On his way back from the commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Pope Francis responded to a journalist’s question about the Roman Catholic Church’s stance on banning women from the priesthood.
The writer asked him, “Is it realistic to think that there might be women priests in the next few decades?” and the pope responded by mentioning Pope John Paul II‘s letter in 1994 that outlawed women being ordained.
The pontiff said: “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.”
The Roman Catholic Church doesn’t allow women to be ordained as priests, arguing that none of the 12 disciples were women, so they also shouldn’t be priests.
This is not a pivot for Francis. He’s previously talked about not allowing the ordination, only this time he essentially said that the ban should last forever.
Earlier this year, Francis seemed to be considering allowing women to be ordained as deacons when he asked for an analysis of the role women deacons played.
Aaron Cline Hanbury is a contributing editor for RELEVANT. You can follow him on Twitter at @achanbury