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In a recent letter entitled "Infallible teaching" George Simpson asks why many Catholics do not recognise John Paul II's statement on women's ordination, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, as infallible.
The answer is simply that it has never been proclaimed as an infallible statement by the Holy Father. The fact that others, including Cardinal Ratzinger, claim it to be infallible does not make it infallible. Only the Pope can declare a particular Church teaching to be infallible.
It may be that in time this will happen, but up to now the Holy Father has, for whatever reason, refrained from doing so.
FR JOHN CROTHERS PP
Reprinted from AD2000 Vol 16 No 3 (April 2003), p. 15
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