Saturday, May 13, 2006

Sorry, Doc, There Will Never Be Women Priests
The last Pope spoke infallibly on the subject

Christine Whelan is a 28-year old Ph.D. out of New York. She bills herself as a writer, commentator, and the host of BustedHalo, a website for young-adult Catholics. I don’t know anything about her Catholic credentials, but one would assume that someone with her schooling (Princeton undergrad, Masters and doctorate from Oxford) would – if she didn’t already know the Church’s position on something – be able to do the research required.

In a recent article she wrote:
I recently attended the wedding of my friends Andrea and Simon in England. They are both studying to be vicars, so they have many friends and teachers within the Anglican Church. The Catholic Church has a long way to go before we'd see a similar wedding in our church. But it made me reconsider the importance of talking about marriage and Holy Orders as sacraments that might one day be considered complementary within our own faith.

Pope John Paul II's Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, "On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone," is the definitive judgment by Pope John Paul II that, based on the witness of Scripture and Constant Tradition, the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. Pope John Paul II intends this to be the last word on the subject of women priests and the ordination of women.

The following is the last paragraph of the letter (emphasis added):

Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church's faithful.

The following is from the Baltimore Catechism, the contents of which have never been abrogated by the Church (emphasis added):

Q. 531. What is necessary that the Pope may speak infallibly or ex-cathedra?
A. That the Pope may speak infallibly, or ex-cathedra:
(1) He must speak on a subject of faith or morals;
(2) He must speak as the Vicar of Christ and to the whole Church; (3) He must indicate by certain words, such as, we define, we proclaim, etc., that he intends to speak infallibly.

It doesn't get any plainer than that. Even cavemen can understand it.

7 Comments:

Blogger Dymphna said...

Busted Halo is haven for non orthodox thinking.

9:57 AM  
Anonymous Moof said...

Excellent post! Keep them coming. I'm going to refer back to this one often.

10:33 AM  
Blogger DigiHairshirt said...

Former Altar Boy:

Aw, who wants the job anyway? Many of us Catholic ladies play a greater part in the Church following the ultimate Role Model for Mommies, the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Look at your blog's post below - see, without St. Monica, there would never have been "City of God."

10:35 AM  
Blogger Jeff Miller said...

Actually he stepped right up to the edge of making it ex-Cathedra but didn't.

In a dubium on the subject then-Cardinal Ratzinger stated that the encyclical itself was not an infallible proclamation, but that it is infallible according to the ordinary magisterium.

Jimmy Akin has written on this subject on his blog extensively and this is the same conclusion he came to. Read what he has to say about the wording required.

Though of course even if the language used had been to make an ex-Cathedra statement it wouldn't have mattered to dissenters anyway.

11:29 AM  
Blogger Former Altar Boy said...

Digi,
Of course you're right and I hope no one misinterpreted my post. "Male and female He created them." None of us, including the Incarnated Jesus, would be here without women. But Christ created a male priesthood and the Church hasn't seen any reason to change that.

4:41 PM  
Blogger Paul, just this guy, you know? said...

It's often been pointed out that if women could be priests, there would be nothing left for men to do. Look around in your parish. Who runs it?

But I've frequently noticed that people who support female ordination are often unorthodox in other ways, as well.

I've never encountered anyone for whom that was the only point of dissent.

8:05 PM  
Blogger St. Jimbob of the Apokalypse said...

While education is great, too much of it can cause one to be selective about remembering some things, or completely incapable of absorbing other things.

7:09 AM  

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