Ordination of women is impossible, says Vatican doctrinal chief

Archbishop Luis Ladaria, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith: ban on women's ordination “a truth belonging to the deposit of faith”

From left, Judy Lee of Florida, Gloria Carpeneto of Maryland, and Gabriella Velardi Ward of New York, during a ceremony in which the Roman Catholic Womenpriests organization said they were ordained as priests. (Travis Dove for The Boston Globe)

The prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF) has reaffirmed the permanent authority of the Church’s teaching that women cannot be ordained to the priesthood, in an article published in the Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano.

Pope emeritus Benedict XVI meets with Archbishop Luis Ladaria (image from motherofgod.com)

Archbishop Luis Ladaria—who will soon receive a cardinal’s red hat from Pope Francis—argues that the Church is bound by the decision of Jesus Himself, who chose only men priestly ministry. He cites the writings of Pope John Paul II, who taught in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis that the Church cannot ordain women, as well as the current Pontiff, who in Evangelii Gaudium confirmed the male-only priesthood. This teaching, the CDF prefect said, is “a truth belonging to the deposit of faith.”

Arguments for the ordination of women, Archbishop Ladaria writes, are harmful to the faithful because they cause confusion—not only about the nature of Holy Orders but about the teaching authority of the Church.

Full story at Catholic Culture.


  1. No women priests, check. No married priest except under very special circumstances, chek. No priest can get married. check. Deacons can’t get married and if they are and lose their wives, he must stay single. check. No gay priests. check. I some places communion services on Sunday are now forbidden, denying the faithfull the Eucharist on God’s day. Hmmmm….is, maybe, the Holy Spirit trying to tell us something? Pray for vocations!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are referring to the Portland archdiocese, it is on weekdays that communion services are no longer permitted. If you were referring to somewhere else, would you please write back and tell us where that is?

      • Anon .. I was actually remembering an article about Portland and I was wrong about which days. However, I know from a priest friend that the AD of San Francisco, “discourages” Sunday communion services. I believe that given the current situation this kind of thing is a mistake.

    • bohemond says:

      ” No gay priests” HA what a joke the sodomites are running the place into the ground. God give us holy priests and purge it of gays. C&H wont be happy until the the Church completely reflects the Castro district… I won’t be happy until there is a new inquisition. Tomas DeTorquemada pray for us.

      • And what would your inqusition mean for me as a Catholic lesbian?

        • Anonymous says:

          What was happening in your home when you were a very young child? Your early wounds have led you to believe you were “made that way”. No, you were not and you owe it to yourself to reject the lies you have accepted to sooth your wounds.

          • Anon .. Again I wish you guys would give yourselves numbers of something … Loving, intact Catholic family. Six older brothers. Some tight financial times but we pulled together. Catholic school. Attracted to girls since I can remember. I’d rather not be put in a concentration camp as a Holy Roller preacher suggests (Google “Rev.Whorley You Tube”) or end up in an inquisition as Bohemond desires. Thank you.

      • Bohemond says:

        C&H there is no such thing as a Catholic lesbian, a new inquisition would mean that homosexuals and their so called lifestyle would not be affirmed, blessed or approved. I am so sick of the need to affirm people in their sin, to affirm sodomy in the name of tolerance. A new inquisition would mean a Church purified of corrupt clergy like James Martin, and gay mafia that occupies the Vatican. For you personally, I will say this stay out or mortal sin, and keep your sexual identity to yourself, no more affirmation of sin

        • Anonymous says:

          Bohemond, you should never affirm sodomy. It is a mortal sin. Being gay is not a sin. We all obey the same rules-gay or straight. We keep chaste and pure in mind and body and if we fall, we confess.

  2. I’m waiting for the time a married female Episcopal priest applies for incardination in the Roman Catholic Church. The Church would likely accept the individual if male. The Church is enforcing a stained glass ceiling against women. Perhaps this is part of the reason ‘former Catholics’ are said to be the third largest religious group in the United States.

    • Anne Te. says:

      Baloney! mike M.

      • RES IPSA LOQUITUR says:

        Mike M has disagreement with much essential Catholic Church doctrine, which cannot be changed.
        If he is Catholic, he is either [1] on a fool’s errand in his posts or [2] needs to leave the Church because it cannot accommodate him or [3] just loves to hear himself talk. I’m pretty sure what he’s really up to, but I’ll keep that to myself.
        But if he is not Catholic, he should butt out and tend to his own business.

    • Anne TE says:

      The Lord Jesus Christ himself instituted that “glass ceiling”. He was God incarnate and could have done anything He wanted but chose not to ordain women, not even His own Immaculate Mother. Just as the priests of old sat in the seat of Moses and represented Moses, a man, the priests of the New Testament sit in the seat of Christ, a man. Futhermore, the priests in the Old Testament had to forgo marital relations while serving at the altar. They took turns serving. Only pagan religions have priestesses.

    • Faith-seeker says:

      mike m—- given the content of virtually all your posts, i’m surprised that you haven’t joined them.

    • Steve Seitz says:

      mike m,
      Both Jesus and his church have said things which drove people away. However, neither Jesus nor his church can knowingly deny the truth and maintain a good conscience.

    • Anonymous says:

      mike m, a question perhaps you know the answer to. Are episcopal priests re-ordained when they come into the Roman church?

      • Anne TE says:

        Anonymous, it would be wiser for you to look up the answers yourself on the Vatican website post by Benedict XVI called “Apostolic Constitution Anglicanorum Coetibus” as Mike M. is apt to lead you astray.

    • Anonymous says:

      mike m, the Catholic Church cannot change that. People who leave because of it do not understand the Catholic Church or do not accept it. I am female. I have no problem with the Church’s position. I believe that they have discerned the will of God correctly.

    • Chardin says:

      I wonder what St. Catherine of Sienna would have to say about that? Or Mother Angelica? Or Mother Seton? Or St. Therese of Lisieux or any number of Carmelite nuns in their cloisters? I could go on and on and on and on…

  3. helen wheels says:

    ephemeral cultural mores
    ain’t same thing as
    eternal verities

  4. St. Christopher says:

    This can really only be news to pagans, or to non-active Catholics. Women cannot be priests. Not said, of course, is that so many of the Episcopal women “clergy” are also lesbians, which would add another issue to any debate about female ordination.

    If you are a woman and want to play dress-up, just join the Anglican/Episcopalian/Many Other Protestant churches that permit women priests. Stay away from further protests, however. You are just making noise.

  5. Chardin says:

    I appreciate the discretion showed by Womenpriests in the photo. They are wearing their stoles outside of their chasubles which is an unmistakably intentional gesture of separation from the Roman Catholic Church. At least they’re not claiming to be Catholic and for that I am grateful to them.

  6. Oh well.

  7. William says:

    All of you dis-satisfied Roman Catholics…come on over to the Episcopal Church USA! We would welcome you and love to have you join one of our congregations which are truly Christ centered and open to all who profess their faith in Him!

  8. Can’t have female priests. The priest represents Christ, the bridegroom to his bride, the Church and the Mass is the wedding feast. If a female priest was allowed there would be two brides at Mass, which is not a marriage.

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