The first has its source in heresy or joined with it, the second, which most theologians designate absolutely as schism, is the rupture of the bond of subordination without an accompanying persistent error, directly opposed to a definite dogma. However, not every disobedience is a schism; in order to possess this character it must include besides the transgression of the commands of superiors, denial of their Divine right to command.On the other hand, schism does not necessarily imply adhesion, either public or private, to a dissenting group or a distinct sect, much less the creation of such a group.Brethren, be not deceived; whosoever follows a schismatic shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven " (Philad, iii, 2, 3). The doctrine of salvation, preached by the Apostles, is preserved in the Churches founded by them; but since it would take too long to question all the Apostolic Churches it is sufficient to turn to that of Rome : "For the entire Church that is all the faithful in the world, should be in agreement with this Roman Church, because of its superior pre-eminence; and in it all the faithful have preserved the Apostolic tradition " (iii, 2, 3). Those who leave the successors of the Apostles and assemble in any separated place must be regarded with suspicion or as heretics, as men of evil doctrines, or as schismatics.Finally, as the bishop is the doctrinal and disciplinary centre so he is the liturgical centre: "Let that Eucharist be lawful which is consecrated by the bishop or one deputed by him. It is therefore of the utmost necessity to adhere to this Church because where the Church is, there is the Spirit of God, and where the Spirit of God is there is the Church, there is all grace and the spirit is truth (iii, 24). Those who rend the unity of the Church receive the Divine chastisement awarded to Jeroboam ; they must all be avoided" (iv, 26).
"Why should there be among you disputes, quarrels, dissensions, schisms, and war ?Some theologians distinguish "active" from "passive" schism.By the former they understand detaching oneself deliberately from the body of the Church, freely renouncing the right to form a part of it.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.