John Paul II Definitively Said “No!” to Women Priests

I posted an article over on the National Catholic Register about whether women could be priests:

These women may think they were ordained but they were not. (CC BY 3.0 St. Mary Magdelene Community
These women may think they were ordained but they were not. (CC BY 3.0 St. Mary Magdelene Community)

Last week, La Croix carried a story about Sr. Ruth Schönenberger wanting female priests. She explains, “It is surely only natural for women to be priests and I cannot understand the reasons given as to why not.” Further, the Benedictine Prioress says, “Here in Tutzing, we, too, have excellently qualified women theologians. The only thing they lack is ordination.”

I’m sorry, Sister, but despite these theologians’ training, it seems they haven’t understood the theology of the priesthood or the theology around sex differentiation. This is far from the first time this has come up. It seems every few years some new story about women priests comes around, despite the Church’s definitive teaching. Can we please remember that this theological debate is settled? John Paull II definitely taught only men can become priests. Period. […]

In 1994, Pope John Paul II declared, “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 Pope said that the Church has no power or authority to ordain women: it is not about how the Church would like to act or about discrimination, but it is about capacity. […]

At times in the Church’s history, certain points that weren’t well-developed before come up for debate. For example, in the Middle Ages, there was debate about how to understand the Real Presence or in the 20th century there was debate if the Church might be able to ordain women. However, after a period of debate, the Church often declares something definitively. Trent closed the debate on the Real Presence with its explanation of transubstantiation. John Paul II closed the debate on women priests in 1994.

Once a debate is closed, we should all accept it and move on to other concerns the Church has for reaching the world.

Please read the rest over there.

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