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Disobedience always leads to schism
Posted By Eric Sammons On August 16, 2010 @ 10:20 am In The Church | Comments Disabled
Over a year ago, I wrote about a dispute in Cleveland  which arose as a result of the bishop closing some parishes. I noted that no matter how the bishop handled the parish closings, Catholics must remain in communion with him and recognize that he has the authority to take these actions. One of the men involved in fighting the bishop, Bob Kloos, commented on my post  and defended his position.
Now it looks like Mr. Kloos and others have gone the way of so many others who dispute the authority of their bishop: schism .
CLEVELAND, Ohio — Defying the authority of their bishop, parishioners and their priest from the closed St. Peter Catholic Church in downtown Cleveland celebrated Mass Sunday in leased commercial space they transformed into a church independent of the Cleveland Catholic Diocese.
The move by the new Community of St. Peter puts members in danger of excommunication because they had been warned by Bishop Richard Lennon, who shuttered St. Peter’s in April, not to hold worship services in places without his approval.
Still, about 350 people, joined by their spiritual leader, the Rev. Robert Marrone, gathered for their first Mass and communion in their new home — a newly renovated, century-old building on Euclid Avenue and East 71st Street.
“This feels real good,” said parishioner Bob Kloos of Cleveland Heights. “This is the handiwork of hundreds of people over many, many months.”
This is so very sad. Whenever anyone removes themselves from the communion of the Church we should all weep in sorrow; nothing good can come out of it. Unfortunately, too many Catholics today do not recognize vital connection between following Christ and being a member of his Body here on earth, the Church. The Protestant ethos – in which we follow Christ individually and without reference to others – has inflicted Catholics far too often.
Of course, all of this is evidence of poor catechesis, so it should not be surprising that it is the former pastor of St. Peter’s who is leading the charge:
“I see this as an act of disobedience, not a schism,” Marrone said in an interview before the new space was opened. “But I suspect we’ll get accused of schism.”
This is nothing but double-talk: disobedience is schism. When you disobey a legitimate order of your bishop (and there is no question that this closing was a legitimate action by the bishop), you put yourself into schism. Fr. Marrone probably realizes that disobedience (and its attending “rebel” image) plays better in the press than schism.
Pray for these members of the former St. Peter’s parish that they might return to communion with the successor of St. Peter, the Pope.
Article printed from Divine Life – A Blog by Eric Sammons: http://ericsammons.com/blog
URL to article: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2010/08/16/disobedience-always-leads-to-schism/
URLs in this post:
 I wrote about a dispute in Cleveland: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/06/22/hes-no-more-baptized-than-we-are-but-he-is-more-ordained-than-you-are/
 commented on my post: http://ericsammons.com/blog/2009/06/22/hes-no-more-baptized-than-we-are-but-he-is-more-ordained-than-you-are/#comment-2789
 schism: http://blog.cleveland.com/metro/2010/08/parishioners_from_closed_catho.html
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