The Problems of False Obedience
The following excerpt was written by Fr. Nicholas Gruner in the Fall of 2010 for The Fatima Crusader. It is a very timely message that we all need to listen to, and pay close attention to his explanation regarding “False Obedience”, especially with the current condition of the Church and the World. “As goes the Church, so goes the world”, and both are in chaos.
The Role of False Obedience in the Post-Concilliar Crisis
Since Vatican II there has been an unprecedented division of the Church into warring camps that hoist their respective flags behind impenetrable fortifications. The emergence of these camps is the direct result of the supposed “new orientation” of the Church since the Council – a mirage, of course, but one that has provoked terrible damage in the Church. The very existence of a previously unheard-of distinction between Novus Ordo and “traditionalist” Catholics tells us that the “refoms” of Vatican II have caused a disastrous quasi-schism within the Church itself.
Now, the “traditionalists” are simply the Catholics who did not change, whereas the leaders of the Novus Ordo constituency defend the novelties of the past forty years as though they were defined dogmas of the Faith, even though Pope Benedict has exposed the utter fraudulence of this posture by declaring that the ancient Mass was “never abrogated” and that its use by every priest in the Church was “always permitted.”
The imposition of these novelties upon the Church – and with it, “official” opposition to the Message of Fatima – has depended precisely on a false notion of obedience to ecclesiastical authority. None other than the present Pope himself (Benedict XVI) exposed this false notion when he was still Cardinal Ratzinger.
“The pope is not an absolute monarch whose will is law, but is the guardian of the authentic Tradition, and thereby the premier guarantor of obedience.
That is why, with respect to the Liturgy, he has the task of a gardener, not that of a technician who builds new machines and throws the old ones onto the junk pile. …”
Here Cardinal Ratzinger was commenting on what even the new Catechism declares: that “even the supreme authority in the Church may not change the Liturgy arbitrarily, but only in the obedience of faith and with religious respect for the mystery of the Liturgy.” (CCC, No 1125, p.256)
And what is true of the Pope – that his power and authority are limited by the obedience of faith – is all the more true of his subordinates. Yet, in their ranks, the obedience of faith has widely been replaced in the post-conciliar epoch by obedience to their authority for its own sake. Positivism (my will is law) and nominalism (what I will is good because I will it) have invaded the Church, cloaking their abuses in the virtue of obedience, which seems to have become the only virtue insisted upon by ecclesiastical authority.
It is no coincidence that this invasion of the Church by positivism and nominalism coincides with “the invasion of the Church by worldly thinking” that Paul VI lamented – but too late, for the “opening to the world” had already begun to inflict its incalculable damage, and the “smoke of Satan” he also belatedly lamented had already entered the Church through the “fissures” he noticed only after the smoke had entered.
True Obedience: The Obedience of Faith
Of course, what is true of the Liturgy is true of everything else in the Church: there is an obedience of faith higher even than obedience to men, higher even than obedience to the Pope, as the reigning Pope (Benedict XVI) has observed, “We ought to obey God, rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)
Indeed, all authority is derived from divine authority, for if there were no God, there would be no ground on which any man could stand to assert authority over another, but only various “social contracts” resting on “consent.” All authority on earth, both temporal and spiritual – from the parent to the policeman to the politician, from the priest to the prelate to the pope – is ultimately derived from divine authority. All those who exercise authority of whatsoever kind, even papal authority, must exercise that authority in conformity with the divine will. And all who obey authority of whatsoever kind must obey divine authority first.
The failure to recognize and acknowledge the obedience which is absolutely due to God above all human authority is what is wrong with the modern notion of authority. It accounts for the moral, political, and social chaos of our time. And that same chaos, as Paul VI lamented too late, has infected even the human element of the Church, producing the paradoxical situation of demands to respect “authority” that contravenes the very basis of all true authority: the divine will for man.
