Pope Francis again slammed door – hard – on ordination of women

Pope Francis, during an airplane presser (please, God, end them) responded to a question about ordination of women.  This would be a question of some importance to Protestants who “ordain” women and to the catholic wymyn who push such nonsense.

Via CNA:

Greg Burke: Thank you, Holy Father. Now, a question from the Swedish nation, in the same row, Christina Kaplan.

Christina Kaplan: Good morning. The Sweden that hosted this important ecumenical encounter has a woman as head of it’s own Church. What do you think: is it realistic to think of women priests also in the Catholic Church in the coming decades? And if not, why are Catholic priests afraid of competition?

Pope Francis: Reading the history a bit in the area where we were, I saw that there was a queen who was widowed three times. And I said: but, this woman is strong, and they told me: Swedish women are very strong, very good. And because of this some Swedish man looks for a woman from another nationality…I don’t know if it’s true, but…on the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the final word is clear, it was said by St. John Paul II and this remains. On competition, I don’t know…

Cristina Kaplan: (inaudible) [USA Today gives, “Forever, forever? Never, never?”]

Pope Francis: If we read well the declaration made by St. John Paul II, it goes along this line, yes.

Greg Burke: Thank you, Holy Father.

I am going to take this also as an indication of the Holy Father’s thoughts about any kind of ordination of women.   I suspect that we may see in the next year or so – make it two – a Ordinatio diaconalis.

It has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?  And a lovely symmetry.  However, I could also admire the chiasmus created by Diaconalis ordinatio.

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  1. stuartal79 says:

    Awesome! I can’t believe I am the first person on here to say so!

  2. juergensen says:

    That journalist surely regrets asking the question. LOL.

  3. PTK_70 says:

    Loved how the Holy Father brushed off the snarky comment about “competition”, as if it weren’t even worth his or anyone else’s time. And his homespun comment about Swedish women well communicates the notion that reserving ordination to men is not a matter of “strength.”

  4. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Been waiting all afternoon for you to post on this, Fr. Z. :^)

    Love it!


  5. Former Altar Boy says:

    I think he could have just said, “It’s the infallible teaching of the Church.”

    Ordinatio Sacerdotalis – Pope John Paul II on Male Priesthood

    Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, “On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone,” is the definitive judgment by Pope John Paul II that, based on the witness of Scripture and Constant Tradition, the Church has no authority to confer priestly ordination on women. Pope John Paul II intends this to be the last word on the subject of women priests and the ordination of women.

    The following is the last paragraph of the letter:

    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 is from the Baltimore Catechism , the contents of which have never been abrogated by the Church (emphasis added):
    Q. 531. What is necessary that the Pope may speak infallibly or ex-cathedra?
    A. That the Pope may speak infallibly, or ex-cathedra:
    1. (1) He must speak on a subject of faith or morals;
    2. (2) He must speak as the Vicar of Christ and to the whole Church;
    3. (3) He must indicate by certain words, such as, we define, we proclaim, etc., that he intends to speak infallibly. [Note use of “I declare…” above.]
    The Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith in 1995 described this decision as unchangeably settled and “to be held definitively as belonging to the deposit of faith.”

  6. JustaSinner says:

    Wow, so that was the high pitched girly scream I heard; the collective scream of the fish wrap editorial board!

  7. WesleyD says:

    Former Altar Boy,
    It’s true that JP2 (and Francis) hold that this teaching is infallible. But this is not because Ordinatio sacerdotalis was an ex cathedra teaching.

    There are three ways for the Church to teach something infallibly:
    (1) The pope can issue a solemn definition (this is called “teaching ex cathedra“). Examples: Pope Leo’s Tome regarding the two natures of Christ; Pius XII’s definition of Mary’s Assumption.
    (2) A general council of all the bishops of the Catholic Church can issue a definition, which is then confirmed by the pope. Examples: The teachings of the early Councils on the Trinity and Christology; various teachings of Trent regarding the sacraments.
    (3) All the bishops of the Church can teach a doctrine “to be held definitively”. This is often called “the ordinary and universal magisterium”. Example: The Apostles’ Creed contains some doctrines which were never solemnly promulgated by a council or pope, is nonetheless entirely dogmatic, because the bishops of the Church have always proclaimed this Creed to be definitive.

    In Ordinatio sacerdotalis, John Paul II was teaching that the Church has no authority to ordain women, and moreover, that this teaching has been infallibly established by the ordinary and universal magisterium. Cardinal Ratzinger confirmed that this was the meaning of JP2’s document in two CDF prounouncements in 1995.

