Pope Francis once again rules out the ordination of women

OCTOBER 4, 2015


Pope Francis once again rules out the ordination of women


Pope Francis has for the third time rejected any possibility of women being ordained as priests.
So the feminist and pro-women priests individuals and groups and lobbies in the Indian Church can go into hibernation and pray that they have better luck (they won’t) with the next Pope!


Some of the more prominent individuals and organisations in the heretical women priests’ movement in no particular sequence are:

Bishop-backed lay women Virginia Saldanha and Astrid Lobo Gajiwala, Dr. James Kottoor, Fr. Subhash Anand, Fr. Jacob Parappally MSFS, Fr.
Michael Amaladoss SJ, Fr. Cedric Prakash SJ, Fr. Suren Abreu, Fr. Allwyn D’Silva, Fr. John Almeida, Bro. Mani Mekkunnel SG, Bro. Varghese Theckanath SG
, Bro. K.M. Joseph SG, Sr. Rekha M. Chennattu, Assumption Sisters, Sr. Inigo Joachim SSA, Sr. Pauline Chakkalakal DSP, Sr. Helen Saldanha, Holy Spirit Sisters, Sr. Margaret Gonsalves, Sr. Shalini Mulackal PBVM, Sr. Philomena D’Souza FMA, Sr. Shalini D’Souza, Sisters of Charity of Nazareth, Sr. Evelyn Noronha, Sr. Elizabeth Vadakekara MMS, Sr. Elvira Mattappally, Ursulines of Mary Immaculate, Sr. Lilly Francis, SMMI, Sr. Evelyn Monteiro, Sr.
Jeanne Devos ICM, the Ecclesia of Women in Asia (EWA), the Ecumenical Association of Third World Theologians (EATWOT), the Catherine of Siena Virtual College, etc., Bishop Bosco Penha and Bishop Agnelo Gracias of Bombay, Archbishop Anil Joseph Thomas Couto of Delhi and others.

Several of the above-named laity, nuns and priests are theologians are “doctorates” and/or provincial superiors of their religious orders or are/have been high-ranking office bearers in the CBCI, FABC, CRI etc.


For the third time, Pope Francis says NO to women priests!

The Pope speaks almost an hour with journalists on flight from Philadelphia


Vatican City, September 29, 2015

During his return flight to Rome following his apostolic trip to Cuba and the United States, Pope Francis answered a number of questions posed by the journalists who accompanied him on the papal flight.


“Will we one day see women priests in the Catholic Church?” was another question.

“No, that cannot be done”, answered the Pope. “After discussion and long reflection St. John Paul II, said so clearly. Not because women don’t have the capacity. In the Church women are more important than men, because the Church is a woman. … The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than Popes, bishops and priests. I must admit we are a bit late in developing a theology of women. We have to move ahead with that theology. Yes, that’s true”.



Pope Francis: Women priests? “NO.”


Posted on 28 September 2015 by Fr. John Zuhlsdorf
All emphases the author’s

Women don’t have the capacity to receive the sacrament of holy orders because they lack maleness. That is the case for both the priesthood and the diaconate. Not male? No ordination.

During his flight back to Rome from these USA, Pope Francis was asked by a female reporter if there could be women priests.

Of course, the Pope said “No.” He said “No.” again, of course.

Over at the non-Catholic National Schismatic Reporter (aka Fishwrap)*, there is a piece entitled: Francis again rejects women priests without specific reasoning. *National Catholic Reporter, see the following page

“Without specific reasoning”?

Here’s what Francis said:

On women priests, that cannot be done. Pope St. John Paul II after long, long intense discussions, long reflection said so clearly. Not because women don’t have the capacity. [i.e., it’s not because women are not (fill in blank with “skilled, talented, able to get things done… capable”)] Look, in the Church women are more important than men, because the church is a woman. It is “la” church, not “il” church. The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ. And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests. I must admit we are a bit late in an elaboration of the theology of women. We have to move ahead with that theology. Yes, that’s true.


