Pope Francis will soon release his Apostolic Exhortation on the Family. Titled Amoris Laetitia (the Joy of Love), the document is to be released Friday April 8th. It is the last document of the recent Synod of Bishops held in October 2015. I expect that its contents will be controversial. This document could be the final impetus toward the conservative schism that I have been predicting. But I also think that Pope Francis will release other controversial documents, including perhaps one approving of women deacons, and another on salvation theology.
Eventually, the pride that is widely and publicly expressed by many conservatives will lead them to reject Pope Francis, resulting in a schism. In principle, they could repent of their sinful pride, and submit their minds and wills to the teachings of the Papal Magisterium. But in the last three years, it has become clear that they are not willing to do so. Far too many conservatives and traditionalists have accepted the majority opinion in their own Catholic subculture as if it were dogma. Far too many Catholics, whether liberal or moderate or conservative, have dogmatized their own personal understanding. Far too many Catholics no longer accept the teaching authority of the Magisterium. They arrogantly reject any teaching that does not conform to their own ideas.
So the foundation for a great schism has been laid, and it is solid — nearly unbreakable. All that remains is for the Pope to continue his proper role of teaching and correcting the faithful, and a formal schism will begin.
I think that the schism will begin soon, in the first half of 2016. But I could be mistaken. It might take longer to unfold.
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