Pope Francis reaffirms John Paul II’s ban on women priests

The Catholic Church's insistence that it cannot ordain women to the priesthood and episcopacy is a teaching likely to last forever, Pope Francis said.

After being hosted by the Lutheran Church of Sweden, which is led by Archbishop Antje Jackelen of Uppsala, the nation's first woman primate, Pope Francis was asked Nov. 1 if the Catholic Church might one day have women priests and bishops.

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RELATED: Putting Pope Francis' comments on women's ordination in historical context 

As he has done in the past, the pope responded that the question was settled in 1994 by St. John Paul II, who taught that because Jesus chose only men as his apostles, the ordination of women in the Catholic Church is not possible.

He was asked, "Really? Never?" And he responded, "If one carefully reads the declaration of St. John Paul, it goes in that direction, yes."

In one of his briefest airborne news conferences, Pope Francis spent just over 40 minutes with reporters and answered six questions ranging from Sweden's newly restrictive immigration policy to the role of women in the church. He also was asked about his experience with charismatics and Pentecostals, the roots of his concern about human trafficking, secularization in Europe and his meeting in late October with Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro.

Christians must never close their hearts to refugees and migrants, but governments have a duty to regulate the flux of newcomers as they allocate resources to ensure their integration into society, he said.

"It's not human to close one's heart," the pope told reporters flying with him from Sweden back to Rome.

As he has in the past, Pope Francis insisted nations live up to international agreements offering special welcome and protection to refugees fleeing war and persecution. While Catholic social teaching holds that every person has a right to migrate in search of a better life, accepting newcomers is a serious obligation when the person's life is at risk.

Europeans should not be frightened by the latest wave of newcomers, he said. "Europe was made with a continual integration of cultures, many cultures."

The key, he said, is to ensure a proper integration of newcomers with language lessons, a home, schools and jobs. "The danger is that when a refugee or migrant is not integrated, he or she is 'ghetto-ized.'"

Responding to the question about Maduro, Pope Francis said he met with him at the president's request. "I listened to him for half an hour," he said. "I asked a few questions. I heard his opinions. It's always good to listen to both sides."

Like in any conflict, he said, "either you dialogue or you scream." The political and social tensions in Venezuela -- tensions that have unleashed a major economic crisis and huge suffering for many -- must be resolved with dialogue, he said.

The Vatican, he added, is supporting dialogue in Venezuela and, at the invitation of both the government and the opposition, has sent Archbishop Emil Paul Tscherrig, the nuncio to Argentina, as an observer.

The secularization of Europe, or of any society, the pope said, is usually the result of one of two factors: "a weak evangelization" caused by "lukewarm Christians" or a cultural process in which a growing number of people start thinking they are the lords of history.

A "healthy" form of separation of church and state is not the culprit, he said.

