Will You Fall Away during the conservative Schism?

Pope Francis is our Holy Father, Supreme Head of the whole Church, and Father and Teacher of all Christians. He is the Supreme Pontiff, the Universal Pastor, the True Vicar of Christ, Ruler of Christ’s whole fold, Supreme Judge of the faithful. He is the Successor to Saint Peter; he is the Rock on which the Church is founded and the Pilot and Helmsman of the Ark of Salvation.

The gift of truth and never-failing faith was divinely conferred on Peter and his successors for the salvation of all. Thus, it arises from the necessity of salvation that all the faithful of Christ are to be subject to the Roman Pontiff.

Do you see the way that he is treated by many conservative Catholics? The belittle and demean him. They treat him with disrespect and denigration. They delight in publicly denouncing him. They argue with him at every turn. Pope Francis has the role and authority to teach and correct them. But they speak and act as if they had the role and authority to teach and correct the Roman Pontiff.

We are drawing near to a great conservative schism. God has chosen Francis as His Pope, so as to put conservatives to the text. Do you really love the Lord Jesus Christ above all things? Or do you love conservatism and the ideas of your own mind and heart more? Are you a true disciple of Christ, who accepts teaching and correction from the Vicar of Christ? Or are you an arrogant Pharisee, who judges all things based on your own mind and heart?

Already, I see that many popular conservative Catholic leaders have failed this test. I think you will be surprised, when the schism begins, to see so many Catholics, who seemed to most persons to be faithful, reject the Vicar of Christ and thereby fall away from the one true Church. They will falsely accuse the Father and Teacher of all Christians, the Rock on which the Church is founded, of teaching heresy, because they judge all things based on their own minds and hearts, and on the majority opinion in the conservative Catholic subculture, as if they themselves were infallible.

Will You Fall Away?

Here is my opinion on who is most and least likely to fall into schism.

How much time do you spend in recited prayer each day? If it is 3 hours or more, you are least likely to fall away. If it is less than 1 hour, or less than one half hour, you are more likely to fall away.

How often do you go to Confession? If you make a good Confession every week or two, you are least likely to fall away. If you do not go to Confession regularly, or at all, you are most likely to fall away. However, no matter how often you go to Confession, if you do not confess all of your objective mortal sins — including sexual sins such as contraception, abortifacient contraception, abortion, masturbation, pornography, sex outside of marriage, unnatural sexual acts within marriage, etc. — then you have not made a good Confession at all. Catholics who regularly commit the above mentioned sexual sins are likely to fall away, if not during the conservative schism under Pope Francis, then under the liberal schism under his conservative successor.

Do you humbly submit your mind and will to the teaching of the Magisterium, even when it is contrary to your own understanding, even when it is contrary to the majority opinion of conservative or traditionalist Catholics? Do you humbly submit your mind and will specifically to the papal Magisterium of Pope Francis, so that you place his teaching above your own understanding?

Do you reject or belittle or ignore the teachings of the Second Vatican Council?

Have you publicly spoken out against Pope Francis, not merely disagreeing with him respectfully, but speaking about him with denigration, contempt, or outrage?

Do you consider the conservative or traditionalist answer to every theological question to be necessarily correct, and the liberal answer to be necessarily incorrect? Do you consider liberal Catholics to be necessarily unfaithful to Christ?

Do you believe and live according to the following truths? —

The Roman Pontiff is to be respected by all the faithful as a witness to divine and Catholic truth. In matters of faith and morals, the Supreme Pontiff speaks in the name of Christ and the faithful are to accept his teaching and adhere to it with religious assent. This religious submission of mind and will must be shown to the authentic Magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex cathedra; it must be shown in such a way that his Supreme Magisterium is acknowledged with reverence and the judgments made by him are sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will.

From the answers to the above questions, it should already be clear whether or not it is likely that you will fall away in the conservative schism.

How Will You Remain Faithful?

1. Pray the Rosary and Divine Mercy Chaplet daily, for more than one hour per day
2. Examine your conscience and make a good confession, including the above mentioned sexual sins. Resolve not to commit any grave sins any more.
3. There is no substitute for humility. Acknowledge that Pope Francis understands the Catholic Faith better than you do. You are not more Catholic than the Pope. Submit your mind and heart to accept the teachings of the Second Vatican Council, and the teachings of the Magisterium, whether these teachings seem liberal or conservative to you. Submit your mind and heart to the teachings of Pope Francis.

Trials

When the schism begins, do not be afraid. It is necessary for the Church to pass through a time of great trials, in which the proud and the unrepentant fall away, so that the Church can be purified. A little while longer, and the liberal Catholics will be put to a similar test, and many of them will fall away. The Church must pass through a great apostasy, while She suffers through the first part of the tribulation. But as She continues on Her journey to Calvary, many sinners will repent, and the Church will emerge holier and with many more members than ever before.

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

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