there are a number of far-right schismatic groups who left the Church in reaction to Vatican II. I don’t like to give their websites more traffic, so I deleted the link.

      But the schism that is approaching is very mainstream. A lot of Catholics who are conservative, but not on the far right will nevertheless depart — largely out of pride and an attachment to conservatism over Catholicism.

    • Dan says:

      I do not see mainstream conservative Catholics departing the Church en masse, though some may dissent outright with more just personally diagreeing with the prudential nature of Pope Francis’ pastoral approach. While he seems to believe that he can limit division by refusing to adress the dubai and not providing clarity concerning controversial issues, it appears that this approach may actually have the opposite effect. It appears that a lack of collegiality between some of the Cardinals and the Pope has led to public accusations from both sides. While this may or may not be related to Our Lady of Akita, this public spectacle is troubling nevertheless.

  3. bill bannon says:

    Read a Canon Lawyer on this.

  4. Guest says:

    I see a parallel between today and the Judaizers. The Mosaic Law was given by God, so does the Church have the authority to dispense with it? Christians say yes. Catholics say because of the power of binding and loosing. If the Church is led by God, there can’t be a contradiction between what the Church says is okay and what God permits.

  5. Alex says:

    Card Burke surpassed all limits. His latest statement is equal to revolt, and it is not canonical too. He said, if pope speaks heresy he stops to be pope automatically. Where did Burke read that? And who is to say Pope said heresy? Burke?

    Pope Francis is may be too merciful and too patient already 4 years with people that should be sent in secluded monasteries long ago, without the right to teach the Church anymore!

    We need change within our lifespan and also within the lifespan of the 80 year old pontiff who was elected exactly in the name of reform. Is the billion wide Church controlled, or better say blackmailed, by people like card Burke and Sarah, people not elected but appointed by previous pontiffs under different conditions? Enough is enough! Let pope Francis reign in, before his strong opponents take his mersy as weakness and make him abdicate as his predecessor. Hope Francis has the strength and courage. If not?.? Just imagine where people like card Burke would lead the Church to, if allowed to act freely. Nobody needs repetition of historical gross errors.

    Btw, Orthodox churches not only give communion but also bless second and third marriage and ordain married priests. If we are looking for tradition for some thousand plus years…

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