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Old 20th November 2014, 03:20 PM
Ron Conte Ron Conte is offline
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 12,628
Default Can the Church ordain women?

The current teaching of the Magisterium is this infallible doctrine:

"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." (Ordinatio Sacerdotalis 4).

I say that this teachings falls under papal infallibility. But the more common opinion is that it falls under the infallibility of the ordinary and universal magisterium.

Notice the specific form of this teaching. It does not say "women can never be ordained". It specifies priestly ordination, which leaves ordination to the deaconate as an open question. And the fact that the Church lacks a certain authority also leaves open the possibility that, when Jesus returns, He might give the Church that authority.

My opinion is that the Church already possesses the authority to ordain women to the deaconate. I believe that Pope Francis will teach this doctrine in 2015, and will plan for the start of women's ordination to the deaconate in 2016.
Ron Conte
Roman Catholic theologian
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