The accusation of schism
#1
I have often come across assumptions or accusations that traditional Catholicism is linked to schism.  I think this position is incorrect and I noticed a relevant passage in New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia entry on schism:
Quote:Schism, therefore, is usually mixed, in which case, considered from a moral standpoint, its perversity is chiefly due to the heresy which forms part of it. In its other aspect and as being purely schism it is contrary to charity and obedience; to the former, because it severs the ties of fraternal charity, to the latter, because the schismatic rebels against the Divinely constituted hierarchy. However, not every disobedience is a schism; in order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command.

I do not think that it is widely understood that an act of disobedience does not necessarily constitute schism.  To say "I cannot in good conscience obey the Pope in this instance but I do not deny his authority" is not schism.  My impression is that many trads fall into this category.  There also seem to be significant numbers who do maintain obedience to the Pope.  From what I can tell, trads who meet the definition of schism are a minority and the stereotype is unfounded.
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#2
(05-04-2010, 02:16 PM)JayneK Wrote: I have often come across assumptions or accusations that traditional Catholicism is linked to schism.  I think this position is incorrect and I noticed a relevant passage in New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia entry on schism:
Quote:Schism, therefore, is usually mixed, in which case, considered from a moral standpoint, its perversity is chiefly due to the heresy which forms part of it. In its other aspect and as being purely schism it is contrary to charity and obedience; to the former, because it severs the ties of fraternal charity, to the latter, because the schismatic rebels against the Divinely constituted hierarchy. However, not every disobedience is a schism; in order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command.

I do not think that it is widely understood that an act of disobedience does not necessarily constitute schism.  To say "I cannot in good conscience obey the Pope in this instance but I do not deny his authority" is not schism.   My impression is that many trads fall into this category.  There also seem to be significant numbers who do maintain obedience to the Pope.  From what I can tell, trads who meet the definition of schism are a minority and the stereotype is unfounded.

What about those that while they say they recognize the authority of the pope, they do not submit to his authority?  It seems they are saying one thing and doing another.  Independent priests come immediately to mind as an example.  While they may acknowledge the pope to be the pope and pray for him in the Canon, they willfully do not submit themselves to be under the authority of the local bishop, whose authority comes from the pope. 
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#3
(05-04-2010, 04:08 PM)amasimp Wrote: What about those that while they say they recognize the authority of the pope, they do not submit to his authority?  It seems they are saying one thing and doing another.  Independent priests come immediately to mind as an example.  While they may acknowledge the pope to be the pope and pray for him in the Canon, they willfully do not submit themselves to be under the authority of the local bishop, whose authority comes from the pope. 

There are circumstances under which we are obliged to disobey the orders of lawful superiors.  So it certainly is theoretically possible to accept that a person is one's lawful superior while disobeying him.  Even if a person was objectively wrong in determining that the circumstances required disobedience, it would, in most cases, not be an act of schism.
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#4
(05-04-2010, 04:25 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(05-04-2010, 04:08 PM)amasimp Wrote: What about those that while they say they recognize the authority of the pope, they do not submit to his authority?  It seems they are saying one thing and doing another.  Independent priests come immediately to mind as an example.  While they may acknowledge the pope to be the pope and pray for him in the Canon, they willfully do not submit themselves to be under the authority of the local bishop, whose authority comes from the pope. 

There are circumstances under which we are obliged to disobey the orders of lawful superiors.  So it certainly is theoretically possible to accept that a person is one's lawful superior while disobeying him.  Even if a person was objectively wrong in determining that the circumstances required disobedience, it would, in most cases, not be an act of schism.

Sure, a disobedience here and there is not necessarily indicative of schism.  But continual failure to submit to a lawful authority seems to be implicit denial of that authority.
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#5
(05-04-2010, 02:16 PM)JayneK Wrote: I have often come across assumptions or accusations that traditional Catholicism is linked to schism.  I think this position is incorrect and I noticed a relevant passage in New Advent Catholic Encyclopedia entry on schism:
Quote:Schism, therefore, is usually mixed, in which case, considered from a moral standpoint, its perversity is chiefly due to the heresy which forms part of it. In its other aspect and as being purely schism it is contrary to charity and obedience; to the former, because it severs the ties of fraternal charity, to the latter, because the schismatic rebels against the Divinely constituted hierarchy. However, not every disobedience is a schism; in order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command.

I do not think that it is widely understood that an act of disobedience does not necessarily constitute schism.  To say "I cannot in good conscience obey the Pope in this instance but I do not deny his authority" is not schism.   My impression is that many trads fall into this category.  There also seem to be significant numbers who do maintain obedience to the Pope.  From what I can tell, trads who meet the definition of schism are a minority and the stereotype is unfounded.

We've been saying that for years.  The Neo-Catholics don't buy it or don't want to hear it or both.  Some are more reasonable than others and have arguments that are reasonable to entertain (e.g., ABL went over the line with consecration of bishops), but at the Neo-Catholic extreme if one dare says a negative thing about the NO or the Council or its documents they label that person schismatic.

