Soon the Conservatives Schismatics Will Walk Out of the Church

The rhetoric against Pope Francis has been getting progressively worse. I thought things reached their peak when he was accused of formal heresy by the Open Letter. But then they went on to accuse him of apostasy, which then seemed like the height, and next sacrilege and idolatry. What could be next? Will they accuse him of being in league with the devil? They already make that accusation in the insanely popular book “Infiltration” (and I do mean “insane”). Taylor Marshall in Infiltration: “a pope for Satan on the Roman Chair of Saint Peter” and “a satanic revolution with the pope as puppet.” [KL* 120]

And though they blame Pope Francis, it is easily provable that he is not the cause of this rebellion. For they also accuse multiple other Popes of grave errors, and they cast aspersions on the recent Pope-Saints, even John Paul II. Then, having placed themselves above the Papacy itself, they judge and condemn the Second Vatican Council and ignore or contradict the teaching of the First Vatican Council.

Then, prior to Pope Francis, many conservative Catholic leaders were teaching heresy, devising their own version of Catholicism, which was ever more distant from truth. But the leaders of this subculture refused to criticize any of their own. I wrote many posts arguing against these errors. But their followers had no concern for whether they were being taught Catholic truth, as long as the teacher of error had the right set of conservative opinions (or popular errors). The foundation of the schism was laid long before Pope Francis was elected.

The election of a liberal but orthodox Roman Pontiff simply brought this rebellion against Christ to light, and catalyzed it. But even after all of these severe accusations against Francis, which certainly imply that the Pope has lost his validity (if such claim were, or could even be, true), they continue to claim to be Roman Catholic, and continue to go to Mass, as if nothing had changed. What will cause these schismatics and heretics to walk away from the Church which they now hate? What will cause them to admit they are no longer a part of this Church led by Pope Francis?

I consider that Pope Francis might teach that non-Christian believers and non-believers can be saved without converting. In my opinion, this conclusion is necessitated by past magisterial teaching, as I explain in Forgiveness and Salvation for Everyone. The papal accusers seem to have coalesced around the erroneous claim that only baptized Christians can be saved, and salvation outside of formal baptism is possible, but rare, or impossible. The latter position is the heresy of Feeneyism; the former is mitigated Feeneyism, and at least proximate to heresy.

The other possibility, more likely I think, is that Pope Francis will ordain women deacons. There will be ever more ordained women in the parishes and diocese, forcing the conservative schismatics to walk out of the churches, literally and figuratively. When this “Walk Out” occurs, they will finally admit that they are not in communion with Pope Francis.

And I really believe it is best for the Church. These popular Catholic leaders are causing grave harm to souls. Not every follower of theirs is so enthusiastic about accusing Pope Francis of grave sin. Some are on the fence, and they may be led into grave failures of faith by the conservative Catholic subculture, if this situation continues without a resolution.

I don’t know what the numbers are. In a Church of 1.3 billion persons, there might be millions at least who have already decided to reject submission to Pope Francis. They are already schismatics. But they still attend Catholic churches.

Something similar happened with Arianism, long ago. Many Bishops and priests fell into this grave heresy, with much of their flocks. They did not form a separate “church”. They pretended to be faithful Christians in the one Church. Could the situation continue without a “walk out”? Perhaps. But this progression toward ever greater rebellion has to lead somewhere. And it doesn’t seem to be leading to repentance.

When the Walk Out occurs, some parishes will collapse. Others will fall entirely into schism and heresy, rejecting the Pope openly. Not many Bishops will fall away. We can already see that the body of Bishops supports the Roman Pontiff, by the grace of God (of course).

But then the schismatics will be in much the same position as the SSPX and other sedevacantists. How can they return to the Church, having rejected a past Pope? No future Council is going to reject Vatican II. No future Pope is going to reject Pope Francis, not since the First Vatican Council defined that every Pope has a never-failing faith. They have no way to return, except to repent and admit that Pope Francis never committed apostasy, heresy, or schism; never committed idolatry, sacrilege, or blasphemy. (The latter accusation is probably next in this progression.)

