Catholic woman’s ordination in Central Europe is ‘invalid’: Archbishop Foley

Catholic woman’s ordination in Central Europe is ‘invalid’: Archbishop Foley


The secret ordination of a woman in an undisclosed location in Central Europe this week was "not just illicit but invalid," said Archbishop John Foley, president of the Pontifical Council for Social Communications in Rome.

In an interview with the BBC, the archbishop explained that just as it is biologically impossible for a man to conceive, it is theologically impossible for a woman to be a priest.

"As a man I cannot conceive... is that unfair? By divine decision... there is this difference," he was quoted as saying.

The reporter had interviewed people at a local church about women priests. According to the reporter, everybody she polled supported the idea.

The archbishop reacted to the reporter’s random interviews, saying that the question of women priests cannot be judged or resolved with surveys. "The question is, what did Jesus want? What did he reveal? And what does the Church authoritatively teach? That's the norm by which we must judge, not by opinion polls."

The ordination was held as an act of defiance against the Catholic Church. Three years ago, seven women claimed to be priests after an ordination ceremony that was held on a boat on the Danube River. The Vatican moved quickly and then-Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger excommunicated the Danube Seven.

Now, some of these women claim they are bishops and performed the ordination of the single woman this week in an improvised chapel on the second floor of a private home. About a dozen people attended.

The young woman, a teacher of religious education, she admitted that the ordination worried her.

"I hope that in five years, in 10 years, things will change because there are many women who would like to go the same way, and the way will be a little better prepared for them,” the woman told the BBC on condition of her anonymity.

According to the BBC, the young woman was not able to explain why it was worth going through with the ordination, when she would be unable to perform any of the duties of a priest legitimately.