I remember it well when I was in my twenties. It was hounded into the novices. “Perfect obedience is to obey like a corpse.” The quote was taken from Saint Ignatius. I know that this error grieved Brother Francis intensely. He suffered very much because of it. It facilitated four divisions within the order back in the seventies, each one justifying its independence under the guise of obedience. I remember, too, when I was in a seminary in California in 1971 and a Jesuit priest lost control when one of the seminarians raised a question at breakfast about the Novus Ordo. The seminarian simply was pointing out that Jesus said “for many” when He consecrated the wine into His Body and Blood rather than “for all” as the English New Mass had it, The poor priest, who had come to this seminary to get away from the liberals in his order, grew livid: “Any priest who does not say for all at the consecration is disobedient to the pope,” he yelled, “We cannot question the pope.” That was the first time in my life that I had ever seen a priest get angry — I mean very angry.
I was glad to see this little study on obedience by John R. T. Lamont for Rorate Caeli website. It was well thought out. And it does help us understand somewhat how these wretched sexual abusers in the clergy dominated the laity. The homosexual cabal among them wallowed in their power, becoming blind to holiness and truth. Blind themselves, the corrupt bishops demanded blind obedience from subordinates.
Rorate Caeli: In the light of new revelations about sexual abuse in the Church, many Catholics are asking how the situation that these revelations have disclosed can possibly have come about. The first question that occurs, a question of long standing, is; why did bishops deal with sexual abusers by concealing their offences and moving them to new assignments, rather than by removing them from ministry? No sufficient answer has yet been given to this question. It has now been made more pointed by a further question; how did Theodore McCarrick get appointed as Archbishop of Washington and Cardinal, and even become a principal drafter of the American bishops’ policy on sexual abuse in 2002, when his own involvement in sexual abuse was widely known in clerical circles and had been made known to the Holy See? Full article is here.