There are three reasons as to why Pope Francis does NOT worry about a potential schism.
They are, in order of importance:
- He knows, from experience, that his critics, including all those in the U.S., are all talk, hot-air and no-trousers. Push come to shove their knees still buckle at the thought of defying the Pope and the Vatican. They are, by definition, good, conservative, devout Catholics. That also means that in the end they are too SCARED to stand up against THE CHURCH. They fret that they will go straight to hell. The Pope knows this and exploits it constantly. He knows that his critics, for all their bluster, are still puppets in his grasp. The American Catholics, in particular, can bring this Pope to his knees with one act and one act alone. Stop putting money IN THE COLLECTION on just ONE Sunday. There will be hell to pay. The Vatican will ground to a halt in abject shock. The Pope will be on his knees — begging for forgiveness. “Please, please, pretty please, don’t cut off the lucre. How can we live it up at the Vatican without your money?”
- Not many people know it, but, in theory, there is already schism and has been one since 1958. I kid you not. Very real.
It is called ‘Sedevacantism‘. Per this schism none of the Popes since Pius XII is legitimate.
- Pope Francis does not have the brainpower to WORRY about a schism! He is too simple of a man. To worry you have to have some marbles. If you don’t have many marbles you don’t worry. Think about it. Pope Francis, by far, is the least educated and cerebral pope in probably over 200-years! He is NOT an intellectual and he will even tell you that. So, he doesn’t worry about much other than what he will be having for his next meal and he prefers pizza.
Both had to do with religion. In the case of Syria, two different factions of Islam (Shiite and Sunni) while in Egypt it was the ongoing 1,400 year feud between Christians and Muslims.
But ALL the people involved in both these atrocities believe in and worship the SAME GOD.
To I that does NOT make sense and never has.
And then you have the issue as to why this One God permits such atrocities in HIS NAME.
That is where Christians, starting with the popes, always seek refuge in Free Will (and how God refuses to micromanage the actions of humans).
I have always believed that this Free Will argument was the ultimate in copouts.
God MAJORLY interfered with Free Will when he, intentionally, inserted Jesus into the World.
Humans did NOT have a say in that.
That was all God’s work on his own prerogative.
At the time he decided that the World needed Jesus there was a perfectly GOOD RELIGION in the Middle East — what we now refer to as Judaism.
OK, the Free Will people will contend that it was humans, i.e., some (but not all) the Jews, that decided that they would not accept Jesus as the true Messiah. And if all had then we would not have this mess. Yes, I can see that argument.
But, God, is omnipotent. Knows everything and more. The ultimate clairvoyant. He know what the future holds.
So he MUST HAVE known that my introducing Jesus into the World he was going to create a SCHISM, a divide.
And to I that is where he violated Free Will.
IF he had NOT introduced Jesus into the fray we would NOT have this mess and all these killings in the name of God.
We would just have ONE GOD, ONE FAITH.
Just a thought.
As some of you know I am totally and utterly areligious and have been so for at least 40 years — though I like to confound people, especially Jehovah’s Witnesses, by telling them I am a reformed, born again, heathen.
The Facebook conversation that I had, IN PUBLIC, on Father Churchill’s timeline.
Anura: So, dear father … how do you rationalize this. Of course the pope will want us to pray … but I am not sure for what. I am so sick and tired of all these religion-based killings. And in this case IT IS ALL THE SAME God!
Fr. Churchill: The people who do this kind of atrocity have a very different image of God.
A God who would bless these actions would be a monster.
Anura: Father, it is ‘funny’ you should say that. Last night I watched the 2016 movie ‘Jackie’ about Jacqueline Kennedy during the first few days/weeks after the tragic assassination. She unlike her husband was not a great Catholic — though one has to wonder what JFK confessed during his confessions. This movie is said to be fairly accurate. Jackie has a couple of long conversations with an old Catholic father. In one she confesses that “JFK never spent an entire night with her during their marriage”. That is not relevant to this … She referring to the death of her two babies and then her husband does ask the priest about God.
Father, we have talked many times about God Free Will and not micro-managing. I will grant God that. But, PLEASE, PLEASE explain. Didn’t God REALIZE that he was creating 3 religions. That is NOT micro-management. He himself created the FIRST SCHISM — on purpose. IF God had made sure that there was ONLY one religion that worshipped him the World would have been a better place. AMEN.
Fr. Churchill: Anura. This is a busy week but a brief response. No one would suggest that “God invented three religions” all teaching something different. As Christians, we see God revealing Himself in the Old Testament leading to the ultimate revelation in Jesus. Jews do not accept Jesus in this sense, and so we are divided as Christians from those Pope John Paul described as our “older brothers and sisters.”
Muslims claim a further revelation to Mohammed. Both Christians and Jews reject that claim as false.
And into this dialogue, as IF to prove the point, one of Father Churchill’s followers interjected: “That’s Allah for you…..”
++++ Check Category ‘Religion’.
by Anura Guruge
One way or another, just going on what Pope Francis himself has repeatedly said about his ‘2 to 3 year life span’ and the possibility of him retiring (à la Benedict XVI), I have a distinct feeling that we will have a new pope, post Francis, in the next 18 months.
So, it falls upon me, as “Mr. Next Pope“, to start working on this again, though I had hoped for a longer break.
