I have been reading “Tomorrow’s Catholics, Yesterday’s Church,” by Eugene Kennedy. He describes two kinds of Catholiic with different outlooks. One group emphasises the institutional structure of the church. They see themselves as the orthodox with a special attachment to obedience. Many of them post on the internet defending traditional practices against change.
Obedience is a desirable concept needed for order and stability, but it is not one sided. While the laity have an obligation to follow the rules, the hierarchy has a complementary duty to be accountable when exercising control. This has been lacking in the American church. Criminal actions have been covered up and huge sums of hush money paid out in secret.
The Holy Spirit guides the church but does not micromanage. The people of God have a duty to participate in keeping the institutional church pure. It is undeniable that corruption has existed in the church in the past. There will always be potential for mistaken policies in the human side of the church. It is the responsibility of both laity and clergy to correct abuses.