What did Holy Father Francis actually say about women priests

women priets

En route to Rome, after his visit to Sweden, a journalist asked Pope Francis “Is it realistic to think of women priests also in the Catholic Church in the coming decades?”

The world is finding it hard to adjust to a Pope who speaks off the cuff. He has been dubbed “the Pope of the incomplete thought.”

So the experts and commentators get to work on what he said… and they all come up with different answers about what his words actually mean, usually depending on their own ideological preferences.

One thing is for sure it was not an ex cathedra statement; he was standing up!

Here is the text of the exchange – without commentary.

Kristina Kappellin: Good morning. The Sweden that hosted this important ecumenical encounter has a woman as head of it’s own Church.

What do you think: is it realistic to think of women priests also in the Catholic Church in the coming decades? And if not, why are Catholic priests afraid of competition?

Pope Francis: Reading the history a bit in the area where we were, I saw that there was a queen who was widowed three times. And I said: but, this woman is strong, and they told me: Swedish women are very strong, very good.

And because of this some Swedish man looks for a woman from another nationality…I don’t know if it’s true, but…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.

On competition, I don’t know…

Kristina Kappellin:  Her question was inaudible to most…  Some say the journalist asked, “But really forever? Never?”

Pope Francis: If we read well the declaration made by St. John Paul II, it goes along this line, yes.

Greg Burke: Thank you, Holy Father. ( He is the diretor of the Holy See Press Office)

Pope Francis: But women can do so many things better than men, even in the dogmatic field: to clarify, to perhaps give some clarity, not to say only a reference to a document.

In Catholic ecclesiology there are two dimensions to think about. The Petrine dimension, which is from the Apostle Peter, and the Apostolic College, which is the pastoral activity of the bishops, as well as the Marian dimension, which is the feminine dimension of the Church, and this I have said more than one.

I ask myself: who is most important in theology and in the mystic of the Church: the apostles or Mary on the day of Pentecost? It’s Mary! …the Church is a woman!

It’s “la Chiesa” (in Italian), not “il Chiesa”…it’s “la Chiesa” and the Church is the spouse of Christ. It’s a spousal mystery.

And in light of this mystery you will understand the reason for these two dimensions.

The Petrine dimension, which is the bishops, and the Marian dimension, which is the maternity of the Church…but in the most profound sense.

A Church doesn’t exist without this feminine dimension, because she herself is feminine.

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