"to be definitively held ..."

By Diogenes (articles ) | Nov 09, 2005

For today's quiz, compare and contrast:

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.

Pope John Paul II, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, 1994

Question: What is the likelihood of women in the priesthood?

Answer: At this time in the Church's history, our focus and emphasis is upon including women as fully as we can. But the Church believes that we don't have the authority to make that change. Future generations? No one knows.

Cardinal Roger Mahony, AOL Live! online chat session, 1997
Via LA Catholic

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  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Nov. 15, 2005 12:52 AM ET USA

    One more thing about Ordinatio Sacerdotalis: When it was released, the mainstream Catholic press (and I don't mean the National Catholic Reporter) all stated that it stopped just short of being an infallible declaration. Furthermore, Cardinal Mahoney may have contacted the Vatican and could have been told the same thing. Accordingly, the Cardinal may have simply repeated what was generally believed at the time. Since then, that understanding has changed. 2005 is not 1997.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 14, 2005 1:19 PM ET USA

    1997, yes. I see that. But that is still three years after the promulgation of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis! Smells like disobedience to me.

  • Posted by: Art Kelly - Nov. 10, 2005 11:26 PM ET USA

    This chat session was on February 14, 1997--8 1/2 years ago. I'd like to think that Cardinal Mahoney would not say anything like that today. Remember, Catholics believe in repentance and redemption. It is possible that the Cardinal's unfortunate statement was something he does not believe today. He should be reprimanded for anything he does wrong in the present tense, but maybe we ought not to rake him over the coals too much for statements circa 1997.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2005 3:33 PM ET USA

    Precisely, Eleazar, this is what good flag officers do but the colonels have advance notice of a general's arrival. The "boots on the ground" are expected to act a certain way and clean up the post or base or ship prior to the flag officer's visit. The agenda is carefully scripted and only certain briefings are given. What we need in the US is the ecclesiastical equivalent of former CINCSAC Gen Curtis LeMay's no notice surprise inspections which sent the rats scurrying from the light!

  • Posted by: Eleazar - Nov. 10, 2005 1:08 PM ET USA

    Convert, good flag officers don't take the colonels' word for it...they get out of the five-sided-funny-farm and go see the "boots on the ground."

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2005 8:43 AM ET USA

    Gil, I have no argument with you and I see an analogy to my profession. Sometimes I feel that it is possible the pope and the Curia are like military flag officers who, when asking about the state of the armed forces, call upon the colonels and commanders for their assessment. The colonels and commanders tell the admirals and generals that all is well, the forces are at peak readiness, and allegiance and morale are high. No one wants to tell the generals and admirals bad news.

  • Posted by: Eleazar - Nov. 10, 2005 7:56 AM ET USA

    The condition of Catholicism in the US is so dire, that “somebody keeping an eye on the Internet” is not enough. Even an apostolic visitation won’t produce the desired results, as the current visitation will prove. What is needed is a “command inspection.” Benedict XVI needs to come to the “American Catholic Church,” see things for himself at the grassroots and hopefully sack a couple of prelates. This is a radical suggestion, but we’re beyond the point of “business as usual” solutions

  • Posted by: - Nov. 10, 2005 2:26 AM ET USA

    Precisely, Gil; in this day of instant transmission of news, the publicised views of docrinally un-faithful prelates must be certain knowledge in the Holy See and, especially, as the Holy Father has his own e-mail address. Providing, of course, that his secretary passes the information on, that he has received from faithful Catholics in this country.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2005 10:19 PM ET USA

    I cannot believe that the Holy Father does not have his "sources" within the American heirarchy, personal friends, and/or organizations such as Opus Dei. Mark my words, the time will come when the Holy Father will act, and it will take some by surprise.

  • Posted by: Vincit omnia amor - Nov. 09, 2005 8:07 PM ET USA

    I agree some mechanism needs to exist, even though it might be foreign to the Bureaucracy, to make sure the Pope & others in authority have an accurate picture of what is going on. It might be a rash judgement to conclude that any particular Pope is to blame for this or that. It would seem however that many additional Bp's should be removed...and Rome NEEDS to know the problem(s). Some of this seems to be a "no brainer"--but, remember that Bps. are successors to the Apostles in their own right.

  • Posted by: Gil125 - Nov. 09, 2005 6:10 PM ET USA

    Without wanting to get into an argument, Convert1994, surely we can guess that the Vatican is not in a vacuum. Of course the bishops told John Paul II and tell Benedict XVI what they want to hear to their faces. But it is reasonable to assume that SOMEBODY (Joaquin Navarro-Valls, perhaps) has an eye on the Internet and passes along the information that Louise guesses that the Popes have. If no such mechanism exists, its lack alone is gravely wrong.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2005 1:45 PM ET USA

    Because the popes are not to blame, Louise! It is the US bishops (and certain cardinals) who are in error. The trouble is simple according to a priest friend of mine: When visiting the pope in Rome the US bishops proclaim allegiance to the Holy Father to his face yet when they return to the US they undermine his teaching. The pope hears sound doctrine from their lips!

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2005 1:02 PM ET USA

    Future ordinations? No one knows. Future prosecutions? No one knows. Future perdition? No one knows.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2005 12:44 PM ET USA

    And what exactly is wrong with this? Many things condemned in Blessed Pius IX's Quanta Cura are cherished beliefs today. Those beliefs go as high as the Pope himself. The problem comes with the Hegelian philosophy, so widely held, that truth can evolve. Truth cannot evolve. Those who attempt to skirt that fact with the idea of improvement of "understanding" of truth and the faith (which do occur in a limited fashion) are just kidding themselves and deceiving the rest of us.

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2005 12:42 PM ET USA

    And yet, JPII never removed Mahony; Benedict XVI looks set to weaken the bar on homosexuals in the seminary; Kerry still receives; Catholic Charities puts children with gay parents. When do we start to blame the Popes?

  • Posted by: - Nov. 09, 2005 12:40 PM ET USA

    Is this not the same Cardinal Mahony who had his own lavish cathedral erected in the most exremental taste possible in order to hold his liturgical sock hops for womyn greatly in need of the South Beach Diet? The same one who has aspirations to lead the Chinese Patriotic Church? The same one whose efforts to keep clergy abuse information that has occurred on his watch from the eyes of the court and insurance companies? His own future is warm, indeed!