I have assumed that John Paul II’s declaration regarding the possibility of the ordination of women to the priesthood was generally accepted as an infallible pronouncement–that this question was finally settled once and for all. I am somewhat dismayed to find that there is controversy over Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, that many theologians (e.g., Nicholas Lash of Cambridge) argue that it is not, in fact, an infallible statement–that it doesn’t meet the criteria for infallibility. My question is this: is *Ordinatio Sacerdotalis *unquestionably an infallible declration? If so, how, precisely, do we assure people that it is infallible? How does it meet the criteria for infallibility? I do hope you will answer this question for me as I have long found this controversy particularly unsettling.
Althougth Ordinatio Sacerdotalis did not, in itself, infallibly define that the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women, the teaching is nonetheless infallible doctrine because "it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium” (source). For more on this see Jimmy Akin’s explanation (scroll down to May 25-27, 2005).