BTW… papal pressers will be eliminated during the upcoming reign of Pius XIII. So will papal trips and virtually all audiences. Pius XIII will be seen so rarely that the MSM will run stories that he may actually be dead. But I digress.

So, if you listen to Francis’ “No.” on the impossibility of women’s ordination and want to know more, turn to the pontificate of John Paul II and read Ordinatio sacerdotalis. (Spoiler: He said “No.”) Then you can read Card. Ratzinger’s explanation of Ordinatio sacerdotalis. (Spoiler: He said that the teaching which OS repeats is infallible). And if you want, you can follow the footnotes and references back to Bl. Paul VI. (Spoiler: He said “No.”)

By the way, the chief task of the Roman Pontiff is to say “No.” The same goes for bishops and priests.

Anyway, I bring this up because you might want to make some popcorn, put on some Teflon bibs and gloves and eye protection, and go look also at the combox under that piece at NSR.  Some people are having a nutty. Better yet, put on bibs and gloves made of BAM if you are venturing into the fever swamp that is the Fishwrap combox. Blech.

You will notice, inter alia, that some are basically saying, “Well, he’s not an intellectual.” (Read: He doesn’t think that women should be ordained so he’s not very smart.) Others suggest that referring to John Paul II was bad. Their brass ring is, of course, the elimination of the Magisterium of John Paul II. Others say, “He didn’t really mean it.” Uh huh.

Note well:
Fishwrap adherents demand that you accept – without specific reasoning – everything Pope Francis utters about their pet projects. But if he says something Catholic about the fact that women can’t be priests or that homosexual sex is a sin, gender-bending theory is harmful and that it’s wrong to redefine marriage… no, no!… he apparently has to explain himself. Still others are quivering over the word “capacity”.


Again at Fishwrap there are more irritated pieces about Pope Francis’ clear reiteration of Catholic doctrine on the impossibility of ordaining women.

Jamie Manson:

For all his beautiful words about equality, dignity, and not being “afraid to do new things,” Francis still cannot seem to connect his ideals with the church’s perpetuation of inequality, disempowerment, and sexism.


And then there is the wacky Sr. Fiedler:


But this pope — however great on other issues — just does not “get it” when it comes to women. And it’s not just women’s ordination, where his theology and thinking are way off base.

It’s his whole to approach to women. When he appointed five women to the International Theological Commission recently, he said they were like “strawberries on a cake.” Really? That sounds like something that may have been seen as a compliment in the 1940s or 1950s, but today, it’s an insult because of its triviality. But Francis apparently does not know that.

He says that women are more important than men in the church. Really? When they can’t even be deacons, let alone priests? I want to say, “Francis, be real!”

He uses the outmoded metaphor of the church as a “bride of Christ,” as if the whole community is somehow female. And he keeps talking about the need for a “theology of women,” as if we are some strange, odd creatures that need to be studied and put it our own theological niche.

Francis needs to meet with feminist theologians who can explain to him the realities of women in this world and this church.

Then — and only then — will he be a truly transformative pope.

Liberals will eventually turn on Francis.  They will be led by feminists.

There were 35 readers’ responses to the above conservative blog.


Francis again rejects women priests without specific reasoning


By Joshua J. McElwee, September 28, 2015

Pope Francis has again forcefully rejected the possibility of female priests in the Catholic Church, saying simply that his predecessor Pope John Paul II decided “that cannot be done.”

In response to a question during a press conference on his flight back to Rome late Sunday/early Monday after an historic ten-day trip to Cuba and the U.S., Francis said that while women may “have the capacity” to be priests John Paul clearly made a negative decision in that regard.

“Women priests — that cannot be done,” the pontiff said bluntly. “Pope St. John Paul II — after long, long discussions, long reflections — said it clearly.”

“Not because women do not have the capacity,” said Francis.

“But, look, in the church, women are more important than men because the church is woman; it is ‘la’ church, not ‘il’ church,” he said, speaking in Italian and referring to the gendered article used before the Italian word for church. 

“The Church is the bride of Jesus Christ,” said the pope. “And the Madonna is more important than popes and bishops and priests.”

