Monday, 21 October 2013

The schism that dares to speak its name.

When I read of some of the things proposed and believed by those who claim to be Catholics I do sometimes wonder if we are on the same planet, let alone in the same Church.  It's not as though we don't have a Creed, a Catechism and Canon Law which have a long-standing width of interpretation that gives some wriggle room but has definite boundaries.  Traditionally those who step outside these make themselves heretics or schismatics.  While I have no doubt that many individual members of the Church have always had views that might step beyond these boundaries (we being fallen and fallible human beings) to believe that the Church itself should re-model itself to these novel, erring or sometimes just plain wrong views is perhaps new.  Especially when such individuals form themselves into pressure groups and proudly profess their ideas in antipathy to the Creed, Catechism and Law whilst wanting to remain within the very organisation they are in open rebellion against is perhaps novel. It might be described as the Schism that DOES dare speak its name - indeed shout it from the rooftops.

I've come across a couple of interesting lines of thought on this in the past few days.

Views from the Choir Loft Blog has a challenging post asking the question, "Which church do you belong to?"  It puts in fairly plain language what has happened to the understanding of the doctrines of the Church in our contemporary society - and indeed in our contemporary Church.  The Creed, which has defended the Truths of the Faith for so many hundreds of years and guarded the means of salvation, is whittled away to be present in its outward form but hollowed out of any real content.  Thus:  
"One after another these axe-blows fell, chopping the Creed of Christians into a incoherent ménage of gilded platitudes."
Described is the conflict within the Church that is the battle of the age.  Do read the short but plain-speaking post here.

Fr Ray Blake also has a reflection on the dangers of schism.  He points out that, "Heresy, the Church can cope with but schism is another altogether graver matter."


Zephyrinus said...

So true, Fr.

Everything, so true.

The Consolation ?

"I shall be with thee until the end of time. And the Gates of Hell will not prevail against thee."

in Domino

Genty said...

It's the old Marxist trick of avowing loyalty while wielding the axe in order to reduce an organisation (in this case the CC) to splinters. And, lo! a new elite arises with a new set of rules more draconian in application than can be dreamed of. No wriggle room allowed.
As long as we are aware of these methods they can be counteracted. However, what we also need are the leaders who will call the dissenters out, not bend an ear in the mistaken belief that what they are doing is an act of charity.

GOR said...

Like many words in recent years, the term ‘scandal’ has been subverted and is commonly used in only one context – the sex scandal. We need to recover the original meaning of the term ‘giving scandal’ as in: leading others astray, leading them into sin or damaging them spiritually.

Perhaps due to modern technology and instant communications we are less aware of giving scandal than formerly. We used to be more careful about scandalizing others or giving bad example because it was related to the 5th Commandment, as in: killing the soul of others by affecting their salvation.

It used to be that priests and bishops would be very careful in their preaching lest others be led astray. Even if they had doubts about particular articles of Faith or Doctrine, they would be at pains to suppress them, feeling that it was a weakness in their own faith that should not be allowed to damage the faith of others. But this does not just apply to the clergy, but to all of us who write or opine publicly.

We need to return to that - lest the supply of millstones be exhausted…