Is schism afoot?
An article by: Modesto P. Sa-onoy on February 27th, 2016
IT WILL BE a terrible thought and a sad moment if indeed the Catholic Church is drifting towards schism, the break of some from the Church on matters involving fundamental doctrine. We have seen schism in the 16th century when some clerics rejected the teachings of the Church and formed their own religious sects. Though intended as a Reformation, the break became known as the birth of Protestantism. Since then Protestant groups split and continue to split and new religious groups are established departing from the Catholic doctrine.
There were earlier schisms, like the break of the Eastern Churches that led to the distinction between the churches of the east and the west. There was schism that led to the formation of the Anglican Church or the Church of England on the issue of divorce that King Henry VIII wanted the Pope to agree on. The Pope remained firm on the teaching of the Church on the indissolubility of marriage. The Church would rather lose the kingdom than violate its doctrine.
There is now a furor over gay couples union (we cannot call it a marriage because it is not) and Manny Pacquiao got clobbered for speaking his mind – his opposition to the so-called marriage. Although he has left the Catholic Church, Pacquiao retains the fundamental Church teaching on the marriage bond.
In an article published by the magazine “In Defense of the Catholic Faith” (October 1, 2015), Maike Hickson cited Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Muller, the head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith to have warned that “German bishops are leading the Church to a schism”. The Congregation is the Vatican office guarding the Catholic faith. A previous head of this office became Pope Benedict XVI.
The Cardinal was quoted to have said that the “tendency of German bishops to divide doctrine from pastoral practice is not unlike the abuses surrounding the Protestant split in 1517”. He said “one should be very vigilant and not forget the lesson of Church history.”
The article claimed that radical German cardinals led by Walter Kasper “are behind a big push to change Church teaching and practice on issues as allowing ‘remarried’ Catholics to receive the Eucharist, as well as redefining marriage to accept ‘non-traditional’ unions such as between homosexuals.”
Cardinal Muller debunked the claim of some German bishops as the “leaders of the Catholic Church while flouting teachings on marriage and sexuality despite dramatic reductions in church attendance, shrinking number of seminarians, and a drop in vocations to the religious orders.”
Indeed some so-called Church leaders try to satisfy people’s barest instincts with an attempt to suit the teachings of the Church to these people to the detriment of the faithful.
The Cardinal lamented that “He who remains faithful to the teachings of the Church is attacked by the media, and even defamed as an opponent of the pope.” This is “as if the pope and all the bishops in union with him were not witnesses of the revealed truth which has been entrusted to them so that it does not run the risk of being leveled down by men to a human measure.”
“We may not deceive the people, “he added “when it comes to the sacramentality of marriage, its indissolubility, its openness toward the child, and the fundamental complementarity of the two sexes. Pastoral care has to keep in view the eternal salvation as opposed to a desire to be popular or accepted in the world.”
He also criticized his fellow German bishops who have declared that “life realities” must be taken into account as part of the Church teachings and salvation.
However, Hickson quoted Muller who said “the goal should not be about ‘adopting the Revelation to the world but…about gaining the world for God’.”
This is also the dilemma of Pacquiao a candidate for senator. His opinion against same sex union was assaulted by people with easy access to media and media hyped it up. But while he apologized, he stood firm against the trending of same sex marriages.
Some plan to junk him but I believe there are more voters here who would vote for Pacquiao not so much for his being a boxing champ but because he stood firm on his religious belief as against people whose morality changes with “realities” that in many cases are of their own making founded on relativistic morality.
Will this lead to schism? The Church cannot be threatened