Should new converts to the Catholic Church be weary of a schism?

After a quarter of a century of agnosticism God converted my heart to the faith of the Catholic Church. A year of intensive reading on Catholic ecclesiology, theology and philosophy, RCIA and window shopping parishes has now passed and I have the impression of a need to “pick a side” in a war between modernists and traditionalists. Another alarming factor is how politicized things are. Things which should not be politicized. I felt uneasy when my last parish priest explained to me that Pope Francis canonized JP II and John XXIII as a way of placating the right and the left wing of the Church. Really? I was not aware of this priest’s novel theory of salvation. As an outsider coming into the Church the situation looks very fluid and it has me worrying about whether the seat I have picked on Saint Peter’s Ark will be flotsam or jetsam within my lifetime.

You do not have to pick a side, as modernists and trads are both on the same side: the catholic church. You did mention politics though, and if that is going to play into your decision about what church to attend, keep in mind that the modernists are mostly for Obama and the trads were not. In 2008 54% of Catholics voted for Obama, but almost no trads did. Not sure where you fall in the political ectrum, but those were the numbers.

I felt uneasy when my last parish priest explained to me that Pope Francis canonized JP II and John XXIII as a way of placating the right and the left wing of the Church.

That priest was, of course, very wrong to say such a thing. There have been personal differences, but all of the recent popes have been on the same side.

I don’t think that there is good reason to fear schism. Whatever happens, we are safer inside the barque of Peter than outside. There have been various schisms plaguing the Church throughout her two thousand years but the apostolic faith of the Church has remained the same. Catholics believe that this is because the Holy Spirit has protected the Church’s teaching authority.

I’ve blasted the idea on here of assigning Western political ideologies to a Pope. Some Catholics and the mainstream media are running wild over the new Pope hoping he’ll change the Catholic Church into a community organization advocating values they want.:rolleyes:

Please be VERY careful about this when you see these headlines.

The current Pope is against abortion and so-called “gay marriage” and I’m sure he rejects Communism and Socialism just as the catechism calls. I’m also sure that JPII and Benedict had concern for the poor, migrant workers and immigrants.

There won’t be a schism. People will probably leave the Church if they don’t agree in some cases and go somewhere else or just not be religious.

It’s an act of incredible selfishness, but I think there’s enough diversity of denominations out there that people will gravitate towards. To be perfectly clear, I am not advocating this at all.

The Catholic Church will not change its core principles anytime soon. She is always open to new discovery and science, but the fundamentals remain the same. The Church is only interested in the Truth, not in popularity or appeasing certain groups of people like a secular First World government is. And that model is going to crumble this century.

The “side” you need to be on is God’s. The Catholic Church does have a human element to it that can err, but her search for the Truth is unprecedented in history.

I agree. You don’t canonize Saints to appease people who cannot see past their own political ideology.

This is a high honor, perhaps the highest, and it isn’t some kind of bargaining chip to appease the masses.

It is a myth created and perpetuated by leftist propaganda that Pope John XXIII was a leftist. The SSPX and sedevacantists have also helped to keep this myth alive. But, the truth is that Pope John XXIII was orthodox and said things that directly contradict today’s leftist heterodox agenda. Here is the proof:
Pope John XXIII

On Socialism
Pope Pius XI further emphasized the fundamental opposition between Communism and Christianity, and made it clear that no Catholic could subscribe even to moderate Socialism. The reason is that Socialism is founded on a doctrine of human society which is bounded by time and takes no account of any objective other than that of material well-being. Since, therefore, it proposes a form of social organization which aims solely at production, it places too severe a restraint on human liberty, at the same time flouting the true notion of social authority.” - Mater et Magistra

On False Teachings
“There is never any need, therefore, to turn to proponents of doctrines condemned by the Church; for they only draw men on with false promises and when they obtain control of the state, try boldly and unscrupulously to deprive men of their supreme spiritual goods—the Christian commandments, Christian hope, and Christian faith. Those who adhere to the doctrines these men propose, minimize or eliminate all that our present age and our modern civilization hold dearest: true liberty and the authentic dignity of the human person. Thus they attempt to destroy the bases of Christianity and civilization.” - Ad Petri Cathedram

On Indifference to Truth
“Some men, indeed do not attack the truth willfully, but work in heedless disregard of it. They act as though God had given us intellects for some purpose other than the pursuit and attainment of truth. This mistaken sort of action leads directly to that absurd proposition: one religion is just as good as another, for there is no distinction here between truth and falsehood. ‘This attitude,’ to quote Pope Leo again, ‘is directed to the destruction of all religions, but particularly the Catholic faith, which cannot be placed on a level with other religions without serious injustice, since it alone is true.’ Moreover, to contend that there is nothing to choose between contradictories and among contraries can lead only to this fatal conclusion: a reluctance to accept any religion either in theory or practice.” - Ad Petri Cathedram

On Unity Within the Family
“We have called nations, their rulers, and all classes of society to harmonious unity. Now we sincerely urge families to achieve and strengthen this unity within themselves. For unless peace, unity, and concord are present in domestic society, how can they exist in civil society? This harmonious unity which should exist within the family circle rises from the holiness and indissolubility of Christian marriage. It is the basis of much of the order, progress, and prosperity of civil society. Within the family, the father stands in God’s place. He must lead and guide the rest by his authority and the example of his good life. The mother, on the other hand, should form her children firmly and graciously by the mildness of her manner and by her virtue.” - Ad Petri Cathedram

On the Sacredness of Human Life
“Human life is sacred—all men must recognize that fact. From its very inception it reveals the creating hand of God. Those who violate His laws not only offend the divine majesty and degrade themselves and humanity, they also sap the vitality of the political community of which they are members.” - Mater et Magistra

Just work on being orthodox. It’s the safe place to be today.

