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Breaking Down St. Thomas' Summa Article on Obedience - 1a - Introduction

Obedience – The Sequel


In St. Thomas' concept, obedience is a double edged sword that cuts the vice of pride one way via submission to another, and in another way cuts the virtue of virtues of Charity and Justice via submission to a superior rather than to God.

Why is this important?

Because many within the Catholic Church tout that the SSPX is disobedient and that this disobedience is 'schismatic' etc.

Why argue about this topic?

Because in arguing we have an opportunity to discover new perspectives on the topic that, because of our natural biases and insights, we would never has considered.

For example, 'Gerard' made the assertion that the destruction of the 'mode of life' overruled the principles explained in earlier posts. Given the clarity of St. Thomas' logic as well as its hierarchy, I never would have considered this outlandish position. Sometimes the assertions are simply non-sequitors, other times they are useful. More on this later.

In this series of articles on St. Thomas' concept of obedience, I am going to summarize his perspective as well as provide the insights into areas that my discussions have highlighted as needing further explanation.

Tradicat Articles on Obedience
First, I have been studying obedience since 2013 and started to publish articles on the topic on Tradicat in order to keep them handy for reference.

Here is a pretty complete listing.


Here's a complete listing of the articles in this recent series on obedience.


Obedience as per St. Thomas:

DisObedience as per St. Thomas Aquinas:

Key Distinctions:

Application to the 1988 Consecrations:



St. Thomas on Legitimate authority and obedience:


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