Can't take God awayYes, they might be as Christian as any other Christians but many profess to be of the Catholic faith and this requires that one adhere to the doctrines and disciplines of the Church, if one is to remain united to Christ and His Church. And yes, no one can separate them from God - this is accomplished by words or deeds of each individual. It is sin which separates one from the life of God. Sin is an offense against God and neighbor. Sin has consequences. Disobedience to lawful authority is a sin. And what we have here, which many fail to properly understand, is the grave offense of schism. Archbishop Burke reminds us:
Regarding the problem between St. Stanislaus Kostka Roman Catholic Church and Archdiocese of St. Louis Archbishop Raymond Burke: In my opinion as a Protestant, neither the archbishop, the Roman Catholic Church, nor the Pope can separate the members of St. Stanislaus or its new priest from the grace of God. No human can. Only God could.
The members of St. Stanislaus are as Christian as any other Christians. To members of St. Stanislaus and their priest: Happy New Year. May the church be filled every Sunday.
Schism is "the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him" (can. 751). It is the repudiation of the authority which Christ conferred upon St. Peter and the other Apostles in communion with him, and their successors. It, therefore, involves not only a premeditated and most grave act of disobedience to the authority of the Roman Pontiff and the bishops in the communion with him, but also a certain denial of an integral part of the Catholic faith, that is, the apostolic mark of the Church. In other words, those who choose to go into schism believe that they can be the Church without the pastoral teaching, ministration of the sacraments and governance of the Apostles and their successors.Faithful Catholics should pray for the reconciliation of those who gone into schism. We should not wish that their 'church' be filled every Sunday while they are in schism. We should hope to see the opposite.