Sunday, October 7, 2012

Where is Catholic Obedience Today?

"Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God, therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things.

- St. Thomas Aquinas,

Doctor of the Church

- Summa Theoligica II-IIQ. 104



Lawful superiors are to be respected as the representatives of Christ
if they depart gravely from the Catholic Faith, I may even rebuke them in public - Galatians 2:11-14


I will gladly obey the appointed servants of God, legitimate bishops or priests
not when I know they are leading men away from God.


Church punishments are terrifying instruments of God's law when valid
when they are without foundation they are not valid Old Code, c.2242; New Code, c.1321.

And there is no reason why those who obey God rather than men should be accused of refusing obedience; for if the will of rulers is opposed to the will and the laws of God, these rulers exceed the bounds of their own power and pervert justice, nor can their authority then be valid, which, when there is no justice, is null. - Leo XIII, "Diuturnum Illud"

But by defending disobedience to modern church officials in some case, are we not encouraging anarchy and disorder in the church ?

NO ! It is the modernists who are causing anarchy and confusion by disobeying sacred traditions.

So it was in St. Peter's Day -
Where there is a proximate danger to the faith, prelates must be rebuked, even publicly, by subjects. Thus, St. Paul, who was subject to St. Peter, rebuked him publicly.
St. Thomas Aquinas, Commentary on the Epistle to the Galations 2:14
So it was in St. Bellarmine's Day -
When the Supreme Pontiff pronounces a sentence of excommunication which is unjust or null, it must not be accepted, without, however, straying from the respect due to the Holy See.
St. Robert Bellarmine

So it must still be today -
All disciplinary authority, all obedience to a bishop presupposes the pure teaching of the Holy Church. Obedience to the bishop is grounded in complete faith in the teaching of the Holy Church. As soon as the ecclesiastical authority yields to pluralism in questions of faith, it has lost the right to claim obedience to its disciplinary ordinances.
- Professor Dietrich von Hildebrand, The Devasted Vineyard (chicago 1973), pp 3-5

Obedience to manifest error is sinful and the obligations to obey ceases once you are commanded to do some evil. Helping to destroy the Church in the name of "obedience" is also sinful. Blind obedience is not, and has never been Catholic (this is because true obedience can never conflicts with the will of God, namely that it can't contradict the Churches constant teaching).

The history of the Church gives us several examples of saints who, in order to remain faithful, have resisted the Church authorities (and were even excommunicated ) who were wrong. Thus St. Godefrey of Amiens, St. Hughes of Grenoble and Guy of Vienne (who later became Pope Calixtus II ) wrote to Pope Pascal II who was wavering concerning "the investitures": "If, what we absolutely do not believe, you would choose another way and would - God forbid - refuse to confirm the decisions of our paternity , you would force us away from obeying you." (Bouix, Tract, de Papa, T. II, p. 650).

We learn that St. Athanasius had to "disobey" Pope Liberius. But such apparent his "disobedience" was not real disobedience, but rather true obedience to the Church and it's constant teaching.

In Summa Theologica, Q.33 Art 4, St. Thomas Aquinas makes it clear that we are bound to correct even his superior saying,

"if the faith is endangered a subject ought to rebuke his prelate even publicly. Hence Paul, who was Peter's subject, rebuked him in public, on account of the imminent danger of scandal concerning the faith, and, as the gloss of Augustine says on Gal. 2:11: "Peter gave an example to superiors that if at any time they should happen to stray from the straight path, they should not disdain to be reproved by their subjects".

We become obedient to the Church and her officials only when we become obedient to the constant teaching of the church as taught by the Magisterium throughout the ages. If what is taught by an appointed servants of God (bishop, priest or Pope) is contrary to Catholic teaching then they are Not to be obeyed but even publicly rebuked (Titus 1:10) as they no longer speak on behalf of church but become representatives of their own novelty.

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