How important is obedience to our bishops and priests?

If your priest or bishop asks you to do something that you don’t want to do, should you do it anyway? If it’s outside of the Church’s authority on faith and morals, are you still obligated to comply?

John called The Patrick Madrid Show to ask these questions—specifically with how they relate to the topic of wearing a mask at Mass.

Patrick explained that in his Diocese of Columbus, Ohio, both the bishop and priest have strongly encouraged parishioners to wear a mask. It is not required, per se, but they have been asked to do it.

Does Patrick wear a mask to Mass? Yes. Here’s why: “I want to be a good citizen, I want to protect myself, I don’t want to harm anyone else inadvertently. But also, I want to be respectful of the authority of my pastor.”

Why is obedience important to the spiritual life? It’s a good practice in respect and humility, says Patrick. “I think that that is a good thing, especially for people who are willful, which is most of us, let’s face it—we all suffer with pride in one form or another. And one great way to take a weed-whacker to pride is to do what somebody else prefers instead of what you prefer, as long as it doesn’t involve sin, and to be willing to allow somebody else to dictate how things are going to be. That can be, spiritually, very good for anybody.”

Patrick advises those who don’t like wearing masks to approach it in this way: “If you feel like you really don’t want to wear a mask, I would say, ‘Lord, you know my heart. You know I don’t want to wear a mask. But out of respect I’m going to do it.’”

Listen to the full answer here:

Tune in to The Patrick Madrid Show weekdays at 8-11am CT only on Relevant Radio®.

Lindsey is a wife, mother, and contributing author at Relevant Radio. She holds a degree in Journalism and Advertising from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Lindsey enjoys writing, baking, and liturgical living with her young family.