Pope Reasserts Ban on Women in the Priesthood

Pope John Paul II rebuked pleas from a growing number of liberal Catholics in a statement released Tuesday which changes the church’s cannon law to include a ban against discussing issues that include the ordination of women and euthanasia. Tuesday’s proclamation comes as a disappointment to many progressive theologians who had hoped to continue discussions about women’s ordination.

In the move to change cannon law the pope declared that he was acting to “defend the faith of the Catholic Church against errors that arise on the part of some of the faithful, above all those who dedicate themselves to the disciplines of holy theology.” Furthermore those that violated the “definitive” and binding change in law would be subject to “just punishment.” The statement builds on a list of “fundamental truths” released by the pope in 1989, in which he reasserted the Catholic Church’s ban on contraception and the marriage of priests.


The New York Times - July 1, 1998

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