Many German Catholics are having a fit over the Congregation for Divine Worship’s plan to reform the “sign of peace” in the Ordinary Form of the Mass. I hear lots saying: “I don’t care what the Vatican says, I will do what I like” or “What would keep me from doing just as I used to”, meaning that they do not want to limit the sign of peace to one’s neighbour, but walk out of the pews and have the priest come down from the altar.
What exactly is the level of obedience we owe to the Bishops, and Curial decisions? I had someone appeal to some supposed Vatican II statement on freedom of conscience, saying that they didn’t have to obey the Bishop or any “hierarchical” (say that negatively decision they disagreed with.
That seems rather foreign to me, and I can’t imagine that decisions can be disregarded if one doesn’t like them, making the individual the final judge and legislator, not the Church. Can someone explain the teaching on obedience to Bishops and the Curia? Are there limits? Are there consequences for laypeople notoriously disobeying?