I have heard people say it’s just theological opinion or fallible doctrine that the Church condemns this. Could you point me to resources indicating it’s infallible nature?
Here is a link to the texts of all 21 ecumenical councils:
All 21 Ecumenical Councils
Here are the only five papal letters I’m aware of that appear to me to define a doctrine of faith or morals:
Definition: the Church is necessary for salvation
Definition: Indians should not be deprived of liberty or possessions, and should be converted by preaching and good example
Definition: People who die in mortal sin go immediately to hell, and will also appear at the final judgment
Definition: Mary’s immaculate conception
Definition: Mary’s assumption
If you search those texts, I think you’ll find that there is one time when the extraordinary magisterium has spoken on this issue. Vatican 2’s Declaration on Christian Education says: “Let [schools] work as partners with parents and together with them in every phase of education give due consideration to the difference of sex and the proper ends Divine Providence assigns to each sex in the family and in society.” (Gravissimus Educationis 8)
Gender ideology denies that there are any proper differences and ends which should be assigned to each of the two sexes. Vatican 2 declares that there are. The extraordinary magisterium has spoken, assembled in an infallible ecumenical council. Case closed, cause finished.
A declaration of the extraordinary magisterium is one of two ways for a doctrine to acquire an infallible character. (Acquire is probably the wrong word, but meh. The extraordinary magisterium speaks only in two ways: one way is when the pope issues an ex cathedra statement on faith or morals, the other is when the bishops assemble in an ecumenical council and issue a joint statement on faith or morals in union with the pope.)
Anyway, as I was saying, a declaration of the extraordinary magisterium is one of two ways for a doctrine to acquire an infallible character. The other way is through the constant teaching of the ordinary magisterium. I haven’t checked the church fathers and scholastic doctors for this specific issue. If I had to guess, I would guess that if you searched through all their texts for keywords associated with this, such as “male and female,” “the sexes,” “man and woman,” “men and women,” you would find plenty of material suggestive of the traditional view. I.e., all people are created either male or female and should accept that. I think you would find that most of them Imply and Suggest the traditional view. But I don’t think you would find very much in the way of explicit testimony to the traditional view in clear words, because I don’t think this was much questioned before the last twenty years.
Perhaps more importantly, I don’t think you would find even one voice disagreeing with the traditional view. I think a defensible case could be made that this counts as unanimity, and if so, then it would seem to follow that the traditional view (as opposed to gender theory) is a unanimous tradition of the ordinary magisterium. If all these assumptions are correct, I think that would make it an infallible doctrine through the ordinary magisterium. In my opinion, somebody should study this in depth and confirm whether or not this is so. Anybody know if anybody already has?
Isn’t Vatican II just pastoral though?
An ecumenical council is never “just” – it is always the supreme expression of the Church’s magisterium. Actually, Vatican II made that manifest in a singular way by its sheer scope.
Its documents had both great significance and great extent of reach…thanks be to God.
The above post by Don Ruggero is insightful. I usually don’t like the distinction between “pastoral councils” and “dogmatic councils,” which I’ve only seen here. It sort of implies that dogmas aren’t part of the Church’s pastoral mission, and they are. A council can be pastoral And dogmatic.
Nonetheless, when I went to look for documentation on this subject, two of the things I found were these:
“The truth is that this particular council defined no dogma at all, and deliberately chose to remain on a modest level, as a merely pastoral council.” (Allegedly from a speech given by Cardinal Ratzinger on July 13, 1988 in Santiago, Chile)
And especially: “In view of the pastoral nature of the Council, it avoided any extraordinary statements of dogmas endowed with the note of infallibility, but it still provided its teaching with the authority of the Ordinary Magisterium which must be accepted with docility according to the mind of the Council concerning the nature and aims of each document.” source
Therefore I retract what I said earlier about the extraordinary magisterium having spoken. Sorry for the confusion and thank you for setting me looking, Upgrade25.
Also, based on Cardinal Ratzinger’s phrase “merely pastoral,” I think it is safe to say that there is a Sense in which it is true to call the Council “just a pastoral council” as opposed to one that issues dogmas. But it was a dogmatic council in this sense: it released several dogmatic constitutions. These did not Give any statement in them the character of a dogma, but they did discuss the Church’s dogmas and reiterate them through the words of the ordinary magisterium.