Fr Zed has this little quote from Marco Tosatti,
“Two observations to close. Newspapers are saying that this Synod has broken the Catholic Church. False: it brought into the light an old split, perhaps as old as the Church herself. Without going too far back, decades ago now the Catholic philosopher Pietro Prini had written about a submerged schism, invisible, on the part of many (bishops, priests and theologians included) in respect to the official Magisterium. In this split, it is instinctive to find oneself in sympathy with the progressives, but, and I have to add this out of love for sincerity, not without some discomfort. Between some of the current “progressives” and the immovable “conservatives”, my esteem goes to the latter, faithful to their own line of thought even when it is inconvenient to sustain it. In just a few months the change of wind has seen many bishops and pastors, who for decades accused the “reformers” of heresy, now showing themselves to be “open” and “sensitive”. This kind of thing disgusts me. These careerist conformists are too skilled in jumping onto the banged wagon of the powers-that-be-of-the-moment to merit our trust as fellow travelers.”Not all of us have had bishops who have been forced to resign and whose activities will eventually be investigated by the Holy See. One of my brother priests said he felt that for thirteen years our local Church was lead by a lapsed Catholic, I don't know if I agree but I am glad that I was never forced to attend many diocesan functions during that time. There seemed to be a great deal of whittling away at the Gospel with a pen knife. It was not a good time, and a few like me kept our heads down, it at least made us more dependent on faith and helped us realise prayer, and when that became difficult, penance and fasting have great value.
The real problem in the Church, as ever, is leadership, who if they are not serving themselves are serving their faction, flip flopping from one position to another. GOD give us bishops who believe in YOU, if not all, then some or at least one or two.
It is interesting that a few American and Italian journalist are openly talking about the 'S' word: schism. Real schism is impossible in today's Catholic Church, there are some apocalyptic nuts on the internet claiming this or that Pope are imposters, but they are nuts. The real problem is a internal schism, or as said above submerged schism, a Church where few take any notice of the leadership, where the leadership instead of smelling of the sheep smell of the marble halls of Santa Martha. The problem is the Church becomes even less fruitful, with less vocations, with tired clergy. The old men ordained like me in the early years of JPII and before, for the most part are quite comfortable, it is the younger clergy who are often in agony. I really do think many will suffer a great deal and some will have a serious loss of faith.
What does one do when the centre does not hold? Past Popes have endeavoured to pass on a slightly less damaged Church than they inherited, perhaps Francis, Cardinal Pell's 'more unusual' Pope, will pass on a Church where the wounds are fully exposed so his successors over the next century or two might heal them.