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On the Feast of St. Thomas Becket in the Roman Rite. For other legally free ebooks, you may access the List of Free eBooks (Arranged by Title) and the List of Free eBooks (Grouped by Subject).

“It is written (Acts 5:29): “We ought to obey God rather than men.” Now sometimes the things commanded by a superior are against God. Therefore superiors are not to be obeyed in all things…

“[T]here are two reasons, for which a subject may not be bound to obey his superior in all things. First on account of the command of a higher power… For as a gloss says on Romans 13:2… ‘if the proconsul command one thing, and the emperor another, will you hesitate, to disregard the former and serve the latter? Therefore if the emperor commands one thing and God another, you must disregard the former and obey God.’

“Secondly, a subject is not bound to obey his superior if the latter command him to do something wherein he is not subject to him… Man is subject to God simply as regards all things, both internal and external, wherefore he is bound to obey Him in all things. On the other hand, inferiors are not subject to their superiors in all things, but only in certain things and in a particular way, in respect of which the superior stands between God and his subjects, whereas in respect of other matters the subject is immediately under God…”

(St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologiae, 2a 2ae, q. 104, a.5, formatting supplied)

[N.B., This post is also dedicated to our friend V., with our prayers and best wishes.]

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