Headlines last week were proclaiming that a group of cardinals believe Pope Francis should step down to avoid a catastrophic schism in the Catholic Church.
In fact, the modern Catholic Church is already in schism, but it is an internal schism, hidden to most people.
divide is very clear and yet virtually unspoken.
Nobody dares to really
speak of it.
The divide runs between cardinals.
It runs between bishops
It runs between theologians.
It runs between parish
It runs between liturgists and catechists, church workers,
musicians, teachers, journalists and writers.
It is not really a divide between conservative and liberal, between traditionalist and progressive.
is the divide between those who believe that Jesus Christ is the Virgin
born Son of God and that as the second person of the Holy and undivided
Trinity established his church on earth supernaturally filled with the
Holy Spirit which would stand firm until the end of time, and those who
Those who believe otherwise are the
They are the ones who think the church is a human construct.
It is a historic accident that occurred two thousand years ago and
succeeded by a few twists of fate and a few happy circumstances.
the believe the church is a human construct from a particular time and
place, the church can and MUST adapt and change for every age and
culture in which she finds herself.
This is the great divide.
This is the schism which already exists.
the church a divinely appointed institution established for the eternal
salvation of souls or is it a social construct which sincere people
have put together to make the world a better place?
This is the
divide within the church today and every conflict about everything –from
music, to architecture, to art, to Catholic education, from liturgy, to
literature, from devotions to disciplines and doctrines–everything
comes back to this basic divide.
Of course I believe the first:
the church was established by God’s Son Jesus Christ our Lord for the
defeat of Satan, the salvation of souls and the redemption of the world
through the supernatural graces empowered by the sacrificial death of
Jesus Christ on the cross.
All the rest–from saving the
environment to feeding the hungry, from equal rights for workers to
opening a soup kitchen, from educating the young to achieving peace and
justice–are secondary and reliant on this first and eternal priority.
The schism already exists.
All that is required is for individual Catholics to decide which side of the chasm they reside.