Bishops Chaput, Cordileone and Strickland are ‘devout schismatics’

Three US bishops are “devout schismatics” who try to diminish the authority of Pope Francis, says a Church historian.

“They are devout in the sense that they publicly display their preference for a traditionalist Church and its devotions, such as the rosary.

“They are schismatics because they openly promote the undermining of the bishop of Rome among the Catholic faithful,” Massimo Faggioli wrote in a La Croix magazine essay.

The Church’s canon law defines schism as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

Faggioli said the “schismatic instincts” of those bishops were manifest last August when they “sided with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to Washington who called on Francis to resign.”

Last August Viganò published a “testimony,” which accused Francis of ignoring warnings about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick and his sexual deviancy. He claimed Francis not only ignored the warnings about McCarrick, but also promoted him within the Vatican.

Strickland immediately issued a statement calling Viganò’s allegations “credible,” and Cordileone said he could confirm that some of Viganò’s statements were true.

Chaput did not endorse Viganò’s allegations. A spokesman said Chaput could not comment “on Archbishop Viganò’s recent testimonial as it is beyond his personal experience.”

Shortly after Francis was elected in 2013, Chaput said the election had made him “extraordinarily happy, because quite honestly, he is the man I was hoping would be Pope eight years ago.”

In 2015 Chaput hosted Francis for the World Meeting of Families.

Reflecting on the meeting in 2018, Chaput said “[Pope Francis] has repeatedly challenged us to bear witness to Christ through concrete action—by serving the poor, by helping immigrants, by preserving families, and by protecting the sanctity of life.

“It’s the kind of challenge we can and should answer with a hearty yes each day,”.

In his essay criticising “devout schismatics,” Faggioli said “Catholicism was exposed to ideological manipulation by those who do not really care for the Gospel, but who are more interested in a particular conservative political culture.”

Chaput has frequently emphasised his unwillingness to align with a political party and criticises partisanship within the Church.

In 2016 he criticised Catholics, especially politicians, who accept “the transfer of our real loyalties and convictions from the old Church of our baptism to the new ‘Church’ of our ambitions and appetites,’ to achieve political or personal goals.”


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