Cardinal Hollerich does not rule out ordination of women in principle

Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich has said he considers the admission of women to ordained offices in the Catholic Church possible in principle.

 Luxembourg Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich has said he considers the admission of women to ordained offices in the Catholic Church possible in principle.

In an interview with the Croatian weekly Glas Koncila published on Sunday, Hollerich said the ban on the ordination of women was “probably” not an infallible doctrine of the pope.

“In time,” a Pope could take a different decision on this question than John Paul II did in 1994, he said.

On the current state of the debate, Hollerich said: “Pope Francis does not want the ordination of women, and I am completely obedient to that. But people continue to discuss it”. He said he himself was not a promoter of the ordination of women and believed they should be given more responsibility in pastoral care instead. “And if we achieve that, then we can perhaps see if there still is a desire among women for ordination.”

Hollerich stressed that it was necessary to seek the approval of the orthodox churches for such a far-reaching change. “We could never do that if it would jeopardise our fraternity with the Orthodox or if it would polarise the unity of our Church,” he said.

In the interview Hollerich also commented on the Catholic Church’s teaching on homosexuality, saying: “If we say (to homosexuals) everything they do is intrinsically wrong, it is like saying their life has no value”. He added: “Homosexual people must feel welcome in our house. Otherwise, they will go away”.

Hollerich noted that Pope Francis had said practised homosexuality was a sin, just as all sex outside marriage was sin. He said he himself found “dubious” the part of Catholic teaching that said homosexual acts are “intrinsically disordered”. It was “crude” to reduce homosexuality to unordered sexual acts he said.

With regard to the Synodal Path in Germany, Hollerich said the Pope criticised it because Catholic laypeople’s associations had acted like trade unions in the process. This was very different from the pope’s vision of the people of God. In addition, the Church in Germany was preoccupied with itself and its structures. “That is not a Church serving the world, but itself, giving little space to the Holy Spirit,” said Hollerich.

The Holy Spirit sometimes brought confusion and then harmony, but harmony was missing in Germany, said Hollerich. “There is a confrontation between a minority and a majority among the bishops, without the willingness to compromise. There must never be a triumphant majority and a wounded minority in a synod.”

Originally reported by KNA Germany. 

Leave a comment

Subscribe to The Synodal Times weekly newsletter


Become a Member

Ireland’s only synodal publication is available for under €2.50 a month.

Join today to access all the latest analysis from the ongoing Irish Synod.

Members also receive a FREE eBook of The Synodal Pathway.

€25 per annum