Bring It On
I read with beautiful regularity about the danger of “schism” if priests were to, say, start teaching Catholicism instead of fluffy common places meant to allow the not-so-faithful to feel good with themselves.
I never understood the reasoning.
Such un-faithful are, if informed and willing, obviously schismatics in pectore, but occupying the pews. They have, so to speak, already carried their schism, but inside the Church and their hearts rather than outside of Her; I call it a schism in all but name, and a far more dangerous one than a formal schism.
In most cases, though, I do not think this is what is happening. My impression is rather that many of these people are simply uninstructed, and were never helped to seriously confront Truth.
The uninstructed pewsitter who hears nothing but rubbish from the pulpit will end up absorbing the values of the society around him; values he thinks broadly aligned with the Christian message, because the priest never tells them otherwise; and if the priest talks of the evils of society only to attack Capitalism and free markets he might, particularly if he isn't very smart, one day come to believe that these are the main issues a Catholic should be confronted with.
But I firmly believe that most of these people are not fundamentally bad. When they get the Catholic dish served, they would end up eating and enjoying it. Reluctantly at the beginning, certainly, or complaining that the fare has changed. But in time, and with the assistance of a good cook solicitous of explaining to them why the food is healthy, they would learn to enjoy it and to want no other diet.
Yes, some would go. But they are already gone. Whenever not ignorance, but wilful rebellion is at the heart of their thinking, they would not stay anyway, and they are a cancer the Church should excise from Her body at once.
Bring it on, say I. Christianity is about Truth, not numbers. The pews don't need to be warmed by schismatic backsides, at least schismatics backsides in all but names. A priest who is timorous to teach Catholicism for fear of “schism” is doing much worse: he is nurturing this very schismatic mentality as he allows it to stay within the Church and take over the everyday religious and – unavoidably – political discourse.
Bring it on. Let those who are not in anymore go, and let them go away under the sun rather than continue their demolition work in the shadow of the church. Many, I think, will stay; but again, it is not a matter of numbers.
Besides, it is not known to me that parishes which adopt the Traditional Mass empty themselves whilst the parishioners tun to the next tambourine NO mass, or defect to Methodism. The contrary is the case. Catholicism is attractive, because it responds to a natural, instinctive thirst of Truth.
Let us stop with these “fears of schism”. Let us, in fact, hope and pray for good priests who pose their parishioners in front of a clear choice, asking them to be either with Christ or with the world. By God's grace many will understand, make an effort to change, and never look back.
But there is no reason to allow the cancer to keep metastasising in the body of the Church. We must not only not fear, but wish for the crisis, both in individual consciences and in the Church at large. There is no other way to excise this cancer, because it will not go away from itself.
Bring it on.