Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

More Bold Dissent from the NCReporter

May 25th, 2011, Promulgated by Dr. K

Once again, this reeking pile of dog feces is made available to our discerners at Becket Hall by the Diocese of Rochester:

“Whether the papal treatment of Morris was fair or just is one matter — this paper thinks it was not. The deeper question, going beyond individual persons and cases, is whether the church is experiencing what the Australian bishop and many theologians in recent decades have described as “creeping infallibility.”

At issue fundamentally is whether John Paul, in his 1994 apostolic letter, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (“Priestly Ordination”), intended to (or actually did) lay out an infallible teaching when he said, “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.”

John Paul did not formally pronounce the teaching ex cathedra (speaking from the chair of Peter) or say he was teaching infallibly in his declaration.

The doctrinal congregation can make many definitive decisions regarding church doctrine and life. It is beyond its authority to determine which church teachings are infallible and which are not. Only a pope clearly speaking ex cathedra or an ecumenical council of the world’s bishops can determine that.

“Creeping infallibility” is precisely what is at issue here — a papal document that made no claim to infallibility raised to the level of infallibility by a Vatican congregation’s statement that has no competence to make such a determination, and now almost casually described as infallible in a disciplinary letter to a bishop by the current pope.”

The teaching that men alone are ordained priests is indeed infallible, as it is part of the deposit of faith and has been set forth by the ordinary magisterium. The Holy Father commanded that this teaching be definitively held. To remove any doubt whatsoever, the prefect of the CDF (who happens to be our current Pope) confirmed the Holy Father’s intentions in a responsum ad dubium. This response was given with the approval of the Holy Father, so there can be no doubt what Pope John Paul II’s intentions were: “This congregation therefore has judged it necessary to dispel the doubts and reservations that have arisen by issuing a responsum ad dubium, which the Holy Father has approved and ordered to be published”.

For an excellent explanation on why this teaching is infallible, read the following article: click here.



13 Responses to “More Bold Dissent from the NCReporter”

  1. Snowshoes says:

    The best homely image I have heard on the Infallibility of the Pope, and the fact that he rules directly everywhere in the Church, is that of a father and his children. What do you think of a child who will only obey when his father yells? You think, “That kid is disobedient and needs a spanking!” “Children of the Holy Father” who need an “infallible Papal Bull” before they’ll obey what the Pope teaches are not obedient children, and CERTAINLY shouldn’t occupy catechist positions or any higher office, nor should they be paid in American Dollars… No obedience to the Pope, no pay. Take their god away, and my guess is they’ll lose interest quick. God bless.

  2. Jim R says:

    I would also add this language from the Relatio of Bishop Vincent Gasser at Vatican I immediately before the vote was taken to approve the formula of infallibility explaining what the Deputation who wrote the formula meant by the formula. (Note the Relatio was quoted in certain parts by Vatican II and was the official statement explaining what the Council Fathers were voting on and what it meant.)

    “The purpose of this prerogative [infallibility] is the preservation of truth in the Church. The special exercise of this prerogative occurs when there arise somewhere in the Church scandals against the faith, i.e., dissensions and heresies which the bishops of the individual churches or even gathered together in provincial council are unable to repress so that they are forced to appeal to the Apostolic See regarding the case, or when the bishops themselves are infected by the sad stain of error…. Therefore the Pope, by reason of his office and the gravity of the matter, is held to use the means suitable for properly discerning and aptly enunciating the truth. These means are councils, or the advice of the bishops, cardinals, theologians, etc. Indeed, the means are diverse according to the diversity of situations, and we should piously believe that, in the divine assistance promised to Peter and his successors by Christ, there is simultaneously contained a promise about the means which are necessary and suitable to make an infallible pontifical judgment.”

    It seems to me: (i) an Encyclical easily fits in a “means suitable” for “aptly enunciating” the finding: (ii) the language is clear; and (iii) the approbation of the CDF response sure looks like the mind of the Supreme Ponyiff is clear on the issue.
    IMHO: It is hard to see that the Supreme Pontiff was in any way unclear on this issue – and even if one could argue there was some uncertainty, any cloudiness undoubtedly was burned off by his Holiness’ approval of the response to the Dubium.

  3. Thinkling says:

    I broke wind at caught wind of this from Fr. Z. The staff of the National Protestant Fishwrap’s logic can be summarized as follows:

    Church: We infallibly declare that the Church has no authority to ordain women.

    NPFW: You just made a statement about the infallibility of the teaching on ordaining women. But that statement wasn’t made infallibly. Thus we look forward to Mother Joan Chittister.

    Church: We infallibly declare that our statement that the Church has no authority to ordain women was indeed infallible.

    NPFW: You just made a statement about the infallibility of an infallible statement. But that statement you just made was not infallible. Thus we look forward to ….

    Lather. Rinse. Repeat.

    (H/T Lewis Carroll; Apologies to John Allen and to all Protestants who are honest about being Protestant)

  4. Bruce says:

    Well played!

  5. Dr. K says:

    Let’s pretend that JPII had specifically used the word “infallible” in his proclamation. Would the NCR crowd suddenly assent? No way.

  6. Sassy says:

    Thinkling, your post reminded me of one of my favorite movies: This Is Spinal Tap.

    (I admit that I’ve been on an 80’s kick lately.)

  7. Thinkling says:

    On which day did God create the Fishwrap, and why couldn’t He have rested on that day?

  8. Sassy says:


    Thanks for the chuckle. 🙂

  9. Bruce says:

    The Non-Catholic Reporter serves a purpose, however, as exhibit A of what happens when you dissociate from the one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church and form your own magisterium.

  10. Scott W, says:

    Let’s pretend that JPII had specifically used the word “infallible” in his proclamation. Would the NCR crowd suddenly assent? No way.

    Nope. There is always another appeal to finer detail to keep a settled issue unsettled. The most outrageous I saw was a comment on an book review where the guy said yes, he accepted the Church’s teaching on male-only priesthood, but guess what? Since the Church has not specifically defined what maleness is, it’s still an open question.

  11. Dr. K says:

    Since the Church has not specifically defined what maleness is, it’s still an open question.

    I might have argued at one point with the same guy.

  12. Louis E. says:

    Yet if any future Pope declared the Roman Catholic Church could ordain women,the Notionally “Catholic” Retorter wouild screech damnation at anyone daring to question the infallibility of that statement.

  13. Louis E. says:

    Incidentally,that publication has announced the death of its publisher and editor-in-chief,Joe Feuerherd.Those so inclined may wish to pray for his soul.

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