Women's Ordination Heresy?


#1

Below is a quote from the USCCB about women’s ordination. Does this mean that a person who agrees with, believes in or supports women’s ordination is holding a heretical position?

[LIST=1]
*]What is the Catholic Church’s teaching on priestly ordination concerning women?
*In the apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that the Catholic Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. This teaching is to be held definitively by all the faithful as belonging to the deposit of faith. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified the authority of this teaching by stating that it is founded on the written Word of God, has been constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, and has been set forth infallibly by the universal ordinary magisterium. *
[/LIST]
usccb.org/comm/archives/1998/98-210a.shtml


#2

It means that they are disagreeing with the teaching of the Catholic Church. How far they are culpable in their error is not for me personally to say in that I do not know if they realize that their disagreement is grave matter, if they do so with full knowledge, and with full consent.


#3

If a Catholic knows that the Church has ruled that women cannot ever be ordained priests, and obstinately rejects that Teaching then they are not “in communion” with the Church.


#4

Yes


#5

Yes, that is what it means.


#6

Who rejects that which is to be held definitively by the faithful is a heretic.

How could it be otherwise?


#7

I think it would be quite another thing if one accepts the statement that the Church has no power to ordain women, but yet thinks it would be a good thing if it were possible.


#8

From the Code of Canon Law:

Can. 751 Heresy is the obstinate denial or obstinate doubt after the reception of baptism of some truth which is to be believed by divine and Catholic faith; apostasy is the total repudiation of the Christian faith; schism is the refusal of submission to the Supreme Pontiff or of communion with the members of the Church subject to him.

Your exception would be correct. Regarding the OP, agreement as outlined by rwoehmke probably would not be heresy. Supporting or believing in Women’s Ordination would, AFAIK.


#9

*Below is an email exchange I’ve had with a professor of Theology. It is interesting that while she has not proof for it, she believes that women assisted at the Eucharist and led Churches in the early Church. *

Sorry for the format. It’s the best I could do.

J: I think that the Catholic Church is sexist and devalues women. The Church says that it is not sexist and that it appreciates the full personhood and dignity of women, but I don’t think that it follows through on statements of this type or that the words ring through. To allow women to stand at the altar in persona Christi would require a radical revision of Church teaching on ordination to the priesthood (and the diaconate). This radical revision will not occur under Benedict XVI, but it may some day in the future. People like myself, moral theologians and generalists, will have less to say about what church teaching becomes than historians and scripture scholars. I think that women presided at the eucharist and led communities of Christians during the first centuries of Christianity and that someday the Church will be presented with evidence of female leadership and then will change its practice. In the meantime, the familiar arguments of Paul VI and John Paul II against the ordination of women will hold Thanks for emailing and best regards, F.

Dr. F:Thank you for your prompt reply. I certainly appreciate your time and comments.Can you please refer me to the historical documents that show women presiding at the Eucharist and leading communities in the early Church? In addition, what books and/or articles can you recommend for further study on this issue.While researching I found this statement at the USCCB site. I am curious what this means to faithful Catholics who support women’s ordination? Again I appreciate your comments and your help.“What is the Catholic Church’s teaching on priestly ordination concerning women?In the apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that the Catholic Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. This teaching is to be held definitively by all the faithful as belonging to the deposit of faith. The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith clarified the authority of this teaching by stating that it is founded on the written Word of God, has been constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, and has been setforth infallibly by the universal ordinary magisterium.”(usccb.org/comm/archives/1998/98-210a.shtml).

J:What you copy in your email is precisely the teaching of the RCC “In the apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II reaffirmed that the Catholic Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. This teaching is to be held definitively by all the faithful as belonging to the deposit of faith.” My opinion is simply that, an opinion. I wish that I could provide a list of articles and books to support my opinion that women presided at the eucharist in the early Christian churches but I have not assembled such a bibliography and I think that a good deal of the research remainsto be done. My opinion, such as it is, is based on various and disparate sources that I have read over a period of maybe thirty years.

Best wishes. F


#10

Heh…that’s what you call a cop-out, like a politician saying that he left his speech in his other coat. I’m sure she’s come across quite a few progressive or liberation theology historians/writers/pseudo-theologians that make the case for female ordination on some heretical sect or another, and then opine that the Church will someday see the light. The Church is the light and has the Truth and it will never change.


#11

Here are my own thoughts on this.

As a progressive Catholic, this is one of the few areas where I am personally in disagreement with the Church. I do not buy any of the arguements against womens ordination that the Church has put forward and this area has always been a struggle to me. Nonetheless, even though I may personally support womens ordination, that does not make me OBJECTIVELY right on the matter. I could be wrong and the Church f\could be right, or the reverse could just as easily happen when I ask God when I die (which I fully intend to do). I have always held that while I could be wrong, and while I may personally support womens ordination (and would personally love to see the Church change on the issue), I refuse to speak out against the Church. She could be right at the end of the day, and I do not hold my position as objective. it is merely an opinion, as fallable as anyone elses. Therefore, though I remain in personal, quiet support of the issue, I also give it up to God and let him deal with it with me when he will, be that at my death or when i am alive.