The word "schism" is thrown around by Neo-Caths as loosely as "Modernist" is by trads.  There are unreasonable people in both groups who like rhetoric more than facts.

Edit: clarity
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#6
(05-04-2010, 04:30 PM)amasimp Wrote:
(05-04-2010, 04:25 PM)JayneK Wrote:
(05-04-2010, 04:08 PM)amasimp Wrote: What about those that while they say they recognize the authority of the pope, they do not submit to his authority?  It seems they are saying one thing and doing another.  Independent priests come immediately to mind as an example.  While they may acknowledge the pope to be the pope and pray for him in the Canon, they willfully do not submit themselves to be under the authority of the local bishop, whose authority comes from the pope. 

There are circumstances under which we are obliged to disobey the orders of lawful superiors.  So it certainly is theoretically possible to accept that a person is one's lawful superior while disobeying him.  Even if a person was objectively wrong in determining that the circumstances required disobedience, it would, in most cases, not be an act of schism.

Sure, a disobedience here and there is not necessarily indicative of schism.  But continual failure to submit to a lawful authority seems to be implicit denial of that authority.

That conclusion seems premature.

It could be that the authority continually gives unlawful orders or it could be that while the order is lawful, it would be a sin against conscience for one to fulfill it (e.g., requiring an FSSP priest to give Communion in hand).  The authority of the person isn't denied; the problem is the person finds the order not actionable on moral grounds, sometimes real, sometimes as a matter of conscience, sometimes out of a BS reason.

It may definitely be that a sin is incurred or a law broken by disobedience, but it doesn't mean that the authority is denied.

One has to ask why they are refusing to submit - it can be anything from an unlawful order, to conscience, to holding an heretical belief, to really being in schism.
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#7
Disobedience can just be the plain old sin of disobedience to a lawful superior without being the specific sin of schism. Also, has been pointed out, sometimes conscience takes precedence to the word of a superior, even the Pope. Cardinal Newman explains this well here:

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion5.html
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#8
(05-04-2010, 06:33 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Disobedience can just be the plain old sin of disobedience to a lawful superior without being the specific sin of schism. Also, has been pointed out, sometimes conscience takes precedence to the word of a superior, even the Pope. Cardinal Newman explains this well here:

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion5.html

where is the line drawn between conscience and obstinenance?  Even if it is not schism, I've never quite understood how people can be so "comfortable" with the idea of being persistently disobedient.  But, that is just me.  I won't speak to others' consciences.

Edited for clarity and spelling.
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#9
(05-04-2010, 06:33 PM)SaintSebastian Wrote: Disobedience can just be the plain old sin of disobedience to a lawful superior without being the specific sin of schism. Also, has been pointed out, sometimes conscience takes precedence to the word of a superior, even the Pope. Cardinal Newman explains this well here:

http://www.newmanreader.org/works/anglic...tion5.html

Great link!  I especially liked this section:
Quote:But, of course, I have to say again, lest I should be misunderstood, that when I speak of Conscience, I mean conscience truly so called. When it has the right of opposing the supreme, though not infallible Authority of the Pope, it must be something more than that miserable counterfeit which, as I have said above, now goes by the name. If in a particular case it is to be taken as a sacred and sovereign monitor, its dictate, in order to prevail against the voice of the Pope, must follow upon {258} serious thought, prayer, and all available means of arriving at a right judgment on the matter in question. And further, obedience to the Pope is what is called "in possession;" that is, the onus probandi of establishing a case against him lies, as in all cases of exception, on the side of conscience. Unless a man is able to say to himself, as in the Presence of God, that he must not, and dare not, act upon the Papal injunction, he is bound to obey it, and would commit a great sin in disobeying it. Primâ facie it is his bounden duty, even from a sentiment of loyalty, to believe the Pope right and to act accordingly. He must vanquish that mean, ungenerous, selfish, vulgar spirit of his nature, which, at the very first rumour of a command, places itself in opposition to the Superior who gives it, asks itself whether he is not exceeding his right, and rejoices, in a moral and practical matter to commence with scepticism. He must have no wilful determination to exercise a right of thinking, saying, doing just what he pleases, the question of truth and falsehood, right and wrong, the duty if possible of obedience, the love of speaking as his Head speaks, and of standing in all cases on his Head's side, being simply discarded. If this necessary rule were observed, collisions between the Pope's authority and the authority of conscience would be very rare.
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#10
(05-04-2010, 04:30 PM)amasimp Wrote: Sure, a disobedience here and there is not necessarily indicative of schism.  But continual failure to submit to a lawful authority seems to be implicit denial of that authority.

I think that we have some obligation to believe people when they say they recognize the authority of the Pope even though they are disobeying him out of conscience.  Imputing bad motives to someone, especially when they are claiming another motive, seems to be the sin of rash judgment.
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