True Obedience in the Church

A Guide to Discernment in Challenging Times


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Pope Benedict XVI affirmed the ongoing growth and perpetual validity of the Traditional Latin Mass, insisting that “what earlier generations held as sacred remains sacred and great for us too, and it cannot be all of a sudden entirely forbidden or even considered harmful.”

However, with the 2021 release of Traditionis Custodes, his successor has declared precisely the opposite, sending shockwaves through the Church by calling for the restriction and eventual suppression of her most beautiful and venerable form of worship — and the one experiencing the most dramatic and impassioned growth.

What is a conscientious Catholic to do?

In this pivotal book, Dr. Peter Kwasniewski offers an essential treatise on the question of obedience in the Church—whence it derives and how it is to be properly and prudently understood and lived. He explores St. Thomas Aquinas's guidelines on the subject, what type of obedience is necessary for salvation, and which types are lawful and unlawful. Can there be situations where the usual structures of obedience become impediments to, rather than facilitators of, the Church's mission and the good of souls? Have there been instances in Church history where faithful priests have exercised their ministry in violation of ordinary canonical norms? How should the clergy respond if the traditional Latin Mass is forbidden to them or if it were to be declared “abrogated”? What is the proper role of conscience and how are liberal and conservative views of it defective?

Other questions on obedience that Dr. Kwasniewski deftly engages include:

  • Is it ever licit for individuals to follow Enlightenment ideology and be their own authority?
  • What should you do when your superior instructs you to do something in contravention of God's law?
  • Why is opposing the traditional liturgy equivalent to opposing the work of the Holy Spirit and harming the Church's common good?
  • Are Catholics required to live in blind obedience, even in situations of anarchy or breakdown, corruption or apostasy?
  • Can Catholics who strive to preserve traditional beliefs and practices ever be credibly denounced as disobedient revolutionaries?
  • Why are unjust laws acts of violence?

True Obedience in the Church is available now in Spanish and German (French, Italian, and Portuguese are in progress).Spanish edition: USA SpainGerman edition: USA Germany/Europe

Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider photo

"The present book of Dr. Peter Kwasniewski offers a valuable and timely theological clarification on the authentic meaning of obedience. This tract will bring peace of conscience to many perplexed souls and confirm their fidelity to the perennial doctrinal and liturgical tradition of Holy Mother Church. "

Most Rev. Athanasius Schneider
Auxiliary Bishop of the Archdiocese of Saint Mary in Astana
Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., Ph.D. photo

"This is the kind of work I have come to expect from Dr. Kwasniewski: Careful, thoughtful, rigorous, scholarly yet accessible, and worthy of further consideration, prayer, and action."

Fr. Robert McTeigue, S.J., Ph.D.
Author, Real Philosophy for Real People: Tools for Truthful Living
Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P. photo

"Following the teaching of St. Thomas Aquinas, Peter Kwasniewski puts forward timeless principles that can help us navigate the strait of true obedience in difficult times."

Fr. Thomas Crean, O.P.
Author, The Mass and the Saints
Fr. John Paul Echert, SSL photo

"This wonderful tract provides solid principles for our discernment, especially relevant in the face of new assaults upon Catholic tradition, and it will strengthen our resolve to obey God in all things."

Fr. John Paul Echert, SSL
Pontifical Biblical Institute
Fr. John P Lovell photo

"To explain so succinctly the limits of obedience brings solace to canceled priests who are often jeered for “not being obedient.” I highly recommend this work for both clergy and laity."

Fr. John P Lovell
Co-Founder, The Coalition for Canceled Priests
Miriam Of The Lamb Of God, O.S.B. photo

"I am exceedingly grateful that such a son of the Church would assist us at this most difficult time to know how to respond to the many false and unreasonable dictates of a number of Her hierarchy. I consider True Obedience in the Church to be not only a must-read, but a healing balm of clarity for the Faithful."

Miriam Of The Lamb Of God, O.S.B.
Mother Miriam Live!
Fr. John Hunwicke photo

"Professor Kwasniewski demonstrates with scrupulous care the obligation laid upon us by God to obey Him over any man whose will leads us from Him, be it even a pope. His exposition of Catholic teaching on obedience is a fine and lucid account which, I am sure, will help and encourage many, clergy and laity, who are troubled by the present situation in the Catholic Church."

Fr. John Hunwicke
  • Pages: 128
  • Format(s): Paperback, All eBook Formats
  • ISBN: 978-1-64413-674-4
  • Product Code: 6744
  • Availability: In Stock
  • Publication Date: February 22, 2022
  • Categories: By Title, Latin Mass
Dr. Kwasniewski's book is truly illuminating! His positions are well reasoned and he demonstrates how fidelity to God and sacred tradition are truly relevant, trumping blind obedience. This is an excellent read for every Catholic.
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Well researched and written and easy to read. As a recent convert I appreciated it greatly as I start to learn about the history and traditions of the Church. I found it enlightening and encouraging. Would make a great gift. Perhaps even for your priest or bishop.
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