Non-Ordination of Women: Not a Dogma? by Dr. Jeff Mirus

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By Dr. Jeff Mirus, Catholic Culture, Oct 01, 2019

One of the key drafters of the working document for the Amazon Synod, Bishop Erwin Kräutler, has solemnly declared that John Paul II’s statement that the Church cannot ordain women is not a dogma (see this story). What burns me about this is that it is a deliberate attempt to confuse people. It is the standard line of Modernists when they want to cast one of the Church’s teachings into doubt.

But can you spell Red Herring?

In logical argument, a “red herring” is the introduction of a point which appears to undermine an argument, but in reality is completely off the topic or irrelevant to the argument. In this case, the argument would be that the Church has determined definitively that she cannot ordain women. This is what Pope St. John Paul II concluded, and very precisely stated, in his 1994 Apostolic Letter, On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone. Here, in fact, is that precise conclusion:

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. ….