36 – You will make mistakes, you will make blunders, this happens! Perhaps even a letter of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith will arrive to you. But do not worry.

To really get to know somebody, it’s necessary to observe different aspects of their character. We Catholics reveal our moral worth in diverse circumstances: for example, during times of physical and spiritual suffering, when we need to pardon our neighbor, when we detach ourselves from material goods, it is in these and so many other trials, that charity is really proven.

For religious men and women, this may be noted in a specific aspect: the virtue of obedience. Their sincerity in giving their lives to the Church is proved by the capacity they have of renouncing themselves and fulfilling the will of those who represent the Lord to them. We know that an obedient religious is loved by the Lord, while one who does his own will, strays from virtue.

This is the surest teaching of the Church, followed by numerous generations of consecrated people until our days. To accept rebellion as a characteristic of religious life is to consent to the transgression of the most sacred principles, above all when this is done, supposedly, to better serve God.


Quote A

Teachings of the Magisterium

Enter the various parts of our study


I – What does God prefer: Actions or Obedience?
II – Correction is the Duty of Ecclesiastical Shepherds
III – May Religious Dispense themselves from Obedience?
IV – The Consequences of Resisting Authority

I – What does God Prefer: Actions or Obedience?

Sacred Scripture

Obedience is better than sacrifice

Saint John Chrysostom

God needs needs not toils, but our obedience

Saint Teresa of Jesus

Whoever fails in obedience will be neither good in contemplative nor in active life

Saint Augustine of Hippo

It is also necessary to submit oneself to the human magisterium

Saint Thomas Aquinas

Superiors act in virtue of the authority established by God

Saint Francis de Sales

We should desire what God desires, that is, what the superiors desire

II – Correction is the Duty of Ecclesiastical Shepherds

Sacred Scripture

Reprimand and encourage with the desire to teach

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The pastor’s task is to instruct on faith and good conduct

Pius XI

The mission of the Church is to educate, to direct and fashion

Benedict XVI

Admonishing sinners is an act of mercy

Pius XI

The Christian spirit is lost without the authority of the Church

III – May Religious Dispense themselves from Obedience?

Sacred Scripture

Docility in obedience

John Paul II

CLAR has the responsibility to manifest firm adhesion to the Holy See
Religious should act in accordance with the directives of the Pastors
Living with filial obedience to the Magisterium of the Church
The authority of the Magisterium impedes deviations
Submission to ecclesiastical authority guarantees the charism


Obey rulers as God himself

Saint Thomas Aquinas

The order of justice requires our obedience

Benedict XV

Those who resist any legitimate authority, resist God

Vatican Council II (Ecumenical XXI)

Do the will of him who sent you and not your own will
Accept and adhere to Bishops in matters of faith and morals

Congregation for the Clergy

Obedience is intrinsically required by the hierarchical structure of the Church

Saint Ignatius of Antioch

Be unanimous in obedience in order to be sanctified

Pius X

Always grow in obedience to the pastors of the Church

Pius XI

Catholics should love obedience and discipline

Catechism of Trent

Many are the incredulous who wish to live freely

IV – The Consequences of Resisting Authority

Sacred Scripture

Whoever resists authority brings judgment upon himself


Disregard for the authority of the Church, principle cause of the evils of our days
Consequences of despising legitimate power

Congregation for the Clergy

The gravity of dissenting from the Magisterium in matters of faith and morals

Saint Bernard

To Pope Eugene III - regarding the harm caused by disobedience
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