It is not only a risk of schism, but a certain kind of schism already exists in the Church. … We are witnessing today a strange form of schism. Externally, numerous ecclesiastics safeguard formal unity with the pope, at times for the good of their own career or out of a kind of papolatry. And at the same time they have broken their ties with Christ, the Truth, and with Christ, the true head of the Church. On the other hand there are ecclesiastics who are denounced as schismatics despite the fact they live in canonical peace with the pope and remain faithful to Christ, the Truth by assiduously promoting His Gospel of Truth. It is evident that those who are internally the true schismatics, in relation to Christ, make use of calumnies for the sole purpose of silencing the voice of Truth, by absurdly projecting their own state of internal schism on those ecclesiastics who, regardless of praise of rebuke, defend the divine truths. In fact, as Sacred Scripture says, the word of Divine Truth is not bound. Even if a number of high-ranking officials in the Church today temporarily obscure the truth of the doctrine of marriage and its perennial discipline, this doctrine and discipline will always remain unchangeable in the Church because the Church is not a human foundation, but a divine one.
Bishop Athanasius Schneider.
His verbis, actis, et omissionibus, et in iis sententiis libri Amoris laetitia quas supra diximus, Sanctitas Vestra sustentavit recte aut oblique, et in Ecclesia (quali quantaque intelligentia nescimus nec iudicare audemus) propositiones has sequentes, cum munere publico tum actu privato,propagavit, falsas profecto et haereticas:
- (1) “Homo iustificatus iis caret viribus quibus, Dei gratia adiutus, mandata obiectiva legis divinae impleat; quasi quidvis ex Dei mandatis sit iustificatis impossibile; seu quasi Dei gratia, cum in homine iustificationem efficit, non semper et sua natura conversionem efficiat ab omni peccato gravi; seu quasi non sit sufficiens ut hominem ab omni peccato gravi convertat.”
- (2) Christifidelis qui, divortium civile a sponsa legitima consecutus, matrimonium civile (sponsa vivente) cum alia contraxit; quique cum ea more uxorio vivit; quique cum plena intelligentia naturae actus sui et voluntatis propriae pleno ad actum consensu eligit in hoc rerum statu manere: non necessarie mortaliter peccare dicendus est, et gratiam sanctificantem accipere et in caritate crescere potest.”
- (3) “Christifidelis qui alicuius mandati divini plenam scientiam possidet et deliberata voluntate in re gravi id violare eligit, non semper per talem actum graviter peccat.”
- (4) “Homo potest, dum divinae prohibitioni obtemperat, contra Deum ea ipsa obtemperatione peccare.”
- (5) “Conscientia recte ac vere iudicare potest actus venereos aliquando probos et honestos esse aut licite rogari posse aut etiam a Deo mandari, inter eos qui matrimonium civile contraxerunt quamquam sponsus cum alia in matrimonio sacramentali iam coniunctus est.”
- (6) “Principia moralia et veritas moralis quae in divina revelatione et in lege naturali continentur non comprehendunt prohibitiones qualibus genera quaedam actionis absolute vetantur utpote quae propter obiectum suum semper graviter illicita sint.”
- (7) “Haec est voluntas Domini nostri Iesu Christi, ut Ecclesia disciplinam suam perantiquam abiciat negandi Eucharistiam et Absolutionem iis qui, divortium civile consecuti et matrimonium civile ingressi, contritionem et propositum firmum sese emendandi ab ea in qua vivunt vitae conditione noluerunt patefacere.”
These propositions all contradict truths that are divinely revealed, and that Catholics must believe with the assent of divine faith. They were identified as heresies in the petition concerning Amoris laetitia that was addressed by 45 Catholic scholars to the cardinals and Eastern patriarchs of the Church. It is necessary for the good of souls that they be once more condemned by the authority of the Church. In listing these seven propositions we do not intend to give an exhaustive list of all the heresies and errors which an unbiased reader, attempting to read Amoris laetitia in its natural and obvious sense, would plausibly take to be affirmed, suggested or favoured by this document: a letter sent to all the cardinals of the Church and to the Eastern Catholic patriarchs lists 19 such propositions.Rather, we seek to list the propositions which Your Holiness’s words, deeds and omissions, as already described, have in effect upheld and propagated, to the great and imminent danger of souls.
— Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, 16 July 2017.
By these words, deeds, and omissions, and by the above-mentioned passages of the document Amoris laetitia, Your Holiness has upheld, directly or indirectly, and, with what degree of awareness we do not seek to judge, both by public office and by private act propagated in the Church the following false and heretical propositions:
- 1). ‘A justified person has not the strength with God’s grace to carry out the objective demands of the divine law, as though any of the commandments of God are impossible for the justified; or as meaning that God’s grace, when it produces justification in an individual, does not invariably and of its nature produce conversion from all serious sin, or is not sufficient for conversion from all serious sin.’
