465. When is a citizen forbidden to obey civil authorities?

A citizen is obliged in conscience not to obey the laws of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order: “We must obey God rather than men” (Acts of the Apostles 5:29).


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Paragraph 2242

2242. The citizen is obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order, to the fundamental rights of persons or the teachings of the Gospel. Refusing obedience to civil authorities, when their demands are contrary to those of an upright conscience, finds its justification in the distinction between serving God and serving the political community. "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's."48 "We must obey God rather than men":49

When citizens are under the oppression of a public authority which oversteps its competence, they should still not refuse to give or to do what is objectively demanded of them by the common good; but it is legitimate for them to defend their own rights and those of their fellow citizens against the abuse of this authority within the limits of the natural law and the Law of the Gospel.50

Paragraph 2243

2243. Armed resistance to oppression by political authority is not legitimate, unless all the following conditions are met: 1) there is certain, grave, and prolonged violation of fundamental rights; 2) all other means of redress have been exhausted; 3) such resistance will not provoke worse disorders; 4) there is well-founded hope of success; and 5) it is impossible reasonably to foresee any better solution.

Paragraph 2256

2256. Citizens are obliged in conscience not to follow the directives of civil authorities when they are contrary to the demands of the moral order. "We must obey God rather than men" (Acts 5:29).


Acesse nossos estudos biblicos:

How to deal with anger and anger, according to Proverbs 15:1-2?

What is God’s sovereignty and how does it relate to human freedom, as described in 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12?

What is the example of perseverance in the faith that Paul set in 2 Timothy 4:7?

What does the Bible teach about God’s final judgment, and what does Malachi 3:18 tell us about it?

How is prayer seen in the Psalms as an expression of dependence on God?

How can we cultivate peace in the church and in our personal lives, as guided by 2 Thessalonians 3:16?

God’s Holiness and the Call to Holiness: What Does the Book of Leviticus Teach Us About God’s Holiness and Our Responsibility to Be Holy? (Leviticus 11:44-45; 19:2)

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