I know that this will be too much for some of you, and too "duh" for others. Forgive me, but I need to say it anyway.
At a certain point, what Francis is doing and saying may cross a line that no rationalization can rationalize away. And we will be forced to make decisions based upon them, in a way that calls our Catholicity, or his, into question.
If that day occurs, it won't be nice.
Pray I'm wrong. I am not predicting anything. Call it a horrible feeling.
We all know the principles: there is One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church. Peter and his successors are the visible heads of this visible Church. Where Peter is, there is the Church. Easy. Except sometimes it isn't.
After the Great Western Schism was ended, and everyone agreed on just who the actual Pope was (of a group that included at one time three claimants), it became easy to understand that there really wasn't a schism at all, in the strict sense. Because all Catholics adhered to the Pope-- the person they believed to be Pope. Hence, it really was a mistake of fact. There were canonized Saints who adhered to one or the other of the claimants, some Saints actually following an anti-pope, through no fault of their own and in good faith.
I mean, we can read now in history books just who the rightful Pope was during that time, and it seems nice and clinical. But it was a horrible mess at the time.
Is the Synod in October the line that can't be crossed and yet rationalized? We must pray not. But stories like this from CNS are just as discouraging as can be, and it isn't the only one: