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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.
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.
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.
But under these circumstances good faith may, at least for a time, prevent a formal schism; this begins when the legitimacy of one of the pontiffs becomes so evident as to render adhesion to a rival inexcusable.
Schism is regarded by the Church as a most serious fault, and is punished with the penalties inflicted on heresy, because heresy usually accompanies it.
These are: excommunication incurred ipso facto and reserved to the sovereign pontiff (cf.
Anyone becomes a schismatic who, though desiring to remain a Christian, rebels against legitimate authority, without going as far as the rejection of Christianity as a whole, which constitutes the crime of apostasy. Cyprian had said: "It must be understood that the bishop is in the Church and the Church in the bishop and he is not in the Church who is not with the bishop " (Epist., lxvi, 8). Ignatius of Antioch laid down this principle: "Where the bishop is there is the community, even as where Christ is there is the Catholic Church " (Smyrn., viii, 2).
Formerly a man was rightly considered a schismatic when he disregarded the authority of his own bishop ; hence the words of St. Now through the centralizing evolution which emphasizes the preponderant rôle of the sovereign pontiff in the constitution of ecclesiastical unity, the mere fact of rebelling against the bishop of the diocese is often a step toward schism; it is not a schism in him who remains, or claims to remain, subject to the Holy See.