Australian Cardinal George Pell (74 years in age), though controversial in his own right (for his handling of sex abuse in Australia and being outspoken about both Benedict & Francis), is now seen, increasingly, as the ‘Leader of the Opposition’ — though ironically, Francis has also given him significant power (over Vatican budgets and finances) as a ‘trusted’ member of his ‘inner cabinet’.
My initial druthers had been that AFTER the Francis experiment, which has NOT worked out that well, that the cardinals will become even more introspective, batten down the Vatican hatches and decide to go back to the ‘ways of the old’ — i.e., an European pope, if NOT an Italian pope. Basically avoid another EXOTIC. And Pell, from Oceania (as the Vatican characterizes that part of the Pacific), is definitely an EXOTIC. But he does seems to have a following as exemplified by this recent letter of ‘no-confidence’ to Francis signed by 13 other cardinals. 13 cardinals is 66 votes short of the 2/3 majority that Pell would need to be elected pope. That is a fair chunk of cardinals that have to get behind him. But what is fascinating about the list of 13 is that it includes INFLUENTIAL names from all continents, and some with real clout, e.g., New York’s Dolan, Canada’s Collins, South Africa’s Fox Napier, Europe’s Müller. These folks can definitely rustle up votes from their colleagues.
At 74 Pell is YOUNG. The trend is towards OLDER, i.e., past 75, popes in the hope they don’t rule for decades and decades now that life expectancies are long.
I see that , in their infamous ‘Next Pope’ betting, has my 2013 #1 papabile, Canada’s Marc Ouellet at #2. But Marc is even younger! Philippines’ Tagle is but a wet dream. Not for another 20 years.
Here is a name to think about, 77 year old Italian Carlo Caffarra. His conservative credentials are impeccable.
by Anura Guruge
>> Pope Francis’ U.S. Visit — THE book.
>> ‘Vine Voice’ Amazon review of Pope Francis book.
>> Pope’s arrival at Andrews.
>> Holy See flag at the U.N.
++++ Search on ‘pope‘ & Check Category ‘books‘ for many other posts >>>>
Well, I already talked about the chances of schism
— and the possibility of ‘Plan B’ — a year ago!
On many recent papal issues I tend to be way ahead of the pack.
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Today’s Catholic prelates are not interested in a schism. Way too much like hard work and it will upset the apple cart. Much easier to eliminate the source of the problem. ‘Plan B’. That there was talk, as the Synod was proceeding, that Francis has a brain tumor was fascinating.
Folks can now make out that the Pope’s thought process was impaired by the tumor! Brilliant.
Plus if Francis was to do a John Paul I they already have THE story lined up. Brilliant.
by Anura Guruge
Some Related Posts (click to access):
* Pope Francis mum on Charleston shooting.
* Pope Francis Climate encyclical.
* Pope nixes German popemobiles.
* Pope’s new sex abuse tribunal.
* Coming U.S. via Cuba.
* Peace with nuns, riles Cubans.
>> Francis has dig at gay marriage.
>> Francis nixes gay French ambassador.
† Francis says the darnest things
++++ Search on ‘pope‘ for many other posts >>>>
This is even bigger than if he issued an edict accepting gay marriage (something he will never do).
It is on a par with if he permitted female Catholic priests. The only thing that could be BIGGER is if he totally abolished all restrictions, sans caveat, on birth control and abortion.
Yes, it is THAT BIG!
The date when Easter Sunday will be celebrated is something that tore the Church apart — Orthodox Christians celebrate Easter her a different ‘formula’ based on a different calendar. Agreeing on a common date for Easter as been a hitherto irreconcilable difference for over 700 years. Yes, 700 years. We are talking a big deal here.
Yes, agreeing on a common date for Easter would go a long way towards healing the schism between West and East Christianity — Western and the Orthodox.
Trying to work out the date for Easter goes back to the 2nd century. This is big potatoes. The calendar that we now use, the Gregorian Calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII (#227) [1572 – 1585], came to be because the Church did not like Easter coming around when there was still snow on the ground in Europe. Easter was meant to fall in Spring.
Agreeing on a date for Easter across all Christian geographies in the 2nd century was a pivotal factor that led to the establishment of the Papacy! Prior to that all Bishops had equal standing including the Bishop of Rome (now the Pope). But in the 2nd century, given Rome’s historic standing as the epicenter of the Roman empire other Bishops, including those from the East, approached him to arbitrate the Easter date issue. Bishops of Rome grasped on that to say that this gave them primacy. Easter was discussed and mandated upon at the very first Ecumenical Council, that of Nicaea in 325. We even had a major controversy with a lovely sounding name Quartodecimanism (Latin for the 14th day).
So IF the pope can get ALL Christians, East & West, to standardize on a common date for Easter Sunday it would be HUGE.
This is HUGE.
But it will all depend on what the reconciliation is.
IF the Orthodox agree to adopt the Western date without any caveats it would be HUGE.
There will be dancing on the streets.
There will be calls to Saint the Pope even as he is alive.
But if any concessions are given to the Orthodox all hell will break lose.
Protestants will take umbrage to the Pope messing with THEIR Easter.
Even Catholics would balk.
So heads up. This makes the Pope’s climate control encyclical look trivial.