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As carriers of inerrancy the faithful reject the exclusion of women from the sacred ministries

INFALLIBILITY OF THE PEOPLE OF GOD

The Pope and the college of bishops have a crucial role in articulating matters of faith and morals through their authoritative teaching. However, this exercise is grounded in the infallibility of the whole people of God, not the other way about.

A proposed amendment during Vatican II that wanted to make the infallibility of the magisterium the source of the people’s infallibility was rejected by the Council as being contrary to Tradition. Vatican II, Acta synodalia III/1, pp. 198-199; R.R.Gaillardetz, Teaching with Authority. A Theology of the Magisterium in the Church, Liturgical Press 1997, p. 154.

“The body of the faithful as a whole, anointed as they are by the Holy One (cf. 1 John 2,20.27), cannot err in matters of belief.”

“God’s People clings without fail to the faith once delivered to the saints, penetrates it more deeply by accurate insights, and applies it more thoroughly to life.”

“Thanks to a supernatural sense of the faith which characterizes the People as a whole, it manifests this unerring quality when ‘from the bishops down to the last member of the laity’, it shows universal agreement in matters of faith and morals.”

Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, § 12

WHAT DO THE FAITHFUL THINK?

Polls among Catholics in many countries show that a vast majority of practising Catholics believe that women should be ordained. We print here a number of representative statistics. The percentage indicates the proportion of Catholics supporting the ordination of women.

Great Britain Canada Spain Portugal Netherlands
65% 66% 74% 71% 86%

 

Germany Italy Australia Ireland USA
71% 58% 62% 67% 68%

Full sources are quoted in: John Wijngaards, The Ordination of Women in the Catholic Church. Unmasking a Cuckoo’s Egg Tradition, London & New York 2001, pp. 44-47.

The contents of Catholic doctrine will not, and should not, be decided by majority vote. But the above figures show that many, many thinking, practising and committed Catholics are firmly convinced that there are no valid reasons against ordaining women. They too are carriers of the inerrant tradition.

Discussion: are we undermining Church authority?

“You are undermining the authority of Church leaders through all your criticism!

Your writing will mislead many simple people!

Didn’t Jesus say that those who give scandal to little ones should be thrown into the ocean with a millstone round their necks!” (Matthew 18,6)

“Charming!

Loyal dissenters have often been killed for their courage, it’s no different in the Church.

In the end, it’s the Church that suffers.”

“Dissenters should be removed!

Keep using the millstones, I say.

For the common good of the Church, no mercy should be shown to individuals!”

“The common good, heh? Let me tell you a true story!

On October 22, 1707, Admiral Sir Clowdesley Shovell returned to England from a battle in the Mediterranean with five warships.
At the time navigation was still difficult. Because of a heavy fog it was not easy to determine the fleet’s exact location. But after consulting the captains of the five ships, he set on a course due East.
One seaman with a lot of experience calculated a different location. The course taken was risky. He told the admiral.
Contradicting a superior was considered insurrection in the British Royal Navy. The man was promptly hanged.
A few hours later the fleet ran onto the rocks of the Scilly Isles just west of England. Three ships were totally wrecked. More than 2000 sailors and soldiers died, including Admiral Clowdesley himself.
Don’t you think the wrong man was hanged?

Prejudice has often distorted ‘doctrine’. The Vatican arguments are wrong. The Magisterium has proclaimed errors in the past. We have a duty to speak out. The faithful reject the exclusion of women.

John Wijngaards