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Definitive teachings (letter)
With reference to Father Crothers' letter in your April 2003 issue, I should like to point out that the Holy See has again recently stated that such definitive teachings from a Pope, to be held by all of the faithful (as Pope John Paul II declared in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis) are "irreformable".
The wording used by the Pope in setting out this definitive teaching is such that there can be no doubt in any faithful Catholic's mind that it is an "infallible" teaching.
Cardinal Ratzinger has been appointed to his position by the Pope and he does not make serious doctrinal statements without Papal authorisation. In fact, the Pope approved the Cardinal's statement and ordered it to be published.
In the recent rejection of the appeal by some women (who had gone through the farce of being "ordained" as priests by a renegade bishop in Europe) against their excommunication from the Church, the Holy See cited the fact that such definitive papal teachings are irreformable and that "by denying this doctrine, ... they are at odds with the doctrine on the Magisterium of the Sucessor of Peter ... and they thereby fail to recognise that the teachings of the Supreme Pontiff on doctrines to be held definitively by all the faithful are irreformable."
The Holy See also pointed out the gravity of the scandal of encouraging Catholic women to continue pushing for women's "ordination".
"Definitive" means "final, not subject to change", according to my Oxford Dictionary.
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 4 (May 2003), p. 14
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