Now, since all authority comes from God, we obey men because – and only because – their authority ultimately is based upon God’s authority. And this obedience, where it does not contravene God’s law, is actually an act of justice – of giving to another, and ultimately to God, what is due. But God does not give any man the authority to command, nor anyone the right to obey a command, that contravenes the commands He has given us, including the Decalogue and the law of the Gospel, which is the “positive law” of Christ the King. Moreover, all authority on earth is limited by God’s decree. Not even the Pope has unlimited authority. We know the limitation of the Pope’s authority by Revelation, Scripture, Tradition, and the teachings of the authentic Magisterium, both Ordinary and Universal, as well as the Extraordinary Magisterium in its dogmatic definitions.
The Obedience of Faith and the Message of Fatima
As St. Augustine says, “God is order”. Therefore, there is a hierarchy of authority. The command of the higher authority – when he is within the ambit of his jurisdiction – supersedes the command of the lower authority. There is a hierarchy of angels, a hierarchy of being in nature and a hierarchy of authority in the Church. Our Lady’s authority after that of Her Divine Son, is the highest authority in the Church and the world. It must be noted that the Blessed Virgin Mary, as Queen of Heaven and Earth and Mother of all the living, has real maternal and royal authority over each one of us, every member of the human race, and particularly every Catholic, including each and every priest, bishop, and Cardinal, and finally the Pope himself.
On October 13, 1917, the Queen of Heaven and Earth commanded the sun, and even the sun obeyed Her. So must all Her children, no matter what their rank in the Church. The Message of Fatima, with its prescriptions for the Church, is precisely an exercise of Her authority over the entire Church, the Pope included. It is impossible for the sinless and ever Virgin Mother of God, possessed of the Beatific Vision in a unique and unequalled way, to abuse or exceed Her authority. Therefore, when She commands, we must obey. Even the Pope must obey Her. Hence obedience to the Message of Fatima, which means obedience to the Mother of God, is subsumed under the concept of obedience of faith binding even the Pope to act for the faith, for the salvation of souls, above all else. Which brings me to the question of the Third Secret in particular and its relation to the problem of false obedience.
Faith Versus Obedience Regarding the Third Secret
Now, we know with certainty that the missing text of the Secret-the one that is “well hidden” in the Vatican-involves the famous words of Our Lady recorded in Sister Lucia’s Fourth Memoir: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved etc.” And we know that an Austrian Jesuit, Father Joseph Schweigl, went on a mission by Pius XII to interrogate Sister Lucia concerning the contents of the Secret in 1952, revealed that the Secret,
“has two parts: One concerns the Pope. The other, logically – although I must say nothing – would have to be the continuation of the words: “In Portugal, the dogma of the Faith will always be preserved’.”
Thus, we know that the text comprising the missing second part of the Third Secret records precious words of the Virgin for which Sister Lucia held the place with her “etc.”
But the Vatican Secretary of State, Cardinal Bertone, continues to maintain the fiction that the “not easy to decipher” vision of the “Bishop dressed in White,” which has received a welter of conflicting interpretations, is all there is to the Third Secret of Fatima. He steadfastly and most tellingly refused to inquire of Sister Lucia regarding the momentous “etc” even though he had every opportunity to do so over the five years of controversy that raged from the time the vision was published in 2000 – to widespread skepticism about the completeness of the Vatican’s disclosure – until Sister Lucia’s death in 2005. Or perhaps he did inquire and is in possession of information he has deemed expedient not to reveal.
Now, however, the partisans of a false and blind obedience to authority counsel us to forget the very words of the Mother of God because a Vatican functionary has deemed them dispensable. One such spokesman, Antonio Borelli of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP), who professes to be a champion of Our Lady of Fatima, declares that the words embraced by that telltale “etc” “will remain forever an inexplicable mystery” and that “It is a great disappointment that it has not been possible to resolve the question of the ‘etc,’ but we have to work with that concrete unavoidable fact.” Really? And why is
According to Mr. Borelli the answer is: simply and only because a human authority will have it so. And a human authority, moreover, who has no authority in the matter, as the Vatican Secretariat of State is a creation of men not God, and is in no way part of the divine constitution of the Church. Indeed, Pius XII dispensed with the office during his pontificate.
