I have synthesized St. Thomas' principle of obedience as follows:
The Catholic principle is laid out as follows:
- The person issuing the command is in a position of authority
over the inferior
- The command is within the scope of the superior's authority
- The command does not require the inferior to sin, either in the immediate or proximate case.
- If the above conditions are met then the person has an obligation to obey. Disobedience in this case is sinful.
- Archbishop Lefebvre withdrawing his signature from the protocol of 1988
- Archbishop Lefebvre disobeying the order from the Pope to not consecrate bishops
- Bishop Fellay refusing to sign the pre-amble provided in 2012.