Ordination of women priest against Jesus’ wishes: Vatican

May 30th, 2008 - 11:49 pm ICT by admin  

Vatican City, May 30 (DPA) The Vatican has reiterated that women attempting to be ordained priests and those attempting to ordain them, face automatic excommunication, a top Vatican official said Friday. Monsignor Angelo Amato of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, the Vatican’s main disciplinary body, said the ban on women priests was based on a “single fundamental reason”.

“The Church does not feel authorized to change the wishes of its founder, Jesus Christ,” Amato said in an interview with Vatican Radio.

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith - for many years headed by Pope Benedict XVI, the then Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger - reiterated the ban in a decree published Thursday in the Vatican’s newspaper, L’Osservatore Romano.

“Both the one who attempts to confer a sacred order on a woman, and the woman who attempts to receive a sacred order, incur an excommunication ‘latae sententiae’, or automatically,” the decree said.

Amato said such episodes have happened in “certain regions of the world” but did not specify the regions where “so-called ordinations” of women have taken place. He said the Vatican wants to provide bishops with a clear response on the issue.

In a 1994 apostolic letter, “On Reserving Priestly Ordination to Men Alone”, Benedict’s predecessor, Pope John Paul II, said the church’s ban on women priests is definitive and not open to debate among Catholics.

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