(29 May 08 – RV) The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has issued a general decree regarding the priestly ordination of women.Signed by the Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal William Joseph Levada, the decree was published in Wednesday evening’s edition of the Vatican newspaper Osservatore Romano.
It states that in virtue of the faculty conferred on the Vatican dicastery by the Churches Supreme Authority, the Holy Father, the Congregation has decreed that in accordance with canon 30 of the Code of Cannon Law, both he who has attempted to confer the sacrament of Holy Orders on a woman, and the woman who has attempted to receive said sacrament, incur excommunication latae sententiae, reserved to the Holy See.
The Decree goes on to state that should he who attempts to confer Holy Orders on a women , or the women who attempts to receive said orders, be subject to the Code of Canon Law of the Oriental Churches, then in accordance with cannon 1443 of the aforementioned code, they will be subject to a greater excommunication, the revocation of which is reserved to the Apostolic See.
The text concludes that the Decree is of absolute, universal and of immediate effect. (Source)
A latae sententiae penalty is incurred automatically, and no public decree is necessary. Only the Holy See will have the authority to lift that penalty. The Vatican document eliminates any possible ambiguity about the status of women who claim to be Catholic priests, and bishops who may participate in their supposed ordination. Pope John Paul II declared in his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the Church “has no authority” to ordain women. The Pope added that making an authoritative statement, “to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
This puts the final nail in the coffin for women’s ordination since now excommunication is automatic. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was, in my opinion, an infallible declaration, in any case.
That’s a firm strike against the feminists and any bishop who wants to push the envelope.