Blind Obedience?

Blind Obedience?

“The Pope is the Pope, is the Pope!

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.

Obedience requires you to accept something is white, even if you yourself see it is black!”

“Yes, Ignatius said that. But it should not be taken literally. Didn’t he want the Jesuits, whose society he founded, to be intelligent, honest, critical and creative?

A balanced definition of obedience should do justice to our autonomy as thinking and free individuals. Here are better definitions:

  • ‘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

Why we challenge the teaching authority Frequently asked questions Next?
culture shift the facts history true loyalty sense of faith
feminism? infallible? credibility? obedience? undermining?
What are the ‘rights’ of Catholics in the Church?
Do you have any questions for us? __Suggestions? __Remarks?


Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars’ declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

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