Comments are automatically closed two weeks after an article's initial publication. See our comments policy for more.
Connie Higgins
1 year 1 month ago
Holy bible has been altered with makie-up stories to suit & protect a patriarchy hierarchy church. Get real, the church is only interested In power and money not its flock! Don't know why women support RCC at all - what of Mary of Magdala the apostle to the apostle. Good enough for Christ but not pope?? Plus women were part of early church! No other organisation would exist that discriminate against gender or marginalized people and abuse children etc - they'd be classified as criminals and put in jail. Calling on #WomenToBanRCC and move to #RCWP or other inclusive ministries! It makes me question the male (career) priests who haven't spoken out about this injustice to women - silence = complicity!
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
There is a little spinning going on in this report. Phrases like "Never likely" and "likely to last forever" were not used by Pope Francis. Most news outlets (ABC news, Reuters, NYT, NCR, the Guardian) express it more firmly, as in "Pope Rules out Women's Ordination Forever." ABC, or the Guardian "Pope Francis says women will never be Roman Catholic priests." Most reports have this quote: “On the ordination of women in the Catholic church, the last word is clear…It was given by St. John Paul II and this remains.” Here is what St. Pope JP II declared in 1994 "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 (cf. Lk 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." The following year, the CDF Prefect Ratzinger (future pope) confirmed this teaching is infallible, definitive, part of the deposit of faith and forever, in a formal way: "This teaching requires definitive assent, since, founded on the written Word of God, and from the beginning constantly preserved and applied in the Tradition of the Church, it has been set forth infallibly by the ordinary and universal Magisterium (cf. LG 25:2, VCII). Thus, in the present circumstances, the Roman Pontiff, exercising his proper office of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32), has handed on this same teaching by a formal declaration, explicitly stating what is to be held always, everywhere, and by all, as belonging to the deposit of the faith." Here is a more detailed explanation on why this teaching is infallible: http://jimmyakin.com/library/womens-ordination-its-infallible
Luis Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago
The CDF is not infallible, and Jimmy Akin is not infallible either. Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is not even a doctrine; it is a "judgment," an edict to stop discussion of the issue until the Vatican can come up with a politically reasonable way out of the patriarchal priesthood of the Old Law. A tragic mistake, in my opinion, and one that can and must be corrected as soon as a Pope decides to do so: Appeal to Pope Francis http://pelicanweb.org/CCC.TOB.120.html
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Luis - you accept you are not infallible, even in your interpretation of what the Church teaches about anything. So you agree you could be mistaken about thinking this declaration is not infallible. You think it is a tragic mistake, but that could also be wrong if you are fallible. You have pushed yourself into subjective agnosticism. Why work so hard against the Church when you are not certain of your positions? Isn't that pure willfulness?
Luis Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago
I believe in my heart that the patriarchal priesthood of the Old Law is not the Lord's plan for the sacramental priesthood of the New Law until he returns in glory. If you find time to read my appeal, please note that I do support the moral teaching of Humanae Vitae even though it is not infallible, and do not support ecclesiastical patriarchy and the patriarchal language in which the encyclical is lamentably written. My impression is that Pope Francis is trying to temper the language ("Catholics don't have to reproduce like rabbits"). May I resubmit this for your consideration: Appeal to Pope Francis ~ English http://pelicanweb.org/CCC.TOB.120.html#english Please read it lovingly and pray for understanding. Let me know if you find any dogmatic error. I may be wrong, but this is the best I can do at the moment.
Robert Lewis
1 year 1 month ago
