Loading
Vatican congregation calls religious to obedience

.- The congregation charged with overseeing religious men and women has published an instruction to help improve the understanding of the roles of authority and obedience in religious communities.

The Congregation for Institutes of Consecrated Life and Societies of Apostolic Life today released an Instruction entitled: "The Service of Authority and Obedience," which was presented this morning at an assembly of male and female superiors general held at the Salesianum in Rome.

The first topic that the new instruction addresses is religious obedience.

While some think of religious obedience as simply an adherence to “ecclesiastical or religious laws and rulings,” the congregation explains that this is not how it should be understood. Rather, religious obedience has its roots in the “search for God and for His will.” It springs from the “momentum of a journey in search of God which involves listening to His Word and becoming aware of His design of love - the fundamental experience of Christ Who, out of love, was obedient unto His death on the cross.”

The practical outcome of this is that, obedience, “is not justified on the basis of religious authority.” Instead, “because everyone in a religious community (first and foremost the authorities themselves) are called to obedience, Authority places itself at the service on the community so that God's will may be sought and achieved together."

The parallel issue of religious authority must be seen in the context of the “shared commitment to obedience, ... the theme that opens and closes this document," an explanation of the instruction says.

How to respond in matters of “difficult obedience” is also addressed by the document. The congregation describes these instances of “difficult obedience” as instructions that are “particularly hard to carry out, or in which the subject feels he sees 'things which are better and more useful for his soul than those which the superior orders him to do'.”

Room is also made for situations in which the one who must obey has 'objections of conscience.' This reference is meant to help people “consider obedience not just as a passive and irresponsible execution of orders, but as a conscious shouldering of commitments ... which are a real actuation of the will of God," a press release explains.

"The Instruction seeks to recall, above all, that obedience in religious life can give rise to difficult moments, to situations of suffering in which it is necessary to refer back to the Obedient One par excellence, Christ.”

However, those in authority can also experience “difficult” moments, the instruction notes. They can experience “moments of discouragement and fatigue which can lead to resignation or inattention in exercising an appropriate guidance ... of the community."

The document also contains “a vast and coherent set of guidelines for the exercise of authority," such as "inviting people to listen, favoring dialogue, sharing, co-responsibility, ... and the merciful treatment of the people" of those under authority.

An explanation of the instruction concludes by saying that the religious community should be “a place in which, under the guidance of the superior, a form of 'community discernment' must be exercised in decision- making. This practice, for the implementation of which important suggestions are offered, does not however eliminate the role of authority ... And it must not be forgotten that, by ancient tradition, the highest authority within religious institutes resides in the general chapter (or similar institution), which is a collegial body."


Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages

RESOURCES »

Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google (What's this?)

Featured Videos

Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis celebrates the closing Mass and announces site of next World Youth Day
Pope Francis visits poor neighborhood and meets with young people from Argentina
Pope Francis celebrates Mass at the National Shrine of Our Lady of Aparecida
Denver rally draws hundreds in support of religious freedom
Pope Francis prays over a sick man in St Peter's Square
Denver women's clinic will offer natural, Catholic care
Interview Clips: Barbara Nicolosi speaks to CNA
US Cardinals press conference at North American College
Pope Benedict to retire to monastery inside Vatican City
Pope cites waning strength as reason for resignation
Hundreds convene in Denver to urge respect for life
New Orange bishop encourages Catholic unity in diversity
Chinese pro-life activist calls for reform, international attention
At Lincoln installation, Bishop Conley says holiness is success
Mother Cabrini shrine reopens in Chicago after a decade
Ordination of 33 deacons fills St. Peter's with joy
Cardinal says "Charity is the mother of all the virtues"
Augustine Institute expands evangelization effort with new campus
Bishops recall 'Way of St. James' as chance to trust in God
Los Angeles cathedral's newest chapel houses Guadalupe relic
Apr
23

Liturgical Calendar

April 23, 2014

Wednesday within the Octa ve of Easter

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Gospel
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Daily Readings


First Reading:: Acts 3:1-10
Gospel:: Lk 24:13-35

Saint of the Day

St. Adalbert of Prague »

Saint
Date
04/21/14
04/20/14

Homily of the Day

Mt 28:8-15

Homily
Date
04/22/14
04/21/14
04/20/14

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com

Ads by AdsLiveMedia.com
     HTML
Text only
Headlines
  

Follow us: