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Full Version: What would a legitimate schism with Rome look like?
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Let's just say the Pope were determined to be a formal heretic by doing something clearly heretical (i.e. allowing the ordination of female priests -- thereby contradicting Catholic dogma and the theology of the priesthood), and yet wasn't removed from his Office.  If this were to happen, where would the faithful go?  Would they have to choose from the already existing splinter groups out there?  (i.e. SSPX, SSPV), or would they have to stay in communion with Rome, despite explicit heresy.

I pray to God we never find ourselves in such a horrendous situation, but it's just an interesting hypothetical, especially considering the confusing times in which we live.
I've wondered this myself.  Following the Dubia last year, my husband and I were discussing this.  I stated if the Pope allows women "priests" or "deacons", I won't be able to accept it and where would we go then?  We really had no answers.  I would hope faithful Cardinals and Bishops would lead the way for the rest of us laypeople, but I am also wondering what that would look like.  Hopefully we will never have to find out!
(09-27-2017, 09:31 AM)FultonFan Wrote: [ -> ]Let's just say the Pope were determined to be a formal heretic by doing something clearly heretical (i.e. allowing the ordination of female priests -- thereby contradicting Catholic dogma and the theology of the priesthood), and yet wasn't removed from his Office.  If this were to happen, where would the faithful go?  Would they have to choose from the already existing splinter groups out there?  (i.e. SSPX, SSPV), or would they have to stay in communion with Rome, despite explicit heresy.

I pray to God we never find ourselves in such a horrendous situation, but it's just an interesting hypothetical, especially considering the confusing times in which we live.

If this were to happen, it would prove that the Catholic church is defectible.  The Church teaches that a characteristic of the Church is its indefectibility.  This would show the Church to not be what it claims to be.  If you knock Rome off the list, Eastern Orthodoxy has the next strongest claim to being THE Church.  Although I'd give Oriental Orthodoxy some serious consideration too.  Miaphysitism is appealing to me.
(09-27-2017, 09:56 AM)Mamadric Wrote: [ -> ]I've wondered this myself.  Following the Dubia last year, my husband and I were discussing this.  I stated if the Pope allows women "priests" or "deacons", I won't be able to accept it and where would we go then?  We really had no answers.  I would hope faithful Cardinals and Bishops would lead the way for the rest of us laypeople, but I am also wondering what that would look like.  Hopefully we will never have to find out!

Many people I go to Mass with deny that Francis is the Pope. They think Benedict resigned under duress, and that he is still pope. That's probably what I'd think too if Francis went into heresy, but the bishops weren't tough enough to say so. This will end eventually, and God really is in control. Not everyone goes having carefully put their affairs in order. Maybe Francis will die without having the chance to do that. He should focus on repenting of the confusion gen has sown, rather than on leaving a legacy of destruction.  What good does leaving a legacy do if you're in hell?
As a convert from atheism/agnosticism, I have to work to believe in God, let alone to believe in the Catholic Church. The consistent witness to certain truths, even in the face of opposition, is what converted me. This controversy over Amoris Laetitia is already a great trial for my faith.

If the seeming pope were to openly embrace outright heresy, I would like to think that Benedict was still the pope. However, it would still be a trial to understand how and why such confusion would be allowed to go on.

Barring that opinion, I agree with Melkite that the Orthodox have the strongest claim. In fact, sometimes I feel like I didn't examine their claims enough...my conversion process was mostly about rejecting Protestantism as an option, and finding authority in the Catholic Church.  However, the loss of ability to believe in the Catholic Church would make me doubt any church's claim to authority.  It would be hard not to return to agnosticism.

As I've said to Pope Francis's defenders before, when accused of being full of hatred and lacking mercy for the divorced and remarried, this is not about any specific issue, it's about the truth of the Church. If the Church is the Church she won't change her teaching. No matter what happens. If she isn't, then everything else is called into question.
(09-27-2017, 01:51 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: [ -> ]Barring that opinion, I agree with Melkite that the Orthodox have the strongest claim. In fact, sometimes I feel like I didn't examine their claims enough...my conversion process was mostly about rejecting Protestantism as an option, and finding authority in the Catholic Church.

Well, there is no authority in the Orthodox Church, which directly led to my leaving Orthodoxy for Catholicism 37 years ago tomorrow. Well, that and the fact that the Orthodox Church blatantly calls Christ a liar on the marriage question! As I wrote on my blog back in 2006,

Quote:One day, at a party, Father [a Catholic Priest, JW.] asked me what was the ultimate authority in the Orthodox Church. The answer, of course is a no-brainer for any Orthodox: an Œcumenical Council. Then he asked another question: "Who has the authority to call a Council?" The answer is also a no-brainer, but with a sting in its tail! Only the Emperor has the authority to call a Council in Orthodoxy. The problem is that there is no Emperor! Even the most fanatical Imperialist Russian Orthodox, who would argue that Moscow was the Third Rome cannot argue with the extinction of the Empire in 1917/18. Ergo, there is no ultimate authority in the Orthodox Church!