Hmm…I heard an explanation that went like this: Christian disagreements are like big family arguments. Protestants pack and leave (denominations) though, where Catholics just stomp off to another room and maybe shut the door (Eastern Rite, etc).

I don’t fear schism. I am wary of the schemes of the evil one, who would keep me out of the place of joy and peace I have found, and who sows discord among brethren. It is our job to be mindful that Jesus said we were to love one another…our neighbor as ourselves. Furthermore, He said his Church would be known for it’s LOVE.

Blessings–love to all,

There are no modernists; that was something that started in about 1875; then there was post modernism; and that too has passed.

Polling is ultimately statistics, and as the wag said, there are lies, damned lies, and statistics. There are people who identify themselves as traditionalists; they are in a minority; there are those who identify themselves as liberals; they too are in a minority; and about 70 to 75% of those who are baptized Catholic do not attend Mass on a weekly basis. Out of that group, there are liberals, moderates (in the middle between the extremes) and conservatives.

The polls did not ask if people were attending Mass weekly; it only asked if they identified themselves as Catholic. And people’s personal interpretation of that is all over the board.

It would stand to reason that the 46% of Catholics not voting for Obama were primarily made up of traditionalists and moderates; however, there may be some liberals in there too, who did not vote for him because of his stance on abortion.

Don’t worry about a schism between the so called “traditionalists” and the modernists. This was a fight of the sixties and the Church won.

What you may be experiencing is the American Catholic Church which has its own sad problems…e.g. a significant number who can vote for a party that supports abortion.A crisis of faith in many of its religious orders and a failing intellectual tradition in its “Catholic” Universities to name but a few. That is only one country and it is strong enough to find its backbone in time and you should not be afraid to enter the church because it is presently deeply flawed in your country. We are only a group of sinners cowering in the folds of Christ’s promises He gave only to His Church,

We have been blessed with strong Popes this last century who have led the barque of Peter through some hard times. None have been modernists.We are however, heading for a storm with the pedophile scandal but Christ will never desert His Church.

There’s a great article on a website called Patheos on this, but I can’t seem to dig it up. Anyway, its basic point is this: there are no modernist or traditionalist Catholics. A Catholic cannot support abortion, just as much as a Catholic cannot deny that the Ordinary Form of the Mass is valid. By giving the pro-choice “member” of the Catholic Church the name “modernist Catholic”, we are giving them an equal validity, saying that their views are just the other side of the Catholic coin, when in fact they are not a side of the coin at all. The same goes for extremist traditional “Catholics”. To be a Catholic is to believe everything the Holy See declares. There is no “right” nor “left” in this. There is only the unity that is found in Catholicism. Granted, we are given the ability to have differing views in some respects, but this only means that ours is a complex unity, like the unity of the Holy Trinity.

Since you have invested a huge amount of yourself and time into studying the Truths of our faith I would suggest you find a parish that seems to make you feel at home and stick with what you know to be true. And, welcome!

Welcome to the Catholic Church. I hope you enter the RCIA process. It is a worthwhile journey to take.
There is no division in Christ. The whole point of Christianity is union with God, and his people. What you say above is very sad, do not pay much attention to what you are hearing. This kind of thinking is evil. Stay away from it. Come to know Christ. Paul has an exhortation on this matter:
Imitating Christ’s Humility

1Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being **one in spirit **and of one mind. 3Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus

6Who, being in very nature God,

did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;

7rather, he made himself nothing

by taking the very natureb of a servant,

being made in human likeness.

8And being found in appearance as a man,

he humbled himself

by becoming obedient to death—

even death on a cross!

9Therefore God exalted him to the highest place

and gave him the name that is above every name,

10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,

in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

11and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

If you come to Christ in his Church, everything will fall into place. Avoid the factions.
For Catholics who like to indulge in factions (all of us do this):

6 “If anyone causes one of these little ones—those who believe in me—to stumble, it would be better for them to have a large millstone hung around their neck and to be drowned in the depths of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of the things that cause people to stumble! Such things must come, but woe to the person through whom they come!

Clem has awesome advice.

Seek Jesus first. Pray to Jesus. Find Jesus. Love Jesus. Learn about Jesus. It is all about Jesus.

Everything else will fall into place.


I agree you don’t have to pick sides, but it might be argued that both mods and trads may be on the same side, but not necessarily, as you say, on the side of the Catholic Church.

It’s interesting that in the time of Jesus’ Palestine, there were far worse leaders than President Obama, yet Jesus never differentiated between roman supporters from detractors (he loved tax collectors and centurions as much as even his beloved John), and had disdain for the religious establishment (the Pharisees) who insisted they themselves were indisputably more righteous then “those sinners”.

You’ll find the real Catholics to be those that practice the faith with perseverance while labeling themselves only as Catholics without the hashtags of modern or traditional.

And, salvation will not be determined by our own identification (or the labeling by others) as being a modernist or traditionalist.

Who knows? Schisms and heresies that separate individuals and even particular churches from the Catholic Church are surely possible. Just as they have happened many times in the past, they can happen in the future.

The key is to build your house on the rock and you’ll stay where you need to be–where there is Peter, there is the Church.

Here’s a good letter from St. Jerome during a time of schisms and heresies demonstrating this principle:

Thanks for link!

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