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Didn’t the episcopal consecrations of 1988 cause a schism?


Catechism of the Crisis in the Church


Fr. Matthias Gaudron

The Final Chapter

This selection concludes the “Catechism of the Crisis.” It is a continuation of last month’s questions concerning the Society of St. Pius X, the episcopal consecrations, and relationships with Rome.

98) Didn’t the episcopal consecrations of 1988 cause a schism?

Schism is the rejection in principle of the pope’s authority, and not a simple act of disobedience. But the Society of St. Pius X acknowledges the authority of the pope, and its priests pray for him at every Mass. The episcopal consecrations, which exteriorly constituted an act of disobedience, did not give rise to any schism. Besides, the reasons given above fully justify this apparent disobedience to the pope.

Isn’t it contradictory to protest one’s recognition of the pope’s authority while resisting him?

A man might say to his father “You are not doing right” without telling him “You are no longer my father, I don’t want to have anything more to do with you.” These are two very different attitudes. Schism corresponds only to the second.

Doesn’t the fact of consecrating bishops without papal mandate automatically produce a schism?

An episcopal consecration without papal mandate does not of itself produce a schism. Cardinal Castillo Lara, doctor of Canon Law and president of the Pontifical Commission for the Authentic Interpretation of Legislative Texts,


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