Saturday, July 9, 2011

Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, José Policarpo - A humbling clarification


"A few years ago, a Bishop who said something scandalous in his native language to the press of his native country would never have to issue any clarification (while, quite true, a few decades ago, the same Bishop would probably not have publicly said anything scandalous in the first place).

Now, the Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, José Policarpo, was forced to issue a clarification regarding his disastrous declaration on "female ordination", thanks to the fast action of the "new media" - and, certainly, of someone in Rome; from the website of the Patriarchate [tip: a reverend reader]:


"1. ... The reactions to this interview have forced me to look into this theme with greater care, and I have ascertained that, mostly for not having taken into appropriate consideration the latest declarations of the Magisterium on the matter, I gave rise to those reactions. I feel, therefore, under the obligation of clearly expressing my thinking, in communion with the Holy Father and with the Magisterium of the Church, my obligation as a Bishop and Pastor of the People of God (cf. LG. nº 25).
"5. The most recent Magisterium of the Popes interprets this uninterrupted tradition, that has its origin in Christ and in the Apostolic body, not only as a practical way to proceed, which may change at the rhythm of the action of the Holy Spirit, but as an expression of the ministry of the Church irself, which we must receive in faith. I quote the text of Pope John Paul II, in the Apostolic Letter 'Ordinatio Sacerdotalis': 'Although the teaching that priestly ordination is to be reserved to men alone has been preserved by the constant and universal Tradition of the Church and firmly taught by the Magisterium in its more recent documents, at the present time in some places it is nonetheless considered still open to debate, or the Church's judgment that women are not to be admitted to ordination is considered to have a merely disciplinary force. Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church's divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare 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.'

"We are thus called to accept the Magisterium of the Holy Father, in the humility of our faith, and to continue to deepen the relationship of the ministerial priesthood with the priestly quality of all the people of God, and to discover the feminine way of building the Church, in the decisive role of the mission of our women sisters.

"6. In this year, in which I celebrate 50 years of my priestly ordination, a great manifestation of the goodness of God to me, it was good to present this clarification to my diocesan [people]. It would be very painful to me that my words could generate confusion in our adherence to the Church and to the word of the Holy Father. I believe I have clearly shown to you that communion with the Holy Father is an absolute attitude in the exercise of my ministry.

"Lisbon, July 6, 2011.

"† JOSÉ, Cardeal-Patriarca"
Now, if only His Eminence, the Cardinal-Patriarch, could be in communion with the clear mens of the Holy Father on the generous application of Summorum Pontificum and the Extraordinary Forum of the Roman Rite! Saint Elisabeth of Portugal, pray for the Church in your adopted nation!"


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