I’ve told you before that I think schism is coming, and fast. But it occurs to me now that it’s difficult to tell where run-of-the-mill heterodoxy ends and schism begins. It’s not the sort of thing that becomes clear until you’re well and truly past the line in the sand.
I’m telling you right now, I just saw that line in the rear-view mirror.
I was reading an article this evening at the National Catholic Register about the secret meeting (the one I told you about last Friday) in Rome yesterday in advance of the second half of the Synod. The article was so good, the reporting was so thorough, I said to myself, “This must be the work of Edward Pentin.” I scrolled back to the byline, and so it was.
You see, Edward Pentin is the same man who caught Cardinal Kasper’s racist remarks, then proved that they had actually happened when Kasper denied them by producing the audio file. He’s also the man who did the lion’s share of the the investigative journalism on the Great Catholic Book Heist of 2014 – the disappearance of some 200 copies of Remaining in the Truth of Christ that disappeared from the mailboxes of Synod fathers last October, allegedly at the hands of Cardinal Baldisseri, the pope’s hand-picked Secretary General of the Synod.
In other words: he’s doing the Lord’s work as he uncovers much of the conniving going on in the episcopacy with the aim of undermining the Sixth Commandment.
But I digress. The line in the sand I was talking about? Well, here it is:
A one-day study meeting — open only to a select group of individuals — took place at the Pontifical Gregorian University on Monday with the aim of urging “pastoral innovations” at the upcoming Synod of Bishops on the Family in October.
Around 50 participants, including bishops, theologians and media representatives, took part in the gathering, at the invitation of the presidents of the bishops’ conferences of Germany, Switzerland and France — Cardinal Reinhard Marx, Bishop Markus Büchel and Archbishop Georges Pontier.
One of the key topics discussed at the closed-door meeting was how the Church could better welcome those in stable same-sex unions, and reportedly “no one” opposed such unions being recognized as valid by the Church.
Participants also spoke of the need to “develop” the Church’s teaching on human sexuality and called not for a theology of the body, as famously taught by St. John Paul II, but the development of a “theology of love.”
One Swiss priest discussed the “importance of the human sex drive,” while another participant, talking about holy Communion for remarried divorcees, asked: “How can we deny it, as though it were a punishment for the people who have failed and found a new partner with whom to start a new life?”
Marco Ansaldo, a reporter for the Italian daily newspaper La Repubblica, who was present at the meeting, said the words seemed “revolutionary, uttered by clergymen.”
French Biblicist and Ratzinger Prize-winner Anne-Marie Pelletier praised the dialogue that took place between theologians and bishops as a “real sign of the times.” According to La Stampa, another Italian daily newspaper, Pelletier said the Church needs to enter into “a dynamic of mutual listening,” in which the magisterium continues to guide consciences, but she believes it can only effectively do so if it “echoes the words of the baptized.”
The meeting took the “risk of the new, in fidelity with Christ,” she claimed. The article also quoted a participant as saying the synod would be a “failure” if it simply continued to affirm what the Church has always taught.
The closed-door meeting, masterminded by the German bishops’ conference under the leadership of Cardinal Marx, was first proposed at the annual meeting of the heads of the three bishops’ conferences, held in January in Marseille, France.
The study day took place just days after the people of Ireland voted in a referendum in support of same-sex “marriage” and on the same day as the Ordinary Council of the Synod of Bishops met in Rome. Some observers did not see the timing as a coincidence.
I wish I could excerpt the whole thing. You’ll just have to read the rest of it for yourself. It may not be obvious yet, but I’d wager that this carefully-structured bit of reporting by Pentin is going to be one of the most important things written about the upcoming Synod. It shows the pre-planning, the forming of cabals, the willingness to undermine Church teaching, the revolutionary language, the subversion by secrecy, and the blatant disregard for the natural law as a manifestation of God’s own Divine Will.
In other words: this is what a schism looks like.
What is happening right now may not be formally called “schism” by the Church for many years to come. But make no mistake – it will be. History will not look kindly on those involved in such things. Always, the enemies of Christ think they can prevail. Always, they find that God has other plans.
Things are happening fast. I can’t recommend strongly enough that we be spiritually prepared. Only a little over four months to go until the Synod.
Steve Skojec is the Founding Publisher and Executive Director of OnePeterFive.com. He received his BA in Communications and Theology from Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2001. His commentary has appeared in The New York Times, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Washington Times, Crisis Magazine, EWTN, Huffington Post Live, The Fox News Channel, Foreign Policy, and the BBC. Steve and his wife Jamie have seven children.