  8. Alanmac says:

    I hope this will stop the perpetual harping for female ordination in “America”, the American Jesuit magazine. They are forever pushing this and same sex marriage, not straight forward, but in a tangential, sneaky way. They must be one of the most unorthodox group in the Catholic Church.

  9. JabbaPapa says:

    The doctrine forbidding the Ordination of women was declared by Pope Saint Gelasius I, at the end of the 5th Century, and he chose, rather than proclaiming it from the Throne, to make it known via a simple Bull. That is why it is not ex cathedra, and for no other reason.

    Pope Saint John Paul II’s own ex cathedra teaching irrevocably institutes the doctrine dogmatically as part of the Deposit of Faith. This alone makes it infallible, even though the doctrine itself was not declared ex cathedra by Gelasius I.

  10. Maineman1 says:

    I want to be thrilled, but at this point I am thoroughly, emotionally numb.

  11. Chris Garton-Zavesky says:

    Game 7 of the World Series between two Cinderella teams; an airplane presser without a catastrophe. I’m praying that there are a few more miracles in the offing……

  12. But this bit is interesting – he seems to leave it open:

    Pope Francis: If we read well the declaration made by St. John Paul II, it goes along this line, yes.

    “Going in that direction” (other sources) and “goes along this line” – to me this suggests a trend and not a finality. Probably a translation from another language, probably Spanish, and may mean something else entirely apart from my “trend”.

    Some people can comprehend a future where women priests exist without compromising the infallibility of the Church. I don’t know how that would work.

  13. Gabriel Syme says:


    to me this suggests a trend and not a finality.

    Yes I noticed that element too, in the article I first saw – which said “its going along that line”. I am not sure if it was down to translations, or Francis’ desire never to say no to people, or the frequent inability of the modern Church to speak clearly and decisively.

    In any case, I would have preferred a more decisive statement.

    To be fair to Francis, he is a not a polygot and therefore is at the mercy of translators and the media. That a man can speak (at least) the major european-origin languages fluently really should be a prerequisite before being elected Pope, especially given the large scale abandonment of latin by the modern Church.

  14. Pingback: Pope Francis’ Ecumenical Trip to Sweden | Big Pulpit

  15. hwriggles4 says:

    Once again Pope Francis surprises those by proclaiming Church teaching. When Pope Francis spoke in Washington DC last year, several members of Congress were shocked that he upheld Religious Freedom.

    I will not be surprised if publications such as U.S. Catholic (which 10+ years ago was pretty bad that I quit reading it), the Fish wrap, Reuters, the Associated Press, and major U.S. Newspapers as well as some diocesan newspapers ignore this story. I would not be surprised if some of their reporters and contributors, as well as free landers, are shocked that Pope Francis upheld Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone.

    Thank you Pope Francis.

  16. Fr. Kelly says:

    I have to take issue with your twisting of Pope Francis’ words. There is nothing in this exchange that leaves any possibility to any honest reader or listener of Pope Francis saying that Ordination is open to women. This in no way, as you suggest, seems to leave it open. In fact, it slams the door hard as Fr. Z pointed out above.

    You selectively quote his reference to St. John Paul’s text, but leave out the words of his answer to the question asked by Christina Kaplan.
    As quoted above:
    Pope Francis: “on the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the final word is clear, it was said by St. John Paul II and this remains.”

    The line you quoted, if USA Today is right about Christina Kaplan’s words, make the point even more strongly by responding to her outburst (Forever, forever? Never, never?) by telling her to read St. John Paul’s document carefully and she will find that that is exactly what he says.

    “Pope Francis: If we read well the declaration made by St. John Paul II, it goes along this line, yes.”

    Nice try. But the words and context simply will not bear the interpretation you are trying to suggest.

  17. avatquevale says:

    I pray that you are right, Father Z: the Holy Father did seem to slam the door on ordination of women priests.
    But has Pope Francis left the door open for deaconettes?
    I regret that it has come to the point where I look for sub-texts and hidden messages in every statement ….

  18. avatquevale says:

    The Holy Father’s firmness on women priests could be the result of meeting the Swedish Lutheran lady priests at the Lund commemoration of Luther’s revolt.
    The bishopette of Stockholm, for example, is openly lesbian and married to another woman priest. The couple has one child.

  19. stuartal79 says:

    avatqueval, have you read what Pope Francis actually said about deaconettes? He has a very orthodox understanding of this matter. I highly would recommend reading what he said. He has addressed the matter on two different occasions, and essentially said the same thing( they were not ordained like men were and had very different/limited duties). Even Cardinal Kasper is against ordaining female deacons.

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