In the Catholic Church, the vow of obedience is one of the three vows of professing to live according to the evangelical counsels. It forms part of the religious vows that Christian religious must make to enter the consecrated life, whether as a member of a religious institute living in community or as consecrated hermit.
This is stipulated in
- the candidate's respective Church law, for example in the Roman Catholic Church the Code of Canon Law (see canons 573, 601), and
- the candidate's respective rule, for example for those that are to be received into a Benedictine monastic community the Rule of St Benedict (ch. 58.17).
The Code of Canon Law (canon 601) defines it as follows:
- "The evangelical counsel of obedience, undertaken in a spirit of faith and love in the following of Christ who was obedient even unto death requires a submission of the will to legitimate superiors, who stand in the place of God when they command according to the proper constitutions."
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