The Catholic Church insistence that it cannot ordain women to the priesthood and episcopacy is a teaching likely to last forever, Pope Francis said today (November 1, 2016) aboard the Papal flight returning from Sweden to Rome, according to the Catholic News website.
Responding on the plane to a question by a woman reporter regarding women priests and bishops being accepted by the Catholic Church, the Pope said the question was settled in 1994 by St. John Paul II, who taught that because Jesus chose only men as His 12 apostles, the ordination of women in the Church was not possible.
Pope Francis was then asked: "Really? Never?"
And he responded, "If one carefully reads the declaration of St. John Paul, it goes in that direction, yes." There are several theories as to why Jesus did not choose any women to be His apostles, one theory being that Jesus did not want women to have to suffer from the agony that accompanies being an apostle.