Friday, June 09, 2006

On Authority, Ecclesial and Other

David Alexander on the nature of authority:

When an authority gives an order, he takes responsibility for the consequences of that order. It is true in military law (lest senior officers go around “pulling rank” on other officers’ subordinates at will), and it is true in the natural law, as well as in natural justice. More to our point, it applies in canon law. Conversely, when a superior is not empowered to give a particular order, and yet persists in doing so, or when he cannot otherwise take responsibility for the outcome even of a legitimate order, his subjects cannot be held accountable for his loss of credibility over the long haul. Such an authority has done this to himself. That is what is happening in Orange County. It is happening elsewhere in the Church.

This applied to Abp. R. Weakland, OSB, and it applies to the twit-priest-'rebels' in this Archdiocese.

Authority is transitive, in a way. And those who undercut or detract from authorities above them can expect little comfort from the Faithful.

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