The following is an attempt to trace the rise, growth and spread of the theological schism which is invading Catholicism like a computer virus. The most intriguing factor emerging from an examination of this assault on the unity of Catholicism is that it was largely enabled by a symbiosis of obscure forces (including militant atheism) whose common agenda is not just the destruction of Christianity but the abolishing of moral standards in the nations of the world without which civilisation cannot exist.
The great schism seems to be an amalgam of every historical threat to the unity of the Church, but the most powerful of these to emerge in the two millennia of Christianity are those motivated by an instinct to find security from the State, or the need of political authority to resist any threat to its hegemony, especially any movement claiming particular autonomy of itself. Examples are Arianism which placed Christ’s Church in the control of the Emperor, or Protestantism which replaced the papacy with European monarchs or Emperors. Communism at first tried to annihilate Christianity altogether but ended by creating parallel State forms of Christian churches. China has followed the Russian pattern.
Of course, many rifts in the organism of Faith were driven by personal unrest or disagreement over details of doctrine and discipline, viz. Rev. Martin Luther or the emotionally distressed Calvin. But an immediate result of the Protestant rebellion was that the various European powers seized upon that novel church to patronise, control and then employ it to break free from the ethical constraints imposed upon king or commoner by the then universally acknowledged Catholic morality . Probably the most galling of such constraints to the rich and powerful were limitations imposed upon capitalism through the restriction of unlimited hazarding of personal property. The very word mortgage (death grip) is an echo of the medieval attitude to controlling people by lending or the enslavement of people through borrowing. As Hilaire Belloc commented: Protestantism was the revolt of the rich against the common man. The point is that the most powerful of attacks on Catholic unity involves some intervention from the world outside. And as the world can affect the Church, so damage to the Church almost invariably affects populations at large.