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.
Please take a look at this list of my books and booklets, and see if any topic interests you.