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Monday, May 24, 2010

On Blind Obedience

It never fails to amaze me how many pious Catholics think they should blindly obey anyone wearing a roman collar. Obedience is a virtue; blind obedience is not. This morning I was re-reading a back issue of Christifidelis, the newsletter of the St. Joseph Foundation. (If you are unfamiliar with this wonderful organization, you need to remedy the situation and meet them. They provide canonical advice to those in need and their website is a real education in Church law.) 

The article on obedience begins with a description of virtue and what it is. For a moral act to be virtuous the individual must make the decision with an "adequate knowledge of the situation, the options available, and the consequences of each option."  In other words, obeying a lawful authority is not a virtue. To obey because the authority "said so" may, in fact, be a sin. Think of all the men throughout history who committed heinous acts because they were "following orders." Obeying China's forced abortion/sterilization law is a modern example of abusive authority of a tyrannical government that may not be obeyed. To obey an order that conflicts with God's law is always objectively sinful.

Nancy Pelosi recently lectured the bishops that they should order their priests to preach the Democrats' immigration policy from the pulpit. This paragon of Catholic knowledge who thinks it's perfectly okay to disobey God's law, "Thou shalt not kill." would misuse the bishops' authority to brainwash the faithful on amnesty. And some of the bishops are doing it even without her marching orders. Cardinal Mahony, who regularly disobeys Holy Mother Church on the rubrics of the Mass and fills his catechetical conference with heretics every year, has no problem preaching his socialistic views on immigration as doctrine.

Which makes it pretty clear that the sheep in the pew need to understand the nature of obedience. As I told my children when they were attending less than faithful Catholic high schools, "Just because someone is wearing a roman collar, doesn't mean he's telling you the truth." We need the VIRTUE of obedience, not its evil twin, blind obedience. Otherwise those in authority may lead us down the primrose path of dalliance to the very mouth of hell.

1 comment:

Old Bob said...

Well said! Thank you!!