Yesterday, a cranky 84-year-old man, tired from a "grueling" trip, delivered a stern diatribe against gender equality based solely on an irrational, antiquated tradition. Why do we care? Because that man is Pope Benedict XVI, so what he says goes for millions of Catholics, and he's laying down the law: women must never be priests because JESUS SAID SO. (Maybe, kind of.)
El Pope gave this "unusually direct denunciation of disobedient priests" during a Holy Thursday sermon, which celebrates the day Christ instituted the priesthood, meaning that Catholic priests around the world traveled to St. Peter's Basilica to renew their vows in front of the Pope. He was specifically referring to a group of Austrian priests and laity who have been pissing him off all year by daring to openly challenge the Church.
"Is disobedience a path of renewal for the Church?" he asked "rhetorically," according to Reuters. ("Rhetorically" because he clearly DGAF what anyone else thinks.) He then explained why the ban on women priests could never be lifted: it's part of the Church's "divine constitution," which means the idea of an exclusively male priesthood has been "set forth infallibly," and can never be changed. Which sounds a little Kim Jong il-ish to me, personally. Don't worry, he elaborated: the Catholic Church has no authority to allow women to become priests because Jesus Christ only chose men as his apostles at the Last Supper. We know this to be true because we were all sitting around the table that night and clearly heard Jesus say, "Fuck those bitches, bros only." Female priesthood supporters have suggested that Jesus was just acting according to the customs of his times, but the Pope thinks that hypothesis is merely a "a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one's own preferences and ideas." Ladies! So "desperate" to be included.
The man leading the calls for reform, former deputy to the Vienna archbishop Cardinal Reverend Helmut Schueller, told Reuters that he's still hopeful for the future. "We believe Church teaching can change. It has changed time and again over the centuries," he said. In the meantime, the pope "washed and dried the feet of 12 priests in a ceremony commemorating Christ's gesture of humility toward his apostles on the night before he died." Well, that's nice that they have clean feet.