Vatican to Excommunicate Women Priests

Vatican to Excommunicate Women Priests Fighting back against growing support for the ordination of women as priests, the Roman Catholic church has announced it will henceforth automatically excommunicate the priests and the presiding bishops.

The Vatican issued its most explicit decree so far against the ordination of women priests on Thursday, punishing them and the bishops who try to ordain them with automatic excommunication. The decree was written by the Vatican’s Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, giving it immediate effect. A Vatican spokesman said the decree made the Church’s existing ban on women priests more explicit by clarifying that excommunication would follow all such ordinations.

The Church’s policy on this matter could hardly be more clear and is quite literally as old as the Church itself. One wonders, given the vast number of alternatives out there — including Episcopal churches and other near-clones of the Roman Church that allow the ordination of women — why those who so vehemently oppose the policy don’t vote with their feet. For that matter, it’s difficult to understand how one can simultaneously believe an infallible Pope is the Vicar of Christ and wish to openly defy him.

FILED UNDER: Gender Issues, Religion, ,
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is a Security Studies professor at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. William d'Inger says:

    It appears to me that the more powerful a religion is in a given population, the further it lags the curve of civilization. The Roman Catholic church is about two centuries behind the evolution of society. Orthodox churches are a tad slower, and Islam is about six centuries behind. At least, that’s my take on the subject.




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  2. G.A.Phillips says:

    it’s difficult to understand how one can simultaneously believe an infallible Pope is the Vicar of Christ and wish to openly defy him.

    Well they are suppose to believe that the doctrine of the church is infallible not the Pope, but that still leaves them in the wrong and in more then one way defiant.




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  3. Grewgills says:

    For that matter, it’s difficult to understand how one can simultaneously believe an infallible Pope is the Vicar of Christ and wish to openly defy him.

    There are specific conditions for infallibility to be invoked. It is rarely ever invoked. I am only aware of one time in the past century (1950 – Assumption of Mary). I do not believe that the rule disallowing female priests has that stamp. If it did there would be no chance for female priests in the Catholic Church as one infallible teaching cannot contradict another.




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  4. Anderson says:

    For that matter, it’s difficult to understand how one can simultaneously believe an infallible Pope is the Vicar of Christ and wish to openly defy him.

    Infallibility itself was announced only at Vatican I — odd that so remarkable a doctrine was latent so long.

    Some Catholics never accepted Vatican I — I forget what they’re called, but I don’t think it’s logically obvious that one can’t respect the RCC while thinking that it’s fallen into some errors over the past 150 years.




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  5. James Joyner says:

    I don’t think it’s logically obvious that one can’t respect the RCC while thinking that it’s fallen into some errors over the past 150 years.

    Sure. But you’d think you’d find another church all the same.




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  6. DL says:

    The Church has fallen into error? Tsk Tsk. It started when that Jesus fellow picked the wrong apostle -that Judas fellow – since then it’s not been perfect either…

    The Church is for sinners and it certainly has its share, but it also has a long list of saints and martres that few of its detracters chose to follow and hold as role models.

    It’s not because of its claim of guardian of God’s truth that it’s so loathed as much as its truthful message about the fallen nature of ourselves and what we must do to correct it that modern man doesn’t want to hear.




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