It was when he was serving as Secretary of State under Pius XI that the future Pius XII made the startling and prophetic statement:
“I am worried by the Blessed Virgin’s messages to little Lucia of Fatima. This persistence of Mary about the dangers which menace the Church is a divine warning against the suicide of altering the faith, in her
liturgy, her theology and her soul…. I hear all around me innovators who wish to dismantle the Sacred Chapel, destroy the universal flame of the Church, reject her ornaments and make her feel remorse for her historical
A day will come when the civilized world will deny its God, when the Church will doubt as Peter doubted. She will be tempted to believe that man has become God. In our churches, Christians will search in vain for the red lamp where God awaits them. Like Mary Magdalene, weeping
before the empty tomb, they will ask, “Where have they taken Him?”
It seems more than probable that the very catastrophe the future Pius XII foresaw is predicted in great detail by the words of the Virgin of Fatima to be found within that troublesome “etc.” But the partisans of false obedience argue that we must put the matter out of our minds to suit the wishes of Cardinal Bertone and all those who have no authority to conceal any part of the Message of Fatima.
The Fatima Crusader, Issue 119, page 35 (Summer 2017)
Doesn’t Father Gruner explain quite well the concept of False Obedience? Do you see the correlation of what he said and what’s happening in the Church today? It seems those who have no authority have taken upon them ALL AUTHORITY to suit themselves. This seems to be true from John XXIII to Pope Benedict XVI, allowing for a second pope, (Bergolio), who makes new rules, names new sins that are in no way mortal sins, removing sins that have always been sins, creating a new (his) magisterium. These things all go against God’s law that He has set down and Christ established when He founded His Church. There is no obedience of faith, only obedience to the man who has stated his own law and that’s all that matters at that time. Obedience to the Blessed Virgin doesn’t matter to those who follow their own ideas and wants.
A completely new church has been established with Vatican II. It is a false church, an ape church, and definitely not the CATHOLIC CHURCH. It adheres to “false obedience” usurping the true traditions and dogmas. Oh yes, and those of the hierarchy and clergy like to think they are speaking in Catholic terms, but they are not, deceiving leading more and more souls away from God down a path that leads straight to hell. It’s like a pile of dung covered with whipped cream and colorful sprinkles; it may looking very inviting, but underneath, it is still a pile of dung. Members of the clergy need our prayers, some for total conversion, others to be rescued, and courage for the many who are trying desperately to hold on to the Truth.
Don’t you think it is about time that we who want to stay close to God in all things, should start being obedient to Our Queen: pray, fast and sacrifice – in order to bring about the request of consecrating Russia to Her Immaculate Heart? We have nothing to lose – oh, but we do, our very souls and those of our neighbor. It’s like choosing life or death. Think about it. Do you choose to be obedient to the true teachings of the Catholic Church (to gain eternal life), or do you just want to go along with the “ape church” (to gain eternal death)? It’s that serious! This is a real life and death situation we have here and you have to choose. The Blessed Virgin is not going to hold back the Hand of God much longer. The chastisement is going to come and many souls will be lost forever. She has warned us and has tried to help us. Listen to Her, be obedient and pray, pray, pray the Rosary every day, fast, make sacrifices. Your soul matters doesn’t it? What about the souls of your family and friends, don’t they matter as well? Encourage them to pray, fast and sacrifice too!
Buckle up and hold on tight, the ride is going get very rough.
Here are two articles that are a must read and deal with the current situation in the Church, and, they also help explain even more about this “false obedience”. Both of these articles are well worth the read.
Leaving you with this REFLECTION:
Life is short and death is sure, the hour of death remains obscure.
A soul you have and only one, if that be lost all hope is gone.
Waste not your time while time shall last.
For after death ’tis ever past.
The all-seeing God your Judge will be,
Or heaven or hell your destiny.
All earthly things will fleet away,
Eternity will ever stay