“I must recognize we are a bit late in an elaboration of the theology of women,” he continued. “We have to move ahead with that theology. Yes, that’s true.”

Francis’ answer on the papal plane is the latest in a series of somewhat controversial and frequently unclear remarks he has made about the role of women in the church.

The pope has previously said that the door to ordination for women was “closed” and has spoken of needing to develop a special theology of women.

But he has also said he has stayed away from appointing women to high-level positions in the Vatican bureaucracy for fear of promoting some sort of “functionalism” of women’s roles.

One recent book of 43 essays by Catholic women said the pope’s call for a theology of women “reduce[s] women to objects of study, a separate category of reflection.”

“We resist … any suggestion that the Church needs a theology of ‘Woman’ or ‘womanhood,'” wrote the authors of Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Table.

“Rather than a deeper theology of women, we say that the Church needs a deeper theology of the human — a theological anthropology that can be developed only by the full inclusion of women in the process of theological reflection informed by the experiential realities of daily life,” they said.

In making the argument against women in Vatican roles during a trip to Turin, Italy in June, the pontiff also indicated an equality in ministry between men and women in the church, saying that all women have the “same work” the Virgin Mary had in receiving the Holy Spirit along with the twelve apostles at Pentecost.

The pope’s mixture of apparently wanting to promote women’s voices and roles while not giving women opportunity to take part in the church’s governance structures strikes many as hard to understand.

In an interesting contrast, just before answering the question on women’s ordination on the plane the pope very generously praised the work of U.S. Catholic women religious.

“The sisters in the United States have done marvels in the field of education, in the field of health,” said Francis. “The people of the United States love the sisters.”

“I don’t know how much they love the priests, but they love the sisters, they love them so much,” he joked. “They are great, they are great, great, great women.”

“An important person of the government of the United States told me in the last few days: ‘The education I have, I owe above all to the sisters,'” the pope said. “The sisters have schools in all neighborhoods, rich and poor. They work with the poor and in the hospitals.”

Whaddya know? NCR readers have left a mind-boggling 1227 comments on this story!


Pope Francis had said the exact same thing, “NO”, just two years earlier, but still these liberals and progressives cling to a forlorn hope (see the lines highlighted by me in red colour, below):

Pope Francis and women’s ordination


By Robert McClory, September 16, 2013

Pope Francis keeps making news almost every day with spontaneous phone calls to laypeople, his willingness to dialogue with a journalist who is an atheist and his decision to stop naming monsignors. And now comes his newly named Secretary of State, saying the church needs a “more democratic spirit” in these times.

While all this is most encouraging, many liberal Catholics are walking around with a cloud of gloom hovering over their heads. It stems from that comment Francis made to reporters while returning from Brazil. It spoiled everything for many when he said twice that the issue of women priests is “closed.”

His statements came just after he had been talking about an alleged gay lobby in the Vatican. Someone then asked about women priests, and he said, “The church has spoken and says no … That door is closed.” He then noted that the role of women in the church cannot be limited “to altar girls or the president of charity; there must be more.” But he quickly got back to the biting issue: “With regards to the ordination of women, the church has spoken and says no. Pope John Paul [II] said so with a formula that was definitive. That door is closed.”

He was referring to Pope John Paul’s 1994 document, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. In it, John Paul said the church has no authority to ordain women, and this view must be held by all as a definitive belief.

Then the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, headed by then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, issued a clarification, stating that while Ordinatio Sacerdotalis was not an infallible statement, it is the constant and clear tradition of the church that makes the ban on women priests infallible.

Ever since, theologians have argued whether this is the case. The pope’s document in itself is definitive and demanding of acceptance by the faithful, they note, but it is not an infallible teaching.

Definitive and infallible are not always and necessarily the same thing. The statement by the congregation, theologians agree, is not infallible, nor is any statement from the congregation infallible. The congregation was giving its carefully worded opinion that there exists an unbroken tradition of a male-only priesthood in the church. Yet that position is much challenged by evidence from the very early church that women held priestly roles. The unbroken tradition argument has been further shaken because the ban on married priests has been subject to growing rejection by Catholics for at least the last 50 years.

