Is Catholicism divided just like Protestantism, when you think about it?

Catholics commonly say that Protestants are divided into “30000” denominations, and that Christ’s truth does not exist among 30000 denominations that contradict each other, because Christ prayed for unity when he was on earth.

But, aren’t Catholics just as divided? Liberal parishes, liberal orders, $$PX, cafeteria Catholics, dissenting Catholics, dissenting clergy? Also, the heresies that have splintered off over time? How about the Great Schism?

I would answer ‘no’. At least, ‘no, not in the same way.’

A denomination asserts their independence from other groups and their ‘right’ to define their own dogma. By creating a new denomination, they’re asserting that they are not part of some other group and are their own entity, with their own hierarchy (or at least, their own adminstration), beholden and answering to no one else.

Liberal parishes, liberal orders, $$PX, cafeteria Catholics, dissenting Catholics, dissenting clergy?

Are there differences within various groups of Catholics? Absolutely. (After all, we’re just people. Where there are two people, there are already differences in opinion. Just ask any married couple. ;))

But, whereas there are differences of opinion, there is nonetheless unity under a common leadership, a common hierarchy, and a common set of doctrine (even if some claim that they don’t agree with it).

There’s your difference, and it’s huge: 30000 denominations are 30000 distinct entities; there is only one Catholic Church and one Eucharist and one Vicar of Christ.

Also, the heresies that have splintered off over time? How about the Great Schism?

Well, they’re no longer Catholic, right? So… in a way, they’re kind of in the same boat as the “30000 denominations”, right? :shrug:

I think you mean SSPX not $$PX.

But remember, many of the “30,000 denominations” are just individual storefronts, founded by someone calling themselves a “minister” and giving the church a name. The Theology of these places is basically the same - usually “evangelical protestant.”

I understand what you are saying, however, I would say the answer is no. Individual Catholics are broken really into just two camps. There are either orthodox Catholics or heterodox Catholics. Whether they are “liberal” or “ultra conservative” it doesn’t matter, one is either faithful the magisterium or they are not. Hence you are either orthodox or heterodox.

Magisterium of the Church is orthodox. Any one who disagrees with the magisterium is heterodox to one degree or another.

I hope this helps.

God Bless.

There is a difference between division and diversity. Are Catholics all cookie cutter images of one another with nary a difference of opinion. Not in a million years! Frankly, if that were the case, it would be a bit scary and cult-like.

But that diversity of people all gather around the one Eucharist. That bonds us together.

Not really as those claiming to be Catholic while against Church teaching are not actually Catholic. The large number of people out there that can be described this way certainly make things confusing for both outsiders as well as those inside the Church.

There are Catholic individuals and groups that defy the teaching authority of the Magisterium. This happens in every generation, sometimes more, sometimes less. But the Magisterium itself is united. The current pope and bishops are teaching in unity with each other. They are also united in doctrine to the Magisterium at Vatican II, at Trent, and in the early Church. Having individuals who disagree with the Catholic Magisterium (and with each other) is not the same as having many Protestant Magisteria that contradict each other; for that matter, many Protestant Magisteria also contradict doctrines that they, themselves, held sacred just 50 years ago.

If 99% of Catholics support legal abortion, that doesn’t affect the rightness or wrongness of it, or the truth of the Church doctrine. I didn’t say their opinions are unimportant, but not for this. It’s the same thing with holiness. The Church itself is always equally holy. In a given century or a given country 99% of Catholics may be like Mother Theresa; in another time or place, 99% are like me. That has huge consequences for our individual lives, but doesn’t affect the holiness of the Church itself, which is based on Christ. Dogma too.

Protestants have a different meaning for the word “church”.

No. You would be suppressed how much their theology differs. They easily differ on the role of the Old Testament, interpretation of the Book of Revelation, etc. They share the concept of sola scripture and are on the surface the same, but often very different theologically. Once could be schooled from a respectable school of theology and another could have no formal training at all.

Every “non-denominational” church is basically a denomination of one with their own pope and authority.

But that’s not how Canon Law views them. Once a person is baptized Catholic, they are Catholic. They may not be a good Catholic or a faithful Catholic, but they are still Catholic by virtue of their Baptism.

And don’t forget the ultraconservatives …
But as a whole we are held together by the Pope and if somebody strays too far, he’s out and needs to start his own little sect.

Dissenters within the Church are only Catholic in name. Pope Francis has said rigid traditionalists and cafeteria “Catholics” who pick and choose what to believe “have one foot out the door” and are only “renting the Church.” Yes they are Catholic according to Cannon Law but a lapsed Catholic who is a dissenter that makes us look bad by supporting “gay marriage,” “women priests,” or whatever other modernist nonsense you can come up with should not think they are or be calling themselves true Catholics.

Uh no he needs to go to confession and repent.

