Cardinals Müller and Schönborn: Ordination of women is impossible

Cardinals Christoph Schönborn and Gerhard Ludwig Müller. (Images: CNA)

Shortly after Pope Francis opposed the possibility of an ordained female diaconate, two German-speaking cardinals publicly have said that only men can be ordained to the priesthood.

“Women cannot be called to this office,” Cardinal Gerhard Ludwig Müller told Swiss portal kath.ch on June 7. “The priest represents Christ in his manhood.”

The German cardinal, who held the role of prefect of the Congregation — now Dicastery — for the Doctrine of the Faith from 2012 to 2017, stressed the theological and doctrinal underpinnings of this view, saying the prohibition of women from priestly ordination is deeply ingrained in the sacrament itself.

Müller, who taught dogmatic theology at Munich’s Ludwig Maximilian University, emphasized “the fundamental equality of all people in their personal relationship with God,” be they man or woman.

Just like “a man cannot become a mother and a woman cannot become a father,” it is only men who are called to the priesthood, Müller said, according to CNA Deutsch, CNA’s German-language news partner.

“The vocation comes from God. One would have to complain to God himself that he created human beings as man and woman.”

Echoing the words of Pope Francis about the nature of the priesthood in Querida Amazonia, Müller emphasized that the “Church cannot be represented by a man because she is female and Mary, the Mother of God, is her archetype. It is in the nature of the sacrament that only a man can represent Christ in relation to the Church.”

The German prelate’s pronouncements follow those of Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, archbishop of Vienna, CNA Deutsch reported.

In a sermon at ITI Catholic University in Austria on June 1, Schönborn said he was “deeply convinced that the Church cannot and must not change this, because it must keep the mystery of women present in an unadulterated way.”

“We were all born of a woman. This will always be reflected in the mystery of the Church.”

Like Müller, Schönborn affirmed St. John Paul II’s teaching that the ordination of women would violate a fundamental ecclesiological principle.

In 1994, Pope John Paul II, citing the Church’s traditional teaching, declared in the apostolic letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis:

“Wherefore, in order that all doubt may be removed regarding a matter of great importance, a matter which pertains to the Church’s divine constitution itself, in virtue of my ministry of confirming the brethren (cf. Lk 22:32) I declare 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.”


If you value the news and views Catholic World Report provides, please consider donating to support our efforts. Your contribution will help us continue to make CWR available to all readers worldwide for free, without a subscription. Thank you for your generosity!

Click here for more information on donating to CWR. Click here to sign up for our newsletter.


About Catholic News Agency 10864 Articles
Catholic News Agency (www.catholicnewsagency.com)

10 Comments

  1. When Pope Francis was asked if he would approve a female diaconate, he replied, and signaled (?): “If it is deacons with holy orders, no.”

    And what purpose or foreseeable (!) consequence of crypto-deaconesses who are not ordained?

    In the secular domain, gradualist accommodation is what gave us “civil unions,” not as the endgame but as the halfway house to “gay marriage.” So, within the Church, instead of the oxymoron gay marriage (now crypto-blessed as “couples”), we’ll surely get non-ordination of deaconesses—BUT with a different redefinition and a special “mission”? Not a linear half-way house, but a niche?

    Their non-ordained NICHE—perhaps under archdeaconess Jeannine Gramick and the coupled photo-op James Martin—will it be to “informally, non-liturgically and spontaneously” administer crypto-blessings to irregular “couples”?

    This controversial and divisive role OFFLOADED from the ordained priesthood? And, resulting in a parallel church-within-a-Church? As a local option, of course, and within a polyhedral Church! Very synodal. And, almost Islamic—a gay “dhimmi” within the big-tent and formerly coherent Catholic Church. Universal disunity as a Fernandezian accommodation of der Synodal Weg…Hegelian ideology in action, masquerading as a development of doctrine…

    SUMMARY: the German Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel smiles—thesis, antithesis, and synthesis!!!

  2. Everytime y’all bleatqbout young women exiting the church in droves, remember this.

    Without ordained women y’all are nailing your own coffin shut. If driving women away from the church is your end game, congratulations you’re doing a smash up job!!! 🥳

    Once the women all leave, the men won’t be too far behind. But it seems that’s what all of the old Catholics want – no future for their children or grandchildren.

    • “Without ordained women y’all are nailing your own coffin shut.”

      Not true. In fact, quite false.

      Exhibit A: “The Church of England has lost a fifth of people between 2019 and 2022, and over 40% of regular worshippers since the year 2000.”

      Exhibit B: “In February 2022, the Vatican released statistics showing that in 2020 the number of Catholics in the world increased by 16 million to 1.36 billion. That means that 17.7% of the world’s population is Catholic.”

      Exhibit C: “The topline numbers continue to show a church experiencing gradual long-term membership decline, much like other mainline Protestant denominations. The Episcopal Church’s tally of baptized members dropped just below 1.6 million in 2022, down 21% from 2013.”

      Exhibit D: “Statistically, is Africa the fastest-growing continent when it comes to Catholicism? According to figures released by the Vatican in October last year covering the year 2021, Africa has 256 million Catholics, representing about 18% of the continent’s population. That is 5.2 million more than in 2020.”

      Try again.

    • What church that ordains females are young women flocking to today? Every woman-ordaining mainline denomination I know of is diminishing in numbers.
      If the Catholic Church looked at that as a business model, it certainly wouldn’t be one to follow. It’s a path to extinction.

    • Steph:

      Churches with priestesses have all declined earlier and faster than the Catholic and Orthodox Churches, indicating that you are mistaken.

      As one formerly Protestant woman remarked, after converting to the Catholic faith: “the purpose of priestesses is to sacramentalize abortion.”

    • Stop with you radical feminism, “Steph”. Your Antifa Catholicism has done the Church grave harm already.

    • I have enormous sympathy for your point of view. I am not in favour of women priests but I do take your.point about driving women away. There is so much wrong with the church at this moment. The priesthood feels riddled with gayness the Pope regularly talks out of both sides of his mouth, he uses gutter language. He has gone out of his way to heap.praise on a book extolling the gay life. Abuse victims seek justice and do not find it. Abusers seem to be lauded. Genuinely the issue of women priests is not top billing.

  3. For Heaven’s sake, dear Fathers: spell it out!
    The Mass is the Sacrifice of the New Adam for the New Eve! It is a foretaste of the Wedding Feast of the Lamb! It’s marital, nuptial!

  4. “Impossible.” I like the firmness and clarity of that word. Nice to see cardinals with a spine standing up for the truth.

1 Trackback / Pingback

  1. Cardinals Muller and Schonborn: Ordination of women is impossible – seamasodalaigh

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

All comments posted at Catholic World Report are moderated. While vigorous debate is welcome and encouraged, please note that in the interest of maintaining a civilized and helpful level of discussion, comments containing obscene language or personal attacks—or those that are deemed by the editors to be needlessly combative or inflammatory—will not be published. Thank you.


*