"Many people see authority as a burden, something that destroys liberty and opposes Christian tolerance," but, as Simon Rowney wisely suggests, "this fails to recognise that authority is the only answer to the great personal question, the most urgent question we all ask deep within our own conscience, 'Have I too become "vain in my reasoning?"'" — True authority doesn't force, it compels. He continues:
- Following such an examination of intellectual conscience it is only an authoritative word that can give intellectual absolution. (What else could suffice? Not our own judgement because that is what we are trying justify.)
As such authority is the cornerstone of Christian personalism and brings Christian joy and a light heart. I am not writing this politically or controversially, I am not trying to arbitrate on the rights and wrongs of disobedience or abuse of Church power.
The specifics of a situation are always too complicated to be able to say anything general. No what I am saying is that we ought to rediscover the joy and freedom of the gospel through the joy and freedom of membership of the Church.
The Church's authority doesn't merely force submission like some totalitarian regime. Rather submission comes through an authentic intellectual assent, an assent the resonates through ones whole being. True authority teaches with an eloquence beyond the greatest poets and with rigor beyond the philosophers. It doesn't force, it compels; it doesn't push, it attracts.