Two months ago, an important Vatican milestone passed in basic silence. Oct. 15 marked the 40th anniversary of Inter Insigniores, a document of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued under Pope Paul VI, which spelled out the reasons why women cannot be ordained as Catholic priests.
It came in response to the first ordinations of female clergy in the Anglican communion, and ever since it’s remained the basis for the Church’s position, although it was amplified and developed in St. Pope John Paul II’s 1994 document Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, in which the pontiff couldn’t have been more clear: “We declare that the Church has no authority whatsoever to confer priestly ordination on women, and that this judgment is to be definitively held by all the Church’s faithful.”
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