John Lilburne's journal about King's letter from a Birmingham jail.
1955 Thu 6 Sep 2001
I was in a thoughtful mood this morning, staying in bed, but I am struggling to remember what I thought about.
I had an afternoon class in the city and read some more of "Crimes of Obedience". Chapter 3 has the title: "The Duty to Obey and the Duty to Disobey". It includes part of Martin Luther King's letter from a Birmingham jail.
He explains unjust laws as "out of harmony with the moral law". He refers to St. Thomas Aquinas "An unjust law is a human law that is not rooted in eternal law and natural law."
A lot of the chapter is about the laws of the Church versus the laws of the state through history. The Church's laws are seen to provide an outlet from unjust laws.
Perhaps the issue causes confusion within the Church. Perhaps it provides an excuse for not following just laws. Regarding rubrics and liturgical laws that seems to be the problem.
Today "The Age" has a story by Stuart Jefferies of "The Guardian" on page 12:
The article ends:
Another bit of damage to the reputation of the Catholic Church. Given the problem it seems to me that the Church should be doing everything it can to promote discipline within the clergy. An obvious place for this, it seems to me, is improving the following of liturgical laws. Hopefully things will move in that direction.
Copyright J.R. Lilburne, 6 September 2001.
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