On the plane back from a visit to Sweden, Pope Francis appeared to confirm his belief that the ban on women’s priestly ordination in the Roman Catholic church is final.
According to the National Catholic Register, the comments “do not represent a change in position for the pontiff but appear significant in their finality.”
“Is it realistic to think that there might be women priests also in the Catholic church in the next few decades?” the journalist asked the pope.
“On the ordination of women in the Catholic church, the last word is clear,” Francis responded, before mentioning John Paul’s 1994 apostolic letter banning the practice, Ordinatio Sacerdotalis. “It was given by St. John Paul II and this remains.”
“But really forever?” the journalist asked. “Never?”
“If we read carefully the declaration made by St. John Paul II, it goes in that direction,” Francis replied.
“But women can do many other things better than men,” the pope continued, before repeating remarks he has said in the past about the Catholic church having two dimensions: a Petrine, apostolic dimension led by the bishops and a Marian dimension, which he called “the feminine dimension of the church.”
During his visit to Sweden, Francis was greeted by Lutheran Archbishop Antje Jackelén, leader of the Church of Sweden.
Image: Archbishop Antje Jackelén and Pope Francis