With that said, would I be considered a heretic in the Church’s eyes?


#12

John Paul the Great addressed this issue, and said the Church has no power to ordain women, “And this is to be held definitively by all Catholics.”

If you reject that, you reject something declared infallibly – which would be like denying the Virginity of Mary, the Real Presense, or the Resurrection.


#13

Here is my question in regards to that:

In John’s Gospel does not Jesus say quite a few times to the Apostles ask anything of my Father and it shall be given to you? Since the church has apostolic succession, could she simply not ask God for the power to ordain women as priests? Jesus said ask ANYTHING and ti shall be GRANTED. Would not God theoretically then grant the Church this power if she asked it of Him? and if not, would Jesus then be considered a liar?

Or, do I simply have the context of this passage wrong? if you can provide me with a good solid answer as to why the above scenario would not be possible, I could accept the Church’s teaching that she has not the power.


#14

Do you hold that the Church can ask permission – and receive it – to worship Satan, support forced abortion and sterilization, or to perform black magic? Could the Church ask permission to set aside the law of gravity, re-set the speed of light, or make the sun orbit the earth?

God has established limits. John Paul the Great recognized defintively one of those limits. It is binding on all the faithful.


#15

Why then does our Lord say anything? Also the things you mentioned above are intrinsically evil. I have always taken JP2s statement to mean “well cant do it cause if we have no authority, but if we did have the authority we would”

Prove then, that womens ordination is JUST as evil as black magic or demon worship.


#16

To allow a false ordination is the Black Mass! It falsely places the power to perform the Miracle of the Mass into the hands of one who is not acceptable.

You are rationalizing your refusal to accept something that John Paul the Great proclaimed definitively and directed all the faithful to accept.

Pray for the grace to accept it as he directed.


#17

Why then does our Lord say anything? Also the things you mentioned above are intrinsically evil. I have always taken JP2s statement to mean “well cant do it cause if we have no authority, but if we did have the authority we would”

Prove then, that womens ordination is JUST as evil as black magic or demon worship.

Well the first question you should ask is: why can’t women be ordained? There are many reasons but the simple one is that that’s how God wants it to be that way. We know that it can’t happen (as JPII had pronounced) and so why should we ask even bother asking God for something like that? Based on the reading of the passage do you conclude that God will grant us all wishes? Do you think he will give us $5,000,000 if we ask him? Or do you think that if he will ask him he will cancel the position of the Pope?

No, he will grant us only what we need and what is good for us. He knows our mind and soul. There is a reason why Church can’t allow women to be priests and this reason comes from God. God doesn’t do useless thing so we can be certain that it is the will of God and that it is good.


#18

I don’t see why anyone would want women to be ordained. Yes, as woman and men God loves us all and not ordaining women has nothing to do with suppressing women’s rights as radical feminists would like people to believe.

IMO, men and women are simply given different special roles in the Church. Men are to be the leaders and fishers of men, and women can teach and help others with their immense compassion and love. Men are to be the strength and authority of families, while women have the gift of being able to bear children and are often better than men at keeping the peace in disputes and being the strength in that way.

We are all given different gifts and roles not only as individuals but also as different sexes. Its not something to complain about, anymore than men complaining about not being able to carry a child for 9 months. To me, its the same thing. Instead of wanting to rebel and go against God’s wishes, why can we not glorify Him by using the gifts he has given each of us? We we never glorify and please God by wasting energy and time on trying to go against Him just to boost our egos.

I don’t think its a heresy, though I don’t know for sure, but certainly not a worthwhile pursuit nonetheless.


#19

What surprised me is that a professor holding a Ph.D declares that women helped at the Eucharist and led Churches then turns around and says, I have no evidence for that.

I’d be out of her class in a heart beat.

The Future Church site also bases its claim that women were ordained priests in the early Church on a few frescoes that show women at the altar.

So far I’ve seen no evidence that women were ordained priests in the early Church. What gets me is that when I ask a Doctor of Theology to show me evidence for the position she holds, she admits there is none.

It’s like feminist neo pagans claiming that the original gods were peaceful female deities because they found some breasty statues from pre-historic times.


#20

I can agree with your first point when you refer to the Catholic Church, the Church gets to set the rules for the Church.

I would disagree with your latter point. Not all men are strong, not all women are placid. Some women are stronger some men are more peaceful. Our gender attitudes may not even be predominantly genetically based necessarily, a lot of it could be simply the way the children of different genders are reared. I see no reason why a man should have authority over his family because he is male. In fact, I would tend to believe that authority should be divided according to the wishes of the couple (some may choose a patriarchal model, others a matriarchal model, and others the more modernly common 50/50 model).


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