There are more "politically reasonable" ways to "empower" women in the Church than just by conferring the sacerdotal role upon them, and I trust that Pope Francis will find several of them soon. One that is obvious and that has been mentioned once before, I'm told, in consistory, setting Saint John Paul II Wojtylwa's teeth on edge, is that the cardinalate could be conferred on women without any revision of the "male only" rule: boy princes were made cardinals, and so were diplomats in the past; the position of "cardinal-deacon" does not require episcopacy, and women could EASILY be given this decision-making and pontiff-electing position in the Church, so long as they would first agree to recuse themselves from papal eligibility. This would probably infuriate the male chauvinists here who are allowing their fierce prejudice in favour of patriarchy blind them to what is real orthodoxy and what isn't, but it would be a way to begin to sort this mess out, and allow the Church to start to make progress toward change that is "developmental" theologically.
Henry George
1 year 1 month ago
Robert, I may be incorrect, but I believe Canon 351, in the revised Code of Canon Law requires that a Cardinal now be a Priest, if not already a Bishop.
Robert Lewis
1 year 1 month ago
That can be changed, obviously. Too many writing here do not understand the difference between "doctrine" and "dogma." I really recommend to you and those others a close reading of John Henry Newman's THE DEVELOPMENT OF DOCTRINE.
Henry George
1 year 1 month ago
Robert, I have read and taught Newman's D of D. There is, in the end, no difference between Dogma and Doctrine, if you allow each generation to interpret the Scriptures/Teachings of the Church as they see fit. 500 years of Protestantism which stretches from "Snake Handlers" to "Atheistic Unitarians" make that quite clear. You said there was no requirement that Cardinals be Priests and I cited the Canon.
Robert Lewis
1 year 1 month ago
Well, if you read Newman's book, I don't think you understand it, and, if you taught it, I suppose you mis-taught it. Attitudes like yours are very, very dangerous for the Church, because YOU are essentially a Protestant Fundamentalist who subscribes to the heresy called "Sola Scriptura," and doesnt understand that only GOD "possesses" the Truth wholly, and one who denies that the Roman Catholic Church, essentially a fallible institution that is promised divine guidance by a "Holy Spirit"--but through a time-space continuum that demands a "dialectic" in order to pursue the Truth. ("It rides time like riding a river," said Gerard Manley Hopkins.) Have you ever seen the Raphael stanze in the Vatican called "The Disputation"? THAT is the symbol of the Apostolic Church regarding both "doctrine" and "dogma," and it is an ongoing, time-bound CONVERSATION that must be carried out with a certain kind of spirit. Because the "conversation" is, partially, a human one, there must be no confusion between divinely revealed dogma and the "doctrines" which we are entitled to interpret in light of our tradition, the fundamental dogmas AND human--including historical and scientific--knowledge and scholarship. THAT is the Church's tradition, which fundamentalists like you--basically American Protestant-influenced Catholics--do not understand. Having said all that, let me clarify here that I am actually IN FAVOUR of an all-male clergy (and one that permits of marriage for the secular clergy, apart from bishops, as in the Orthodox tradition), but I don't think the argument for it has ever been stated clearly by the Church's hierarchy: it's simply out of love and remembrance for the "male person" in whom God was incarnated in the West.There simply is no other valid reason, and that's one that I think that fair-minded women can accept. The "sacerdotal role" is, actually, a highly exceptional one within the Body of Christ; basically, it applies almost exclusively to facilitating the sacrament of Penance and the sanctification of the Eucharist. There are many other decision-making functions of the Church that can and should be offered freely to women, and I think that they eventually will be. Pope Francis is on the side of liberalization of the Church and its rules, and I think you know it. The "Holy Spirit" is on HIS side, and not on the side of the so-called "Traditionalists," who aren't actually "traditional" at all. Also, I think that your contemptuous attitude toward our Protestant brothers and sisters is quite vicious. It is equally as vicious as the Protestant ridicule of the blessing of our Eucharist as "hocus-pocus."
Kester Ratcliff
1 year 1 month ago
