Previous reflections   The 16 Documents of Vatican II Resolution  


                                       LUMEN GENTIUM
, 1964 

"The laity should  promptly accept in Christian obedience
decisions of their spiritual shepherds,
since they are representatives of Christ as well as teachers and rulers in the Church.

Nor should they omit to pray for those placed over them"

Second part, no problem....we should pray for our leaders, both spiritual and temporal

But the first part....where do you draw the line on obedience?
Is there any difference between "obedience" and "blind obedience"?

We do not have the right to do anything we like,
but we are not obliged to obey unreasonable requests/directions

Wasn't it Augustine who said something like
"An unreasonable law is no law at all" ?

Real obedience means following an informed conscience

As Fr Joseph Ratzinger wrote in 1967

"Over the pope as expression of the binding claim of ecclesiastical authority, 
there stands one’s own conscience which must be obeyed before all else,
even if necessary against the requirements of ecclesiastical authority.
This emphasis on the individual, 
whose conscience confronts him with a supreme and ultimate tribunal, 
and one which is the last resort,
is beyond the claims of external social groups, 
even the official church, 
and also establishes a principle in opposition to totalitarianism"

( "Commentary on the Documents of Vatican II", ed. Vorgrimler, 1968, on Gaudium et spes, part 1, chapter 1.)

Jesus, please help me be obedient like you.
You humbly obeyed your Father's will
but you sure didn't follow all the directions
of the religious leaders of your day,
especially on the Sabbath!

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