Female priesthood – no Synod can invent it

female priesthood

Cardinal Robert Sarah recently delivered a conference on the priesthood, emphasising its unique nature and cautioning against female priesthood.

Speaking at the Conciliar Seminary in Mexico City under the title “Joyful Servants of the Gospel,” the prefect emeritus of the Dicastery for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments stressed that no individual can invent a female priesthood.

“No council, no synod, no ecclesiastical authority has the power to invent a female priesthood … without seriously damaging the perennial physiognomy of the priest, his sacramental identity, within the renewed ecclesiological vision of the Church, mystery, communion and mission,” emphasised Sarah.

In his address, Cardinal Sarah highlighted the priesthood as a divine gift that cannot be reduced to cultural or environmental factors.

Emphasising the universality of the priesthood, Cardinal Sarah expressed that the sacrament of Holy Orders, instituted by Christ, is a singular entity that transcends geographical and cultural boundaries.

“For Jesus, there is no African, German, Amazonia or European priesthood. The priesthood is unique, it is identical for the universal Church.”

Priesthood a great gift

During his discourse, Sarah also delved into the profound nature of the priesthood and stressed that “the priesthood is a great, great mystery, so great a gift that it would be a sin to waste it.”

He underscored the importance of receiving, understanding and living out this divine vocation, highlighting the priest’s role as an alter Christus—an embodiment of Christ himself—and a mediator between God and humanity.

Cardinal Sarah emphasised the essential role of prayer in the life of a priest. He stressed that prayer is the primary duty of a priest, who starts the day with the Office of Readings and ends it with the Evening Prayer.

“A priest who does not pray is about to die. A Church that does not pray is a dead Church,” he warned.


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