Fr G. H. Duggan's letter (December/January AD2000) has succinctly pointed out that a papal definition such as in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is an exercise of that papal infallibility set out in the Vatican I document. Such an infallible confirmation of a doctrine always taught by the ordinary Magisterium is too often unrecognised by many theologians. They, in turn, mislead priests and laity, because they have never been properly taught, or they wilfully deny, the Vatican I dogma.
The importance of this can hardly be over-emphasised because the same error has occurred in the teaching against contraception in Casti Connubii and Humanae Vitae, with these documents denigrated as "not infallible" by the likes of Karl Rahner and Richard McBrien, as well as by Australian theologians such as Fr W. O'Shea of Brisbane.
Quite recently, Fr O'Shea claimed that (his) theologians could find no basis in Scripture or theology for the exclusion of women from the priesthood, while lamenting that "at present, the leadership of the Church does not even entertain the possibility of such a change" (The Catholic Leader, 27 October 2002).
Nevertheless, Fr O'Shea has been put in charge of the formation of deacons for the permanent diaconate in Brisbane, assisted by two priest directors of like persuasion, Frs Frank O'Dea and John Dobson. Thus the same errors displayed by misled priests will presumably be displayed by misled deacons, with more misled laity the likely end-result.
Are we not entitled to ask where are the shepherds?