Menu:The Roman Catholic Church & female ordination:
"This message from Rome is the last gasp of desperate and
insecure men trying to shore up a crumbling status quo. Roman Catholic women
will be ordained priests -- perhaps sooner than we think."
Sister Maureen Fiedler, over National Public Radio.
"...the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly
ordination on women... This teaching requires definitive assent..." Cardinal
TheRoman Catholic Church has consistently refused to ordain women, either as
Priests or Deaconesses, in recent centuries. Some sources say that the Pope has declared as infallible the
teaching that the Church cannot ordain women to the priesthood now or at any time in the
future. This does not appear to be true. What he has said is not that the church is unwilling to ordain women;
but that the church does not currently have the authority to do so. To assign a statement
the status of infallibility would have been a rare step that has only happened
three times in the Church's history: during the proclamation of infallibility
itself, concerning the immaculate conception of Mary,
and concerning Mary's bodily ascension to heaven.
The church has taught that when the People of God, the membership of the
church, prayerfully and devoutly reach a consensus on a topic, that this is also the will
of God. 2 Numerous surveys have indicated a near consensus in North America and much of
Europe in favor of female ordination. However, this does not yet extend elsewhere in the
world, where the feminist movement has not been as influential.
It seems a topic that just will not go away - particularly in North America, where the
feminist movement has successfully promoted an end to almost all gender discrimination in
commerce, government, the military, industry, and education. Increasingly, adults in North America are
viewing gender-based discrimination in the same class as racial discrimination, and are
rejecting it as bigotry, profoundly immoral, and irrational. Many criticize the Roman
Catholic church for its stance on male-only ordination; the number will probably
continue to grow into the future.
See: the "Statement of the Joint Catholic-Orthodox Commission,
2007-NOV-15, at: http://www.zenit.org/ An excerpt reads: "The whole community and each person
in it bears the 'conscience of the Church' (ekkesiastiké syneidesis), as Greek
theology calls it, the sensus fidelium in Latin terminology. By virtue of
Baptism and Confirmation (Chrismation) each member of the Church exercises a
form of authority in the Body of Christ. In this sense, all the faithful (and
not just the bishops) are responsible for the faith professed at their Baptism.
It is our common teaching that the people of God, having received "the anointing
which comes from the Holy One" (1 Jn 2, 20 and 27), in communion with their
pastors, cannot err in matters of faith (cfr. Jn 16, 13)."