Are independent chapels schismatic?

Can.751 says: “Schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

I have some friends who insist they are not schismatic. They claim they are at most disobedient because they go to an independent chapel. The priest does include the Bishop and Pope’s names during mass, and their are photos of the Pope and Bishop at the front of the Church, but the priest and chapel-goers often preach against the modern Church and claim that going to Novos Ordo mass is a sin (though they recognize its validity). They also deny the recent canonizations of Pope Saints John Paul II and John XXIII, some of them claiming that canonizations are not infallible.

These are but a few examples of the ways in which these people speak and believe. The priest at the chapel has claimed that in order for him to be declared schismatic, he would have to be taken to trial and declared to be schismatic. Since this has not happened, he claims he is simply an irregular priest.

What is the truth of the situation here? Is this a schismatic chapel, or is a trial required for that declaration?

These links should be helpful in answering your questions. If you have any further questions or concerns that are not answered by these links, please contact Catholic Answers directly.

**Recommended Reading:
[thread=30915]Should I say something to a co-worker who attends a Sedevacantist chapel?[/thread]
[thread=58212]Should I avoid my SSPX in-laws?[/thread]
[thread=98380]How do I help friends stay away from the SSPX?[/thread]
[thread=137842]Is there a support group for spouses of sedevacantists?[/thread]

[thread=71539]Was JPII the worst pope ever?[/thread]
[thread=158816]Is there a difference between the SSPX and the SSPV?[/thread]
[thread=182]Traditionalists and the NO (new order)[/thread]
White Smoke, Valid Pope** A Heretic Pope Would Govern Illicitly—but Validly by Rev. Brian Harrison, O.S.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit