LIFESTYLE

Pope Francis rules out women's ordination, says John Paul II had last word on issue

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 15:  (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL OR MERCHANDISING USAGE - BOOKS OUT, BROADCAST OUT, All image rights and copyrights reserved to the photographic Service of L'Osservatore Romano). IMAGE IS NOT LICENSED FOR USAGE BEYOND 60 DAYS OF CREATE DATE. Pope Francis meets with the full College of Cardinals, electors and non-electors in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, on March 15, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The inauguration mass of Pope Francis, the first ever Latin American Pontiff,  will be held on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City. The Pope met with cardinals earlier on his second day as Pontif. (Photo by Servizio Fotografico L'Osservatore Romano via Getty Images)

VATICAN CITY, VATICAN - MARCH 15: (EDITORIAL USE ONLY - STRICTLY NO COMMERCIAL OR MERCHANDISING USAGE - BOOKS OUT, BROADCAST OUT, All image rights and copyrights reserved to the photographic Service of L'Osservatore Romano). IMAGE IS NOT LICENSED FOR USAGE BEYOND 60 DAYS OF CREATE DATE. Pope Francis meets with the full College of Cardinals, electors and non-electors in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, on March 15, 2013 in Vatican City, Vatican. The inauguration mass of Pope Francis, the first ever Latin American Pontiff, will be held on March 19, 2013 in Vatican City. The Pope met with cardinals earlier on his second day as Pontif. (Photo by Servizio Fotografico L'Osservatore Romano via Getty Images)  (2013 L'Osservatore Romano)

Pope Francis has ruled out women's ordination, saying the "last word" on the question was delivered by St. John Paul II and that no changes are foreseen.

Francis was asked en route home Tuesday from Sweden, where the Lutheran church is headed by a woman, if the Catholic Church might ordain women priests.

Francis said: "The last word was clear and was given by St. John Paul II and this remains. This remains."

John Paul ruled out female ordination in his 1994 apostolic letter "Priestly Ordination." In the document, John Paul declared 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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