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Villanova historian says Chaput, Cordileone, and Strickland are ‘devout schismatics’

“They are schismatics because they openly promote the undermining of the bishop of Rome among the Catholic faithful,” Massimo Faggioli wrote in a July 16 essay for La Croix magazine.

Massimo Faggioli in a 2015 file photo. (CNS photo/Glen Argan, Western Catholic Reporter)

Philadelphia, Pa., Jul 18, 2019 / 06:35 pm (CNA).- A Church historian at Philadelphia’s Villanova University has said three U.S. bishops are “devout schismatics” who try to diminish the authority of Pope Francis.

“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 July 16 essay for La Croix magazine.

Faggioli made specific mention of three U.S. bishops: Archbishop Charles Chaput of Philadelphia, Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, and Bishop Joseph Strickland of Tyler, Texas.

The historian said the “schismatic instincts” of those bishops were manifested when in August 2018, when they “sided with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, the former papal nuncio to Washington who called on Francis to resign.”

Viganò released on Aug. 25, 2018 a “testimony,” which, among other things, accused Pope Francis of ignoring warnings about former cardinal Theodore McCarrick’s sexual deviancy, and then raising McCarrick’s status within the Vatican.

After the testimony was released, Strickland issued a statement calling Vigano’s allegations “credible,” and Cordileone said he could confirm that some of Vigano’s statements were true.

Contrary to Faggioli’s claim, however, Chaput did not endorse Vigano’s allegations. While a spokesman told reporters in August that Chaput “enjoyed working with Archbishop Vigano during his tenure as Apostolic Nuncio,” he declined to comment on the former nuncio’s allegations.

The spokesman said that the Chaput could not comment “on Archbishop Vigano’s recent testimonial as it is beyond his personal experience.”

In 2013, Chaput told radio personality Hugh Hewitt that the election of Pope Francis had made him “extraordinarily happy, because quite honestly, he is the man I was hoping would be Pope eight years ago.”

Two years later, Chaput hosted Pope Francis in Philadelphia for the 2015 World Meeting of Families. Reflecting in 2018 on that meeting, Chaput wrote that the pope’s “time with us was filled with powerful public moments and deeply grace filled intimate gatherings hallmarked by an overarching spirit of mercy, compassion, and charity.”

“[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,” Chaput added.

In his essay criticizing “devout schismatics,” Faggioli wrote that “dissent against this pope has become radicalized with schismatic instincts because this kind of political devotion is more about a partisan ideology than about the Church. 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, among those identified as a “devout schismatic,” has frequently emphasized his unwillingness to align with a political party.

In 2016 he criticized 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,’ in order to achieve political or personal goals. he group of those who do so “cuts across…both major political parties,” Chaput said.

The Church’s canon law defines schism, the charge Faggioli makes against the three bishops, as “the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.”

Faggioli could not be reached for comment.


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54 Comments

    • Why is this nut case permitted to teach at a Catholic University. I would demand a refund. Shame parents think they’re doing the right thing, sacrificing for a Catholic education, only to find this being spewed into their children’s head. Shame. Shame.

  1. Considering that Beans himself holds to several heretical propositions (he supports Female Deacons and is a supporter of the Bologna School teaching that Vatican II was a “rupture” in Church teaching, which was specifically rejected by the CDF in 2008) he has neither the academic or moral credentials to call others “Schismatics”. Plus given that he basically blocks everyone on twitter who disagrees with him same would likely qualify as “refusal of communion” with the people he blocks (i.e Schism).

  2. Faggioli is the quintessential Freudian, gaslighting leftist-Church- politicizer.

    He is the quintessential passive-aggressive manipulator, pretending to be the first, while doing violence to the Church as his real second self.

    His targeting of Archbishop Chaput in particular gives Faggioli away. Everyone who knows Chaput knows that he is particularly a-political, yet Faggioli attacks Chaput.

    The question is why…since Chaput is so obviously not political.

    The answer is, in a perfect psychological reversal, Faggioli’s politics, which in Faggioli’s case are his leftist politics. Because politics has become Faggioli’s religion, and now that he has sacramentalized his politics, he dresses it up in religious costume.

    What has Chaput failed to do for Faggioli’s politics?

    Answer: Chaput has failed to reject the 6th Commandment, which is Faggioli’s minimum requirement for being in Faggioli’s political church.

    Faggioli = prowling wolf for the sex revolution 2.0.

    Which just shows that the 3 Bishops F attacked are good shepherds.

  3. “Writing for Commonweal, Massimo Faggioli of Villanova University opined, ‘The publication of Benedict’s essay has already damaged his reputation and sown confusion.’”