>because Jesus chose only men as his apostles Where does the bible actually say that exactly? He chose 12 companions who were men, but maybe that's just because that's what 'companions' meant in those days? This is reasoning from an absence of a positive permission to a positive prohibition. What does it mean to be an 'apostle'? Are the male apostles exclusively called 'apostles' in Scripture, or have we just selectively applied the term only to the men? If the term isn't applied to the men consistently and we're inferring the application of it to the male apostles by reasoning from what we think it means in principle to be an apostle, why couldn't it also be applied to the women who were close disciples and announced the gospel sometimes to the male apostles (e.g. after finding the tomb empty and seeing Christ risen first of all)? The Scriptural rationalisations for excluding women from ordination to priesthood seem very poor to me. Infallibility is actually very limited. For a declaration of a dogma to be considered infallible, the three criteria of Scripture, Magisterium and Sensus Fidelium should be in agreement. If the Magisterium alone is trying to define something as a dogma and of the very nature of faith, we're not obligated to consider that infallible. It's not even clear historically that the tradition of excluding women from the priesthood is authentic. I hope this traditional error will be relinquished in my lifetime.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Kester - while your interpretation is far outside tradition, your willingness to depart from the faith based on your personal interpretation of scripture just further demonstrates why the protestant reformation was so wrong and why we need a Magisterium. Luther's rejection of this authority was only the first step in what is now an even wider departure (despite all diplomatic statements over the last couple of days). if Luther were alive today, he would run back into the fold as fast as he could move.
Rosemari Zagarri Prof
1 year 1 month ago
As our experience from over two millennia has shown, when the Church says "never," it doesn't mean "never ever." It just means not in the foreseeable future. After all, Francis was coming back from a trip to make peace with the heretics of the Protestant Reformation.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Rosemarie: what examples of never are you thinking of? The Church has always called for unity of Christians and that didn't change with this trip.
Rosemari Zagarri Prof
1 year 1 month ago
My comment was in reference to the Pope's saying there would "never" be women priests. Note that he did not cite any Biblical injunctions against women priests; he cited John Paul II. I take this as Francis being clever, ducking the issue, and leaving it for some future pope to handle. The point is that the Church has changed its teachings many, many times-- on issues including the Reformation, Galileo, slavery, democracy, humanism, Judaism, married priests, etc. etc. It might take a while--maybe 400 years--but I am confident there will eventually be women priests.--when the Holy Spirit guides the Church toward that conclusion.
Luis Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago
"If we read carefully the declaration made by St. John Paul II, it goes in that direction, yes." Is he suggesting we are going in the right direction? Not necessarily, but let's pray for the Holy Spirit's GPS to announce soon that we must make a "legal u-turn." In any case, he clearly said that on this issue we have not reached our destination yet, so it should be clear now that the presumed "infallible finality" of Ordinatio Sacerdotalis is not yet dogmatically final.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
It only has to be true to be infallible. Now, many do not accept infallibility, so they will never believe this doctrine. But, that is the same for just about any doctrine, from the Resurrection to Humane Vitae.
Luis Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago
We must believe, with certainty of faith, only what has been infallibly defined to be revealed truth. I do believe, with certainty of faith, in the resurrection of Jesus (Creed). I do not believe, with certainty of faith, in the wise teaching of the encyclical Humanae Vitae, let alone the papal edict formulated in the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis to stop fraternal debate about the patriarchal rationalization of the 12 male apostles. This edicted hiatus is paralyzing the Church in dealing with a critical pastoral issue, and I pray it is rescinded as soon as possible, hopefully before the end of this century.
IGNACIO SILVA
1 year 1 month ago
How disappointing. It's just not the right thing to exclude an entire gender based on subjective orthodoxy. There's the explicit message, and the implicit messages..., for they are legion.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Wow. a whole host of deniers on this blog! The gender ideology trumps definitive declarations from the Church. Note that no one can presume to become a priest. One has to be called (Heb 5;4) "one does not presume to take this honor, but takes it only when called by God." Here is another apt quote from that letter: "We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. (Heb 5:11-14)
Sam Sawyer, S.J.
1 year 1 month ago

