No Authority to Ordain Women
From INTER INSIGNIORES:
(The italics in the text are by John Wijngaards)
5. For these reasons, in execution of a mandate received from the Holy Father and echoing the declaration which he himself made in his letter of 30 November 1975 (6), the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith judges it necessary to recall that the Church, in fidelity to the example of the Lord, does not consider herself authorized to admit women to priestly ordination. The Sacred Congregation deems it opportune at the present juncture to explain this position of the Church. It is a position which will perhaps cause pain but whose positive value will become apparent in the long run, since it can be of help in deepening understanding of the respective roles of men and of women.
Note 6. Cf. AAS 68 (1976). pp.599-6OO; cf. ibid., pp.600-601.
For the full text, see: INTER INSIGNIORES.
From the Commentary by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the Declaration Inter Insigniores:
14. Pope Paul VI himself had already recalled the same teaching. He did so at first in parenthetical fashion, especially in his address on 18 April 1975 to the members of the Study Commission on the Role of Women in Society and in the Church and the Committee for the Celebration of International Women’s Year: ‘Although women do not receive the call to the apostolate of the twelve and therefore to the ordained ministries, they are nonetheless invited to follow Christ as disciples and co-workers . . .We cannot change what our Lord did, nor his call to women.(14)
Note 14. AAS 67 (1975), p.265.
For the full text, see: Official Commentary on INTER INSIGNIORES.
From ORDINATIO SACERDOTALIS (May 22, 1994):
Pope John Paul II
4. Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church’s judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. 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.
For the full text see Ordinatio Sacerdotalis
From Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger’s letter, October 28, 1995
“It is a matter of full definitive assent, that is to say, irrevocable, to a doctrine taught infallibly by the Church. In fact, as the Reply explains, the definitive nature of this assent derives from the truth of the doctrine itself, since, founded on the written Word of God, and constantly held and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary universal Magisterium (cf. Lumen Gentium, 25). Thus, the Reply specifies that this doctrine belongs to the deposit of the faith of the Church. It should be emphasized that the definitive and infallible nature of this teaching of the Church did not arise with the publication of the Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. . . . In this case, an act of the ordinary Papal Magisterium, in itself not infallible, witnesses to the infallibility of the teaching of a doctrine already possessed by the Church.”
For the full text seeLetter by Cardinal Ratzinger.
Read: Theologians and the Magisterium, by Richard A. McCormick. From Corrective Vision, Explorations in Moral Theology, Sheed & Ward, 1994, Chapter 7.
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