Obedience to the Pope: defined by the Ten Commandments and Church Tradition

Alexandra Clark | The Daily Knight

Christ's Charge to St. Peter, Raphael (St. Paul Center)

Obedience, the one word used today for everything. Especially and with great sadness, within the Church to make those that question current norms that do not align with what the Church has always taught or always done, to be silent and simply just “obey.” With so many scandals, heresies and lies being told today, Faithful Catholics need to know what true obedience means.

Today, there is true and false obedience. As Faithful Catholics we need to know the difference so that we do not fall into the devil’s trap and displease God.

Archbishop Carlo Maria Vigano had this to say concerning obedience today:

“The Church does not belong to the Pope, and even less does she belong to a clique of heretics and fornicators that has succeeded in coming to power by deception and fraud.

Therefore, we ought to unite our supernatural faith in the constant action of God in the midst of His people with a work of resistance, as counseled by the Fathers of the Church ...

... Catholics have the duty of opposing the infidelity of their Shepherds, because the obedience that they owe them is aimed at the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

We therefore denounce everything that represents a betrayal of the mission of the Shepherds, imploring the Lord to shorten these times of trial. And if one day we are told by Bergoglio that, in order to remain in communion with him, we must perform an act that offends God, we will have further confirmation that he is an impostor, and that as such he has no authority.

Therefore, let us pray. Let us pray very much and with fervor, mindful of the words of the Savior and of His final victory.

We will be judged, not for the scandals of Bergoglio and his accomplices, but for our fidelity to the teaching of Christ.

... a fidelity that begins with living in God’s grace, receiving the Sacraments frequently, and offering sacrifices and penances for the salvation of the Ministers of God...”

His Excellency Archbishop Marcel Lefebvre said it well and stated that:

“Obedience is a serious matter; to remain united to the Church’s Magisterium and particularly to the Supreme Pontiff is one of the conditions of salvation…

…We are attached to the Pope for as long as he echoes the apostolic traditions and the teachings of all his predecessors. It is the very definition of the successor of Peter that he is the keeper of this deposit. Pius IX teaches us in Pastor Aeternus: ‘The Holy Ghost has not in fact been promised to the successors of Peter to permit them to proclaim new doctrine according to His revelations, but to keep strictly and to expound faithfully, with His help, the revelations transmitted by the Apostles, in other words the Deposit of Faith.’…

…The authority delegated by Our Lord to the Pope, the Bishops and the priesthood in general is for the service of faith. To make use of law, institutions and authority to annihilate the Catholic Faith and no longer to transmit life, is to practice spiritual abortion or contraception…

… We therefore choose to keep it and we cannot be mistaken in clinging to what the Church has taught for two thousand years. The crisis is profound, cleverly organized and directed, and by this token one can truly believe that the master mind is not a man but Satan himself. For it is a master-stroke of Satan to get Catholics to disobey the whole of Tradition in the name of obedience.

St. Paul has warned us: “Even if an angel from Heaven came to tell you anything other than what I have taught you, do not listen to him.”

Such is the secret of true obedience.”

In the effort of delving more deeper into this topic of obedience, this transcribed talk here below is a must read for all Faithful Catholics. It is a talk tilted Obedience and the Pope by Fr. Gregory Hesse, S.T.D., J.C.D., S.T.L., J.C.L., Canon Lawyer, Doctor of Thomistic Theology, Lifelong Friend and Personal Secretary of Cardinal Stickler at the Vatican from 1986-1988 gives a no-nonsense, intelligent, learned, and witty exposition and explanation of relevant topics facing contemporary faithful Catholics. Take note that John Paul II was Pope at the time of this talk. You can find lots of good talks by Fr. Hesse on Youtube. (The red highlights throughout the talk below are my own for emphasis).

Obedience and the Pope by Fr. Gregory Hesse

Obedience itself can only be defined by the Ten Commandments and Church Tradition. Not by some messed up, perverted philosopher of our century. And just like I mentioned yesterday, in the armed forces the Colonel cannot tell me to shoot my wife, because even if I was happy about that command and did shoot her, I would not get away with it. He does not have the right to tell me “Shoot your wife!” As long as my wife is not attacking the bases I’m stationed at. Commands are, as such, subject to higher rules. If the Pope, in a state of absentmindedness, or being drunk or whatever, would tell you - you have the privilege of dining with him - and he would tell you to jump out of the window on the third floor of the Apostolic Palace, you would have to say, “Excuse me, Holy Father, I don’t know why you’re off your rocker but I’m sure not going to do that.” And you do not commit a sin, on the contrary, you would if you were to do that.

