The authority and the subjects in the Church

As for relations within the Church between authorities and subjects, they must be guided by love, so one must obey through the love to God and the love to the person who has the authority. The ecclesiastical authority must love the parishioners as well and become their servant. By obeying the authority of Church we are obeying God.

But if a priest or a bishop gave orders against God’s law, one must not obey, we are even obliged not to, according to what is said in the Acts of the Apostles: “We must obey God before men”. Speaking of the obeisance of priests, Saint Thomas of Aquinas reminds us that one is not obliged to obey his superior when he commands something against God’s law, at least on heavy matters.

We quoteMaria Valtorta[16]: “Charity must also regulate the relations between ecclesiastical or laic authorities and subjects. None of these authorities, even if it is a high one, can be used without charity and justice. God -for it is God who allows that this authority or the other has the power- puts nobody in a high position to torment his brothers, but to try the justice and the charity of the authorities and to punish those who do not bring them to practice, thinking that they don’t have such obligations since they occupy a high position”.

“To be above, to be “the head” involves duties of fatherhood and brotherhood and whoever does not fulfill them is severely judged by God, who makes him responsible not only for the absence of charity and justice but also for the reactions that such faults produce in his subjects. The one who, because he is on top, unjustly persecutes, torments and hurts an humble subject, will be called by God in order to answer for the scandals, bitterness and doubts about divine justice and providence that inevitably appear  in the heart of the oppressed ones”,

(Pg 323) “And charity must also regulate the relationship of the subjects with the authorities. Do not judge them and leave to God the judgment of them. Do not rebel against them if their orders are not against religion, moral, community or an earlier immutable divine disposition. But if this is the case, it is necessary to follow the example of Christ, who didn’t accept the disorderly wishe0s of the Sanhedrin”, even if it means suffering physical or mental martyrdom”.

[15]Maria Valtorta “Lessons about  Saint Paul’s Epistle to the Romans” (Pg. 322-323)