Shockingly, Cardinal Recants Erroneous Claims About “Female Ordination”

In A Rare Move, Cardinal Declares His Obedience To
The Magisterium After Teaching False Doctrine

H/T  Rorate Caeli

Cardinal-Patriarch of Lisbon, José Policarpo, got himself into a lot of hot water when he claimed that there are no theological barriers to “female ordination.” Fortunately, the good Cardinal did what most of us are unable to do. He publicly recanted his claims in the following clarification regarding his declaration on “female ordination”


“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 herself, 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”


Be sure to check out the comments section.

P.S. – Would you do Courageous Priest a favor and share this info with your friends on Facebook, Twitter or Email right now? We truly appreciate it. Or leave a comment, we would love to hear what you think.

11 comments to Shockingly, Cardinal Recants Erroneous Claims About “Female Ordination”

  • Wow, John Q, WOW! My explanation of “Bill” is that
    if someone is basically soundminded or has once been soundminded, it
    is very difficult to get comfortable in one’s own “skin” when one tries to throw off this “logic” or “truth recognition”!…
    without first putting up some “salve” to be able to “wear” the unacceptable new “discomfort”. “Bill” does
    not even pay ANY attention to the ingredients that are
    in this “salve”….he puts it on, hoping he won’t have
    to FEEL as bad as most people do…when they violate
    their consciences to such as extent. He knows you are right and he is wrong. He knew it before any of these conversations and he is of course smarter than what he pretends to be. Perhaps, he is a little proud and doesn’t want to directly back down and wants you to win him over to his return to sanity. I just know that grade school students can be more logical than “Bill” was with you. (So proud of your kindness and patience evidenced.)

  • Out in the Country


    Married priests are not wrong for the Easter Rites, but they are not optimal either.

    In general the Church would like to see all priests unmarried. But, because this is, and always has been, a disciplinary law of the Church, it is open to debate and discussion, and in various situations the Church will accept married priests.

    However, the issue of woman priests has been clearly defined as invalid for the Universal Church through an infallible decision of the Church. This issue is therefore not a disciplinary one as with married priests.

    You are therefore comparing apples to oranges. The issues have absolutely nothing in common, so it is confusing why you keep trying to compare the two.

  • Bill

    They do allow married priests.

  • Bill

    Then, the Eastern Rites have it wrong?

  • Out in the Country


    You statement is contradictory. If you hold a theological viewpoint that conflicts with the Magisterium, then your viewpoint is defective (i.e. you are wrong).

    The reason why Roman rite priests not not permitted, in general, to be married, is the fact that there is actually quite a large body of theology which says the married state is invalid for priests. But, this is a disciplinary law of the Church, not a dogmatic one, like women priests.

    It would appear that you are confusing disciplinary law with dogmatic law.

    The marriage of priests is a disciplinary issue – and is therefore open to change by the Church when she deems it appropriate to change, if at all.

    Dogmatic teachings, however, are NOT open to change because they are inspired by the Holy Spirit, and God does not contradict Himself. If your viewpoint conflicts with a Dogmatic teaching of the Church, then you can be assured that (a) you are wrong, and (b) the teaching will never change.

    It is the unchanging Dogmatic laws of the Church, laws that societies through time have hated and despised that point to the Catholic Church as the one true Church. All other religions change their beliefs through time to accommodate changing societies, invalidating their claim to Truth.

  • Bill

    The theology can be sound and still be contrary to the Magisterium. I assume the Magisterium bans married priests in the Roman rite but there is no theological reasons why we can’t have married priests in the Roman rite, especially since it is allowed in the eastern rite. Think for yourselves

  • kevin beaton

    This is a great testimony of humility by one of our shepherds. I find this very brefreshing, like a gentle breeze

  • Bill

    Looks like Bishop Chaput will have to unpack.

  • From Bill:


    Show a little courage and integrity and print this:

    Cardinal sees ‘no theological obstacle’ to women priests

    There is no “fundamental obstacle” from “a theological perspective” for women to say the Mass from the altar, the Patriarch of Lisbon in Portugal said, according to a Vatican Insider report picked up by and a report on NCR.

    It is instead a “tradition” that dates back from the time of Jesus, said Cardinal Jose da Cruz Policarpo, 75, who has just been confirmed for another two years at the head of the diocese of the Portuguese capital.


    Hello Bill,

    You know me very well, Bill. I have very little courage and very little integrity. I humbly beseech you to pray for me that one day I will have that courage and integrity.

    As fellow Catholics, we take Jesus’ words seriously when he told Peter,

    And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.

    And I will give to thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven. And whatsoever thou shalt bind upon earth, it shall be bound also in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose upon earth, it shall be loosed also in heaven.

    Oddly enough, most good-hearted Catholics do not realize that Bl. Pope John Paul II exercised his God-given authority in declaring that women cannot be ordained priests. To prove that I am not making this up, I am giving the official declaration, which can be found in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis,

    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.

    Bill, could it be any clearer than that? Check out what Bl. Pope John Paul II had to say. Here is the link to the official Vatican document.

    So, Bill, what’s it going to be? Are you going to follow the Rock, ordained by Christ Himself? Or are you going to follow a wolf?

    Acts 20:28-30

    Take heed to yourselves, and to the whole flock, wherein the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

    I know that, after my departure, ravening wolves will enter in among you, not sparing the flock.

    And of your own selves shall arise men speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.

    I am looking forward to finding out your answer and all of your extra prayers.

    Peace and prayers to you, Bill.
    John Quinn

  • Hey Bill,

    I checked out the information that you sent regarding Cardinal-Patriarch Policarpo and his claims about women’s ordination.

    Per your request, here’s my post. I hope you don’t mind that I will just go ahead and copy our correspondence to each other so that people know what we are talking about here. I will post it in the next comment.

    God bless you, Bill.

Leave a Reply to John Quinn Cancel reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>