2). ‘Christians who have obtained a civil divorce from the spouse to whom they are validly married and have contracted a civil marriage with some other person during the lifetime of their spouse, who live more uxorio with their civil partner, and who choose to remain in this state with full knowledge of the nature of their act and full consent of the will to that act, are not necessarily in a state of mortal sin, and can receive sanctifying grace and grow in charity.’
3). ‘A Christian believer can have full knowledge of a divine law and voluntarily choose to break it in a serious matter, but not be in a state of mortal sin as a result of this action.’
4). ‘A person is able, while he obeys a divine prohibition, to sin against God by that very act of obedience.’
5). ‘Conscience can truly and rightly judge that sexual acts between persons who have contracted a civil marriage with each other, although one or both of them is sacramentally married to another person, can sometimes be morally right or requested or even commanded by God.’
6). ‘Moral principles and moral truths contained in divine revelation and in the natural law do not include negative prohibitions that absolutely forbid particular kinds of action, inasmuch as these are always gravely unlawful on account of their object.’
7). ‘Our Lord Jesus Christ wills that the Church abandon her perennial discipline of refusing the Eucharist to the divorced and remarried and of refusing absolution to the divorced and remarried who do not express contrition for their state of life and a firm purpose of amendment with regard to it.’
— Correctio filialis de haeresibus propagatis, 16 July 2017.
Who then among you is noble-minded? Who compassionate? Who full of love? Let him declare, If on my account sedition and disagreement and schisms have arisen, I will depart, I will go away wherever ye desire, and I will do whatever the majority commands; only let the flock of Christ live on terms of peace with the presbyters set over it. He that acts thus shall procure to himself great glory in the Lord; and every place will welcome him. For the earth is the Lord’s, and the fullness thereof. These things they who live a godly life that is never to be repented of, both have done and always will do.
First Epistle of Clement, cap. 54.
My mind is, if I must write the truth, to keep clear of every conference of bishops, for of conference never saw I good come, or a remedy so much as an increase of evils. For there is strife and ambition, and these have the upper hand of reason.
St. Gregory Nazianzen, Ep. 55 (as quoted in Tract 90).
It is not to be excluded that I will enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church.
Francis, Bishop of Rome.
Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! saith the Lord.
Therefore thus saith the Lord God of Israel against the pastors that feed my people; Ye have scattered my flock, and driven them away, and have not visited them: behold, I will visit upon you the evil of your doings, saith the Lord.
And I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds; and they shall be fruitful and increase.
And I will set up shepherds over them which shall feed them: and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall they be lacking, saith the Lord.
Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.
In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.
Therefore, behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that they shall no more say, The Lord liveth, which brought up the children of Israel out of the land of Egypt;
But, The Lord liveth, which brought up and which led the seed of the house of Israel out of the north country, and from all countries whither I had driven them; and they shall dwell in their own land.
Jeremias xxiii, 1-8.
Our Lord Jesus Christ, Which with His most precious blood hath redeemed and washed us from all our sins and iniquities, that He might purchase unto Himself a glorious spouse without spot or wrinkle, and the Father hath appointed Head over all His Church, He by His mercy absolve you. And we, by apostolic authority given unto us by the most holy lord Pope Julius III., His vicegerent here on earth, do absolve and deliver you, and every of you, with the whole realm and dominions thereof, from all heresy and schism, and from all and every judgment, censures, and pains, for that cause incurred; and, also, we do restore you again unto the unity of our mother the holy Church, as in our letters more plainly it shall appear: in the Name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
Absolution restoring the Realm of England to Catholic unity, proclaimed 30 November 1554, the Queen, the King, and the Papal Legate being all present in the House of Lords.
Manifestum est autem quod infidelitas est peccatum contra ipsum Deum, secundum quod in se est veritas prima, cui fides innititur. Schisma autem est contra ecclesiasticam unitatem, quae est quoddam bonum participatum, et minus quam sit ipse Deus. Unde manifestum est quod peccatum infidelitatis ex suo genere est gravius quam peccatum schismatis.
Sancti Thomae de Aquino, Summa Theologiae, IIª-IIae q. 39 a. 2 co.
The king of the Saxons made accusation against the queen that she committed adultery and she was put to death through that and her head was taken off her and he turned not himself from his error of Faith.
— Annals of Ulster, U1536.12.
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The Gaelic Annals of Ulster record the execution of Anne Boleyn, accused of adultery and incest to King Henry VIII, who ordered her execution which occurred 19 May 1536. The annal notes that Henry continued in his schism with the Catholic Church.
What men create schisms and heresies? They are the intelligent men who are curious, critical, full of their own talents, motivated by a fierce and pharisaic zeal for reform, disdainful, unruly, and overbearing: they may possess right habits, a stern and haughty courage, a bitter zeal against abuses, a relentless dedication to study and discipline; but you will not find in them neither gentleness, nor understanding for neighbor, nor patience, nor humility, nor true prayer.
— Archbishop François Fénelon, 1708