Obedience is not a descriptor for a reaction to a cold authoritarian command that negates one’s very existence as a person with free will, but rather, instead, obedience, from the Latin OB-AUDIRE (referring to intense listening) is all about an eager following of commands given in love and received in love. Our Heavenly Father speaks himself in one divine Word, who is already, then, the Second Person of the Most Holy Trinity, who is always listening intently to the Father with love. Our Heavenly Father speaks Jesus into us, as it were, with that Word reverberating within our hearts and souls, now a symphony. Obedience isn’t a bad thing!
If a command is given that negates the very existence of a person as someone with free will who is meant to follow our Lord, so that one is expected to reject conscience and reject our Lord, that is not a command given in love and it doesn’t need to be followed. As Aquinas says, law is not law if it contradicts God’s law. “Disobedience” in such a case is actually true obedience.
Any priest in Malta who obeys the sinful direct command of the bishops of Malta to provide the Most Blessed Sacrament to notorious sinners flaunting their sin but protesting that they are at peace with God commits a number of grave sins that put them in eternal peril of losing eternal life.
Saying that they are coerced into doing so is no excuse. Will they be removed from ministry? Most likely. Will their names be blackened, their personnel files filled with notes about being divisory, unfit for ministry, etc.? Most likely. Will they eventually be dismissed from the clerical state as useless? Yes, even that can happen a number of years later, you know, when no one is looking. The priests know this. They do feel the pressure. But that is no excuse to sin. Instead, they are to rejoice and be glad that they are treated like the prophets before them, indeed, just like John the Baptist, just like Jesus.
The judgment will come much sooner than later. We will all stand before those wounds of Jesus and he will ask where our wounds are. What will we have to say for ourselves if we simply compromise so as to do what? Keep our “jobs”?
Priests are not dogs. Dogs are treated better than priests in some places.
For all the background documentation for what is in this post, see:
- +CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia usurps papal authority, rejecting dialogue, discernment, accompaniment
- +CJ Scicluna’s Amoris laetitia: priests are the body-politic’s cancer to be excised
The idea for +CJ Scicluna’s version of Amoris laetitia is this: even if you are a notorious in your sin, known by all as an adulterer, not only flaunting your sin but murdering anyone who disagrees, but you feel yourself to be at peace with God, hey!, just go up and get that white wafer Communion thingy with television cameras uplinking to the world:
- Question: Am I fomenting disobedience among the priests of Malta?
- Answer: No, I am encouraging true obedience to Jesus and to the Church.