The Church teaches total submission: This religious
submission of mind and will must be shown in a special way to the authentic
magisterium of the Roman Pontiff, even when he is not speaking ex
cathedra; that is, it must be shown in such a way that his supreme
magisterium is acknowledged with reverence, the judgments made by him are
sincerely adhered to, according to his manifest mind and will. Lumen Gentium, § 25c.
This is only half the story!
True loyalty & obedience does not imply a denial of our own
personality, our own mind and our own will !
The Second Vatican Council
teaches: Those under authority bring to the execution of commands and to
the discharge of duties the resources of their minds and wills, and
their gifts of nature and grace.
Only thus, the Council says,
obedience does not diminish the dignity of the human person. Rather it leads to
maturity within an enlarged freedom which belongs to the children of
God. Perfectae Caritatis § 14.
Have you forgotten the teaching of
St. Ignatius of Loyola?
Blind obedience, he said, should make you like a
dead piece of wood that someone can use as a walking stick.
requires you to accept something is white, even if you yourself see it
Yes, Ignatius said that. But it should not be taken
literally. Didnt he want the Jesuits, whose society he founded, to be
intelligent, honest, critical and creative?
Obedience is listening to the call of God in our own
hearts: it is following the inner authority of ourselves as experienced,
expressed, and revealed in community To obey Christ, to obey my bishop,
to obey God all are rooted in being true to who I am in the image of
God. Barbara Schmitz
Real obedience stands ready to serve at all times, but
independent and critical of every structure that makes uncritical claim upon
it. Joan Chittister
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