Especially on a contentious issue about which many people feel strongly, it's worth reminding everyone commenting here to please read the comments policy.

In particular, please pay attention to points 4 ("be charitable") and 6 ("choose your spots").

Assuming that people who disagree with you are motivated (for example) either by defense of the patriarchy or by a complete disregard for obedience to the church, as if you've been able to fully understand their motives within a single comment, is likely to be uncharitable. Needing to refute everyone who takes a contrary position is going to lead to over-commenting. Pick one spot, or at most two, and say what you have to there, and then let other people speak.

Henry George
1 year 1 month ago
It must be very hard to feel that you are called to be a Priest or a Deacon and either to be turned down or told that you should not even think about ever becoming a Priest/Deacon. I don't believe that Jesus was bound by any cultural norms - so if He wished to have created female Apostles and thus Bishops/Priests/Deacons - He would have. If you think Humans can change the Church however they so wish then why would you not join a Protestant Church or a very liberal quasi-Catholic Church ? If you think the Holy Spirit is speaking to you move the Catholic Church to allow the possibility of Women Priests/Deacons then remain in the Church and speak out as your conscience dictates. Meanwhile, all of us can continue to reach out to the less fortunate.
Frank Bergen
1 year 1 month ago
I'm sorry but I can't resist commenting. I love my Jesuit brother Francis, who seems simply to have said he's not disagreeing with John Paul. He'll quite likely never deal formally with the subject. Shouldn't those chosen to lead the church be thinking with the church, the people of God of the present age, rather than assuming that all the truly important questions were answered in the past? Some including the issue of eligibility for ordained ministry weren't even questions for long periods in the two millennia history of the church. Not being a strong proponent of patience, I would invite any among you who share my readiness to serve with and be served by deacons, priests and bishops who happen to be female to worship with us in the Episcopal Church.
Crystal Watson
1 year 1 month ago
This is really disappointing but I'm not surprised. The pope has been a consistent sexist since elected. Another reason for women to leave the church. Job well done, Pope :(
alan macdonald
1 year 1 month ago
The Pope has just celebrated the 500th anniversary of the Reformation with the Lutherans. The head of the Swedish Lutheran Church is an ordained woman married to another woman. They are bleeding members every year, because of this "freedom". Accordingly, I am certain they value any new congregants.
Kevin Fallon
1 year 1 month ago
An old nun once said that when God wants women priests, we will have woman priests! It is disappointing to hear the argument that Jesus only selected men because we could also say that He selected only white Jews. It is very disappointing to hear the argument that a predecessor is the basis of any decision. This seems to deny the vitality of the Spirit. Like so many issues in the Church, this is a male domination issue. We can only hope that soon the Spirit will overpower the fears of the hierarchy and their minds will be opened.
Nicholas Clifford
1 year 1 month ago
Just a quick thought on the comments about infallibility above. First, I remember when the CDF under Josef Ratzinger sought to declare (or so the press reported it) that JP II's statement prohibiting the ordination of women to be "infallible." There were quite a number of people at the time who pointed out that the CDF had no such powers, and indeed that none of the conditions set forth by Vatican I for infallibility had been met. Second, that the question of the binding nature of papal statements is a vexed one at best. Quite recently in our own day we have seen the USCCB give the back of its hand to the 19th and early 20th century papacy (Gregory XVI, Pius IX, X etc. on the subject of religious liberty which those men had firmly opposed. (Yet now, in the US at least, there's even a fortnight dedicated to the notion in early summer). But when, pray tell, did the Roman Catholic Church become converted to the view, earlier so sedulously condemned by pope after pope, that religious liberty might in fact be a good idea? At best, earlier popes had seen religious liberty as something for Roman Catholics only. Were those earlier popes wrong? or is our present episcopacy (up to and including the Bishop of Rome) wrong? None of the above? All of the above?
Luis Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago
According to ZENIT, Pope Francis said: "What’s more: the Church is woman. The Church is “she” not “he”. The Church is “she.” And the Church is the Bride of Jesus Christ. It is a spousal mystery. And, in the light of this mystery one understands the reason for these two dimensions: the Petrine dimension, namely, episcopal, and the Marian dimension, with all that is the maternity of the Church, but in a more profound sense. The Church doesn’t exist without this feminine dimension, because she herself is feminine." So the Church is a woman? My understanding is that the Church is a communion, the mystical body of Christ, not a man or a woman. Is the Church a female with a male head? With all due respect for our good Pope, the Christ-Church nuptial mystery should not be reduced to linguistic pronouns and patriarchal gender stereotypes that are no longer conducive to the glory of God and the good of souls. The Christ-Church mystery is not simply a patriarchy, and the sense of the faithful is already having indigestion