So what did Pope Francis really say? He said the door is closed, a statement of fact. He said the church has spoken and said no. Yes, the church — that is, the hierarchical component of the church — has surely said no. Note that Francis did not say, “I agree with the official position — end of argument.” Rather, his authority on the subject is Pope John Paul. It was he who said no with a “definitive,” not infallible, formula. Note again, Francis does not say, “I fully concur with Pope John Paul’s reasoning.” He just presents the state of the question and moves on.

So was that a ringing endorsement of the male-only priesthood or simply a recognition of the way things are at present in the church? Was it a betrayal of the hopes of the millions who saw him as the reincarnation of Pope John XXIII or the only thing he could say without arousing the combined fury of one side or the other on this most hot button?

I’m not predicting the priesthood will be officially open to women in Pope Francis’ time. But the kind of things he’s saying and doing may well prepare for that step in a papacy in the not-too- distant future.

Note, finally, that all this talk is about a door, a closed door — not a brick wall, not a barbed wire fence, not a concrete barrier. It’s just a door. Anyone can open the door with the right key. And in the tradition of Catholicism, who holds the keys? END

The NCR is an ultra-liberal publication (no wonder there were 763 readers’ comments, most of them pro-women priests) that falsely projects itself as Catholic. See




John L. Allen Jr., the author of the following article was till recently writing for the NCR (he is now with Crux, the Catholic arm of the Boston Globe)

Why Pope Francis Won’t Let Women Become Priests


By John L. Allen Jr., March 6, 2015

The first pope of the Catholic Church to have had a woman as a boss is steadfast in his defense of the status quo when it comes to women and Church leadership

This month marks the second anniversary of Pope Francis’ election.

The following is from THE FRANCIS MIRACLE: Inside the Transformation of the Pope and the Church by John L. Allen Jr.


On two occasions when Pope Francis has been asked about possibly admitting women to the ranks of the clergy, he has given a firm no.

At the same time, he has said that he wants to see a “greater role” for women in Catholicism, including participation in the “important decisions . . . where the authority of the Church is exercised.” He has also said that he wants a “deeper theology” about the place of women in the faith, one that will emphasize the critically important contributions they make. During his first two years in office, however, there were relatively few steps forward in either regard. No groundbreaking new roles for women were created and no new theological study was commissioned. While Francis’s popularity tends to insulate him against the criticism that such a record might otherwise attract, over time his ability to reframe impressions of the Catholic Church as a boys’ club, at least at the top, will be an important measure of his success—not merely because it’s a question of interest to the outside world but also because Francis himself has set it as a standard.

Pope Francis was born Jorge Mario Bergoglio in 1936 and entered the Society of Jesus in 1958, meaning most of his formative experiences as a priest came before the reforming Second Vatican Council, held from 1962–65. The pre–Vatican II period was an era in which prospective clergymen typically entered the system young and lived in an environment in which interaction with the opposite sex was deliberately restricted, to the point that they were discouraged from looking too closely at women, a discipline known in the argot of the clerical world as “custody of the eyes.”

As a result, when talk turns to women, clerics of the pope’s generation often talk about their mothers or grandmothers, or perhaps a nun who taught them in grade school. They are keen to extol the domestic contributions of women—their importance in raising families, passing on the faith and imparting basic human virtues—which can make their rhetoric seem outdated and patronizing. Francis certainly feels such fondness for the women in his own family, especially, as we have seen, his paternal grandmother, Rosa.

On the other hand, Francis is atypical of many clergymen of his generation in that he did not enter a minor seminary as a teenager, where he would have been cut off from the outside world. Instead, he moved in the hurly-burly world of Argentina in the 1950s, a time when the Latin American nation was considered one of the most developed, cosmopolitan societies in the world. It was an environment in which women could serve in leadership capacities, inspired by Eva Perón’s de facto role as spiritual leader of the nation.

