National Catholic Reporter

The Independent News Source

Pope has 'no authority' to ordain women

 | 

VATICAN CITY -- In his latest book, Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed that the church has "no authority" to ordain women as priests and rejected the idea that the rule was formed only because the church originated in a patriarchal society.

The pope said that man did not produce the form of the church, and does not have the power to change it. Christ gave the form of the priesthood when he chose his male Apostles, he said in the book-interview, "Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times."

"The church has 'no authority' to ordain women. The point is not that we are saying we don't want to, but that we can't," he said. This requires obedience by Catholics today, he added.

"This obedience may be arduous in today's situation, but it is important precisely for the church to show that we are not a regime based on arbitrary rule. We cannot do what we want," the pope said.

In the book, the pope responded to the argument that ordination was restricted to men only because priestesses would have been unthinkable 2,000 years ago.

"That is nonsense, since the world was full of priestesses at the time," the pope answered. "All religions had their priestesses, and the astonishing thing was actually that they were absent from the community of Jesus Christ."

envelope.jpgIntroducing “A Roman Observer,” a new bi-weekly column from Robert Mickens featuring commentary and analysis on the latest news from the Vatican and the Eternal City.

Sign up for email alerts here.

The pope said there can be no question of discrimination in the church because women perform so many meaningful functions.

"Women have so eminent a significance that in many respects they shape the image of the church more than men do," he said, noting famous religious figures such as Blessed Teresa of Calcutta.

NCR Comment code: (Comments can be found below)

Before you can post a comment, you must verify your email address at Disqus.com/verify.
Comments from unverified email addresses will be deleted.

  • Be respectful. Do not attack the writer. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  • Don't use obscene, profane or vulgar language.
  • Stay on point. Comments that stray from the original idea will be deleted. NCR reserves the right to close comment threads when discussions are no longer productive.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through. If you see something objectionable, please click the "Report abuse" button. Once a comment has been flagged, an NCR staff member will investigate.

For more detailed guidelines, visit our User Guidelines page.

For help on how to post a comment, visit our reference page.

 

Feature_ad_Family-synod3.jpg

NCR Email Alerts

 

In This Issue

September 26-October 9, 2014

09-26-2014.jpg

Not all of our content is online. Subscribe to receive all the news and features you won't find anywhere else.