PopeWatch: Schism





Pope Francis doubles down on those darn Americans:


BOARD THE PAPAL PLANE (Reuters) – Pope Francis said on Tuesday he prayed that dissent from American Catholic conservatives would not lead to a schism in the Church and that he was willing to listen to critics and make corrections if necessary.

But in frank comments to reporters aboard the plane returning to Rome from a trip to Africa, he said he was not afraid of a schism. Some of his critics had allowed political ideology to infiltrate religious doctrine, he said.

It was the first time Francis has spoken so openly about the possibility of a schism in the 1.3 billion worldwide Roman Catholic Church, albeit in answer to a question.

Francis also implied that some of his critics were hypocrites for accusing him of being “a communist pope” even though he was saying the same things about social issues that had been said by the late Pope John Paul, who many conservatives consider an icon.

Francis has been the butt of criticism from a small but powerful number of American conservatives unhappy with his stands on various theological issues as well as social matters from immigration to climate change.

An American reporter asked him about the attacks from conservative clerics, Catholic television stations and websites in the increasingly polarised U.S. Church. Some have demanded his resignation, saying he is sowing confusion about moral issues, such as homosexuality and divorce.

“I am not afraid of schisms,” Francis said in a 10-minute response, adding that there had been many in the 2,000-year history of the Church.

Go here to read the rest. Let’s unpack this shall we?  We have a Pope who seems to believe that all the rest of Church history, teaching and dogma are meaningless, and that he can change whatever he wants willy-nilly, and that if Catholics protest and object they must be aiming at schism.  Someone in this Pontificate may be seeking to bring about a schism, but it is not the orthodox critics of Pope Francis.



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  1. Fr. Zuhlsdorf has a useful commentary on a relevant First Things post that puts this in perspective.

    On a personal note, I can only wish our more orthodox and tradition-minded bishops were as sanguine about the liklihood of schism as is our Supreme Pontiff. Perhaps they’ll draw inspiration from his example.

  2. “Some of his critics had allowed political ideology to infiltrate religious doctrine, he said.”

    Example please St. Ambiguity.

  3. Third attempt to make comment ( and apologies if the previous 2 show up. Diabolical imps are interfering with this site tonight. Good for Don! If he’s catching flak, he must be on target.)

    Do read Fr. Zuhlsdorf’s commentary on this First Things post for context.

    As for myself, I can only wish our more orthodox, traditionally inclined bishops would show the same sanguine spirit towards the likelihood of schism. I can think of four or five parishes in two or three dioceses that I personally would encourage to depart, like Cromwell encouraged the Cavaliers of parliament to bigger off.

    But then, I’m just an ignorant, impassioned layman, with no responsibility for the cure of souls hanging around my neck like a millstone.

    IF this is accurately reported, the insouciance is breathtaking in its arrogance. Tremble for fear of the Lord.

  4. Pope Francis would be quite happy if all orthodox Catholics went into schism on their own before he has to “rid himself of these troublesome” Traditionalists.

  5. Just a stronger jab to the ribs, “why don’t you leave.” As I said a few days ago about the two-faced pope’s insults, I’m not quitting the field. He doesn’t truly understand the nature of the Sarahs, Muellers, Burkes or Schneiders if he thinks they’d leave the one true Church. Try to install a female priest at my parish, I dare ya. Before I even raise a finger the old ladies will have you tarred and feathered.

  6. It’s 9-11 and all this Latino can do is spit on America. Well back at you, buddy boy. Sorry, guys. Not feeling politically correct this morning. I remember at the Fitzpatrick nuke plant we were all gathered into the Training auditorium and only the operators and security guards were out in the plant. We all were wondering if we were next. The next day the plant looked like hi security federal prison – guards and soldiers with automatic weapons everywhere, dress down and body search of everyone entering the plant. Schism. Bring it on, you worthless Caudillo! Bring it on!

  7. Insightful commentary from Fr. Z.

    “What they hope will happen is that those conservative or traditional Catholics with whom they are now incessantly picking a fight with fighting words like “schism” will eventually get fed up and will make imprudent statements and gestures out of frustration.”

  8. @ Philip

    Your link is icing on the cracker.
    The UN!
    His flights mess up his head OR he IS the anti-Pope. In his case, speak and remove all doubt.

    Maybe he forgets what Church he is leading.

    Maybe this is just a bad dream.

    All Hail The Freemason dressed up like a Pope?

    The UN. A comfort for all of humanity…born and unborn.

  9. As a practicing American Catholic it is dismaying to read all the above misguided posts; all which indirectly advocate for the death of the church. Pope Francis is the best Pope we have had in generations. For the church to survive we must move forward.

  10. “Pope Francis is the best Pope we have had in generations”

    Only if you eliminate all other Popes including Alexander VI. Pope Francis will not kill the Church, his worst efforts to do so notwithstanding.

  11. “For the church to survive we must move forward.”
    In the Old Testament there are clear passages where the coming of Christ and a new covenant is foretold by the prophets. Christ’s New Covenant is eternal. The Holy Spirit was sent at Pentecost, so after Pentecost God was all in. There are no further Persons of the Trinity to send to propose a radical new Church, or a radical new dispensation. In fact the New Testament contains warnings to hold fast to the faith against impostors. In New Testament times God allowed Jerusalem to be put to the sword, and the Temple to be destroyed. He has also allowed the Catholic Church to become a divided kingdom, no different than faithless Israel. The kings and people of ancient Israel became faithless when they became worldly.

  12. There are like 16,000 so-called Christian denominations. You don’t like The Church, go away.

    Seems as if they’re trying to do to (Unfaithful? Uncharitable? Unhopeful? Unjust? Racist? Evil?) Holy Mother The Church What Barack Hussein Obama Tried To Do To The USA.

    Is Bill a “seminar commenter?”

  13. “Gaslighting” is such an apt description. One has to have seen Gaslight with Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman to fully appreciate the term.

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