The Continued Progression of the Schism

As I’ve said before, it’s interesting to be living during one of the great schisms of Church history. What’s surprising or interesting? This:

1. Most of the schismatic leaders, perhaps all of them, do not realize they are leading a schism. Even as they treat the Pope with contempt, accuse him of betraying Christ, suggest that he may be guilty of heresy, or may not be a valid Pope, yet the still do not see themselves as the schismatics that they clearly are.

2. There is widespread support and approval for the sinful behavior of leaders of the conservative Catholic subculture toward the Roman Pontiff. It seems that some of these leaders are really just followers, giving the people what they want.

3. The constant inexorable assumption that the conservative Catholic subculture cannot err in anything that it believes to be true, despite the fact that the Magisterium has not taught these pseudo-dogmas infallibly (or at all). The subculture has gradually replaced the Magisterium, and people are believing what it teaches, in contradiction to the explicit teaching of the Roman Pontiff.

4. How thoroughly uncorrectable the leaders and followers of the schism have become. In their pride, they cannot be convinced that any of their own ideas or understanding could possibly be in error. So if the Pope or the body of Bishops disagrees, they immediately conclude that the Pope and Bishops have gone astray.

5. Attacks on the Pope have become increasingly uncharitable, with ever less basis in reality. There is an assumption that Pope Francis acts from evil intentions, and he is now treated as if he were certainly a traitor to the Faith.

What will happen next?

6. At some point, Pope Francis will teach a doctrine that is incompatible with the assumptions and false conclusions of the conservative Catholic subculture. They will declare him to be a heretic, to be excommunicated, and to be no longer Pope and no longer a member of the Church. That is the inevitable outcome of the progressing schism.

7. Some Cardinals and Bishops will depart from Communion with Pope Francis. They will declare that the seat of Peter is vacant, becoming sedevacantists. Many priests, religious, and laity will join them.

8. For this to happen, I think Pope Francis will need to teach the alleged error, which will in fact be true, under Papal Infallibility. Otherwise, they could claim that he erred under the non-infallible Magisterium. Yes, I’m predicting that Pope Francis will exercise Papal Infallibility. Soon.

9. The topic of dispute, could be women deacons, or salvation for non-Christians, or contraception, or some matter on the basic principles of ethics. Those seem to be the only likely points of dispute, that would be sufficient to result in such a schism.

More on this topic over at Catholicism. io

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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16 Responses to The Continued Progression of the Schism

  1. Matt Z. says:

    Just a few days ago I responded to a post at Dr.Taylor Marshals blog saying that he was being too critical of the Pope. He didn’t even publish it on his blog. He does have good content there but lately has been critical of the Pope.Many others are being overly critic of the Pope including Church Militant which once said they would never go against the Pope. I believe its possible to have women deacons but not ordained women deacons. I hope the Pope doesn’t do this since I think it may cause more harm than good, but I stand by our Holy Father.

  2. Christine says:

    It all boils down to a great lack of faith in the Holy Spirit who guides our church. Those who find fault with Pope Francis, are led by their own minds or by the mind of the adversary.

  3. cool says:

    “Even as they treat the Pope with contempt, accuse him of betraying Christ, suggest that he may be guilty of heresy, or may not be a valid Pope, yet the still do not see themselves as the schismatics that they clearly are.”

    When the pope equates the death penalty with slavery and wars of religion, he is undoubtedly calling the death penalty intrinsically evil. Claiming that the death penalty is intrinsically evil is in fact heresy.

    ‘When we went to school’, he recalled, ‘they told us what people used to do to slaves: they were transported from one place and sold in another; in Latin America they were bought, they were sold’. That is considered ‘mortally sinful’ today, but it wasn’t back then. ‘Indeed, some used to say that it was legitimate to do such things, because those people didn’t have souls!’ Obviously, ‘it was necessary to go forward in order to understand the faith better, to understand morality better’. It’s not that today there are no more slaves: ‘There are more than ever, but at least we know that it is mortally sinful’.
    “The same process has taken place in regard to ‘the death penalty, which in former times was something normal. And today we say that it is inadmissible’. Or again, think of the ‘wars of religion’: today, said the Pontiff, ‘we know that this is not only mortally sinful, it is truly sacrilegious, a form of idolatry’.”

    • Ron Conte says:

      He does not say that the death penalty is intrinsically evil. You are putting words in his mouth, and then accusing him of heresy based on your words, not his! The inadmissibility of the death penalty is based on an evaluation of the circumstances, that it is not necessary to protect society today, just as JP2 said. It is also contrary to the Gospel, since the Gospel leads us away from all sin and all punishment for sin, to eternal life.

