Women and the Priesthood


#1

Hi, I had a 2 questions on the issue of women being ordained as priests. 2 main responses I’ve heard are:

  1. Infallible teachings need universal consent by the bishops and the faithful. This is what happened with the Assumption of Mary; the pope asked many bishops and faithful if they would hold this belief. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis lacks this, therefore it is fallible. Do you have any idea where this objection originated?

  2. This is not an issue of faith or morals. Thus, it does not fulfill one of the requirements for infallible teaching.

How would you respond to these 2 objections? Thanks!


#2

I don’t know where the first objection originated but I would challenge the objector to support his objection, which he cannot do. Whatever a Pope does (or has done) prior to proclaiming an infallible teaching is his business. The Church has never held that “infallible teachings need the universal consent” of anyone. The Pope "enjoys this infallibility in virtue of his office, when, as supreme pastor and teacher of all the faithful—who confirms his brethren in the faith—he proclaims by a definitive act a doctrine pertaining to faith or morals.” (*Catechism of the Catholic Church * 891)

Regarding the second objection, the teaching of *Ordinatio Sacerdotalis * (that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women) was declared to be a matter of faith. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith stated in its Responsum of November, 1995 (approved by Pope John Paul II) that the teaching proclaimed “has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium… belonging to the deposit of the faith.”

Jim Blackburn
Catholic Answers Apologist


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