Question from on 07-23-2007:
There is a local priest in my area who often raises his opinions of his support for women priests. He is actually, in any other way, a fine priest with a great example of sprititually relying on the Lord. However, in this area; he and I are at odds. I have talked with him before and, of course, pointed out the encyclical that Pope John Paul II put out in 1994 that, for all intents and purposes, put closure on this issue - basically stating that the Pope nor the Church has the power to change this to have women priests. He, however, dismisses that as simply the opinion of our prior Pope and says that the statement was not an infallible statement that the faithful are expected to adhere to. As this priest is scheduled to give a mission at my parish in the near future, I would like to have some more information to disuade his perspective since he has been known to bring up this issue even during his homilies.
Answer by Fr. Robert J. Levis on 07-23-2007:
Paul, This good priest should be met with the Faith of the Church, expressed so faithfully by the document, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, not an infallibly statement, but surely Church doctrine. This priest seems to be leaning on the simple fact that the document is not infallible. Tell him the dogma of the Assumption was not defined de fide till 1950 by Pope Pius 12 but still we all b elieved it. Fr. Bob Levis