November 02, 2016, Pope, in press conference, says John Paul’s teaching on women’s ordination is definitive.
Pope Francis fielded questions from reporters during his return flight from Sweden to the Vatican on November 1.
Asked about refugees, the Pope praised Sweden’s tradition of offering a haven to those fleeing violence. He called for generosity in welcoming refugees, spoke of the importance of integrating them into society, and distinguished them from migrants, who “must be treated with certain rules, because to emigrate is a right, but it is a very regulated right.”
When asked about women’s ordination, Pope Francis said, “On the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, the final word is clear, it was said by St. John Paul II and this remains.” When asked whether the ban on ordination of women is “forever,” the Holy Father replied that the statement by St. John Paul “leads in that direction.”
Pope Francis went on to explain that the Church is not discriminating against women by adhering to the male-only priesthood, but recognizing that women have a different role—and in many ways a superior role. He remarked that “women can do so many things better than men.” He remined reporters that the Church has a Marian as well as a Petrine dimension, and that the role of the Virgin Mary is more important than that of St. Peter. “Much more,” he emphasized.
Pope Francis also discussed his ecumenical initiatives, his relations with the charismatic movement, his recent meeting with the president of Venezuela, secularization, and human trafficking.
As he reflected on secularization, he spoke about the experience of France, citing the worldliness of clerics in the French court, a “Tower of Babel” mentality with respect to culture, the legacy of the Enlightenment, and “spiritual worldliness” in the Church.