(Catholic Info) Throughout the history of the Church, it was usual to establish dogmas and doctrines belonging to the deposit of faith, which came after the appearance of heterodox theses that denied them. Thus, for example, the Trinitarian and Christological dogmas were made explicit in order to combat the heresies that denied them.
Over the past century, and in line with the advances in secular feminism, many voices have emerged in the Church calling for, and some demanding, that women be allowed access to the ordained priesthood. The Magisterium’s response was first Inter insigniores, a statement of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith published on October 15, 1976 and then the definitive apostolic letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis of Saint John Paul II, Pope, published on May 22, 1994. In the mass, the Polish pope put all the weight and authority of the Petrine magisterium to categorically deny that women can be priestesses. The final sentence could not be clearer:
4 Although the doctrine on priestly ordination, reserved only for men, be preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Churchand is firmly taught by the Magisterium in the most recent documents, however, in our time and in various places it is considered debatableor even a merely disciplinary value is attributed to the decision of the Church not to admit women to such ordination.
Therefore, cin order to remove any doubt about a matter of great importance, which concerns the same divine constitution of the Churchin virtue of my ministry of confirming the faith to the brothers (cf. Lk 22,32), I declare that the Church has in no way the power to confer priestly ordination on womenand that this opinion must be considered definitive by all the faithful of the Church.
Despite the clarity of the pontifical magisterial declaration of John Paul II, there were those who consulted the Doctrine of the Faith about the definitive nature of said teaching. Cardinal Ratzinger, later Pope Benedict XVI, published the following response as prefect of the doctrinal dicastery:
Question: If the doctrine that must be definitively maintained, according to which the Church does not have the power to confer priestly ordination on women, proposed in the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio sacerdotalis, it is to be understood as belonging to the deposit of faith.
This doctrine requires a definitive assentsince, based on the written Word of God and constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church from the beginning, has been infallibly proposed by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. Lumen gentium, 25,2). Consequently, in the present circumstances, the Supreme Pontiff, in exercising his ministry of confirming his brothers in the faith (cf. Lk 22:32), has proposed the same doctrine with a formal declaration, explicitly affirming what he always, in everywhere and by all the faithful must be maintained, as belonging to the deposit of faith.
And more recently, the current Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, has recalled that it is a definitive doctrine, which cannot be altered. And in addition, it has indicated the following:
In second place, the doubts raised about the definitive character of the Ordinatio sacerdotalis have serious consequences also on the way of understanding the Magisterium of the Church. It is important to reiterate that infallibility is not expressed only in the solemn pronouncements of a Council or of the Supreme Pontiff when he speaks ex cathedra, but also in the ordinary and universal teaching of the bishops of the whole world, when they propose, in communion among themselves and with the Pope, the Catholic doctrine that must be upheld definitively.
Despite what was stated above, the Archbishop and Cardinal of Barcelona, Juan José Omella, who is also president of the Spanish Episcopal Conference, has allowed that among the conclusions of the diocesan phase of the synod for the synodality of his archdiocese, the petition appears that women can be ordained. In turn, they also ask that compulsory celibacy for priests of the Latin rite disappear.
That way, Cardinal Omella allows his faithful to publicly ask for something contrary to the doctrine of the Church.In fact, in the closing ceremony of that diocesan phase, held at the La Immaculada de los Maristas school in Barcelona, which was attended by more than 700 people, Cardinal Omella said that we are all in the same boat.