Pope Francis said he believes the Catholic church may well never accept women priests in some of his most definitive remarks on the controversial issue.
The pontiff, who has proved socially liberal on many topics, said his predecessor Pope John Paul II's 1994 ruling against opening up the clergy to women still stands.
When pressed over that would remain the case forever, he replied: "If we read carefully the declaration by St.John Paul II, it is going in that direction."
The Catholic Church teaches that women cannot be ordained priests because Jesus willingly chose only men as his apostles.
Those calling for women priests say he was only following the norms of his time.
Those who wear face veils in public are liable to a £664 fine and a suspension of social benefits.Read the full story ›
Pope Francis paid a visit to a maternity ward in Rome and a hospice for the terminally ill, as part of the Holy Year of Mercy.Read the full story ›
The former Bishop of Durham who notoriously once questioned the Virgin Birth has died at the age of 91, his family has said.Read the full story ›
The Roman Catholic nun was declared a saint by Pope Francis in a ceremony in the Vatican on Sunday where thousands of people attended.Read the full story ›
Bishop says he never hid sexuality while conservative group condemns "major error" as church faces internal debate over gay relationships.Read the full story ›
Nicholas Chamberlain is the first Church of England bishop to come out as gay after a Sunday newspaper reportedly threatened to expose him.Read the full story ›
Crisis talks are being held over fears that trainee Catholic priests in Ireland are using the gay dating app Grindr.Read the full story ›
Unemployment rates among Muslims are the highest of all religious and ethnic groups and more must be done to tackle this, MPs have warned.Read the full story ›