22 May 2018 | by Rose Gamble
Insisting on ordination of female priests is 'heresy' and should lead to excommunication, says Brandmüller
Cardinal Brandmüller, one of the four “dubia” cardinals, was responding to German politician, Annegret Kramp-Karrenbaue, who said on 10 May: “It is very clear: women have to take positions of leadership in the church.”
Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer, who is General-Secretary of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU), told German newspaper, Die Zeit, that although she hoped for the ordination of female priests, a more realistic goal might be to concentrate on a “female diaconate”.
In a comment piece for the newspaper Die Tagespost, Cardinal Brandmüller writes that the question of female priests has been authoritatively ruled out by Pope John Paul II. As a result, anyone who insists upon this matter – including the ordination of female deacons - has not only “left the foundations of the Catholic faith” but “fulfils the elements of heresy which has, as its consequence, the exclusion from the Church – excommunication.”
The German cardinal added that the persistent demand for female priests, celibacy, intercommunion and remarriage after divorce will not bring about a revival as is expected. Instead he writes that the German Evangelical Church – “where all these demands have already been actually fulfilled” – shows that “such demands have had the effect of emptying out the churches.”
Brandmüller concluded by reminding Ms Kramp-Karrenbauer in his commentary that the Catholic Church is not “a human institution”.
Instead, he wrote, the Church is a community of those who believe in Jesus Christ, and it is “founded through the Sacraments.” The Church lives, added the cardinal, according to the “forms, structures, and laws as given to her by her Divine Founder about which no man has power [to change] – also no pope and no council.”
Cardinal Robert Sarah, Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, described in a homily given on Pentecost the ordination of married men as a “breach of Apostolic Tradition”.
According to a report by the Austrian Catholic website Kath.net, Cardinal Sarah said during a homily given at the Pontifical High Mass in Chartres, France, that separating celibacy from the priesthood by administering the Sacrament of Priestly Ordination to married men (‘viri probati’) “leads to serious consequences and to a definitive breach with the Apostolic Tradition”.
He said that to do this is to establish a priesthood according to human criteria, whereas the priesthood of Christ is “obedient, poor, chaste”.
“Indeed,” he said, “the priest is not only an ‘alter Christus’ [another Christ], but he is truly ‘ipse Christus’, Christ Himself!”