After earning a degree from a technical school as a chemical assistant, Bergoglio worked in the foods section of the Hickethier-Bachmann laboratory, running chemical tests on nutrients. Bergoglio’s supervisor at the lab was Esther Ballestrino de Careaga, a Paraguayan communist who had fled her country’s military dictatorship in 1949 and settled in Buenos Aires with her daughters.

Although Francis didn’t realize it at the time, he would later become the first pope of the Catholic Church to have had a woman as a boss. He has often referred to Ballestrino as a major influence on his life. She was undoubtedly in his mind when he said in a 2013 interview that he wasn’t offended by Rush Limbaugh calling him a Marxist because “I have met many Marxists in my life who are good people.” Francis has said that Ballestrino drilled into him the importance of paying attention to details in his work, forcing him to repeat tests to confirm his results. “The work I did was one of the best things I’ve done in my life,” Bergoglio later said in a 2010 interview with Argentine journalists Sergio Rubin and Francesca Ambrogetti. “[Esther Ballestrino de Careaga was] an extraordinary boss. When I handed her an analysis, she’d say, ‘Wow, you did that so fast. . . . Did you do the test or not?’ I would answer, ‘What for?’ If I’d done all the previous tests, it would surely be more or less the same. ‘No, you have to do things properly,’ she would chide me. In short, she taught me the seriousness of hard work. Truly, I owe a huge amount to that great woman.” In another section of the interview, Bergoglio said that Ballestrino “taught me so much about politics.”

Bergoglio reconnected with his former boss a decade later, when she and her family were under surveillance by the Argentine military regime. At one point, Ballestrino called to ask him to come to her house to give a relative last rites, which surprised Bergoglio because he knew the family wasn’t religious. The truth was that Ballestrino needed someone to stash her extensive collection of Marxist literature; the young Jesuit provincial superior agreed to do so. Later, Bergoglio helped Ballestrino find one of her daughters who had been kidnapped by military forces. (She was detained and tortured for several months before being released.) Ballestrino became one of the founders of the Mothers of the Plaza de Mayo, often reaching out to Bergoglio for help.

Tragically, Ballestrino herself “disappeared” at the hands of security forces in 1977. Almost three decades later, when her remains were discovered and identified, Bergoglio gave permission for her to be buried in the garden of a Buenos Aires church called Santa Cruz, the spot where she had been abducted. Her daughter requested that her mother and several other women be buried there because “it was the last place they had been as free people.” Despite knowing full well that Ballestrino was not a believing Catholic, the future pope readily consented.

Despite his talk of expanded roles for women in the Church, Francis is still firmly against ordaining women as priests or, for that matter, as clergy of any kind. He has even rejected the idea of reviving an older tradition of lay cardinals that would include women. (A lay cardinal is a non-clerical member of the College of Cardinals.) The proposal has drawn influential support from the likes of Lucetta Scaraffia, a historian and columnist for the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano, but Francis has unambiguously shot it down. Francis’s clearest statement on the ordination issue came during an airborne press conference in July 2013, when he was returning from Rio de Janeiro. “The Church has spoken and says no. . . . That door is closed,” he said.

The pontiff’s rejection of female clergy is so unwavering that critics have accused him of having a blind spot on women’s issues. Jon O’Brien of the liberal dissent group Catholics for Choice, an organization that defies orthodoxy by supporting abortion rights, said in 2013 that the pope’s message seems to be “Women can wait while he takes care of more important issues.” In October 2013 a progressive priests’ group in Ireland leveled a similar charge when Francis signed off on the excommunication of Australian Fr. Greg Reynolds, in part for his advocacy of women’s ordination.

In May 2014 an advocacy group called Women’s Ordination Worldwide held a rally and press conference in Rome to complain that Francis’s reforming stance on other matters isn’t matched by his position on women’s issues. “It’s true that Pope Francis is portraying a new image of the Church being open to all and that he is trying to shake off the judgments and restrictions of the past,” said activist Miriam Duignan in Rome. “But despite this openness . . . Francis holds fast to the old party line that says, ‘Women in priesthood is not open to discussion. It is reserved for men alone. Women are not welcome.’ How long do women have to wait to be considered equal and worthy of receiving the same welcome by the official Church as men?”

