VATICAN CITY — A member of the International Theological Commission has announced that she is no longer available to participate in the “binding synodal path” undertaken by the bishops’ conference of Germany.

Marianne Schlosser, a member of the International Theological Commission, cited concerns over both the approach and methodology of the “synodal path” when she announced that she could no longer participate.

Schlosser, a professor of theology at the University of Vienna and the recipient of the 2018 Ratzinger Prize, was invited to take part in the Synodal Way’s forum “on women in ecclesial roles and offices” as an expert.

Saying she could not identify with the intermediate report of the preparatory group, Schlosser raised a number of issues, in particular identifying a “fixation on ordination” of women.

This “fixation” was neither theologically and historically nor pastorally and spiritually justified, she told news agency KNA.

The Catholic Church teaches that it has no authority to admit women to priestly ordination.

Pope St. John Paul II, his 1994 apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone), stated, “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 (Luke 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” (4).

Pope Francis reaffirmed this in 2016.

Schlosser said the discussion about ordination had “been conducted for so long,” all arguments had been exchanged and were on the table.

Since it was “not a disciplinary question,” the topic “could not be negotiated in a synodal forum with mixed members”, i.e. between bishops and laity, she said.

Schlosser had not been present for the two preparatory meetings held so far.

The theologian also expressed the fear of a progressive polarization of the Church in Germany.

On Sep 23, 2014, Pope Francis appointed Schlosser a member of the International Theological Commission. She was also appointed a member of the study commission investigating the female diaconate in 2016.

The Bavarian is also an adviser to the Faith Commission of the German bishops’ conference and since January 2018 a member of the Theological Commission of the Austrian bishops’ conference.

A version of this story was first published by CNA Deutsch.