VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) - An Austrian bishop tapped by Pope Francis to organize Rome's Pan-Amazon Synod is continuing his heretical push for women priests.
Bishop Erwin Kräutler, member of the pre-synodal council and lead author of the synod's widely criticized working document Instrumentum Laboris, told German media recently that Pope John Paul II's teaching on the invalidity of female ordinations was not an infallible dogma.
"I know it is not easy to oppose exclusion of women from the ordained priesthood, as it has been cemented by Pope John Paul II in his 1994 apostolic document Ordinatio Sacerdotalis," said Kräutler. "But, even if the Pope explained at the time that 'all the faithful of the Church are definitely to hold this decision,' it is nevertheless not a dogma."
Kräutler was referring to Pope John Paul II's apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis in which he infallibly taught that it was impossible for women to validly receive holy orders:
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.
John Paul II confirmed in 1995 that his teaching was an infallible dogma by having Cdl. Joseph Ratzinger, as head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, publish the following statement:
This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium. ... Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff ... has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith.
A month later, Ratzinger asked the presidents of each episcopal conference around the world to send this official confirmation to their respective bishops. He said this was necessary so that "ambiguous and contrary positions will not again be proposed."
Organizers of the synod kicking off in Rome on Sunday, however, have been proposing that females could and should be ordained. Following a secretive pre-synod planning meeting in Rome, a report summing up the meeting was published June 26, opening up the question of female deacons.
Kräutler, a pre-synod organizer, took part in the meeting along with fellow Austrian Cdl. Christoph Schönborn. Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, himself is an advocate for ordaining so-called women deacons.
During the interview with German media mentioned above, Kräutler emphatically stated that the Amazon Synod "must admit women to the ordination to the diaconate."
Some Catholics erroneously claim that females are only barred from ordination to the priesthood but could validly be ordained deacons. But Cdl. Gerhard Müller, former head of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, explains that women are unable to validly receive the sacrament of Holy Orders, which includes becoming deacons, priests or bishops.
In a recent comment to LifeSiteNews, Müller explained:
It is certain without doubt, however, that this definitive decision from Pope John Paul II is indeed a dogma of the Faith of the Catholic Church and that this was of course the case already before this Pope defined this truth as contained in Revelation in the year 1994. The impossibility that a woman validly receives the Sacrament of Holy Orders in each of the three degrees is a truth contained in Revelation and it is thus infallibly confirmed by the Church's Magisterium and presented as to be believed.
His teaching is reflected in the Catechism of the Catholic Church, which, in paragraph 1536, teaches, "Holy Orders is the sacrament through which the mission entrusted by Christ to his apostles continues to be exercised in the Church until the end of time: thus it is the sacrament of apostolic ministry. It includes three degrees: episcopate, presbyterate, and diaconate."