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|Women Cannot be Priest, Bishop, Cardinal, or Pope|
Pope John Paul II’s Apostolic Letter Ordinatio Sacerdotalis, “On Reserving Priestly Ordination To Men Alone,” affirms the teaching of Christ that the Church has no authority to ordain women to the priesthood. One of the last statements in the Letter reads as follows:
“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."This affirmation falls under Papal Infallibility. For a detailed explanation of the infallibility of this statement, see: The Three Charisms of the Sacred Magisterium.
Women cannot be validly ordained to the priesthood, because Christ did not give His Church the authority to confer priestly ordination on women. Therefore, between now and the Return of Christ, women cannot be priests.
Ordination to the Episcopate is a higher level of ordination than ordination to the priesthood. Therefore, the Church does not have the authority to ordain women to the Episcopate. The Church cannot ordain women as priests or Bishops.
Each and every Cardinal should be a Bishop of the Church. Cardinals are charged with the task of choosing the next Pope, and this role benefits greatly from the gift of the Holy Spirit given at Episcopal ordination. Also, the role of Cardinal generally includes some degree of authority over Bishops. A priest or layperson should not be given authority over a Bishop. Therefore, Cardinals should always be ordained to the Episcopate.
In the past, some priests or laymen have occasionally been appointed as Cardinals, but these persons did not have the role of overseeing Bishops. The role of Cardinal should not be an honorary title, but a functional role in the Church. That role requires that Cardinals be given Episcopal ordination. Since the Church cannot ordain women as Bishops, a woman should not have the role of Cardinal in the Church.
The Pope is the Bishop of Rome. The Pope is both a Bishop and the leader of the Bishops. Ordination to the Episcopate is a necessary condition for a valid election of a Pope. Since the Church cannot ordain women as Bishops, a woman cannot be Pope.
Concerning the claim that a woman was once elected Pope centuries ago (the so-called "Pope Joan"), such an election could not possibly have been valid, because Episcopal ordination is a necessary condition for the valid election of a Pope and women cannot be validly ordained to the Episcopate. A person who falsely claims to be Pope is called an antipope.
If anyone would ever claim to have ordained a woman as priest or bishop, such an ‘ordination’ would be both invalid and illicit. It is invalid, meaning that the woman is not ordained in any sense of the word, neither in God’s eyes, nor in the eyes of the Church, nor would she in truth have any of the priestly faculties, such as the ability to consecrate the Eucharist or to forgive sins. It is also illicit, meaning that it is a sin for anyone to attempt to ordain a woman to the priesthood or to the Episcopate, and a sin for any woman to claim that she has been ordained as priest or as Bishop.