  4. Ron D. says:

    I do not accept the doctrine of Papal Infallibility. Does thIs mean I should quit my parish roll and cease to be a Catholic? Or can I still be Catholic, and privately not accept this doctrine? Our prophecies say that the Church will fall into grave error. It is possible that a future Pope could emply PI in the ex cathedra and teach formal heresy. Perhaps we should accept PI until that day, if it ever comes, but I do not think many Catholics actually believe it.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The Church is indefectible, and therefore God, by prevenient grace, prevents the Pope from grave error and makes certain that any teaching which meets the conditions for PI is entirely free from error. You should study this topic, and try to reach the point of belief in the dogma, by prayer and study. If you cannot, it is the sin of formal heresy, which carries the penalty of automatic excommunication. You have some time to struggle with the issue and consider it further, though.

  5. cool says:

    You are completely ignoring the fact that he equates the death penalty with slavery and wars of religion, which are in fact intrinsically evil.

  6. Stefano says:

    Ron, what makes you think that Pope Francis will teach a doctrine infallibly, knowing that this infallible teaching will determine a schism? Can a Pope be guided by an evil intent in his formal magisterial teaching? Or are you implying that he doesn’t know the consequences of his acts?

    Apart from that, it is definitely not of Pope Francis to teach infallibly, in accord to his theory that time is greater than space. As he explained, his main objective is not to define doctrines, but rather to start processes.

    Further, well before Pope Francis, many authoritative observers – Pope Paul VI to start with – have warned of an underground schism going on inside the Church after the second Vatican Council. So, if a formal schism will ever occur, it seems to me more likely that it will this one coming to open light, rather than the schism of some critics of an individual Pope.

    • Ron Conte says:

      The grace of God prevents each and every Pope from evil intentions and mortal sins concerning the Church, the faith, and the salvation of souls. Pope Francis: “I Might Go Down in History for Having Split the Catholic Church”. He is led by grace to do the will of God, and it is God’s will that those Catholics who are not faithful to the Magisterium should depart. The errors and faults among conservatives are being corrected by God, by means of this process. Conservatives began this schism when they refused to accept Vatican II wholeheartedly.

    • Stefano says:

      Conservatives who refused to accept Vatican II wholeheartedly have already departed, they have made their own schism and they have gotten their own excommunication.

      On the other hand, the underground schism that popes Paul VI to Benedict XVI openly referred to is the schism caused by those modernist heretics who affirm that (or act as if) the Vatican II operated a discontinuity with the past. For them history is not hinged on Christ (BC and AC), but before and after the Vatican II.
      They show to believe that Jesus is no longer Him which is, and which was, and which is to come, but a sort of spiritualistic representation of their own ego. They affirm, or show to believe, that before the Vatican II the Church has always betrayed Jesus, and that only now she is a true incarnation of Christ, which therefore needs to expell form his body all the impurities of the past in order to shine for eternity.

  7. Guest says:

    Let us assume that the pope taught heresy. Why not go Orthodox? Clearly the papacy is a lie. It’s not like a more conservative pope in the future can change that. And if you are right, what is the worst case scenario if you trusted the authorized teacher God placed over you and were misled?

    Let us assume that the pope did not teach heresy. What is going to happen to Catholics who revile and rebel against the pope, Catholics who know papal dogma? Do you really want to put your salvation at risk because the large crowd and media convinced you that the pope is wrong? Are you sure you want to tell God that you were convinced that the authorithy he put to guide you was wrong and you were right, knowing that pride is a capital sin?

  8. Guest says:

    That’s what I am trying to say. You gain nothing by being right when the pope is wrong and you are right, but you lose your salvation is if the pope is right and you are wrong. Some people don’t believe in the indefectibility of the Church, so ignoring it for now, even on a practical level it’s a tremendously stupid bet. The only time it’s an acceptable bet is if you are 100% sure, with no doubt whatsoever, that it is heresy; but it’s very proud to claim that for yourself.

    • Stefano says:

      I agree with you in the sense that salvation has nothing to do with being right or wrong, but has to do with being on the right side. So, it doesn’t really make sense to argue with the Pope personally on specific matters. However, it could be sensible, instead, to argue harshly with those who claim to interpret the unsaid, even if they were officially appointed by the Pope himself in a such a surreal role.

      On a reduced scale, with Pope Francis there seems to be something similar to what happened with the Vatican II, in the sense that there is no doubt that the final documents of the Council let no room for the many doctrinal and liturgical abuses that followed afterwards; nevertheless the self proclaimed interpreters of the Council have always welcomed these formal abuses as being in the “spirit of the Council” (quite an elusive concept).
      Likewise, you could find nothing in Francis formally and explicitly in contrast with the traditional teaching of the Church, nevertheless the common understanding is that the true meaning of his words lays in the unsaid, in a sort of unspoken spirit.

      It is as if a sort prophetic mood had spread through the Church, announcing a word of truth that cannot be pronounced because the most are not ready to hear it. This is in fact quite paradoxal because the few owners of this truth have become majority in the mean time, and well in line with the spirit of the world.

      Well, I think that there is nothing wrong in opposing and counteracting this majority, even if it seemed – but it might be just a diabolic illusion – as if the Pope openly favoured the positions of this majority.

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