We Need To Talk About The Liberal Schism

The conservative schism is now unfolding. It’s going to get a lot worse over the next several months. A large percentage of conservative Catholics and most traditionalists are going to publicly reject Pope Francis as the valid successor of Peter.

In my eschatology, the next Pope after Francis will be very conservative. However, he will not condemn Pope Francis. Instead, he will authoritatively assert that Pope Francis was a valid successor of Peter. Neither will he condemn or reverse the teachings of Pope Francis. However, and this is key to the liberal schism, he will change the discipline for Communion.

Pope Francis is within his authority as the head of the Church to make decisions of discipline. He is able to allow persons who are guilty of objective mortal sin to receive holy Communion, as long as they are judged, by their own conscience with the guidance of their confessor or pastor, not to be in a state of unrepented actual mortal sin. The minimum for reception of Communion is baptism and to not be conscious of unrepented actual mortal sin.

But the next Pope will change the discipline (to what I myself also prefer) to require all who present themselves for Communion to be baptized believing and practicing Catholics, who have not committed any objective mortal sins or actual mortal sins, since their last good Confession. An exception is made for priests who preside at Mass, that they may make an act of perfect contrition, and receive Communion at the Mass, and then make a good confession at their next opportunity.

The next Pope will also clarify the Church’s teaching on which sins are objectively grave and thereby prohibit from Communion, including: contraception, abortion, sexual sins of every kind, as well as heresy and schism. The conservative schismatics will not be permitted to return to the Church, unless they accept Pope Francis as a valid Pope. And any liberal Catholics who reject the teaching of the Magisterium on contraception or homosexuality or same-sex marriage or gender ideology, et cetera, will not be permitted to receive Communion. The divorced and remarried will not be permitted to receive Communion (unless they meet the much discussed conditions).

In addition, if I am correct on the extent to which the next Pope will safeguard the faith, any Catholic who publicly teaches anything contrary to magisterial teaching will not be permitted to teach in a Catholic institution, or to receive Communion, or to hold any position in a diocese or parish. And this will include persons who teach or opine online, and signatories to any type of document which opposes the Pope or the teaching of the Magisterium.

Many Catholics will stop going to Mass, rather than give up contraception and sexual sins. Many Catholics will stop calling themselves Catholic and Christian because they have accepted the teachings of sinful secular society in contradiction to the teachings of Christ and His Vicar. So, when the next Pope very prominently condemns homosexuality, same-sex marriage, transgenderism, and all manner of sexual sins, along with contraception and abortion, most liberal Catholics will abandon the faith. And those who depart from the Church at that time will include not only persons who commit those sins, but persons who think those sins to be acceptable and good, when committed by others.

Many of the most prominent “teachers” of Catholicism today will be rebuked by the Holy See. And this will include some considered to be conservative as well as many liberal. The papal critics of today will be rebuked, along with teachers of liberal errors. Many of the conservative critics of Fr. James G. Martin, S.J. will be put in the same category of unfaithful teachers as Fr. Martin himself. They will be dismayed to find that the Church considers them to be just as unfaithful as Fr. Martin.

Conservatism does not equal faithfulness. Liberalism does not equal faithfulness. The only Catholics who will remain faithful over the course of this Pope’s reign and the next Pope’s reigns will be those who strengthen their faith with prayer and self-denial and humility.

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

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8 Responses to We Need To Talk About The Liberal Schism

  1. Tom Mazanec says:

    I don’t understand how the discipline of who can receive Communion can be enforced.
    I am an Extraordinary Eucharistic Minister. Our large church is filled with parishioners three times a Sabbath. I know only a few of them, and I do not know their marital status even if I do know them. I cannot refuse Communion to those in objective mortal sin when I don’t have a clue who is in objective mortal sin.

    • Ron Conte says:

      I agree. Canon 915 (external forum) is largely unenforceable. And that’s why Dr. Peters’ claim that 915 is an expression of divine law is untenable. Divine law underlies its motives, but the Canon itself is dispensable.

  2. Marco says:


    “The minimum for reception of Communion is baptism and to not be conscious of unrepented actual mortal sin.”

    If i’m not mistaken you also have to belong to a Church which recognizes the Real Presence of our Lord in the Eucharist, so i’d say that you have to be baptized, be free from actual mortal sin, and be a catholic or an ortodox.

    Protestants can’t (and couldn’t) receive.

    Am i wrong?

    • Ron Conte says:

      You are mostly right. Protestants cannot receive, with some exceptions, such as a Protestant marrying a Catholic if the wedding ceremony is also a Mass.

  3. Mark P. says:

    Has there been a sort of partial schism already from both sides since Vatican II? A conservative schism among those who felt changes were too liberal, and a liberal schism from those who thought the changes didn’t go far enough? It is like they are Catholic protestants. One side protests that we don’t all say the Mass in Latin, the other side protests that the Church does not bend to the whims of modern morality.

    • Ron Conte says:

      Many Catholics today have adopted grave theological errors as if these were articles of faith. This has happened among conservatives and liberals.

  4. John Platts says:

    50 years ago, there were some Catholic priests, Catholic bishops, and Catholic theologians who thought that the Catholic Church would change its teaching against contraception, even though the Catholic Church’s teaching against contraception had already been infallibly taught by the Catholic Church prior to the dissent that took place in the 1960’s. Pope Paul VI would uphold the Catholic Church’s teaching against contraception in Humanae Vitae, which was published on July 25, 1968, even though there were Catholic priests and Catholic theologians who wanted to change Catholic Church teaching to allow contraception back in the 1960’s.

    Why would the dissenting Catholic priests and Catholic theologians think that the Catholic Church would change its teaching against contraception if the Catholic Church’s teaching against contraception was infallibly taught by the Catholic Church before the dissent that took place in the 1960’s?

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