With the open rebellion of the German Catholics over the issue of blessing same sex unions, and plenty of other Catholics who sympathize, is the Catholic Church on the verge of formal schism?
I don’t think so–and here’s why: For a formal schism to take place the dissenters have to have enough guts to declare the schism and start their own church or the pope needs to have enough guts to kick them out.
We are not living in the sixteenth century. The heretics of today don’t have the guts to go it alone and the authorities in the hierarchy (many of whom sympathize with the German liberal point of view) don’t have “excommunication” in their vocabulary.
Instead of a formal schism I predict a continuation of what I described in this article a good number of years ago. The post is called “Tale of Two Churches” and recognizes the reality of two Catholic Churches existing side by side–one a church that only pursues happiness in this world and the other that preaches the old, old story of sin and redemption and looks for happiness in the next world.
This divide runs deeply through every Christian denomination and this is now the true divide in the Christian Church–not a divide between Catholic and Orthodox or between Catholic and Protestant, but between Moralistic, Therapeutic Deism and red blooded, traditional Catholicism.
On the verge of schism? It is here already and has been for some time. The only difference between this schism and the earlier ones is that the dividing line is blurry. However, that ambiguity is fading fast.
The time is coming when individual bishops, priests and people will be called on to make choices…and I fear this will not be pretty.