Who now are the schismatics?

A while back I caught the ire of the neoconservative fascists on Patheos for the following comment:

“Even if the SSPX are schismatics (and I don’t believe they are), I would rather stand with them than the apostate German Church.”

Well, so much for the “at least the German bishops are loyal to the Holy Father” defense.


While I am in favor of more local synodality, I fail to see how this is not an outright act of schism.

“We are no subsidiaries of Rome.”

Considering that Rome appointed the bishops and those bishops are subject to the Latin Patriach, yes they kind of are subsidiaries of Rome.  When a similar issue took place in the Ukrainian Church, the Patriarch outright excommunicated the SSJ troublemakers (in stark contrast to the “Um… Lefebrve automatically excommunicated himself” cop out in 1988).

Yet still, there are neocons raving about how Burke is a naughty disobedient schismatic.  I’m no fan of Burke (and find his obsession with lace a bit much), but what has he ever done?  When the Pope fell into heresy, St. Hippolytus became an antipope to protect the flock in Rome.  Lefebrve never went that far and Burke has done even less than him.  Apparently, one can only be schismatic if one is not heterodox.

Fire all the German bishops and replace them with Benedictine monks.  Then the healing can begin.


2 thoughts on “Who now are the schismatics?

  1. I do think the SSPX is a schismatical group, encouraging the faithful to disregard the authority even of bishops who are completely innocent of any stain of heresy, and other opinions which are ridiculous, such as that the Novus Ordo mass is inherently sinful and full of “Protestant” heresies like communion in the hand and–gasp–under both kinds!

    However, I do agree with the sentiment of your comment, that I would rather be in the company of those who are for the most part orthodox than those who are both schismatic and heterodox. I like to imagine that the current pope is a fire sent to purge the Church, in that he is at least bringing to light for all to see the true nature of certain factions which had been swept under the rug in former times and consequently ignored by the sort that is termed “neo-con.” For there must be also heresies: that they also, who are approved, may be made manifest among you. But I have been known to suffer from delusional optimism before.


    • Communion in the hand was not a very good practice and its restoration was ill-thought out. Communion under both kinds (like the restoration of the permanent diaconate) was a positive change even if the execution could have been better.

      I use “neocon” to label only the rabid ultramontanists who will defend whatever the Vatican party line of the time is regardless of whether it contradicts the party line they supported a year before or even tradition itself. The very nasty “Neocatholic” slur was promulgated by traditionalists to mark Catholics who went to the “Novus Ordo” but were generally doctrinally orthodox (What a concept!). I tend to simply call those people conservatives and have an admiration for them.

      While I am speaking of distinctions, I also recognize a great difference between the Fellay/Pfluger SSPX and the Williamsonite “Resitance”. The former are coming around to seeing the reality of the world (“not everything that is modern is sinful”) and genuinely wish regularization with Rome while the latter are outright schismatics.

      For me, the commonality of faith trumps the artificial ecclestiastical boundaries. I will commune with the SSPX, Serbian Orthodox, or Coptics before I go to a “youth mass” because I share more common ground on what the faith means with the former groups than I do the latter. After all, the Church is the Body of Christ, not some human-constructed corporation with its headquarters in Rome (or Moscow for that matter).


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s