No not at all:

Liberal Parishes…probably being disobedient depending on what they are saying doing
Liberal Orders…ditto
SSPX…Complicated, but for sake of this…they are in schism, essentially protestants
Cafeteria Catholics- I have not seen “the church of cafeteria catholics” Surely you understand they either aren’t truly Catholic, or at least aren’t truly practicing…

All the things you list are separations from the Catholic Church. Indeed Protestantism itself is division from the Catholic Church that started as essentially one person and has spluttered into countless thousands of factions.

The Catholic Church is one and united. Dissenters remove themselves from the church by their actions and choices either formally or informally.

Protestantism, there is no oneness. When there is disagreement a new church forms. There is nothing like that in Catholicism.

Those who have left or are on their way out are not fulfilling the command of Jesus for Unity and are not in full communion with The Church.

SSPX have splintered off and is not in full communion with The Catholic Church.
Dissenting Catholics are the same as Cafeteria Catholics.

So, you really have two groups, one actually, the dissenters eventually splinter off and leave the Catholic Church. There is only One Church with One Authority established by Jesus Christ.

Remember, The Protestants are dissenters and splinter groups who have left The Church in previous times.
Did you imagine that ended in the 16th century?

Now that is nonsense. I recently watched a video of Fr. Rosica interviewing Bishop Fellay and Rosica refers to him as Bishop. As Fellay has said they have not tried to set up some new hierarchy which is what the Protestants have done. Lefebvre along with the four Bishops who were automatically excommunicated in 1988 may have committed a schismatic act but that doesn’t mean the SSPX’s adherents are in schism. Don’t forget those excommunications have been lifted and the four actually are Bishops of the Catholic Church. Their priests are validly ordained priests. They are certainly in an irregular position but all they have done is merely tried to preserve 1950 years of Catholic tradition. Fellay says when he joined the seminary he had the option of joining the group of priests who took off their cassocks and were experimenting like mad or the group of priests who had done what had always been done - what would you have done in his position? Without them we’d probably have no Extraordinary Form today and for that alone I am grateful. I just wish they could come to some sort of agreement with Rome so Fellay can hand control over to the Pope, as he says Lefebvre asked him to do when the time was right. I wouldn’t want to see the society disbanded after this happens either.

All this said, I don’t support the SSPX today though I may have had I been around and witnessed all the madness occurring in the 70s while they were simply carrying on.

Now that is nonsense. I recently watched a video of Fr. Rosica interviewing Bishop Fellay and Rosica refers to him as Bishop. As Fellay has said they have not tried to set up some new hierarchy which is what the Protestants have done. Lefebvre along with the four Bishops who were automatically excommunicated in 1988 may have committed a schismatic act but that doesn’t mean the SSPX’s adherents are in schism. Don’t forget those excommunications have been lifted and the four actually are Bishops of the Catholic Church. Their priests are validly ordained priests, even if suspended upon ordination. They are certainly in an irregular position but what they may just have done is preserved 1950 years of Catholic tradition; without them we’d probably have no Extraordinary Form today and for that alone I am grateful. Fellay says when he joined the seminary he had the option of joining the group of priests who took off their cassocks and were experimenting like mad or the group of priests who had done what had always been done - what would you have done in his position? I just wish they could come to some sort of agreement with Rome so Fellay can hand control over to the Pope, as he says Lefebvre asked him to do when the time was right. I wouldn’t want to see the society disbanded after this happens either.

All this said, I don’t currently support the SSPX though I may have had I been around and witnessed all the madness occurring in the 70s while they were simply carrying on.

Catholics are perfect in every way-well no. Of course there is disagreements, divisions, liberal vs. conservative etc.

In the end Protestants agree with Catholics on so much so fighting over insignificant secondary issue not prudent

Are they excommunicated?

No, not exactly. Some Bishops like to say within their diocese they are but until such a decision comes from the top I fail to see how that could be possible.

Nope.

The SSPX might be in unclear water but they certainly aren’t excommunicated, nor are they “basically Protestants”, nor are they fully schismatic. They are unregulated, their priests lack faculties, they do not preach a heretical dogma or doctrine. Their mere offence is coming to terms with the Second Vatican Council which they believe is the reason so many Catholics are now “catholic” in name only, and why the Mass has been subject to so much liturgical abuse (they believe the entire Vernacular form of the Mass is an abuse).

SSPX recognises the authority of the Pope. I’m not an expert, an apologist, nor am I a supporter or an enemy of the SSPX. However recently, I have been more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

The Church is the undivided Mystical Body of Christ. The substance of it is undivided, however, the form of it appears to be. We are one Church, but like a tree, it’s limbs can only grow so far but it’s height is unlimited. The Church is one, but the humans within it are many. Humanity is prone to disagreement, some philosophers would argue that war is our natural state, but nevertheless it is the Church which brings us together.

The four marks of the Church are one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. There’s no room for a separate entity inside that of which can only exist as one entity. Like many have re-iterated: there are individuals, thousands of them, which disagree with the Church’s teaching on a multitude of things, yet continue to call themselves Catholics. They aren’t Catholic. They have excluded themselves from the unity that is Christ. They have consciously denied the grace that has been given them, and can no longer be called Catholics. They’re moral relativists, and it is our job to pray for them and to evangelise.

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