Formal Canonical Warning Regarding the 'Attempted' Priestly Ordination of Some Catholic Women, July 10, 2002

Commentary from Women's Ordination Worldwide:  On July 10, 2002, the Vatican issued a formal canonical warning against what it calls 'the attempted priestly ordination of women' in response to the Roman Catholic Womenpriests movement ordination of women on the Danube on June 29, 2002.

The speed with which the Vatican issued this warning is remarkable... 12 days after the first River Ordinations.  Compare this to the speed (or lack thereof) with which the Vatican has responded to paedophile priest abuse cases in the Church.

MONITUM [ie, Formal Canonical Warning]
Regarding the Attempted Priestly Ordination of Some Catholic Women
by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger
Prefect, Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
July 10, 2002

On June 29, 2002, Romulo Antonio Braschi, the founder of a schismatic community, attempted to confer priestly ordination on the following Catholic women: Christine Mayr-Lumetzberger, Adelinde Theresia Roitinger, Gisela Forster, Iris Müller, Ida Raming, Pia Brunner and Angela White.

In order to give direction to the consciences of the Catholic faithful and dispel any doubts which may have arisen, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith wishes to recall the teaching of the Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis of Pope John Paul II, which states 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" (n. 4). For this reason, the above-mentioned "priestly ordination" constitutes the simulation of a sacrament and is thus invalid and null, as well as constituting a grave offense to the divine constitution of the Church. Furthermore, because the "ordaining" Bishop belongs to a schismatic community, it is also a serious attack on the unity of the Church. Such an action is an affront to the dignity of women, whose specific role in the Church and society is distinctive and irreplaceable.

The present Declaration, recalling the preceding statements of the Bishop of Linz and the Episcopal Conference of Austria and in accordance with canon 1347 § 1 of the CIC, gives formal warning to the above-mentioned women that they will incur excommunication reserved to the Holy See if, by July 22, 2002, they do not (1) acknowledge the nullity of the "orders" they have received from a schismatic Bishop in contradiction to the definitive doctrine of the Church and (2) state their repentance and ask forgiveness for the scandal caused to the faithful.

Rome, from the Offices of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, 10 July 2002.

Joseph Card. RATZINGER, Prefect
Tarcisio BERTONE, S.D.B.
Archbishop Emeritus of Vercelli, Secretary