“Disobedience to the Church and rejection of Church teaching amounts to a rejection of Christ himself.” [1]

To the faithful, I say: do not delve into the details of the accusations against Pope Francis. Simply believe that the grace of God protects the Church, making Her indefectible. And this indefectibility certainly applies also to the head of the Church, the Roman Pontiff, and the body of Bishops. Believe based on faith, and do not fall into the prideful error of judging Popes or Councils, for they speak with the authority of Christ and the assistance of the Holy Spirit. The Church is the bride of Christ, and She is the body of Christ with Him as Her head, and the Spirit as Her soul. To say that the Church is infiltrated by Satan, at the highest levels, is to reject Christ and the Holy Spirit.

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

[1] Dr. Janet E. Smith in the Foreword to Catholic Sexual Morality by Robert L. Fastiggi, Ph.D.

* Kindle location, a number system for location of text in Kindle formatted electronic books.

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2 Responses to Soon the Conservatives Schismatics Will Walk Out of the Church

  1. Alex says:

    So well written, Ron!

    Is the purpose of the schismatics to walk away, or to stay and sabotage the Church from the inside? If they walk away, it will be only if they are certain that a more liberal pope will be elected after pope Francis. So they would want to elect their own “pope” instead.

    If they have the slightest hope that the next conclave would elect a little more conservative pope (that is a possibility of course although not my bet) then they will stay in trying to influence the conclave. And trying to buy as many souls as possible meanwhile. Once elected a relatively more conservative pope. they will trump it as their own victory and victory of their “unfailing faith in the dogmas of the catholic church that pope Francis trespassed”. Their language can include everything imaginable and unimaginable, as we see from what they write in forums. They may even claim that pope Francis was 666 and after him the Church has entered into the “era of peace” or the eucharistic millenium, or you name it. I can expect everything from them. The point is, will they get it, will they be allowed to get it.

    Pope Francis may put an end of that grotesque charade by excommunicating at least archbishop Vigano for his repeated writings. He is not a cardinal, therefore his excommunication won’t alter the next conclave. On the other side, he is well inside the structures being the top diplomat in the US. He doesn’t have the excuse of bishop Schneider to come from ex-soviet state and to have the naive childish understanding of the faith (although I do not think bishop Schneider is so stupid, anyway we can close our eyes for a bishop working in Kazachstan). Vigano is the perfect example for the rest. He must be excommunicated for the well being of the Church. Maybe some of those other prelates will repent. Maybe cardinals Sarah, Burke and Muller will prefer to tone it down instead of electing one among themselves as the first antipope in modern history. Or maybe Vigano himself will repent in the rest of his life.

    I never imagined that a Catholic archbishop so high in the hierarchy would talk so bad for a living pope, for the council etc. I thought all that remained in the darkest pages of the Church centuries ago. I understand pope Francis doesn’t want to make the first move, but maybe it is necessary in order to prevent an antipope elected at the time of the next conclave. That may happen sooner than expected, if it is pope Francis to resign and not the schismatics. As it happened with pope Benedict, instead of purging the sex offenders, he resigned.

  2. Alex says:

    Card. Muller joins Vigano in his condemnation of “pachamama idolatry”:

    “This whole sad story will give support to many aggressive, anti-Catholic sects in South America and elsewhere who in their polemics maintain that Catholics are idol worshipers and that the Pope who they obey is the Antichrist,” Müller said. “Hundreds of thousands of Catholics in the Amazon area and wherever the videos of this Roman spectacle have been seen will leave the Church in protest,”

    So he is concerned of “hundreds of thousands” ultraconservatives who seeing on a video a single “worship” in Vatican by American native people who are not even Christians, as a result will leave the Catholic Church and even assume that “the Pope who they obey is the Antichrist”?!? Strange logic!

    At the same time, Muller doesn’t mention that Brazil has lost 10% of its Catholic population to the sects for 10 years, 1% a year, to reach only 64.6% for a country who once was entirely Catholic. Thanks to failed policies, lack of concern for the common people and slow reforms for decades that just now take some more determined shape.

    For me, cardinals Muller, Burke, Sarah, archbisop Vigano and bishop Schneider are not representing anymore true “Catholic bishops” because they are serving a cult that makes demonization of everything good development in the Church, and that all “in the name of God.” In the past they could be successful top inquisitors. Thanks to such kind of people the Catholic Church is where it is now, with the need of dare reforms running against the time. Thanks to centuries failed policies and wrong decisions by consecrated people who believed they held “the finger of God”. Nothing in the words of those prelates bears any similarity to the Love and Mercy shown by Jesus Christ. Not by their teaching someone would be saved, but despite their teaching.

    As St Paul said in 2 Corinthians 3:6
    “He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant – not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

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