The Catholic Church is heading toward an “internal papal schism” whereby Pope Francis effectively leads two opposing factions, Capuchin theologian Father Thomas Weinandy has warned.

These are divided, he said, into one loyal to the papacy yet critical of this pontificate, and the other supportive of him due to his tolerance of ambiguous teaching and pastoral practice.

“This is the real schism,” observed Father Weinandy, a former chief of staff for the U.S. bishops' doctrinal committee, in a commentary published today in The Catholic Thing.

It is a situation “ever growing in intensity,” he added.

A member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission, Father Weinandy began by clarifying that he believes when the Pope refers to contemporary schismatics in the Church, he means his American critics.

But he pointed out that the “overwhelming majority” of those critics “would never initiate a schism” as they wish to remain faithful to the Pope, even if that means being critical of him.

The Capuchin also believes that the German Church would also not go into schism, despite their bishops’ wish to take their faithful down a “binding” synodal path contrary to the universal tradition of the Church.

They would not break away, he believes, because they would lose their Catholic identity, something they could not afford, and will, in any case Father Weinandy believes, be allowed to pursue ambiguous teaching and practice as it is “in accord with Francis’ own.”

Read the rest there.

My comments:

1. Is the Pope making us like the Anglican Communion which has always touted that it is the bridge between Catholicism and the Protestant sects with high and low churches? In this way the Anglican Communion gets a pope they can accept as he is the pope of confusion and a mess.

2. What's wrong with married priests who come from a limited pool like what Pope Pius XII allowed with some Lutherans which was extended to other Protestestnt sects by John Paul II and Benedict XVI?

3. If married clergy is the panacea for the Amazon, why aren't there plentiful numbers of married Permanent deacons in the Amazon that could be called to the priesthood? 

4. The first day of the synod speaks of saving the earth from ecological disaster which is a noble thing for the Church to desire especially if we can do it. But Catholic dogma teaches that the earth is terminal. Why isn't there a nod to that and the final consummation and that we are always walking toward the Second Coming and the Final judgment and the resurrection of the bodies of the dead? Isn't this in fact where the Church's expertise lies, Catholic must accept and all must prepared? No Catholic has to accept ecology theories or believe we can stop the final consummation. We do need to take care of the physical and spiritual though! But we aren't our Saviors in either realm, only Jesus is!