Does the legislation of the Church constitute a dictatorial regime?

When the Queen of Sheba heard of the great wisdom of Solomon, she allowed no obstacle to impede her undertaking the difficult journey to meet this great monarch, despite the fact that protracted expeditions at the time were perilous adventures. She made all these efforts just to encounter an earthly king, and to observe his wisdom. Impressed with all she had seen and heard in Jerusalem, and after presenting the richest of gifts to the king of Israel, she returned to her country, filled with admiration (cf. 2Chron 9:1-12).

Each one of us also has the opportunity to meet daily with a King ‘who is greater than Solomon’ (Mt 12:42), who is far more powerful and wise, for he is the King of kings. How much more then so should we -who are so much more fortunate and blessed in our encounter than the queen of Sheba – be willing to make all possible efforts and sacrifices to prepare ourselves? For this reason, Holy Mother Church – who never establishes laws above our capacity – has instituted certain norms throughout the centuries, so that we might present ourselves in a more worthy manner in our encounter with this august King, in order to demonstrate our respect and veneration for Him.

Perchance could the precepts – that Holy Mother Church has wisely adapted according to the necessities of each epoch – be considered a dictatorial burden? Or rather, are they a didactic way of forming the faithful in the respect due to the Sacrament of the Altar? Continue reading…