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Constant Tradition

Constant Tradition

From INTER INSIGNIORES:

(The hyper-linked comments in italics are by John Wijngaards)

Arms of John Paul II

6. The Catholic Church has never felt that priestly or episcopal ordination can be validly conferred on women . . . . [but what about women deacons? Did they not belong to Holy Orders?!]

7. . . . . Since that period (of the Scholastic doctors) and up to our own time, it can be said that the question has not been raised again, for the practice has enjoyed peaceful and universal acceptance [the peace of a concentration camp, I presume?].

8. The Church’s tradition in the matter has thus been so firm in the course of the centuries that the Magisterium has not felt the need to intervene in order to formulate a principle which was not attacked, or to defend a law which was not challenged [Could it be challenged as long as social and religious prejudices had not been removed?] . But each time that this tradition had the occasion to manifest itself, it witnessed to the Church’s desire to conform to the model left to her by the Lord [Did he leave ‘a model’?]. The same tradition has been faithfully safeguarded by the Churches of the East [What about the validly ordained women deacons ministering in the East until 1000 AD?]. Their unanimity on this point is all the more remarkable since in many other questions their discipline admits of a great diversity. At the present time these same Churches refuse to associate themselves with requests directed towards securing the accession of women to priestly ordination [Do Western Churches, such as the Anglican Communion that do ordain women, not count?].

23. This practice of the Church therefore has a normative character [How can a practice which is not a valid Tradition, constitute a norm?] : in the fact of conferring priestly ordination only on men [Was it not for the reason that women were considered inferior, sinful and ritually ‘unclean’?], it is a question of an unbroken tradition throughout the history of the Church [what about the ‘latent’ contrary Tradition?], universal in the East and in the West, and alert to repress abuses immediately. This norm, based on Christ’s example, has been and is still observed because it is considered to conform to God’s plan for his Church [Does it not perpetuate prejudice instead?].

For the full text, see: INTER INSIGNIORES.

Sacred Congregation for Doctrine

From the Commentary by the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith on the Declaration Inter Insigniores:

21. It is an undeniable fact, as the declaration notes, that the constant tradition of the Catholic Church has excluded women from the episcopate and the priesthood. So constant has it been that there has been no need for an intervention by a solemn decision of the magisterium.

For the full text, see: Official Commentary on INTER INSIGNIORES.


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Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.

The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.

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