This absolute fact is illustrated in modern times by the so-called 'Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church' which sat in June of last year. The autocephalous Churches had argued for almost a hundred years over whether it was even possible to call such a synod or council. When the Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome finally called the 'Council', four Patriarchates, including Moscow, the largest, did not even send delegates. One Church, the Orthodox Church in America, was not even invited, because there is no authority in the Orthodox Church that can decide definitely whether it is an autocephalous Church or not.

In other words, not only is there no final authority in the Orthodox Church, there is not even a means of establishing one! Give me Rome, with all our frustrations, problems, Dubia, and Filial Corrections any day.
(09-27-2017, 03:59 PM)jovan66102 Wrote: [ -> ]
(09-27-2017, 01:51 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: [ -> ]Barring that opinion, I agree with Melkite that the Orthodox have the strongest claim. In fact, sometimes I feel like I didn't examine their claims enough...my conversion process was mostly about rejecting Protestantism as an option, and finding authority in the Catholic Church.

Well, there is no authority in the Orthodox Church, which directly led to my leaving Orthodoxy for Catholicism 37 years ago tomorrow. Well, that and the fact that the Orthodox Church blatantly calls Christ a liar on the marriage question! As I wrote on my blog back in 2006,

Quote:One day, at a party, Father [a Catholic Priest, JW.] asked me what was the ultimate authority in the Orthodox Church. The answer, of course is a no-brainer for any Orthodox: an Œcumenical Council. Then he asked another question: "Who has the authority to call a Council?" The answer is also a no-brainer, but with a sting in its tail! Only the Emperor has the authority to call a Council in Orthodoxy. The problem is that there is no Emperor! Even the most fanatical Imperialist Russian Orthodox, who would argue that Moscow was the Third Rome cannot argue with the extinction of the Empire in 1917/18. Ergo, there is no ultimate authority in the Orthodox Church!


This absolute fact is illustrated in modern times by the so-called 'Holy and Great Council of the Orthodox Church' which sat in June of last year. The autocephalous Churches had argued for almost a hundred years over whether it was even possible to call such a synod or council. When the Ecumenical Patriarch of New Rome finally called the 'Council', four Patriarchates, including Moscow, the largest, did not even send delegates. One Church, the Orthodox Church in America, was not even invited, because there is no authority in the Orthodox Church that can decide definitely whether it is an autocephalous Church or not.

In other words, not only is there no final authority in the Orthodox Church, there is not even a means of establishing one! Give me Rome, with all our frustrations, problems, Dubia, and Filial Corrections any day.

I agree. That was why I didn't examine their claims much: it seemed to lack any consistency. However, I'm talking about a hypothetical in which Rome couldn't be the true Church.
(09-27-2017, 04:09 PM)Optatus Cleary Wrote: [ -> ]I agree. That was why I didn't examine their claims much: it seemed to lack any consistency. However, I'm talking about a hypothetical in which Rome couldn't be the true Church.

I didn't come out of atheism/agnosticism. I came out of evangelical protestantism via the Anglican Church. Having prayed and read myself out of them and into Orthodoxy, and then realising that Orthodoxy could not be the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church of Christ, for reasons I've already discussed, if the Roman Church, Mother and Teacher of all the Churches, were to defect, I would have no intellectually honest choice but to decide that Christ was a fraud and the entire edifice of Christianity was built on a lie.

However, Deo gratias, I do not believe that the Roman Church can defect because of Christ's promise. I know that we will get through this, just as we got through the Arians and Liberius, and John XXII.
If the speculation exists in any Catholic's mind that "Rome is not the True Church", then seriously, we should all be calling ourselves Protestants.

The Catholic Church will always be visible, and never be a Protestant "invisible" church, that only exists in perfection, perfectly in the mind of each person. Rome will always be the vineyard in the parable, where wheat is growing up with weeds sowed by the farmers enemies.
(09-27-2017, 07:11 PM)austenbosten Wrote: [ -> ]If the speculation exists in any Catholic's mind that "Rome is not the True Church", then seriously, we should all be calling ourselves Protestants.

The Catholic Church will always be visible, and never be a Protestant "invisible" church, that only exists in perfection, perfectly in the mind of each person.  Rome will always be the vineyard in the parable, where wheat is growing up with weeds sowed by the farmers enemies.

Right. So the only "legitimate" schism would be if it weren't. In which case, I would have difficulty believing in God. It would be back to square one.
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