Schism in the Catholic Church — Again!

News: Commentary
by Raymond de Souza, KHS, KofC  •  •  September 13, 2021   

Division over sacrilegious Communions

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It is useless to deny it: There is a schism in the Catholic Church today. The schism involves cardinals, bishops, priests and laymen. One of the gravest manifestations of the schism is the distribution of Holy Communion to those living in adultery. 

Pope St. John Paul II

On this point, the bishops of Poland affirmed the perennial teaching of the Church, and said "no" — that it is a sacrilege to receive Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin.

But, in Germany, many bishops say, "Yes, go ahead and receive, as long as you feel you are at peace with God."

This schism is not the cerebral lucubration of a few German bishops. Rather, it is a consequence of the ambiguities of Pope Francis' apostolic exhortation Amoris Laetitia.

Consider this situation: If a Catholic is living in adultery in Poland, he cannot receive Holy Communion until his situation is reconciled with God and His holy law. But if the same Catholic crosses the border into some of the German dioceses, he can receive Communion with episcopal approval.

What kind of nonsense is this?

It would seem that relativism is now the law of the Church in Europe — as if Church teaching depended on which side of the Germany/Poland border one lives. Have the German bishops successfully buried the gospel with their relativism?

Pope St. John Paul II once stated:

Learn to think, speak and act according to the principles of evangelical simplicity and clarity: "Yes, yes — no, no." Learn to call white "white," black "black," evil "evil" and good "good." Learn to call sin "sin," and do not call it "liberation" and "progress," even if all fashion and propaganda were against it.

It is a sacrilege to receive Holy Communion while in a state of mortal sin.

John Paul was simply echoing Jesus' teachings that His followers must: 

Let your "yes" mean "yes," and your "no" mean "no." Anything more is from the evil one. He who is not with Me, is against Me; he who does not gather together with Me, scatters; not all those who say "Lord, Lord" shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in Heaven.

I suppose that if John Paul had said that today, he would be criticized for being too rigid, too judgmental, too "black and white."

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But we must remember the good news: Cardinals Carlo Caffarra of Italy, Walter Brandmüller and Joachim Meisner of Germany, and Raymond Burke of the United States did ask Pope Francis to clarify his teachings about Communion and adultery (he has, so far, refused to do so). Since then, two of those cardinals have died.

Bp. Arturo Bastes

It would be a tragedy if Pope Francis were to "enter history as the one who split the Catholic Church," a possibility that he himself has admitted.

Add to this the pope's apparent support for homosexual unions, in a 2020 documentary, and we have a real problem of conscience to consider. But it's not just us: Addressing Francis' remarks last year, retired bishop Arturo Bastes of the Philippines said he had "very serious doubts about the moral correctness" of the pontiff's position.

"This is a shocking statement coming from the pope," Bastes told reporters. "I am really scandalized by his defense of homosexual union, which surely leads to immoral acts."

Bp. Bastes wasn't alone. Prelates around the globe blasted Francis's comments.

Remember how Pope St. Paul VI denounced the presence of the "smoke of Satan" in the Church? Pope Francis beatified him (just as he did Pope St. John Paul II). Aren't Paul VI's predictions coming true today?

Now I turn to the remaining intrepid cardinals of the Church: Your Eminences, the schism is like ecclesiastical cancer. It is metastasizing, as we see in Malta — Catholic Malta, land of heroes and crusaders — and also Argentina, whence came Cdl. Jorge Bergoglio. Here, in the United States, there are dioceses where the cancer has reared its ugly head, notably Chicago.

So, Your Eminences, please, honor your sacred mission to restore clarity of teaching in the Church and dispel the ambiguities of Amoris Laetitia, for the greater glory of God and salvation of souls!

Fear not, but keep on speaking; do not be silent. For I am with you.

We urge you, we beg you, we implore you, echoing the voice of the Lord in Isaiah 58:1: "Clama, ne cesses, quasi tuba exalta vocem tuam" ("Shout aloud, do not hold back! Raise your voice like a trumpet").

We also would direct you to Acts 18:9–10, where we are charged to "fear not, but keep on speaking; do not be silent. For I am with you, and no one is going to attack and harm you, because I have many people in this city."

Yes, in this city, Your Eminences, God and Holy Mother Church have many people. Be certain that the thoughts and prayers of a great many faithful Catholics are with you, especially those of us who have been maligned and insulted as "rigid, dangerous fanatics."

Count on us. Count on our prayers. Count on our support. Deus Vult!

Raymond de Souza is Brazilian by birth, Catholic by grace and American by choice. He is a knight of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, , and a fourth-degree Knight of Columbus. He has given in person, on radio and on television over 2,500 talks on apologetics and pro-life issues. He has also assisted religious education programs in dioceses, parishes, schools and lay organizations in 38 countries of the six continents in four languages (English, Spanish, French and Portuguese). He writes weekly articles for the oldest national Catholic paper, The Wanderer. He is the delegate for International Missions for Human Life International, the largest Catholic pro-life and pro-family association in the world, having affiliates in over 100 countries. He has volunteered to assist — free of charge — any parish, association, diocese, school, etc., in North America to address conferences in defense of the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist, from the points of view of logic, Sacred Scripture and the early Church Fathers.

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