What will be the Next Step in the Conservative Schism?

The liberal schism is still a few years away. The conservative schism is only in its introductory phase. As you watch an arrow fly through the air, can you not see where it will strike? The Pride-filled Correction is only the beginning.

Pope Francis, whom I believe is truly a Saint, will not stand corrected. Any further documents claiming to be a “formal correction” or something similar will have no greater effect than the Filial Correction. But the papacy of Francis will not remain stagnant. He will continue to teach.

I expect three big decisions to come from our holy Pontiff, in the near future. These are stated in no particular order.

1. A document teaching that the Church has the authority to ordain women to the diaconate, accompanied by changes to Canon Law permitting women to be ordained as deaconesses.

2. A document teaching that non-Catholic Christians, non-Christian believers, and non-believers can all be saved, by the love of neighbor, without necessarily converting to Catholicism, Christianity, or belief in God. (Just as I also teach.)

3. The third document would be a continuation of the dispute on Communion, clarifying his position, not changing it. The papal critics asked for clarification, but they will not be happy when the Pope clarifies that he meant what he said. He will likely expand the reception of Communion further, based on the individual’s judgment of conscience and their Baptism into the Church.

The Filial Correction only accuses Pope Francis of “propagating heresies”. Now that is a very serious, and in my view completely false, accusation. But consider what will happen if any of the above documents are issued.

They will respond by directly accusing Pope Francis of teaching material heresy and of committing formal heresy. They will declare that he has lost his office as Roman Pontiff, by means of automatic excommunication. They will say, incorrectly: “Let another take his office” (cf. Acts 1:20). But I don’t believe they will ever get around to electing an antipope to oppose him.

Yes, it’s going to get a lot worse. Those only will remain faithful to Christ and to His Church who remain faithful to each successive Pope, liberal or conservative. Do not allow pride in your own understanding of the faith to lead you astray from the faith.

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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17 Responses to What will be the Next Step in the Conservative Schism?

  1. Tom Mazanec says:

    2. A document teaching that non-Catholic Christians, non-Christian believers, and non-believers can all be saved, by the love of neighbor, without necessarily converting to Catholicism, Christianity, or belief in God.

    What’s new about that? That was what I was taught in the Sixties in parochial School.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Over the past few decades, the conservative Catholic subculture has gravitated toward an opinion which is close to Feeneyism, that very few are saved outside of Catholicism or Christianity.

    • Marco says:

      Actually, they think that very very few are saved even among Catholics.

      I asked them what’s the point of having children, if the most likely outcome for them is an eternity of endless tortures with the pain of loss and the pain of sense, all freely delivered by a loving, just and merciful God, but they didn’t answer me.

      And when i say that if that was true abortion would be the most human thing to do (because even they concede that in the Limbo -they still believe in Limbo- there will not be the pain of sense) or better yet killing your children after baptism, in order to send them to Heaven, they say that I’m a reprobate.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Of course, you don’t mean that literally. It’s an intellectual argument. My view is that all little children who die at a young age go to Heaven. But, yes, there are some who think that very few are saved, as if grace and the plan of God could not do better.

    • Marco says:

      “Of course, you don’t mean that literally. It’s an intellectual argument”

      Yes, it’s an intellectual argument, but the thing is that nobody would let his sons live if he really tought that they are most likely going to face eternal suffering in hell.

    • Marco says:

      Would you accept to give birth to another human being when you know that the odds are going to be all against him and that he has one in a million chance to get to Heaven (the alternative being eternal suffering)?

      Would you be able to get through life with such a tought in your mind? If the odds were the one described by some of the early fathers, with only an handful of persons saved in a big city, letting your son live past the age of reason would be the greatest conceivable cruelty, considering that, in that case, he would most likely be condemned.

    • Marco says:

      Let me clarify, Ron, that i’m thoroughly and uncompromisingly against all sort of abortions and infanticide. But I’am against these crimes because i believe that life is a gift, not a curse. I’m against these crimes because i believe that human beings are conceived out of love, not out of hatred, and because I have experienced this first hand with my children and my grandchildren. But if what the early fathers believed was true, how could i believe that?

      If the following was true http://saintsquotes.net/selection%20-%20fewness.html

      “Our chronicles relate an even more dreadful happening. One of our brothers, well-known for his doctrine and holiness, was preaching in Germany. He represented the ugliness of the sin of impurity so forceful that a woman fell dead of sorrow in front of everyone. Then, coming back to life, she said, “When I was presented before the Tribunal of God, sixty thousand people arrived at the same time from all parts of the world; out of that number, three were saved by going to Purgatory, and all the rest were damned”
      St. Leonard of Port Maurice

      ‘What do you think? How many of the inhabitants of this city may perhaps be saved? What I am about to tell you is very terrible, yet I will not conceal it from you. Out of this thickly populated city with its thousands of inhabitants not one hundred people will be saved. I even doubt whether there will be as many as that!’
      St. John Chrysostom, Doctor and Father of the Church

      “With the exception of those who die in childhood, most men will be damned’
      St. Regimius of Rheims

      If THAT was true, Ron, life would most definitely be a curse for most, if not all, of us. And in that case what would be a more compassionate and loving thing to do to other human beings than sparing them the horrible fate they are most likely fated to face due to their free will (it’s simple math, if sin has all this power and so many people are lost due to their free will it’s obvious that most if not all of us, not to mention our loved ones, would be lost)?

