Eschatology Saturday: Is a schism imminent?

I have previously written that the post-Synodal Apostolic Exhortation of Pope Francis might cause a schism. Now that Amoris Laetitia has been released, and I’ve had some time to look it over, I find the document to be much less controversial than I thought it would be. And yet now I am reading terrible comments online about “The Joy of Love”, as if it were a sharp departure from the Church’s doctrine and discipline.

Pat Archbold writes that Amoris Laetitia is “the shameful document”. I disagree. Pat Archbold is taking it upon himself to judge Pope Francis and to judge his every teaching and decision. And this is ever the first error of the critics of Pope Francis. They assert that the Pope is contradicting Church teaching or well-established discipline. But they do not consider that they themselves may have misunderstood. They never see the Pope as someone with the authority and ability to teach and correct them. By sinful pride, they exalt themselves above the whole Magisterium, to decide what is and is not true. For they are not faithful to Jesus and His Church, but only to the conservative Catholic subculture.

Fr. Z. has decided to ridicule the papal document titled “The Joy of Love” with this post: #AmorisLaetitia Twitter Bingo! Get your card HERE! One might argue that he is only making fun of the Twitter response to the document. But his past posts about Pope Francis show a willingness to judge and ridicule the Pope. And he allows moderated comments on his blog which are harsh and condescending to the Pope. But if anyone were to speak in a similar manner about Fr. Z., he would not tolerate it.

Rorate Caeli has long flaunted the arrogance of schismatics and heretics; the authors there openly speak as if they were the judge over Popes and Councils. Their take on the Apostolic Exhortation: ‘Amoris laetitia’ in conflict with the Catholic Faith

I find this reaction strange. The Pope condemned same sex marriage and the modern take on gender. He supported the family against various cultural attacks. He did not give permission for the divorced and remarried to receive Communion. He expressly said:

“Naturally, if someone flaunts an objective sin as if it were part of the Christian ideal, or wants to impose something other than what the Church teaches, he or she can in no way presume to teach or preach to others; this is a case of something which separates from the community (cf. Mt 18:17). Such a person needs to listen once more to the Gospel message and its call to conversion.”

{18:17} And if he will not listen to them, tell the Church. But if he will not listen to the Church, let him be to you like the pagan and the tax collector.

A faithful Catholic can disagree with some parts of Amoris Laetitia, based on emphasis or on a difference of opinion about the best discipline. But I see no basis for any claim of a substantive doctrinal error. In theory, a non-infallible teaching of the Pope allows the possibility of some limited degree of error. But I think the claimed errors in the document are based on an uncharitable interpretation, and on a difference of emphasis of doctrine and a difference of preference for discipline.

Will Amoris Laetitia cause a schism? At this point, I don’t think so. But since a schism is very likely to be a part of the tribulation, and the tribulation is near, I have to say that Pope Francis will soon make some decisions on doctrine and discipline that will initiate the schism. The pride of so many Catholics, who think they are above the Magisterium, is the foundation for this schism. And it seems to me that many critics of the Pope are looking for anything they can interpret as a heresy by Pope Francis so as to condemn him absolutely.

Please consider reading my book: In Defense of Pope Francis

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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2 Responses to Eschatology Saturday: Is a schism imminent?

  1. Jimmy says:

    I agree that the conservatives in the Catholic Church are much more likely to start a schism for whatever pretext, than the liberals (certainly not the moderates). With such calming document it is hard to imagine how they will find motivation. But as you said, they are looking for such motivation, and will find it. Listening to an African cardinal, forgot his name, about how they would not accept anything new, it is frightening how such view have reached to a level of cardinal in such growing catholic population as it is in Africa. What if Petrus Romanus was elected as one of them? We would not have the moderate tone of Francis, but ultra-conservative views of minority presented as views of the Universal church. Thanks God that didn’t happen so far. Still, Francis is already 79 and logically all those cardinals think for the moment when they will have to elect his successor. If the sound reason plus God’s grace prevailed once and twice, it is not taken for granted it will prevail endless times if there are so influential figures who want the Church back in 15th century. I wonder why they are not already changed by the reformer Francis.

  2. aldo says:

    Esto coincidiria con las fechas previstas para el Aviso y el Milagro.

    Google translation: “This would coincide with the dates set for the Warning and the Miracle.”

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