Pope restates Catholic Church's ban on women priests

Pope Benedict has restated the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests and warned that he would not tolerate disobedience by clerics on fundamental teachings.

Pope Benedict XVI blesses faithful at the end of a Chrism Mass in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican
Pope Benedict XVI blesses faithful at the end of a Chrism Mass in St Peter's Basilica at the Vatican Credit: PA

Benedict, who for decades before his 2005 election was the Vatican's chief doctrinal enforcer, delivered an unusually direct denunciation of disobedient priests in a sermon at a morning Mass on Holy Thursday, when the Church commemorates the day Christ instituted the priesthood.

The pope responded specifically to a call to disobedience by a group of Austrian priests and laity, who last year boldly and openly challenged Church teaching on taboo topics such as priestly celibacy and women's ordination.

Advertisement

Pope defends women priest ban

Pope Benedict has restated the Roman Catholic Church's ban on women priests during a mass at St Peter's Basilica in Rome to mark the start of the church's Easter celebrations.