    I guess Pope Emeretis Benedict XVII is a ‘devout schismatic’ too.

  4. Prof Massimo Faggioli does not ask a more pressing question: whether the Pope can be a schismatic. Let us hope that a critical mass of Cardinals are thinking about this question in preparation for the next conclave.

  5. A good moment to recall that Faggioli’s politics is first and foremost to defend the McCarrick Establishment, and demands that all Bishops continue to hang together and keep silent on the McCarrick Criminal Establishment.

    The faithful Catholic actress Patricia Heaton cut him down to size when Faggioli threatened Catholics to keep quiet about the POWER PREDATOR SCANDAL of The McCarrick Establishment. Google it for a good laugh at the enemy

    Faggioli is the Grand Inquisitor of the McCarrick Establishment.

  6. Those who hold fast to the constant teaching of the Faith are not schismatic. Those who marry the Church to the world risk schism. The gentleman has it backwards.

  7. If M Faggioli’s argument is canonically correct that named Bishops [Archbishop Chaput wrongly included by Faggioli as shown by CNA] are schismatic for siding with Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò then the list includes many more prelates in Am and worldwide. Faggioli’s premise is that “siding” includes Viganò’s demand that Pope Francis resign. There is little or no evidence that prelates who were said to agree also held that the Pontiff should resign. Furthermore Archbishop Viganò quickly retracted that demand. The Bishops alluded to simply demanded the Pope respond to Viganò’s accusations. Canon 751 Schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff. Canon 752 Although not an assent of faith, a religious submission of the intellect and will must be given to a doctrine which the Supreme Pontiff declares concerning faith or morals when they exercise the authentic magisterium, even if they do not intend to proclaim it by definitive act. Prof Faggioli does not show us what these doctrines are that the accused refuse to give assent. If it’s communion for D&R Pope Francis refuses to state that, never having responded to the Dubia or other direct inquiry. The Argentine letters and the Pontiff’s response inserted in AAS do not clearly specify that. Furthermore that referred to Argentina. Most of those who are alleged to refuse assent to the Pontiff are really in justifiable disagreement with shadow policies which conflict with Apostolic Tradition. For example any so called papal doctrine that directly affects the Deposit of the Faith such as Adultery must in fact be “proclaimed by a definitive act” as shown in Proposition 2 in the Doctrinal Commentary to Ad Tuendam Fidem. A real schism as defined doesn’t appear to exist except for a protected right to resist ambiguously promoted error. That resistance is obligatory submission is complicity in error.

    • Father, I think that Faggioli is rather ignorant of Catholic doctrine. He had a twitter fight a couple of months ago with the Dominican Canonist Fr. Pius Pietrzyk OP when Faggioli claimed that Traditionalists can “have their preconciliar liturgy, but not preconciliar theology”. Fr. Pius noted that the idea that Vatican II created rupture in Doctrine was specifically rejected by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith in 2008, and closing with the following comment: “There are two sides in the “Vatican II as rupture” camp. One saying the doctrine before the rupture is correct, the other saying the doctrine after the rupture is correct. @MassimoFaggioli and the Sedevacanists are two sides of the same false coin”.

      Hard to believe this man is a professor of Theology.

      • Yes Johann it’s a self inflicted ignorance by an otherwise intelligent person who has presumed as true and binding the false premises in the Pontiff’s writings, that his suggestive ideas are authentic Magisterial doctrine. Conscientiously we’re obliged to give benefit of the doubt to the Gospels and Apostolic Tradition, the definitive teaching of previous Pontiffs when questions arise. Pope Francis has carefully avoided any definitive heretical teaching, at least not consistently. God I’m confidant won’t permit him to mislead the faithful with Magisterial pronouncement thereby preserving the integrity of the Chair of Peter instituted by Him. That promise however doesn’t include the person who holds the Chair. Our Lord is permitting this Pontiff to present a misleading option by other more furtive, suggestive means that M Faggioli and others have chosen. It is a form of chastisement it seems for the predominant long held nominal practice within the Church. We pray for Faggioli who disseminates error at a Catholic college and others including clergy spreading falsehood in parishes. The stakes as we know are eternal happiness or eternal retribution.

      • “Hard to believe that this man is a professor of Theology.”

        Given that he teaches at Villanova I would disagree with you.

  8. He thinks THOSE bishops are the schismatics?! He doesn’t know the meaning of the word. A bishop should defend the Faith, even from other bishops. Maybe some bishops disagree with the Pope, but they are not schismatic from God.

