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Portuguese cardinal retracts statement on women's ordination

Catholic World News - July 08, 2011

The Portuguese cardinal who made headlines by saying that there is no major obstacle to the ordination of women has reversed his public stand, acknowledging that the Church can never ordain women, and explaining that he had never thoroughly explored the question in the past.

Cardinal José da Cruz Policarpo of Lisbon said that after making his earlier statement in answer to a reporter’s question, he realized that he had spoken prematurely, “not having taken into due consideration the latest declarations of the magisterium on this subject.”

The Portuguese prelate emphasized that he had not intended to suggest a dissent from papal teaching, and that his “communion with the Holy Father is absolute.” In his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, Pope John Paul II said that the Church cannot ordain women.

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  • Posted by: kmbold - Jul. 09, 2011 1:55 PM ET USA

    Are there any other articles of considerable import to which he is not up to speed? Let's get them all out in the open now, not just have them ooze up occasionally.

  • Posted by: - Jul. 08, 2011 10:02 PM ET USA

    Oh, THAT Magisterium!

  • Posted by: AgnesDay - Jul. 08, 2011 4:16 PM ET USA

    Oh, well, better late than never. Isn't it interesting how quickly dissenters recant these days?

  • Posted by: Sed contra - Jul. 08, 2011 2:08 PM ET USA

    A little behind in reading the mail, Your Beatitude? Blessed John Paul II issued "Ordinatio sacerdotalis" in 1994, and the following year the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith confirmed that the teaching had been "set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium" and accordingly was "to be held definitively, as belonging to the deposit of faith."

  • Posted by: Cornelius - Jul. 08, 2011 12:40 PM ET USA

    This backpedaling sounds inauthentic. How can a Cardinal not be aware of "the latest declarations of the magisterium" on this issue? Has he been living in a cave? Most professions have standards that require knowledge of developments in the profession - at the price of malpractice. Perhaps we should implement some kind of standards test of our episcopacy. Cardinal Polycarpo and Bishop Morris (who feigned similar ignorance) should be the first to take it.

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