Female priests infallibly defined?

Does anyone know if the all-male priesthood was infallibly defined? I found it in the catechism, but haven’t been able to clarify if the door has been finally closed on the subject.

It is infallible by the ordinary and universal magisterium, which places it in the category of non-defined dogma (i.e., de fide, not de fide definita).

The door was infallibly closed by Jesus. Jesus didn’t make any male priests, nor did He give any exceptions. The Church is not allowed to change the teachings of Jesus because some folks think it might be more politically correct.

But, just so you know, this was re-affirmed by the Church with the following papal statement:
“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” (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4).

catholic.com/library/Women_and_the_Priesthood.asp

God bless,
RyanL

I asked the question because the pastor at a local church called for female ordination in his homily. I drafted a letter of disappointment to him. I just wanted to know if I would be incorrect to state in the letter that this matter was infallibly defined and thus, any opposition to formal church teaching should have been discussed privately, not in his position as shephard of his flock.

So here’s another question then, if the matter is not infallibly defined, was the priest in error to discuss it?

female priests infallibly defined?

Yes, it has been infallibly defined by (then) Cardnal Ratzinger that the Church lacks the authority to ordain women. The question is settled, once for all, end of debate, period. The priest is a heretic in this regard (let’s hope due to ignorance, not willful disregard for doctrine).

See this thread

RyanL,

Did you mean to say, Jesus didn’t make any female priests?

[quote=CollegeKid]RyanL,

Did you mean to say, Jesus didn’t make any female priests?
[/quote]

DO’OH!!!

You got me - meant FEmale. Thanks for the good lookin’ out!

God bless,
RyanL

p.s.
Maybe a moderator will fix this for me…:wave:

[quote=ariane]I asked the question because the pastor at a local church called for female ordination in his homily. I drafted a letter of disappointment to him. I just wanted to know if I would be incorrect to state in the letter that this matter was infallibly defined and thus, any opposition to formal church teaching should have been discussed privately, not in his position as shephard of his flock.

So here’s another question then, if the matter is not infallibly defined, was the priest in error to discuss it?
[/quote]

You don’t need the word “infallible.” It’s a closed issue based on a profound understanding of both human nature and Sacred Tradition. Here’s a link to a Vatican press release on Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

In presenting the matter to your pastor, I would advise deleting any reference to EWTN. Those four letters are often a red flag to people who espouse dissident causes and could prejudice your case.

[quote=ariane]Does anyone know if the all-male priesthood was infallibly defined? I found it in the catechism, but haven’t been able to clarify if the door has been finally closed on the subject.
[/quote]

John Paul II; Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, May 22, 1994:

“Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, 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.”

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith; Responsum ad Dubium Concerning the Teaching Contained in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis", October 28, 1995:

Dubium: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Responsum: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren, has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

  • Joseph Card. Ratzinger
    Prefect

  • Tarcisio Bertone
    Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli
    Secretary"

[quote=ariane]I asked the question because the pastor at a local church called for female ordination in his homily. I drafted a letter of disappointment to him. I just wanted to know if I would be incorrect to state in the letter that this matter was infallibly defined and thus, any opposition to formal church teaching should have been discussed privately, not in his position as shephard of his flock.

So here’s another question then, if the matter is not infallibly defined, was the priest in error to discuss it?
[/quote]

The priest was most definitely in error, although sadly he is not alone. A local priest in a rural NSW town had an interview published in the local paper in which he hinted it may be necessary although he was wise enough to stop short of calling for it. It is time these priests were called to order. This not a matter for either discussion or difference of opinion. It is required to be held by the faithful. By all means print off and give him a copy of the previous post.

[quote=ariane]I just wanted to know if I would be incorrect to state in the letter that this matter was infallibly defined
[/quote]

That would be technically incorrect. It is infallible, but it has not been infallibly defined. As I said in my post #2, it is a non-defined dogma.

What I’m confused about is how this issue is related to faith/morals? it seems to me to fit into the same category of whether priests can marry. I do not believe that women should be priests, but I don’t see how a non-faith, non-moral subject can be infallible.

[quote=ChiroCatholic]What I’m confused about is how this issue is related to faith/morals? it seems to me to fit into the same category of whether priests can marry. I do not believe that women should be priests, but I don’t see how a non-faith, non-moral subject can be infallible.
[/quote]

This is my guess – and it IS a guess: the ontological conditions are rooted deeply in our human nature and in the Incarnation. God has revealed himself to us all through history as “Father.” Christ came into the world as male. The ministerial Priesthood is an icon of that. I recall, while reading The Theology of the Body, being won over completely to “understanding” the depth of this truth and the necessity of male priesthood. I put the word “understanding” in quotation marks because without revisiting the text I am at a loss to convey the concept in a way that would make sense to anybody else.

