The National Catholic Register has been doing an incredible job covering the impending schism in the Catholic Church, and I dare say, they are spearheading the journalistic charge. That’s because those folks at the Register are smart, and they’ve got their ear to the ground on this one. They are now beginning to say what I’ve been saying since the summer of 2018. The Catholic Church is about to undergo a major schism, the likes not seen since the Protestant Revolution and the Eastern Schism combined! This schism may very well become the greatest schism ever, in the history of the Catholic Church. Nothing like it has ever been seen, and I dare say nothing like it will ever be seen again. We have no idea the historical times in which we live, and the major eruption that is about to come.
It begins in Germany, with the German Bishops Conference and a process they are calling “The Synodal Way.” Basically, what it amounts to is this. A bunch of German bishops are sitting around in conferences, having committees, and sharing their thoughts on things. Their thoughts are basically heretical, and they want major changes in Church doctrine, in everything from the ordination of women to the blessing of same-sex “marriage.” Their methodology is 100% Modernist, and they’ve decided they will go forth with these changes with, or without, Rome’s approval. As for Rome, the Vatican is now backed into a corner, and Pope Francis is at the helm. What to do? Shall the Vatican try to avoid schism through endless “dialogue,” in a vain attempt to get the German bishops to change their mind? Or shall Pope Francis himself intervene and do what all of his predecessors have done in the past — excommunicate the heretics after giving them a limited time to repent? I think we all know what Francis would rather do — endless dialogue. But if he goes down that path, he weakens his own authority, setting the stage for the process of “The Synodal Way” to repeat itself in other nations around the world. Either he acts now, decisively, to contain the schism, or he goes into endless dialogue while watching the schism grow worldwide. Truthfully, I have no idea what Francis will do. Like everyone else, I will just have to watch, wait and see.
Already, the schism is taking root, and the heresies are metastasizing. Dissenting voices are rising up in Austria and Switzerland. The whole German-speaking Catholic world is preparing for a repeat of the events of the sixteenth century. Next, we’ll see the heresies metastasize into the English-speaking world, just like they did in the sixteenth century. However, things are different now. In the sixteenth century, the English-speaking world consisted of just two islands. Today, it spans three continents! If the German Synodal Way spreads into the English-speaking world, it will span the globe in a very short time. Once it enters the English-speaking world, there will be no stopping it from becoming a global movement, as the Anglosphere spans the globe. From there it will enter the Spanish-speaking world and so on.
How close are we from it entering the English-speaking world? As an English-speaking American, I can tell you the dissent to orthodoxy is already present, active and it’s been here for a while. However, the schismatic language has not yet materialized in the Anglosphere. Just give it time, however, because the underlying attitude is very present and ready to go. If Francis is slow at nipping the German schism in the bud, their cancer will spread into the Anglosphere very quickly. When it does, all hope is lost. The schism will go global overnight. The United Kingdom, Ireland, the United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand will all find themselves in the throes of a schismatic struggle between orthodoxy and heresy. It will happen faster than anyone can imagine, because the soil has been primed for it for decades. Dioceses will pull away from Rome, one at a time, and parishes within dioceses will pull away from their bishops, one after another. The soil in the Anglosphere is so fertile for schism, I can’t even muster the words to describe it. It only requires the right circumstances to move forward. A breakaway Catholic Church in Germany, with a pope in the Vatican who does nothing about it, will be more than enough to start the process in the Anglosphere.
The irony to all this is humorous. For years, Pope Francis’ advisors warned him about those “dangerous American conservative Catholics,” and how those conservative Americans might break away from Rome because of Francis. They so brainwashed him that he even stated publicly that he was not afraid of an American-led schism. What a joke! It was never the American conservatives he had to worry about. It was the German-led heretics who had his ear.
Pope Francis must now learn his lesson the hard way, as he discovers the people he surrounded himself with were the very ones undermining him and preparing the way for the coming German schism. They gave him a Judas kiss, and Francis is left wondering what happened. If Francis ever reads this, I have just one thing to say to him. They fooled you old man! They took you for a fool, and now they’re walking all over you. You gave them an inch, and they took ten miles! Wise up! You can’t negotiate with Modernists. The only thing they understand is a firm hand, and even that not so well.