  9. The living Magisterium exists to preserve, promote and proclaim the perennial Magisterium of the Church of Jesus Christ. There is no guarantee that the occupant of the Chair of Saint Peter will always and in every way conform to the mind of Jesus Christ but we know that error can be kept at bay. “Pastor Aeternus” of the First Vatican Council clarifies: “The Holy Spirit was not given to the Roman Pontiffs so that they might disclose new doctrine, but so that they might guard and set forth the Deposit of Faith handed down from the Apostles.” When the living Magisterium fails to do so it essentially does not exist. The Petrine Office is at the heart of the living Magisterium. The Chair is now occupied but there is no heart beating in conformity to Jesus Christ. How do we know this? Because Pope Francis promotes ideas which are contrary to the perennial Magisterium of the Church, albeit with studied ambiguity, but persistently without any ambiguity fails to correct bold heresy emerging from the episcopate, the clergy and the theological academy. Saints Robert Bellarmine and Cajetan theorized about such a pope but it was not seen as a viable threat at that time. Saint Francis de Sales was less dubious about the prospect and said that such an individual would need to be seriously corrected and, if I am not mistaken, deposed.
    A conscientious bishop exercises his office with the care of souls as his primary, if not sole, responsibility. Souls flourish when they are fed the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The theories of Marx, Darwin and Freud and their academic progeny are, while not absolutely erroneous because they do address the state of fallen humanity, are tragically misguided because they do not do so within the transcendent context in which we exist. Pragmatics, sentimentalisms and false consolations grounded in self-deception and self-gratification are antithetical to Jesus Christ, Crucified and Risen.
    Bergoglianism has no resemblance to Roman Catholicism. Were we not admonished by the Reverend Father Thomas Rosica: “Pope Francis breaks Catholic traditions whenever he wants because he is ‘free from disordered attachments.’ Our Church has indeed entered a new phase: with the advent of this first Jesuit pope, it is openly ruled by an individual rather than by the authority of Scripture alone or even its own dictates of tradition plus Scripture.” Rosica was merely amplifying the bold announcement by Cardinal Parolin that we are in “a new paradigm.”
    The Holy Father can, and obviously does, hold any opinion he wants, but his absolute responsibility as the Supreme Pontiff is to be in conformity to the perennial Magisterium of the Catholic Church. The guise of academic [particularly fragile in the case of Pope Bergoglio] and episcopal expertise serves merely as smoke and mirrors.
    None of us can speculate as to what investment Professor Faggioli has in protecting the Bergoglian conundrum, but it is not unreasonable to suspect that it provides him some sort of personal consolation. Surely this is at the heart of the support the Bergoglian enterprise enjoys with the clerical and theological rainbow coalition presently enjoying its day on top of the rock. There need by a purge of this pandemic of error throughout the Church, and it need not be accompanied by an iota of mercy and kindness.

    • Obviously, you don’t like Pope Francis. Whom would you instead have chosen as Supreme Pontiff?
      Oh! Let’s see Cardinal Burke and Sarah as Veep Pope? Thanks for the opinion but this pope has opened the windows and doors and let the fresh air in to purge the whole Vatican/Curia.

      • I’m obviously not a cardinal and am not sure whom you posed the question to, but in case it’s me, I’d have voted for Cardinal Sarah.

      • Cardinal Sarah…in a New York minute.
        Only in twenty first century Catholic academia can the likes of Faggioli flourish.
        Crawl back to your DNC masters, Prof Beans. (Can I say that?)

      • The notion that a man who has surrounded himself with predators, poofters, and apparatchiks since day one of his pontificate is giving the Vatican a healthy purge is laughable.

  10. Why is it that most of these dissenters of true Catholic dogma, while accusing those who uphold the 2000-year teachings of the one true church as being “traditionalists” (as if there is something wrong with tradition handed down by Christ Himself), cannot ever be reached for further clarification & comment? People like Faggioli, who call themselves “historians” or some other such nonsense, simply pen a hit piece on those of us who wish to remain faithful to true Catholic faith, & then disappear. Let me remind Mr. Faggioli, along with his liberal cabal of REAL schismatics, that the current pontiff is paving the way for the complete overhaul of the church into a sodomite institution, as has been proven in many more ways than those touched upon by Archbishop Vigano. The pope allows the fake priest, James Martin (he does not deserve to be called “father”), along with many others in the hierarchy, to spout sodomite filth among the faithful on a continual basis, without making any kind of statement, one way or another, as these satanic liberals attempt to take over the the church. Francis is NOT the true pope – he proves this time & again, by supporting, not by words, but in action – or non-action – the sodomite agenda, almost on a daily basis. There are many other prelates who preach sodomite filth without any encumbrance, indeed, with almost total approval, from the pope. Archbishop Vigano is completely correct, in my estimation, in accusing the current pope or heresy & apostasy. Facts back him up. I refer to the treatment of prelates like Cupich, Wuerl, McCarrick, Martin, et al, as if they are preaching the Good News, when in fact, Francis permits them to preach of the devil. Mr. Faggioli, you are also a liberal, who espouses total anarchy within the church. Therefore, while you accuse traditionalists, & truth-tellers, of being “schismatics”, it appears that you, along with others of your ilk, are the TRUE schismatics, & would like nothing more than to see true Catholicism go away. That would certainly ease your conscience, wouldn’t it?