with this simplistic rationalization; it is not insignificant that Ephesians 5:22-33 is rarely chosen anymore as a reading in Catholic weddings. It is time to put an end to the pseudo-dogmatic complementarian nonsense in the sacramental life of the Church. Also, we can show anything we want using the Bible, but comparing the Mother of the Redeemer's ministry with the Petrine ministry is like mixing pears and apples. The Petrine ministry, and the sacrament of Holy Orders, are part of the sacramental economy. The Marian dimension of the Church precedes the Petrine dimension (CCC 773). The Virgin Mary is way high above the sacramental economy in the mysteries of the incarnation and the redemption. Mary brought us the Eucharist in the flesh, many years before the Last Supper. Sorry, but the Pope's words about Mary just don't make any sense, no matter how you want to rationalize her role versus the role of the apostles and their successors. Mary presided at the incarnation, presided at the cross, presided at Pentecost; and she was not at the Last Supper because she was already far above the institution of the sacramental priesthood, and she is the bridge between the Old Law and the New Law.
bill halpin
1 year 1 month ago
On All Souls Day we pray for all those who’ve died. Does this include dead notions of who can serve God and creation as priests? There will be women priests in the church. The men will come around. They’re ok. God is patient. Listening to hear: Mornin' Mother!
Luis Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago
I love it! :-)
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Nearly everyone commenting below authoritatively claims the Church’s definitive doctrine of the Magisterium will eventually be reversed, and the CDF will be proven 100% wrong on the infallible question. Some say any day now, others this century, others the next and one even 400 years or so from now. What a way to bind oneself to the faith! I suppose one should be willing to approach all this with some degree of equanimity. And humor - I'll stay under 300 words and test another doctrine in the same way this article does. Supposing the following happened instead: Pope Francis was asked if the Catholic Church might one day decide a bodily resurrection didn’t really occur, especially since many no longer believe it and several learned theologians have discovered it is a myth. As he has done in the past, the pope responded that the question was settled in the first century, and it is not possible that the Church could lose its faith in a bodily resurrection. Then he was asked: "Really? Never?" And he responded, "If one carefully reads the Gospel, it goes in that direction, yes." The title in the next edition of America might be: “Pope Francis: Catholic Church Never Likely to lose faith in the Resurrection.” Apropos this methodology, here is a very funny 3-minute skit from British TV in the 1980s, making fun of the Anglican gradualist approach to doctrine. “The devil: is he all bad? Can he be saved” He brings up the pope as an annoying obstacle. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWa3LyvFOdc
Luis Gutierrez
1 year 1 month ago
Well, we shall see, but this case is different. The resurrection is in the Creed, and is something we believe with certainty of faith. The male-only priesthood is not explicitly stated in the Creed, or in any other dogma (including the Trent dogmatic definition of the sacramental priesthood, which does NOT mention a masculinity requirement), so it is something we are not required to believe with certainty of faith. Going in one direction means we have yet to reach our destination, and the Holy Spirit can surprise us by suggesting a legal u-turn. Of course, only the Pope can make the u-turn legal, but he can do it. Quo vadis, Petrus?
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Luis - that is your standard, but there are others, including the CDF's and the pope's. And someone else can just as easily pick another standard, such as "what Scripture is telling me" or as "such and such scientific study proves abc." The meeting in Sweden would have been far different, if history hadn't already shown how Luther came up with his own standard at determining true doctrine. I believe you are sincere, just as most thoughtful Protestants and other Christians are. But, may I humbly suggest that if you truly want to know the mind of God on this subject, you take a pause from the promotion of your deeply held alternative view, and pray for guidance on who to listen to.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
I thank the America editors for modifying its title of this article so that it more clearly represents what the Holy Father said (and it is now closer to what most news agencies understood it to be). I also appreciate the new related article on this subject. As someone who wishes to know the truth as it really is, this is very helpful.
L J
1 year 1 month ago
Women ordination is a First World Nation “problem”. The Church indeed is female: “es una, santa, católica y apostólica” (CCC 811). The article mentioned various other topics. Did anyone notice? The Pope revealed that Venezuelan dictator Maduro requested to meet with him. This is really important. Our brothers and sisters in Venezuela are suffering many great needs. Are you aware? The Holy Father mentioned human trafficking & immigration. To listen to the rhetoric in the USA presidential election is to strike fear in Latinos due to the barbarities that are said by both sides of the political spectrum. One side views us solely as a voter demographic while the other excoriates us as rapists and moochers. Do American Catholics consider what immigrants are experiencing in this “land of the free” these days? Pope Francis also mentioned the secularization of Europe: "a weak evangelization" caused by "lukewarm Christians". The USA is undergoing tremendous upheaval precisely because of a weak evangelization and lukewarm Christians. Yet, not even a peep out of commenters
