14 July 2011

A Good Reminder for Everyone. Everyone.

The editorial in this week's St. Louis Review has a good headline:

Catholics Called to Obedience

True, Catholics are called to obey the teachings of the Church, and her duly-appointed shepherds. And, as the editorial says, members of religious orders have additional duties in this regard. Speaking of the Fr. Corapi situation:

"Obedience" can be open to interpretation. However, the Church demands obedience from its members, especially those in religious life. As the Second Vatican Council said in "Lumen Gentium," "from the God-given seed of the (evangelical) counsels a wonderful and wide-spreading tree has grown up in the field of the Lord, branching out into various forms of the religious life lived in solitude or in community. ...


As Catholics we are all called to obedience, to the pope and Magisterium, to our bishops, to our pastors and, in a sense, to each other. Religious men and women have additional layers of obedience to their religious superiors. [...]

Now, I have refused to get into the sordid details of the Fr. Corapi saga, which no doubt you have heard about elsewhere. This is because we cannot know everything that occurred, we have no business knowing it, it is highly unseemly no matter which side one reads, and because it is almost a prurient experience to dig into the details. So, I have avoided it.

But, in light of the Review's editorial, I just wanted to point out something: the call to obedience is there, and the editorial gets that right. It may be necessary to remind readers of that, especially since Fr. Corapi had a reputation as an "orthodox" or "conservative" priest. He was a priest with a significant following of well-meaning Catholics.

However, if members of the SOLT order are called to obedience, then so are members of the SSNDs or Loretto Sisters; so are members of the Dominicans or the Jesuits. It may be well to also remind Catholics about the need to obey the magisterium on abortion, gay marriage, celibate priesthood, a God-centered stewardship of creation (and not earth-centered environmentalism), proper celebration of the Church's liturgy, and public respect for the Holy Father and the bishops.

Because just as it is good to remind those who preach obedience themselves to be obedient, it is also good--and maybe even more pressing-- to give a like reminder to those who preach disobedience.

Maybe in next week's editorial?

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