  11. If Massimo Faggioli thinks it’s schismatic to promote traditions like the Rosary, one has to wonder who the schismatic is here. I don’t recall Pope Francis ever saying such nonsense, and by that standard 90 percent of the church is in schism. My concern is that this magazine would even give Faggioli a soap box. He’s obviously looking to get his five minutes of fame.

    • I think academics sometimes write controversial pieces in part to keep their names relevant. And that would have been successful here.

  12. I don’t think Mr. Faggioli has a good grasp of Church history or good intellectual balance.

    Merely disagreeing with a pope or calling for a pope to resign does not make a person a schismatic. If this were true, most Catholics throughout history would probably be schismatic.

  13. Faggioli demonstrates the comprehension of an inchworm crawling across the lens of the Hubble telescope. No one has yet refuted Archbishop Vigano’s claims, not even Cardinal Ouellet of Canada in his published response, nor has anyone given the non-schismatic (!) Vigano reason to come out of hiding…

    In fairness, Vigano probably overreached, but only in asking Pope Francis to resign (and regarding schismatics, it is also true that Villanova University is not among those halfway-house ivory towers that still genuflect before the Land o’ Lakes Declaration).

  14. I guess I must be one as well. Anyone who stays Catholic and retains the Tradition and continuity to the Magesterium is somehow schismatic as opposed to the whole crowd tossing out the teachings of Christ.

    • A battle rages today for the soul of the Church.

      We either choose to do combat on its behalf or risk being spat out of the Lord’s mouth for lukewarm neutrality.

      Aesop, before Christ, understood the importance of taking a stand. See The Bat, Birds, and The Beasts – Fables of Aesop
      https://fablesofaesop.com/the-bat-birds-and-the-beasts.html

      The growth of the smaller but more pure Church is on the rise. Onward, Christian soldiers.

  15. As a graduate of Villanova, I am embarrassed by the preposterous premise put forward by Prof. Faggioli that said bishops are schismatic, even devoutly so. There is absolutely no evidence to suggest any kind of schism and use of such extreme language betrays either ignorance of the term and its historical context, which is unlikely, or an agenda designed to deflect serious concern on the part of church leaders to deal effectively with the abuse crisis and its contagion, inappropriate episcopate behavior.

    • Prof. Faggioli, in his written opinions, seems nothing more than one who doth protest too much.
      Why the exaggerated heaping of hate upon those who differ from his opinions. There are homosexuals in the church. What a surprise! Just as there are in the general population. Some heterosexuals are in the church who fail miserably in clerical celibacy. Should they be thrown out if they become genuinely repentant? Many homosexuals live truly celibate lives. If they live that life, why condemn those who could be excellent and compassionate priests who lead exemplary lives. Lastly, as has been said, who are we to judge?, That is God’s work, not men.

  16. He and his ilk have been doing exactly that during the last 2 pontificates, so I guess he is a schimatic too. And if the next Pope is not to his liking I am betting he will suddenly discover how to be a dissenter again.

