April 9, 2019 (LifeSiteNews) – African Cardinal Robert Sarah said that the question of ordaining women to the priesthood has already been “resolved” by a previous pope who declared it an impossibility.
“This question is already resolved: John Paul II affirmed that the Church did not have the power to ordain women. His declaration used a definitive formulation. 'This door is closed,'” stated the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship in an April 6 interview with Catholic website Aleteia.
“Francis has confirmed this by saying: 'The Church has spoken and has said no,'” he added.
Speaking about the “pseudo-reformers” of the Catholic Church, the Cardinal pointed out that the Church was built by Jesus who endowed it with his immutability.
“I cannot change what I have not built myself and which, therefore, does not belong to me. No one can change the Church of Jesus,” he said.
Cardinal Sarah discussed many of the pressing topics that are currently troubling the Catholic Church. Among them is a “division within the Church” which is “tragic.” This division, the African prelate explained, “manifests itself mainly on doctrinal, moral, and disciplinary levels. Everyone now says and thinks what they want. How could we not be concerned if it seems that the Church no longer has doctrine or clear moral teaching?”
One cause of confusion and division in the Church is on the subject of female ordination. German Bishop Franz-Josef Bode has recently proposed to ordain female deacons, even if this might cause a “schism.” Bode is the Vice President of the German Bishops' Conference.
Sarah stated that he would be “happy” to give women more “responsibility in the Church” and that they have “an important place and role in the Church and in society.” “But,” he adds, “they [women] are not valued any better by entrusting them with duties and a mission that God, in his infinite Wisdom, reserves for men. From the Old Testament, God chose Aaron and his sons to exercise His priesthood.”
“It is surprising,” commented the Cardinal, “to insist on a possible ordination of women, because it seems to me, after more than 2,000 years of Christianity, that this shows a lack of faith. The ordination of women will never happen in the Catholic Church even if there were no priests left in the world. Not out of contempt for women, but because it is not in God’s will and plan.”
In light of this current moral and doctrinal confusion, the prelate recommended that Catholics “hold on to the boat [the Church] firmly, and pray. In other words, it is our responsibility to stand firmly by the Doctrine, the teaching of the Church, and to pray.”
Pope Francis has rejected in the recent past the proposal to ordain women, yet his recent praise of a bishop – Bishop Fritz Lobinger – has then caused confusion, inasmuch as Lobinger is himself a promoter of the idea to ordained female married priests. In 2016, Pope Francis also established a Commission on the history of female deacons. Its 2018 final report has yet to be published by the Pope.