Pope implies women’s ordination possible

Pope implies women’s ordination possible

No, not that Pope. I’m referring to Dr. Stephen Pope, head of the theology department at Boston College, a Jesuit institution. At a conference calling for women’s ordination at Harvard Divinity School, Pope implied that the Church’s teaching is a mere regulation that will change.

“I don’t think that women need to wait for the Vatican to change its regulation restricting ordination to males,’’ he said, ‘‘before they can exercise significant power and responsibility within the church.’‘

Okay, so he doesn’t come right out and say it, but he is speaking at a conference which has the stated purpose of promoting women’s ordination. And you’d think that the head of the theology department at a major Catholic college would know that the Pope’s teaching on the matter has been declared an exercise of the infallible teaching office of the Supreme Pontiff. That was made clear by this statement from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. The Pope’s original teaching is in the document Ordinatio Sacerdotalis.

Written by
Domenico Bettinelli
4 comments
  • Todd,

    Did you even read the Pope’s letter? It is very specifically about ordination:

    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.

    Where is the confusion?

    Second, HDS may not be a Catholic event, but the topic was addressing women’s ordination. Which Christian churches do not ordain women? Catholic and Orthodox. Which Church were all the speakers referring to? Catholic.

    Todd, I think you’re the one who’s reaching.

  • I’m with RC on both points. Bernardin was the leading “liberal” in America and many of those who call themselves “progressives” look to his memory for inspiration. And, unfortunately, many of the bishops who have been problems in the Scandal were his proteges. I’m thinking of a few from Florida specifically.

    As for the pronouncement, I don’t see how the very clear statement of the Pope can be seen as anything but an infallible teaching. There is no wiggle room in the definitive statement. The Pope doesn’t have to specifically say something is infallible for it to be so.

    Galileo was a whole different boat, but that’s more than I want to tackle in this comment.

  • Brian,

    We’ll have to agree to disagree. I think “the Church” and the Holy Spirit are much more closely identified than that. I also think it doesn’t matter what a cardinal thinks before he has been granted the charism of infallibility as pope.

    And as far as Canon 749, para 3, it’s vague enough that you and I can both claim to be right. I think it was “clearly defined” as infallible and you don’t. There were plenty of infallibly taught doctrines long before people started looking for the legally binding wording, but since Vatican I it seems many now do.

    I think our main difference is that I think there are some teachings which can never change, things which are certain, not because the Holy Spirit can’t, but because they are unchangeable expressions of Divine Truth. No spaces in between those certainties.

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