Is Ordinatio Sacerdotalis infallible teaching?


First let me thank all of you for all you do. My question was regarding Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. I have read the replies in which Jim Blackburn quotes the Responsum ad Dubium from the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. However, when I was telling a friend about Ordinatio Sacerdotalis being infallible, he said he disagreed because if the Pope had wanted it to be infallible, he would have clearly stated in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that this was an infallible teaching. When I quoted the Responsum ad Dubium, he said, “Just because the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith says it is infallible doesn’t make it infallible, because they are not infallible.” Also, he said that he has heard many different Bishops state that one day this teaching could change and women priest could be allowed. Could you please help me better understand this? Thanks in advance.

God Bless,


Your friend should read the Responsum more closely. It refers to Lumen Gentium (LG) which points out, “Although the individual bishops do not enjoy the prerogative of infallibility, they nevertheless proclaim Christ’s doctrine infallibly whenever, even though dispersed through the world, but still maintaining the bond of communion among themselves and with the successor of Peter, and authentically teaching matters of faith and morals, they are in agreement on one position as definitively to be held. This is even more clearly verified when, gathered together in an ecumenical council, they are teachers and judges of faith and morals for the universal Church, whose definitions must be adhered to with the submission of faith” (LG 25).

Also, note that the Responsum was approved by Pope John Paul, II and he ordered its publication.

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