      I really can’t understand how the early fathers managed to go through their lives if they really believed those horrible things. How could they love the other persons believing what they believed?

      I really can’t understand it.

      But i’m very happy that the Holy Virgin of Medjugorie revealed to us that most persons are saved by way of purgatory.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Here’s my post refuting that position, based on Saints’ quotes:
      But if/when Pope Francis teaches on the topic, I think the papal critics will use those Saints quotes to claim that he is teaching heresy.

    • Marco says:

      I’ve read your article, Ron, and i agree with you; that’s exactly my tought.

      What boggles my mind is the fact that the early fathers had such a “weak” view on the power of Christ’s sacrifice and His Grace.

      And i’m very bothered by the fact that some of the even seemed to resort to lie in order to teach the fewness of the saved.

      For example St Leonard of Port Maurice claimed that

      “The following narrative from Saint Vincent Ferrer will show you what you may think about it. He relates that an archdeacon in Lyons gave up his charge and retreated into a desert place to do penance, and that he died the same day and hour as Saint Bernard. After his death, he appeared to his bishop and said to him, “Know, Monsignor, that at the very hour I passed away, thirty-three thousand people also died. Out of this number, Bernard and myself went up to heaven without delay, three went to purgatory, and all the others fell into Hell.”

      This means either him or Saint Vincent Ferrer lied about this important matter, making up a false story. What do you think about it?

    • Ron Conte says:

      No, I don’t think it is a lie. I think that it is something of a parable or figure of speech, in the way the numbers are phrased. And we can’t extrapolate from that story to everyone in the human race.

    • Marco says:

      But they taught this story as if it was real, that’s the problem.

  2. Alessandro Arsuffi says:

    Dear Ron, just a little thought.
    When we deal with the openness of salvation to all the people – meaning that God gives an occasion of salvation even those living outside the Church – some conservatives will claim that “Extra ecclesiam nulla salus” is an ancient principle of the Church, whose essence is written in the Council of Trent and the Syllabus. To these people I answer: what do we pray for on Good Friday? The intercessory prayers speak wonderful words even for the non-believers. In those prayers, we ask for enlightenment in favour of those people who do not believe in Christ or in God. This is how the Church provides salvation to them: by giving witness to God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and by praying for the salvation who do not believe. Once again, the Church is still the true instrument of God’s salvation, through the power of the Most Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, where the grace of salvation will be expanded to embrace the entire world. In the Day of Judgment, many who didn’t meet Christ and God – but neither did oppose our Faith – will find salvation in God’s embrace, while many so-called “faithful” Catholics and Christians will send themselves to Hell because of their close-mindedness and lack of compassion. In the end, it is on mercy that we will be judged (Matthew 25).

  3. Guest says:

    Regarding salvation of people, I think you should remember that not all men were pious. I would bet that there were many cultural Christians in Europe. The only people joining or reverting to the Catholic Church are either the pious or the fanatics. The godlessness and brutality we see now was probably masked by the cultural Christianity. Consider all those Catholics who left the Church during the Anglican schism. Did they really love Jesus, or were they looking out to save life and property? If you weren’t a professing Christians things could get ugly, so you professed it hypocritically.

  4. Mark P. says:

    To address Marco’s quotes from the Saints above, perhaps in their time and place it was true that most souls could have been lost. But perhaps with the spread of Christianity throughout the ages, despite the sin that persist in the world, now more souls than not are saved by way of Purgatory.

    • Ron Conte says:

      God’s mercy has not changed as the centuries have passed. “For, since Christ died for all men,(32) and since the ultimate vocation of man is in fact one, and divine, we ought to believe that the Holy Spirit in a manner known only to God offers to every man the possibility of being associated with this paschal mystery.” The Saints were simply mistaken. The Church’s understanding of the will and plan of God increases as time passes.

    • Marco says:

      “To address Marco’s quotes from the Saints above, perhaps in their time and place it was true that most souls could have been lost. But perhaps with the spread of Christianity throughout the ages, despite the sin that persist in the world, now more souls than not are saved by way of Purgatory”

      Gotta tell you, Mark, i had entertained that tought as well.

      That is, i had tought that it could be true that, in those times, most people were damned because of their free will, and that, thanks to the blood of the martyrs and the prayers of the Church, in modern times things could be different.

      And, giving the fact that today’s population is much higher in number, it could be true that most people are saved as a whole even if in ancient times that was not the case.

      But then again, i think that the most likely explanation is that most people were saved even in those centuries.

      Expecially because if that wasn’t true, the consequences would be very troubling, as i’ve explained above.

      I mean, Christians were known even due to the fact that we didn’t kill our children by way of abortion or infanticide, and both these crimes were widely practiced in the pagan world.

      But if what those Saints said was true, this would mean that pagans were assuring their child an eternity of happiness in Heaven, or at least an eternity without the pain of the sense, whereas christians, refusing to kill their children, ensured that many of them will be condemned to eternal hell fire.

      It’s this paradoxical conclusion which troubled me the most.

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