For many people, including rank-and-file Catholics who believe in gender equality, it is difficult to square Francis’s overall reputation as a maverick and a progressive reformer—plus his specific pledges to enhance the role of women in Catholicism—with his steadfast defense of the status quo when it comes to female priests.

The fundamental reason for the Church’s refusal to admit women to the priesthood is that it’s bound by the example of Christ. Jesus did not include women among his original 12 apostles, so the argument runs, and the Church is compelled to follow that example, restricting the priesthood today to men. Although Francis presumably accepts that teaching, it’s not the basis of his own stance on the issue. For him, the push for women priests is where two forces repellent to him intersect: machismo, which is an especially resonant concept for a Latin American, and clericalism, an exaggerated emphasis on the power and privilege of the clergy, which is virtually this pope’s personal bête noire.

Prior to his election as pope, then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger likewise argued that some models of feminism were based on a utilitarian logic that understands human relationships in terms of a contest for power, saying that on the man’s side of the ledger that sort of thinking “heads in the direction of machismo,” and thus feminism becomes an equal and opposite “reaction against the exploitation of woman.” In effect, the argument was that real feminism is not about an arms race with men, but rather about ending the arms race once and for all by rejecting power as the only way to evaluate one’s worth or dignity. As applied to the priesthood, the conclusion is that it’s a fallacy to believe that women will never be equal to men in the Church until they wield the same ecclesiastical power. Instead, the argument runs, real feminism means embracing “complementarity”: the idea that men and women play different but complementary roles in the wider world and inside the Church.

Naturally, it’s an argument that’s met with an uneven reception, as many women have responded that it’s rather disingenuous to play down the importance of power when you’re the one wielding it. Moreover, many theologians in Catholicism, both men and women, point out that in all its official teaching on the subject, the Church describes the priesthood in terms of service rather than power. If that’s true, they ask, couldn’t the desire of women to become priests be understood in terms of a call to serve rather than a lust for power? In other words, they wonder, has official papal rhetoric set up a straw man?

If anything, Francis recoils from clericalism even more viscerally than machismo. As Francis has defined it, clericalism means two things: first, an over-emphasis on what he called “small-minded rules” at the expense of mercy and compassion; and second, an exalted notion of clerical power and privilege, as opposed to the spirit of service. Francis sees clericalism almost as the original sin of the Catholic priesthood. In informal remarks to leaders of religious orders in late 2013, he referred to the hypocrisy of clericalism as “one of the worst evils” in the Church and memorably said that unless future priests are inoculated against it when they’re young, they risk turning out to be “little monsters.”

Francis believes the demand for women’s admission to the clerical ranks betrays an unconscious clericalism. In a December 2013 interview with the Italian newspaper La Stampa, he was asked about the notion that he might name female cardinals. “I don’t know where this idea sprang from,” Francis replied. “Women in the Church must be valued, not ‘clericalized.’ Whoever thinks of women as cardinals suffers a bit from clericalism.” In his mind, conceding that the only way to elevate the role of women is to make them clergy feeds the mistaken notion that clerics are what’s most important about Catholicism, when he sees his mission instead as exalting the role of the laity. When he talks about a “deeper theology” of women, this is likely part of what he has in mind—a sort of Copernican revolution in Catholic consciousness, with laity and women the real protagonists of the Church’s mission in the world and the clergy a supporting cast. When he traveled to South Korea in August 2014, he repeatedly invoked the unique history of the Korean Church as one founded not by priests or foreign missionaries but by laypeople, and his delight in that fact was palpable.

To be sure, the argument is unlikely to satisfy many Catholics or women outside the Church, who will always see the ban on female priests as an anachronistic means of defending male privilege. But when Francis said, “That door is closed,” he seemed to mean it.































Categories: Ordination of Women Priests Movement in India

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