By Cindy Wooden
Catholic News Service
ABOARD THE PAPAL FLIGHT FROM BRAZIL (CNS) — From his personal prayer life and spirituality to the role of women in the church and the pastoral care of the divorced, Pope Francis responded to several questions about church teaching and ministry July 28 when he met reporters on his flight from Rio de Janeiro to Rome.
On the possibility of the Catholic Church ordaining women priests, Pope Francis said, “the church has spoken and said, ‘no,'” and the form in which Blessed John Paul II declared that was “a definitive formula.” Blessed John Paul said that because Jesus chose only men as his disciples, the church was not able to ordain women.
However, Pope Francis said, the Catholic Church still has far to go in developing a real theology that explains the importance of women in the church and how it would be impossible for the church to live up to its role as mother and bride without the contribution of women.