Help with determining what is doctrine


The other day I was having a conversation with a Catholic who thought that someday women would be ordained and that Jesus did ordain women - she gave Mary Magdalene as an example (which I then asked “where are your sources?”).

I have heard that this cannot happen because the Holy Father has spoken about it (the authority has not been given to the Church to ordain women) and the Apostolic letter “Ordinatio Sacerdotalis”.

Now my question is not about the ordination of women, but how do we know that this is to be held as definitive? It is not dogma, per say, but truly a teaching of the Church. How do we know it is to be believed “de fide”??

There could be other examples - basically alot of teachings that have not been defined as “dogma” that are contained in Apostolic letters like “Humanae Vitae” or “Evangelium Vitae”. How are these “doctrine”? And how do we convince others that they need to adhere to the teachings contained in them?


EWTN’s “Summary of Categories of Belief in Professio fidei” might be a helpful intro.


**The Church Fathers **

**Women Priests in the Catholic Church?
by Haye van der Meer, Temple University Press, Philadelphia, 1973, pp. 46-89.
Republished on our website with the necessary permissions **

The texts from the Fathers are, without exception, quite uni-vocal on the question of whether a woman may be a priest. A woman may not be a priest. But on the question of whether she can be ordained — that is, on the “validity” — there was no speculation. Among the Fathers the universal view prevailed that Paul forbade it once for all time and that, moreover, according to the Divine Will, woman should occupy an inferior role. She is already by her nature, but even more by the Fall, unfitted for a leading role in the Church and in secular society. **If it were permitted for a woman to baptize and to preach, then Jesus and the apostles would certainly have sent women forth, **for there were so many good and holy women in their midst, and so forth. In brief: the Fathers reject the idea that a woman is capable of holding an office almost as if this were an atrocity.


In another post in a different forum workinprogress said that a new book has just been released by Peter Kreeft and Alice von Hildebrand. Sounds like an easy read with excellent support for the argument against female priests.


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