Sunday, 18 July 2010

Pope John Paul II, the CDF and The Ordination of Women

In case anyone has missed this, it is worth quoting. This and other information about the Magisterium's response to questions regarding the possibility of the ordination of women can be found here . Following Pope John Paul II's "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis" of 1994, some questions were addressed to the CDF. This is one of them;

"Question: Whether the teaching that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, which is presented in the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to be held definitively, is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.

Response: In the affirmative.

This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written word of God and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Vatican II, Lumen Gentium, no. 25.2). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk. 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all as belonging to the deposit of faith."

There are other matters. Some of them are addressed on my other blog here . One of the main problems in this debate - now continuing because of developments at the Anglican Synod - is the question of how we should read Holy Scripture. Those who reject the Magisterium's teaching on this are not reading the Bible in union with the Holy Father and the bishops who are in union with him. By whose authority do they present a case from Scripture? The usual appeal is to the status of an academic. Careful study (or "research") is invoked as an authority, along with the assertion that "most people believe..." So, on one blog, Pope Benedict is requested to consult the laity (obviously this is a glance in Newman's direction) in the hope that he will see that he is wrong about the ordination of women. None of the arguments in favour of the ordination of women is compelling. Those who argue for it will say that they do not find the teaching of the Magisterium compelling, but the onus is on them to present strong arguments, not on the CDF to defend its stance.
In rejecting a truly Catholic reading of Sacred Scripture, the proponents of the ordination of women have actually placed themselves in a position where dialogue is almost impossible. Some will say I am too pessimistic here, but there is another problem - The Pope, the bishops and myself are men. In the minds of some women that already makes my argument "wrong". How can we dialogue in these circumstances? It seems likely that the time for dialogue is now over. This was said by Cardinal Ratzinger some time ago. This does not mean that there is no room for discussion where people are sincerely searching for understanding of the issues and trying to settle their minds regarding the teaching of the Church; there is still a great need for adult formation. But when we come to those who have already made up their minds that the Pope is wrong, dialogue is little more than a frustrating waste of time.

1 comment:

  1. Off Topic-sorry, I have tagged you for a prayer meme.