This is what happens with heretics of all types, and Modernists are no exception. The only thing I’ll give to the Modernists is that they’re smarter than the heretics of ages past. Heretics of ages past played a short game, confronting Rome right away, and getting themselves excommunicated early before their heresies had time to fester in the Church. The Modernists, on the other hand, played the long game, waiting for their moment for over a century, and now it’s paid off. The Catholic Church is now on the precipice of the greatest schism in history. The best Pope Francis can hope for is to contain it to just one continent. Can he do it? The odds are stacked against him now.
So how do we faithful and orthodox Catholics deal with this?
The first thing we need to do is make sure we’re in a reverent Catholic parish. In this respect, I can only help the people in the United States, because the only information available is on the Reverent Catholic Mass website. Outside the United States, the only thing I can tell you to do is seek out the Ordinariates of English Patrimony in North America, the UK and Oceania. Then there are the Latin Mass fraternities of the Priestly Fraternity of Saint Peter, and the Institute of Christ the King. Then, of course there are the Eastern Catholic churches. Maybe the Society of Saint Pius X will finally get their canonical status with Rome settled, but until then, I can’t recommend them. Beyond that, I don’t know what else to tell you. You’ve got to get into a religiously conservative (orthodox) parish, or else you’re rolling the dice. Maybe your bishop will be faithful to the historic Catholic Church, or maybe he won’t be. Maybe your priest will be faithful, or maybe he won’t be. Your guess is as good as mine. I’m just telling you how to hedge your bet, and how to stay one step ahead of the schismatics. Or you can just take your chances in your local diocesan parish. Good luck!
The second thing we need to do is make sure we are properly catechized. For years now I’ve been recommending the Baltimore Catechism Series, which can be obtained through TAN Books in paperback, or in hardcover from Baronious Press. That’s not to say there aren’t other good catechisms. There are. The Catechism of Trent is amazing, and even the Catechism of the Catholic Church, by Pope St. John Paul II, is pretty good. The reason why I recommend the Baltimore Catechism Series is because it’s arranged to catechize entire families — the parents alongside the children — at the same time. The children read the lower books, numbers 1, 2 and 3 depending upon age, while the adults read book 4. Then the family can have a discussion about each lesson after reading it. The system is really quite good, and it kills two birds with one stone, catechizing the parents alongside the children at the same time.
The third thing we need to do is pray the Rosary, and study the New Testament. I put these two together because the Rosary is a review of the New Testament on a string of beads. Catholics need to be thoroughly familiar with both. Pray the Rosary, and read the New Testament, together as a family. Familiarity with both will help any Catholic, in any situation, especially this one.
The fourth and final thing we need to do is repent of our sins. I don’t need to give you any details about this. You know what your sins are, just as I know what mine are. Go to confession repeatedly, over and over again if necessary, and work on getting rid of those bad habits. It’s a process. Sometimes we don’t abandon our sins overnight. Sometimes it takes a process of weeks, months and even years. But if we will just faithfully go to confession, and keep trying, we will eventually have victory. People who die in their sins are only the people who give up. So don’t give up. Keep trying to change. Those who keep trying, and never give up, eventually accomplish their goals, even if it takes a lifetime. Sometimes God doesn’t look at how successful we are. Sometimes he just looks at how hard we try, and kept trying, and never gave up trying. That’s because he sees our hearts.
Beyond this, I don’t know what to tell you, except to wait, watch and pray. The schism is coming, and it’s going to be large. What we don’t know yet is how large. It will definitely encompass all of Northern Europe, just as the last great schism did in the sixteenth century. The real danger is it leaving the continent. If the schism spreads to North America, containment will be impossible. The entire Catholic Church will be ripped to shreds in a very short amount of time. The only thing we can do is protect ourselves and our own families from the heresies that will envelope us all. Follow the four points I cited above, and you can avoid being carried away in this nightmare. All of my ancestors were swallowed up by the schism of the sixteenth century. I believe God led me to convert to Catholicism in 2000 for a reason. Perhaps it was to prevent as many American Catholics as possible from being swallowed up in this coming schism. I can only hope and pray people actually listen.
Shane Schaetzel is an author of Catholic books and an Evangelical convert to the Catholic Church through Anglicanism. His articles have been featured on LifeSiteNews, ChurchMilitant, The Remnant Newspaper, Forward in Christ, and Catholic Online. You can read Shane’s books at ShaneSchaetzel.Com