[quote=ariane]I asked the question because the pastor at a local church called for female ordination in his homily. I drafted a letter of disappointment to him. I just wanted to know if I would be incorrect to state in the letter that this matter was infallibly defined and thus, any opposition to formal church teaching should have been discussed privately, not in his position as shephard of his flock.

So here’s another question then, if the matter is not infallibly defined, was the priest in error to discuss it?
[/quote]

I would include the following text in your letter.

CONCERNING THE TEACHING CONTAINED IN ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS RESPONSUM AD DUBIUM Sacerdotalis

Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
October 28, 1995

Question: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the Apostolic Letter *Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, *to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Response: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Second Vatican Council, Dogmatic Constitution on the Church Lumen Gentium 25, 2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.

The Sovereign Pontiff John Paul II, at the Audience granted to the undersigned Cardinal Prefect, approved this Reply, adopted in the ordinary session of this Congregation, and ordered it to be published.

Rome, from the offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, on the Feast of the Apostles SS. Simon and Jude, October 28, 1995.

God Bless

[quote=ChiroCatholic]What I’m confused about is how this issue is related to faith/morals? it seems to me to fit into the same category of whether priests can marry. I do not believe that women should be priests, but I don’t see how a non-faith, non-moral subject can be infallible.
[/quote]

It is a matter of faith that women cannot be priests, just as it is a matter of faith that married men can become priests (provided that the Holy Father gives his dispensation from ecclesiastical law).

[quote=ChiroCatholic]What I’m confused about is how this issue is related to faith/morals? it seems to me to fit into the same category of whether priests can marry. I do not believe that women should be priests, but I don’t see how a non-faith, non-moral subject can be infallible.
[/quote]

[size=2]It is a matter of faith because the priesthood is a sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders. And, it is a matter of faith that we believe that special graces are conferred through the sacraments.

The section on Holy Orders in the Catechism should be the first place to go for a detailed explanation.

A couple paragraphs from the CCC follow:

“The sacraments are perceptible signs (words and actions) accessible to our human nature. By the action of Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit they make present efficaciously the grace that they signify.” (CCC #1084).

“Today, the word ‘ordination’ is reserved for the sacramental act which integrates a man into the order of bishops, presbyters or deacons, and goes beyond a simple election, designation, delegation, or institution by the community, for it confers a gift of the Holy Spirit that permits the exercise of a ‘sacred power’ (sacra postestas) which can come only from Christ himself through his Church.” (CCC #1537)

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Catholic2003,

You stated:

“It is a matter of faith that women cannot be priests, just as it is a matter of faith that married men can become priests (provided that the Holy Father gives his dispensation from ecclesiastical law).”

I think I would have to disagree with the part about married men being able to be priests being a matter of faith. It is more appropriate to fall under a Church Discipline as oppossed to a matter of faith. If it was a matter of faith, the Holy Father would not grant a dispensation to a matter of the faith. For instance, the Holy Father would not grant a dispensation to believe that Jesus is not really present in the Eucharist.

Women in the priesthood touches upon the fundamental principles of what it means to be a priest and as such, the Holy Father and the CDF have stated quite clearly that it cannot happen, and “this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful”

Peace,

MilesJesu

[quote=MilesJesu]I think I would have to disagree with the part about married men being able to be priests being a matter of faith. It is more appropriate to fall under a Church Discipline as oppossed to a matter of faith. If it was a matter of faith, the Holy Father would not grant a dispensation to a matter of the faith.
[/quote]

When I said, “it is a matter of faith that married men can become priests,” what I meant was that it is incompatible with the Catholic faith to hold that the Church has no power to ordain married men and that all such (attempted) ordinations of married men were in fact invalid.

Thanks for the clarification! I hope you have a great weekend!

Peace,

MilesJesu

[quote=Catholic2003]That would be technically incorrect. It is infallible, but it has not been infallibly defined. As I said in my post #2, it is a non-defined dogma.
[/quote]

You are mistaken. It HAS been infallibly DEFINED. It is defined DOGMA on the same level as the Immaculate Conception. Ratzinger DEFINED it. See the link in my post #5 (which other later posters have also cited).

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