  17. No, they are no schismatics, they are not sedevecantist traitors. I find shocking that all these catholics and their sites and blogs cannot discern a heresy in front of their noses anymore. I myself lost count of the very grave heresies [never mind the gross behaviors] from Bergoglio. I got a file with many of his heresies since 2013, but it is hard to keep up with them. These catholics who are defending bergoglio are part of that big group Our Lady mentioned in La Salette, that in later days, many catholics ‘would not be following the right faith’ – right faith – These are the catholics who follow any new fad fashion and trend, who have lost the sense of sin not going to confession anymore, who don’t believe in the Real Presence, who deny the undeniable facts that these are the end times and like Scripture prophecies, seer prophecies and Our Lady, our church is now witnessing and facing the last great apostasy on earth, which Our Lady said it would start from the top of the hierarchy=Bergoglio, an ecclesiastical freemason.
    I feel sorry for all the catholics who try to find excuses for bergoglio attacks and slnader on cradle catholics, like me, who know full well that dogmas and tradition never change because our God doesn’t change neither.
    We had very brave clergy, like Archbishop Vigano, Archbishop Schneider and a few more, who signed documents to alert the catholic universe that this man bergoglio, is a heretic and is dragging many souls into apostasy….Have you read Laudato Si, for example? I still feel shocked at the lack of criticism of this diabolical document, which from the beginning till the end promotes pagan doctrines and traditions, dressed with christian terms, a trick the first gnostics used to use….Most catholicd don’t know anything about semantic deceptions, how bergoglio and apostate priests use doublespeak, they promote paganism disguised with christian terminology..I’ve read books written by apostate priests exactly to study the type of language they use to fool people, like they are already doing regarding the Amazon Synod…Already God, in qncient days lamented that “My people are dying for the lack of knowledge” – this is exactly what is happening again; most catholics are ignorant of catholic teachings and completely blind regarding the various enemies of the church, who they are, what are their goals and the cunning nature of their game..Summin up, those who are not sede traitors which are exposing bergoglio as a heretic are very brave and sound catholics who are worried about the salvation of souls.
    This article is ignorant and irresonsible, for it is selling the idea that those who are shouting from the roof tops are the heretics themselves.
    remember, the hypocritical liberal or relativist wolves are experts in “Projection”, they accuse others of what they themselves are or do.

    • Projection.
      It is the modus operandi of the left whether in ecclesia or the public square. They are all cut from the same cloth. It would be a bit frightening if it were not so apparent.
      Perhaps what is frightening is that it is not apparent to a sufficient number of people to bring the game to an abrupt ending.

  18. I have met Archbishop Chaput and have read all his books. I also heard him speak in Toronto several years ago. He is one of the most important leaders in the Church. Through his books he has helped Catholics to see they have a place in society and in no way should they (we) ever be diminished by secular society. His book Render Unto Caesar should be read by every Catholic who cares about their country and their faith. This allegation against him is distasteful.

  19. Bergoglio routinely scandalizes the faithful and undermines orthodoxy and the office of the Papacy. He is schismatic.

  20. I don’t believe my archbishop, Archbishop Cordileone, is a schismatic. Some of the statements by Archbishop Vigano have been proven to be true. I think Archbishop Chaput, Archbishop Cordileone, and Bishop Strickland have a deep love for the pope, as he is the vicar of Christ on earth. As a result of their fraternal charity, they seek to help the pope spread the joy of the gospel clearly without even the appearance of any improprieties.

    • Right, Dan. Also, from scripture, Paul opposed Peter re the Judaizers, the “Incident at Antioch.” Catholics are to use their reason and to follow Christ and His Church. His Church is more than a few theologians or Vatican procurators.

  21. A real case of the pot calling the kettle black.

    Was he not a schismatic during the pontificates of JPII and BXVI? If what we know now of Francis we knew during the time of the previous Pope we could have declared him schismatic and heretic. Then suddenly he is a Pope and he is now the measure of what is true? Pull the other leg.

  22. I only wish Chaput was what this fool would characterize as schismatic towards the obviously and blatantly heretical Francis.
    It is disgusting to listen to anyone praise the “mercy” of any Catholic, let alone a pope, so cold-bloodedly cruel and merciless towards the victims of sin. Pro-family? Please!!! How is it pro-family to create sophistries that justify a man abandoning his first family to run away with his secretary? Or are our prelates too dense to understand that this is precisely one of the ramifications of the junk moral theology extolled in Amoris Laetitia.
    A pro-life pope? Please!!! As he shamelessly praises the world’s most notorious abortionists, in effect telling the world, go ahead, have your abortion, we’re no longer “obsessed” with abortion, and besides moral absolutes are part of that Catholic museum and they no longer exist, and I’ll prove it to you by disassociating The Pontifical Academy for Life from necessarily being committed to being pro-life. It’s members can now even be pro-aborts.

  23. God hope we get more, MANY more like these three courageous prelates! Bergoglio and his supporters cannot prevail! The so-called schismatics have the most important team member, and let me give you a hint…..His initials are J.C.
    We need a letter writing campaign to have this “professor” removed from his teaching position! I will be writing a letter TODAY. Note: not an email, a letter!

  24. If Faggioli’s knowledge of history is similar to his knowledge of theology, then his ignorance is supine. However, he seems to be chock-full of ideology.

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