Sunday, 6 April 2014

What is schism?

A young man recently stopped me and asked a couple of questions: Does the Society of Such Pious Gents submit to the authority of the Pope? No, I said, because the Pope's a modernist. He then said: "Is the Society of Such Pious Gents in communion with those subject to the authority of the Pope? No, I said again, because they are modernists as well. He then quoted from the Code of Canon Law: "schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him". Yet, he said, you claim the Society of Such Pious Gents is not schismatic. Young man, I replied, you are ignoring that small, but all-important word 'or'. Canon Law defines schism as "the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff OR of communion with the members of the Church subject to him. The Society of Such Pious Gents, on the other hand, refuses submission to the Roman Pontiff AND refuses communion with the members of the Church subject to him. The Society of Such Pious Gents cannot, therefore, be guilty of schism as defined in Canon Law. This isn't the first time I have had to defend the Society from the false accusation of schism and I'm sure it won't be the last.

No comments: