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Educationalist, psychologist, co-founder of the Austrian KirchenvolksBegehren

Disobedience can become a duty under certain circumstances

In the late 80s, I attended a talk by the papal nuncio to Austria. He told us that we must ‘follow Pope John Paul II with child-like obedience.’

I raised my hand: ‘I’m so sorry but I don’t know how to do that. My difficulties are the following: 1) I’m an adult. I no longer have to obey my parents – they need my advice. I listen to them, they listen to me. 2) I was born just after WW2 and I have been told about very, very bad things that child-like obedience can lead to. The consequences are cruel and harrowing. 3) I studied psychology. Growing up requires us to think for ourselves and to act independently. If we do not learn this, we will develop pathological behavioural problems. So can you help me Nuncio?’

After a short while, the Nuncio replied ‘read the bible’ and the whole audience tried not to laugh at him out loud. 

Jesus referred us to a higher authority than man – one’s conscience. Many years ago, after our weekly RC choir rehearsal, we wanted to celebrate Eucharistic adoration. We took the key for the tabernacle and placed the monstrance on the altar.  Our pastor asked the bishop if this was allowed and he said no. It seems people are allowed to receive the host with their hands but not to touch the container! Following our conscience we continued to do it anyway.

In 2014 my husband and I publicly disobeyed unjust Canon Law. By that time, in our small community, we were celebrating the Eucharist without a priest present. When we agreed to do this on television however we were excommunicated. We are not allowed to receive Holy Communion but we do so anyway and have never been refused.

We are Church Austria

Spirituality & Disobedience

Liturgical Ministry