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Pope Benedict Reaffirms Ban on Woman Priests
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The chief doctrinal enforcer of the Vatican directly denounced disobedient priests on Holy Thursday morning Mass, on the day the Church commemorates the institution of priesthood by Christ.

The Pope specifically responded to a call to disobedience by a group of Austrian priests and laity, who had openly challenged the teachings of the Catholic Church on topics like priestly celibacy and women’s ordination.

The Pope asked, “Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church?” Benedict noted that in its “call to disobedience” the Austrian group had challenged “definitive decisions of the Church’s magisterium such as the question of women’s ordination …”

  
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Benedict further asserted that the ban on women priests was part of the Church’s “divine constitution” according to a major 1994 document by John Paul ll.

Benedict follows his own ruling as Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, who was then the head of Vatican’s doctrinal department and held that an exclusively male priesthood had been “set forth infallibly.”

The Catholic Church holds that Jesus Christ willingly chose only men as his apostles when he instituted priesthood at the Last Supper and therefore the Church has no authority to allow women to become priests.

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While detractors hold that what has been carried down to the public of the lives of Jesus Christ were according to social mores accepted 2000 years ago, and according to the custom of those times, the church disagrees.

Addressing the ‘disobedient’ demanding ordaining of women, the Pope said, “Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the precondition for true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one’s own preferences and ideas?”



Reformist Austrian Catholics have challenged the conservative policies of the Church for decades and the current leader of the group, Reverend Helmut Schueller expressed, “We believe Church teaching can change. It has changed time and again over the centuries. It is our hope that that can happen again in future.”

In response to the Catholic Church refusing to change its ways and in reactions to priestly pedophilia, a record 87,000 Austrians left the Church in 2010. Similar demands have been raised by Catholic reform groups in Germany, Ireland, and the United States.



 

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