They call passive schism the condition of those whom the Church herself rejects from her bosom by excommunication, inasmuch as they undergo this separation whether they will or no, having deserved it.Hence, this article will deal directly only with active schism, which is schism properly so-called.Indeed the texts of Scripture and Tradition show these aspects of the same truth to be so closely united that passage from one to the other is constant and spontaneous.
It is nevertheless clear that so-called passive schism not only does not exclude the other, but often supposes it in fact and theory.
From this point of view it is impossible to understand the attitude of Protestants who claim to hold the Church they abandoned responsible for their separation.
These various forms of unity are the object of the prayer after the Last Supper, when Christ prays for His own and asks "that they may be one" as the Father and the Son are one ( John , 22 ). every one of you saith: I am indeed of Paul; and I am of Apollo; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. There must be no division in the body of Christ, xlvi, 6.
Those who violate the laws of unity shall become strangers to Christ and his spiritual family : "And if he will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican " ( Matthew ). Paul often refers to the unity of the Church, describing it as one edifice, one body, a body between whose members exists the same solidarity as between the members of the human body ( 1 Corinthians 12 ; Ephesians 4 ). and in one Spirit we have all been made to drink" (I Cor xii, 13); "For we, being many, are one bread, one body, all that partake of one bread" (ibid., x, 17). one Lord, one faith, one baptism " ( Ephesians 4:4-5 ). The fundamental reason of all this is the Divinely instituted hierarchical order.
They must be always submissive to the bishop, the presbyterium, and the deacons ("Eph.", ii, 2; v, 3; xx, 2; "Magn.", ii; iii, 1; vi, 1, 2; xiii, 2; "Tra Il.", ii, 1, 2; xiii, 2; "Philad.", vii, 1; "Smyrn.", viii, 1; "Polyc.", vi, 1).
Jesus Christ being the word of the Father and the bishop being in the doctrine of Christ ( en Iesou christou gnome ) it is fitting to adhere to the doctrine of the bishop ( Ephesians 3:2 ; 4:1 ); "Those who belong to God and Jesus Christ ally themselves with the bishop. It is forbidden to baptize or celebrate the agape without the bishop ; what he approves is what is pleasing to God, in order that all that is done may be stable and valid" (Smyrn., viii, 1, 2). Irenæus lauds in glowing terms the unity of that universal Church "which has but one heart and one soul, whose faith is in keeping" and which seems "as the sole sun illuminating the whole world" (Adv. He condemns all doctrinal division, basing his arguments on the teaching authority of the Church in general and of the Roman Church in particular.
It is proved by all the historical monuments and especially by the writings of Luther and Calvin that, prior to the anathema pronounced against them at the Council of Trent, the leaders of the Reformation had proclaimed and repeated that the Roman Church was "the Babylon of the Apocalypse, the synagogue of Satan, the society of Antichrist "; that they must therefore depart from it and that they did so in order to re-enter the way of salvation. Thus the schism was well consummated by them before it was solemnly established by the authority which they rejected and transformed by that authority into a just penal sanction.
As schism in its definition and full sense is the practical denial of ecclesiastical unity, the explanation of the former requires a clear definition of the latter, and to prove the necessity of the latter is to establish the intrinsic malice of the former.
He enumerates its various aspects and sources: "For in one Spirit were we all baptized into one body, . He sums it up in the following formula: "One body and one Spirit; . Finally he arrives at the logical conclusion when he anathematizes doctrinal novelties and the authors of them ( Galatians 1:9 ), likewise when he writes to Titus: "A man that is a heretic, after the first and second admonition, avoid" (Tit., iii, 10); and again when he so energetically condemns the dissensions of the community of Corinth : "There are contentions among you. The work of Christ is in fact continued by the Apostles, who are sent by Christ as He was sent by God (xlii, 1, 2).