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Is it true that Catholics must totally and without question obey every dictate from their parish priest?

Full Question

Is it true that Catholics must totally and without question obey every dictate from their parish priest?

Answer

Certainly not! There are few areas in which a priest can require one to do anything, and those are connected primarily with the sacraments (e.g., what one is to do as a penance following the sacrament of reconciliation) and one’s behavior in church (e.g., no running in the aisles).

What one does outside of church and outside of these narrowly defined areas is one’s own business—subject, of course, to the Church’s disciplinary regulations and moral.

Even in the areas where a priest does have authority, it is sharply limited. For example, he cannot require a person to do something intrinsically immoral as a penance or demand that a person sing in the choir.













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1 comment

  1. Skip Mathis Reply

    As a newly minted Catholic last year, I have found so much support from my parish priest and many in the congregation. Yes, he is my confessor and I welcome the opportunity to do my part in gaining all that the penance is required. My priest is not only my shepherd but I value his council in regards to my spiritual growth. I do if I need clarification on any given matter, my priest has made himself readily available! Our parish is blessed to have him! Remember THEY are human and prone to sin just like the rest of us, if we are to be Truthful about the very human condition, we all must face at the end of the day looking into the mirror!!

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