The Pope, just like any other human being, is bound to the Ten Commandments. The Pope is bound to the Canon Law that he published and signed. If there’s something in the Canon Law that he published and he doesn’t like it, then he has to change Canon Law as far as possible. But he cannot say, “Yes, well, sure, I signed the Canon Law of 1983, but I’m the Pope and I don’t have to follow it.” Wrong, wrong, wrong. The Pope has to follow the Ten commandments, the will of Christ, the Tradition of the Church and his own Canon Law.

Pope Pius XI, when he celebrated Mass, did not just choose what Mass he was going to celebrate today. You know there’s quite some differences. You will have one Saint celebrated in one diocese and nowhere else and then you will have another Saint celebrated all over the world, but then in your diocese he’s not celebrated because it’s the dedication of the cathedral or whatever. So there are differences. Now Pius XI as Pope had to choose what calendar he would use. He was sitting up there in the Apostolic Palace which basically speaking is the jurisdiction of Vatican City, sometimes he would celebrate Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica which is the jurisdiction of St. Peter’s Basilica; sometimes he was celebrating in some churches in Rome, which is the jurisdiction of Rome. And later on when Popes started to travel they had to face the situation of celebrating somewhere else which was the jurisdiction of so and so. Pope Pius XI who was not foolish enough to fall for all these traps as they do today, celebrated Mass every day strictly according to the calendar of the Basilica of St. John Lateran in Rome, because, as Pope, he is the titular priest of that basilica. He is, so to speak, the arch-priest of the basilica of St. John Lateran. That is his church, like a parish priest has his church, Fr. Bolduc has his church. He’s the boss in this church and no one else is. In the same way, Pope Pius XI as a priest celebrating Mass, he was the boss in St. John Lateran so he used the calendar of St. John Lateran. That was a Pope who understood the concept of obedience. The present Pope [John Paul II] grew up in a concept of dictatorship in Poland and obviously hasn’t learned anything from it, because he expects us to do things that we must not do. And here we are at the topic of today. What is the limit of obedience towards the Pope? Aren’t we bound in total obedience to the Pope? The answer is: definitely not.

What are the limits to the Pope’s freedom of decision? Well, the Pope cannot go against the following four things:

First of all, he cannot contradict the gospel.

Second, he cannot contradict the Church Fathers.

Third, he cannot contradict the first four Councils as such. And he cannot contradict any further Council as long as it is dogmatically defined. Dogmatically defined things he cannot contradict. Things that a Council decided forever such as moral decisions, he cannot contradict. If we’re talking about disciplinary regulations which were always issued at Councils and which nobody bothers to put in a collection of Church teaching, yes of course he can. But not dogmatic and moral decisions of a Council.

Four, he cannot contradict what is called the ‘status Ecclesiae.’ The ‘state’ of the Church.

The ‘state’ doesn’t mean the present situation, like the state you find yourself in right now. The ‘state’ is something unchangeable. I am in the status religionis, the status sacerdotalis. The state of my life is being a priest and no matter if I go to heaven, purgatory or hell, I will still be a priest. I am sacerdos in aeternum, a priest in eternity. God Himself cannot take away my priesthood because He has decided to give it to me and He cannot contradict Himself. My good friend, the Italian composer Antonio Vivaldi - most of you only know his ‘Four Seasons,’ which is sad, he wrote 450 beautiful concertos and 30 operas - Antonio Vivaldi is dead, ever since 28th July 1741. Antonio Vivaldi is still a priest. Claudio Monteverdi, his predecessor in music, is still a priest today. Once a priest, always a priest. You know, like they say “Once in the army, always in the army,” but that means as long as you live. A priest is in eternity, always, always in the army of God. So I’m in the status sacerdotalis, that doesn’t change, it can’t change. Sister right here, or a bishop, are in the status perfectionis, or the state of perfection. That ‘state of life’ as you call it in English, is basically unchangeable once you’re in it. For a bishop it is perfectly unchangeable, for Sister it is relatively unchangeable. The state of the Church is something the Church finds herself in unchangeably, forever.

To show you what I mean: there are three major steps in the Sacrament of priesthood, the Diaconate, the Priesthood and Episcopal Consecration. But there are the so-called minor orders. The highest of the minor orders is the subdiaconate. When Paul VI transgressed his faculties by making the subdiaconate optional - another interesting thing by the way. Do you remember yesterday when I said that the New Mass was never really published and that Vatican II never really became obligatory? It’s the same thing here again, the Holy Spirit is not dead, the Holy Spirit works within the Church. Where Paul VI said that we don’t need the subdiaconate, he still left it up to the individual bishop to confer it or not. That’s interesting. However,