GUARDIAN UK reports that the declaration is not a change in stance for the Argentinian pope, who has always said the door was closed on women being ordained as priests.
When pressed on the matter by a journalist, the Pope said, “Saint Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands,” Francis said in his initial response, referring to a 1994 document stating that women could never join the priesthood.
“But for ever, for ever? Never, never?” the reporter asked in a follow-up question, as the papal delegation flew back to Rome from Sweden on Tuesday.
Francis replied: “If we read carefully the declaration by St John Paul II, it is going in that direction.”