Never! What, Never? Well, Hardly Ever

Thanks to Gilbert and Sullivan for our title.

Will there never be Roman Catholic women priests?  When asked about women priests, the pope is interpreted as saying, “Never.  Not hardly ever.”

Pope Francis has [very recently] ruled out a woman ever serving as a priest in the Roman Catholic church.

The declaration is not a change in stance for the Argentinian pope, who has always said the door was closed on women being ordained as priests.

But when he was asked and then pressed on the matter by a Swedish journalist during a press conference onboard the papal plane, Francis suggested the ban would be eternal.

“Saint Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands,” Francis said in his initial response, referring to a 1994 document stating that women could never join the priesthood.

Francis replied: “If we read carefully the declaration by St John Paul II, it is going in that direction.”

The pope went on to say women did “many other things better than men”, emphasising what has been called the “feminine dimension of the church”.


The argument is that Jesus only choose male disciples.  So therefore … .  People who want to contest this line of reasoning might look at how theologians have managed to distinguish between acceptable changes (e.g., Jesus never drove cars, had radiation for cancer, etc. but we can) and others (using ‘artificial’ birth control, allowing women priests).

I’m just sad when arbitrarily selected features of a society existing thousands of years ago are preserved today in institutions with enormous power.  Because we know that such power has been passed on, but seldom really shared.