If Pope Francis approves of Women Deacons…

…what happens to those women who already claim to have been ordained as deacon, priest, or bishop? The answer is very simple. Their attempted ordinations were entirely invalid, null, and void, and they would remain invalid. At the present time, there are no validly ordained women anywhere in the world. Those women who have invalidly attempted ordination, even if only to the diaconate, are not ordained, are only lay persons, and are automatically excommunicated.

If Pope Francis approves of women deacons, and if the Roman Catholic Church begins to ordain women to the diaconate, those women who claim to have been ordained previously will remain, in fact, non-ordained persons. Their past invalid attempted ordination will not become valid. And they remain excommunicated. Then, too, if a schismatic and heretical group, such as “Roman Catholic Womenpriests (RCWP)”, were to continue to attempt to ordain women as bishops and priests, these ordinations would still be invalid.

Now suppose that RCWP, or any similar group, were to attempt to ordain women to the diaconate, after the Pope (hypothetically) gives permission to the Roman Catholic Church to ordain women as deacons. Would the attempted ordination of women to the diaconate by such a group be valid? Probably not. If said women attempt to be ordained by an alleged woman bishop, the ordination is certainly invalid, because the alleged bishop is not validly ordained herself. If they can find a validly ordained male bishop, who is willing to ordain a woman as a deacon, if and when the Church permits it, the ordination might still be invalid.

For the Sacraments require the intention to do what the Church does in that Sacrament. A heretical male priest can possibly validly consecrate the Eucharist, but only if he intends to do what the Church does in that Sacrament. And if his specific heresy pertains to the Eucharist, such that he does not have that intention at all, then his attempted consecration of the Eucharist would be invalid. And the same applies to the ordination of women to the diaconate (again, in the hypothetical case if the Pope approves of women deacons). The male Bishop who attempts to ordain a woman as a deacon, and the woman herself, must intend what the Church intends. But such groups as RCWP hold to multiple severe heresies on ordination. So perhaps the attempted ordination would still be invalid.

by
Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian and translator of the Catholic Public Domain Version of the Bible.

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