Bishop Strickland: Church has ‘no authority whatsoever’ to anoint women to pastor

Unchanging Tradition In a resolute statement, the bishop reaffirmed the timeless teachings of Sacred Tradition and the Ordinary Magisterium of the Church. These venerable sources have consistently upheld that the Church lacks any authority to ordain women to the priesthood, a position that remains unalterable.

Christ’s Design The bishop emphasized that this unchanging stance stems from the very foundation of the Church. Christ, in instituting a male priesthood, intended to symbolize Himself as the bridegroom, with the Church as His bride. This divine design, rooted in the Church’s core beliefs, serves as the basis for the Church’s steadfast position.

St. John Paul II’s Definitive Statement The bishop invoked the words of St. John Paul II, who, in his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, explicitly stated that the Church cannot confer priestly ordination on women. The pope’s directive was clear: this conclusion must be definitively held by all faithful members of the Church.

Distinct Roles in Early Church Addressing the question of female deacons in the Church, the bishop drew attention to the historical distinction between the essential roles of service that many women fulfilled in the early Church and the specific ordained office of the diaconate as described in the Acts of the Apostles.

Ordained Diaconate Reserved for Men The bishop underscored that because sacramentally ordained deacons partake in the apostolic ministry alongside priests and bishops, the Church has decreed that they, too, must be men, aligning with the choice of male apostles made by Jesus.

The Imperfect Church In closing, the bishop acknowledged that while the Church itself is holy, it comprises fallible members who are continually called to repentance and transformation. This recognition serves as a reminder of the Church’s ongoing journey toward spiritual growth and renewal.

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