Women in the priesthood soon?

Dogmatist Seewald: Vatican paper shows "historic change"

Cologne - Some felt that the Vatican paper on the blessing of homosexuals was "too little", others called it "ground-breaking". Theologian Michael Seewald is one of the latter. He sees much greater potential in the declaration.

Published  on 21.12.2023 at 11:11  – 

In the opinion of theologian Michael Seewald, the Vatican paper on the blessing of homosexual couples has the potential for "historic change" in the Church. The Vatican Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith has thus cancelled its own principle that the Church simply lacks the authority from the Magisterium to bless homosexual and remarried couples, said the Münster dogmatist in a guest article for the "Kölner Stadtanzeiger" (Thursday).

Seewald pointed out that the exclusion of women from the priesthood has so far been justified with the same argumentation. Although the declaration does not deal with the question of ordained ministries, it shows that the view of one's own powers is changing. "The fact that this is now being admitted so openly by the Roman side could be an indication of carefully prepared changes concerning urgent questions of church life, in which development previously seemed to be ruled out."

At the same time, Seewald emphasised the "processual character" of the declaration of principles. This was clearly emphasised by the Prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, Cardinal Victor Fernandez, in the foreword to the declaration. "There is no reason to see this document as the end point of the development from which it emerged," said Seewald. "Theologians and pastors, but also committed Catholics and a critical public should therefore not let up in their insistence that the 'further development' of the doctrine of which the declaration speaks should itself continue to develop." (KNA)