When John Paul the Great spoke about the impossibility of women’s ordination, he said he was doing so in his petrine ministry of confirming the faithful and thus was speaking definitively to the entire Church…Why is it that that statement is not considered infallible?
It’s only not considered infallible by those who don’t want to accept that it is because of their own beliefs. The congregation for the doctrine of the faith, headed by then Cardinal Ratzinger, declared that it was infallible.
[quote=Lazerlike42]It’s only not considered infallible by those who don’t want to accept that it is because of their own beliefs. The congregation for the doctrine of the faith, headed by then Cardinal Ratzinger, declared that it was infallible.
Really? I was under the impression that it was declared that it wasn’t infallible, but required assent anyway because it was based upon the constant teaching of the magisterium.
JPII did not proclaim an ex-cathedra teaching of the extra-ordinary Magesterium in his encyclical.
The teaching is considered infallible because it is part of the universal ordinary Magesterium that has held this teaching constantly.
So Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was just a re-affirmation of what has already been the constant teaching of the Church. There has been no need for an ex-cathedra pronouncement.
In the Vatican I council, the council taught that three conditions must be met for an ex-cathedra infallible statement by the pope.
The pope must declare:
(1) in the exercise of his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians
(2) in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority
(3) he defines a doctrine concerning faith or morals to be held by the whole church
In Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, JPII states:
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. 22:32) 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.
- He does not specifically state that he is excercising his office as shepherd and teacher of all Christians. This is implicitly stated, but must be explicit for infallibility.
Also, he affirms that he is confirming his bretheren, meaning the Bishops, and does not address this to the universal Church.
Again, while this is implicit that it is meant for the universal Church, he must specifically state so.
He does not declare that he is promulgating a dogma in virtue of his supreme apostolic authority.
He does explicitly define a doctrine concerning the faith as to be held by the whole Church.
So 1 and 2 are lacking. 3 is present. However, all 3 must be present for a dogma to be infallibly proclaimed ex-cathedra.
Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is infallible. It need not be ex cathedra infallible to be infallible. The CDF has made this clear: ewtn.com/library/CURIA/CDFADTU.HTM.
Now then, is it ex Cathedra? I’m not sure, but I believe it may be. Allow me to quote from a comment on Jimmy Akin’s blog:
In Ordinatio Sacerdotalis we have:
Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) 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.
… now from Catholic Encyclopedia
The pontiff must teach in his public and official capacity as pastor and doctor of all Christians, not merely in his private capacity as a theologian, preacher ar allocutionist, nor in his capacity as a temporal prince or as a mere ordinary of the Diocese of Rome. It must be clear that he speaks as spiritual head of the Church universal. CHECK
Then it is only when, in this capacity, he teaches some doctrine of faith or morals that he is infallible (see below, IV). CHECK
Further it must be sufficiently evident that he intends to teach with all the fullness and finality of his supreme Apostolic authority, in other words that he wishes to determine some point of doctrine in an absolutely final and irrevocable way, or to define it in the technical sense (see DEFINITION). These are well-recognized formulas by means of which the defining intention may be manifested. CHECK
Finally for an ex cathedra decision it must be clear that the pope intends to bind the whole Church. CHECK
Is this person correct? I am not knowledgable enough to say, but I will not discount him.
Jimmy himself seems to believe that the statement is not ex Cathedra. However, the teaching is infallible, and that’s all that really matters.
It is not ex-Cathedra, but it does appear to be inallible, and the pope seems to confirm this becaue he cites Sacred Tradition.
It’s infallibility would be of the Ordinary Magesterium.
I was only making the case that JPII was not speaking ex-cathedra.
In the Theology of the Body, he further explains that the ministerial priesthood is inherently masculine since it is in persona christi that the holy Eucharist is consecrated.
Furthermore in his encyc. Dignitatis Mulieris (sp?) he clearly expounds on the role of women exemplified by our Blessed Mother. Roles that are gender specific should be respected and enobled by the FIAT.
These things should not even be an issue if we understand the clear roles and noble dignity of Fatherhood and Motherhood. Both are in the image and likeness of God and we have the difference in our sexes to express this fully.
As much as I would like that document to be expressing it as an infallible statement, I don’t think it is. I think he is reaffirming centuries of Tradition through which it would be infallible.
If we had to believe only what has been proclaimed ex cathedra, our creed would be greatly reduced. Does anyone really think that before the proclamation of the dogma of the Assumption, Catholics could choose not to believe in it? No way. They would have sinned grievously against faith. Even if no pope ever mentioned the subject.
The only thing new that an ex cathedra definition does it to put you out of the Church if you don’t accept it.