Patrick Archbold is co-founder of Creative Minority Report, a Catholic website that puts a refreshing spin on the intersection of religion, culture, and politics. When not writing, Patrick is director of information technology at a large international logistics company in New York.
Ever since the announcement of the Synod on the Family and Cardinal Kasper's infamous kickoff speech, people have been predicting that traditionalists might schism because, like Inspector Javert, they just can't handle all that awesome mercy.
People across the ideological spectrum have speculated what will happen when the Church realizes that Jesus was a big meanie and finally admits the divorced and remarried to communion. Will traditionalists finally realize the dreams of their schismatic little hearts and join the SSPX? Will Cardinal Burke chain himself to St. Peters with several litres of gasoline and the European equivalent of a Bic lighter threatening self-immolation unless we burn the divorced at the stake? Will God smite the Church for even considering such heresy?
In all the speculation, whether you think it is a disaster or the awesomest thing since communion in the hand, there is one common thread. Everyone expects that the progressives will get what they want. The deck is stacked after all.
But what if that single presumption is wrong? What happens if, by the protection of the Holy Spirit, the Pope does what Popes are supposed to do and he says, "No!" What happens if the Pope says, "Sorry, Jesus was pretty unequivocal about this and you can't separate the pastoral from the doctrinal, you can't separate truth and mercy?" What happens then?
Well, to find that answer, we don't have to look very far. We just need to look at the words of Cardinal Marx, the president of the German bishops’ conference, and a leading proponent of mercy-palooza.
Remember, one of the reasons that Pope Francis even called a Synod on this topic was because the German Episcopate was threatening unilateral action on this front.
Smells like schism to me. So much so, Cardinal Müller of the CDF has slammed the notion saying "It is an absolutely anti-Catholic idea that does not respect the Catholicity of the Church.”
So the president of an Episcopal Conference is threatening unilateral action against the authority of Rome on matters of both faith and morals, but never mind that. I wonder what the Trads will do?