There will always be those within the Church who dissent to a dogmatic teaching, either openly or by equivocation; for some, the speculation as to the infallibility of this teaching is merely a means of dissenting indirectly by equivocation. More revealing than this speculation would be their honest answer as to whether they would assent to its infallibility if the teaching was re-presented in an apostolic constitution, complete with the language and warnings of anathema used by Popes Pius XI and XII. Equally revealing would be their honest answer to the question of whether or not they accept the teaching as binding and authoritative to both their intellect and their will, as even fallible exercises of the Ordinary Magisterium are to be received as such.There is another way in which this can be stated, which is to ask, "does it matter to you whether or not this teaching is infallible?" The answer given in reply may be rather illuminating. My own answer, in a nutshell, is this: it matters to me only in-so-much-as infallibility gives me final assurance that this teaching will never be changed. If, for the sake of argument, I were to assume that this is a fallible teaching**--that it pertains to discipline and practice, not doctrine and dogma--then my treatment of this teaching would remain more-or-less unchanged. Just because a thing can be changed doesn't mean that it ought to be changed, and fallible or not this is the official teaching of the Church, as codified in Canon Law (see Canon 1024). Thus, one might say that even if proven fallible (so far), the teaching is to me practically infallible, which is close enough to infallibility for me.
By this, I mean that whether infallible or not, I accept this teaching as both authoritative and binding, in much the same way as I accept any teaching concerning discipline to be authoritative and binding. Thus, for example, there is the fast before communion. It's a discipline, a practice, but not a dogma: it can be (and has been) changed. However, I do not dissent against this fast, and will even from time to time offer a defense of it (however tepid). I would not think to "lobby" the Church to change this practice, save for dire circumstances (for example, if the fast included--as it does not--water and medication, and this put health and lives at risk, I might consider writing to my bishop).
In the particular case of the teaching regarding males, females, and ordination, the teaching has never changed. There is not any time to which we might point for which we have solid and conclusive evidence to confirm that women were validly ordained to the priesthood with the blessing and consent of the pope and the whole Church (sorry for the long sentence). Indeed, most (possibly all) the arguments I have ever seen for changing this teaching hinge on a faulty premise regarding men and women as being, not merely equal and complementary, but rather ontologically the same and interchangeable. Thus, from the evidence and arguments presented to me (however complete), I conclude that there will be no change in this teaching in the near future, even if we assume it to be fallible. So much for speculation.
Finally, as regards the criterion I laid out above regarding practice, there are not "dire circumstances" pertaining to this teaching. That is to say, lives (for that matter, peoples' health) are not at stake. The teaching is not a scandal--recent pr blunder regarding norms for sex abuse and the ordination of women not withstanding--save for those who so desire to make one of it, so there really aren't souls at stake.
Therefore, even if I were to concede that this is not absolutely infallible in the fullest sense of the word, it is still practically infallible. Its "official" status as infallible or not changes nothing in my giving full assent to the teaching. Thus, for practical purposes at least, it actually does not matter to me whether or not this is an infallible teaching. I have bound to it my intellect and my will, and I have no intention of working in any way to unbind either, be it by praying to God to see it changed, by "lobbying" my bishop (and beyond), or by publicly dissenting from it. I furthermore will go beyond this by siding against any who work in such ways to change this teaching in public forum or private discussion, as my abilities, time, and energy allow. So help me God.
*There are exceptions, I know. I don't mean to imply that every Catholic who rejects the infallibility of this teaching also rejects the teaching itself.
**Just as a thought experiment. I harbor no doubts whatsoever about whether or not this teaching is infallible. It meets all of the criteria mentioned by the First Vatican Council's First Dogmatic Constitution on the Church of Christ, and the infallibility of the teaching was reaffirmed by then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger. Professor Peter Kreeft also makes a good argument for this teaching, and for its infallibility.
If you enjoyed this post, here are some other related posts:
On the Infallibility Of the Teaching in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis (Nicene Guys)
Can the Creeds Change? The Importance of Doctrinal Orthodoxy (Part 1)
Can the Creeds Change? The Importance of Doctrinal Orthodoxy (Part 2)
VOT"F" on the Role of Priestettes
Priestettes, VOT"F", Resurrection, Reincarnation, and Gnosticism (Nicene Guys)
Priestesses: Why We Don't Have 'Em Here