Veronica Meidus-Heilpern
1 year 1 month ago
Let me say from the outset that I love this Holy Father. He is the most open and Christ-like Pope the Catholic Church has had in centuries. Nevertheless, he blew it on this one. Until this discrimination against more than 50% of the world's population is corrected, I see that as far as women in the Church are concerned there are only SIX sacraments, not seven. Only men have seven sacraments, since the Church elects only men to receive Holy Orders. No, having the privilege of being a "consecrated woman" via the declared religious or lay religious life is no recognizing that women are just as much able to express Christ-like virtues as men. Goodness, he even met with the head of the Lutheran Church, who is a woman, and he still didn't get God's message that God intends for ALL his children to be able to serve him according to how HE guides them. Not even the Pope is GOD.
Tim O'Leary
1 year 1 month ago
Veronica - again you see this gift as one of justice and power, and a matter of rights. The Pope is certainly not God and has no authority to overrule Him on this. That is how Pope St. JP II put it when he infallibly declared this. Note that the Catholic interpretation is that the Lutheran woman has no power to turn the bread and blood into flesh and blood of Christ, since they have long been cut off from Apostolic succession. Their acts have no sacramental power and are purely symbolic. You seem to believe that all the popes are wrong on this doctrine and yet you know with certainty the mind of God. Did you have some private revelation? That is not how the power to bind and loose operates in the Catholic Church. It wouldn't have survived the first century if that was how it worked.
Bruce Snowden
1 year 1 month ago
Hello Ladies, Some (many?) will not agree with the following explanation, “simplistic” nothing other than well meaning lopsided idealism they may say, trying to explain the sign on the door of the Church regarding priestly ordinations, “Only Men Need Apply.” F or whatever its worth here’s how I see it. The author Omer Englebert says, “A woman is usually worth what the ideas of the man she admires (loves) are worth.” This applies too, to men, in relation to women, no doubt. Everyone knows that Pope St. JP II “definitively” said that the Church cannot ordain woman as ministerial priests, not because she doesn’t want to do so, but because from the very beginning it was understood to be not one of Jesus’ “ideas,” although attempts were made, notably in Southern Italy where in 494 Pope Gelasius I, ended the practice. Also, Canon XI of the fourth century Laodicean Council forbade the practice. In our times Mary of Magdala is often cited as a woman acting authoritatively in the Church and she did, but not as a priest. Her mission was more diaconal than priestly, commissioned by the Resurrected Jesus to be a currier of the Good News of the Resurrection performing a “service” in the Church. If I may say so in my opinion, good evidence of Christ’s approval of women as Deacons. One may say Women Deacons is one of Jesus’ “ideas” coming from the Man that Catholic women, men too, admire and love. Regarding the ministerial priesthood, by Christ’s design, men may become His Vicar, a Successor to the Apostles, deliver to God’s people the Eucharist and in the name of Christ forgive sin. But to women alone through biological affiliation to the Blessed Virgin Mary and also through the Grace of Divine Intent, only women, not men, share in the dignity of “Mothering God” which happens by Nurturing the Church, “Breast Feeding” It, so to speak collectively in soul and body with Mary, magnifying the Lord! I mean making God look GREAT! There is no higher office in the Church than that of Mother of God, and you, Ladies, fully participate in that. Obviously women of the Church are singularly honored by Christ in their mystical union of Divine Motherhood, fully grasped when viewed through the “telescope of God” Faith, through which the Mysteries of God unfold – indeed the mystery that is God comes to better light, allowing to understand what is the top job in the Church, and women have it! Ladies, joyfully live it! In short, with love and respect, please don’t rock the Cradle the "Church," contentiously. Instead Cradle the “Rock” lovingly praising God as sharers of His Greatest Gift, Divine Motherhood! We all share in the Divine Nature, but only women participate in the Divine Motherhood! Is this just nonsense, or can you hear ringing the bells of truth?
Vince Killoran
1 year 1 month ago
Catholicism must change … Christian doctrine is not a closed system incapable of generating questions, doubts, interrogatives — but is alive, knows being unsettled, enlivened. … It has a face that is not rigid, it has a body that moves and grows, it has a soft flesh: it is called Jesus Christ.” Pope Francis

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Pope Francis waves as he arrives to lead his general audience in Paul VI hall at the Vatican Dec. 13. (CNS photo/Tony Gentile, Reuters)
"We don't go to Mass to give something to God, but to receive from him that which we truly need."
A reflection for the second Thursday of Advent
Elizabeth Kirkland CahillDecember 13, 2017
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi" hits theaters on Dec. 15th.
Jason WelleDecember 13, 2017
I never wanted to be a priest. But here I am. Newly minted Father Brendan, and still wondering how I got here.
Brendan BusseDecember 13, 2017