Is it schism or not?

Hi all,
I am just wondering if it is schism to not obey a leader in the Diocese office such as the Youth Ministry Director. I am wondering since my friend thinks he might have committed schism for disobeying the YM Director for repeatedly bringing up a legitimate concern of some liberal activities in the YM.


What do you think schism entails? Your friend ought not accuse you of things that he/she doesn’t not know the definition of.

From the Catechism: schism is the refusal of submission to the Roman Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

This is something to talk to your parents about.

Well my friend read on this that it includes refusal of communion with members of the Church and subject to the Pope. My friend thinks that he committed schism by this definition for bringing up concerns.

How on earth your friend got that from this sentence is a mystery to me. That is NOT what it means at all. Refusing communion with members of the Church means, for example, refusing to attend a Catholic Mass and going instead to Mass said by a priest in schism.

Your friend should stop self-diagnosing excommunication based on things he/she reads on the Internet.

I’m not sure on what planet “bringing up concerns” equals “rejecting the Pope and communion with ten Church”, but it is not planet Earth.

Your friend needs to talk to his pastor if he has concerns about his situation.

How old is this friend?

He’s in college, same as I.

Well I am not sure how you get schism out of “bringing up concerns”. Perhaps your friend needs some help from his priest because he is seeing sin where there is none.

No, this isn’t schism. This is scrupulosity.

If you’re college aged, then I’m a few years older than you, and can sympathize. If you would not hesitate to swear on a stack of Bibles that you sinned, then you did not sin.

bringing up legitimate concerns is not schism

saying that pope Francis is the antichrist, storming off in a huff and creating his own church to say mass in, would be schism

Is this the same friend that accused the Youth Minister of impropriety?
Speak with your pastor. Both of you. If the priest determines that the claims are unfounded, you should simply pray for your friend. If not, proper actions will be taken on his part. Trust the advice of your priest!
There seems to be much more to this story than strangers on the internet can help you with.

Prayer AND actions are indeed the solution to this problem!!

ah, yes, I remember that thread now. Sounds like some issues WAY beyond what this forum can do for a person.

The “ad absurdum” here is, if you annoy any Catholic, then you are in schism, because you “broke off from” someone “subject to” the Roman Pontiff.

Maybe you should try someone in a different locality. A mature lay Catholic with no connection to the youth service and not close to clergy. Preferably several such people. Their perspective might help, even if they all say different things.

The more one talks things over before becoming set upon a specific course of action, the better grasp one can get, so as to decide more effectively on the course of action (as well as how to pray).

Your friend sounds very seriously confused about this. I hope he is not confused about the other matter as well.

Are you sure that article was his only “source” for that idea? Did a bully tell him he was at risk of excommunication for schism to wind him up?

Why on earth is he worried about excommunication? What kind of level of faith has he got to get so confused? Does he come from an over-scrupulous family?

And I must stress again that whatever the facts of these matters, you are both at liberty to avoid people you don’t like.

If you are both in college as you responded, how is it that you are even involved with the Youth Minister?
In our Archdiocese, once you turn 18, unless you are still enrolled in High School, you move on. You are too old to be in with the genuine Hugh Schoolers, and are eligible to attend Campus Ministry or Young Adult Ministry. We do not permit young people to come back and work with the teens until they are 24 for the same reasons. Too easy for the young people to become unduly attached to a person.


I think you need the advice of a good priest. Maybe the Catholic Chaplain of your University.


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