Pope Francis has made it clear, Saint John Paul II still rules when it comes to the question of women priests.
Following an ecumenical service with members of the Lutheran Church, a reporter asked Pope Francis if he thought women might serve as Catholic priests and bishops.
Pope Francis made this reply, “St. Pope John Paul II has the last clear word on this and it stands.”
The question was pitched to him while he was flying back to Rome.
The reporter attempted to pin Pope Francis down to making a definite statement. “Forever, forever? Never, never?”
“If we read carefully,” Pope Francis explained, “the declaration by St. John Pail II, it is going in that direction.”
In 1994, Pope John Paul II wrote in an apostolic 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, 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.”
Men and women are each created by God to fulfill different, yet important roles in the world. Not every role is open to us. For example, men may not bear children.
The Church has no authority to change what God established. Not even the pope has this authority.
Rather than lamenting these differences, we should recognize the unique roles given to us by God and seek how we can discern our vocation to serve God and one another.