Pope Francis Could Appoint a Woman Cardinal, Leading Church Figure Says

by Orthodoxy Cognate PAGE on January 14, 2018

in Featured, Featured News, News

© AP Photo/ L'Osservatore Romano/Pool

© AP Photo/ L’Osservatore Romano/Pool

Sputniknews – 14/1/18

Comments by a leading American Catholic cleric hint that a woman could soon enter the College of Cardinals putting the leadership of the Church within reach for the first time in its history.

The former Catholic Archbishop of Newark and now member of the College of Cardinals Joseph Tobin’s ground-breaking comments in an interview with the New York Times, reported January 11 on Life Site, on the need to include women in the governance of the Church come as Pope Francis has continued his policies of liberalizing the Church’s teachings.

Now a member of the College of Cardinals, appointed by Pope Francis, Cardinal Tobin said in the  interview that he “doesn’t believe there is a compelling theological reason why the Pope couldn’t name a woman cardinal.”

“My favorite definition of heresy is ‘an unwillingness to deal with complexity’. It’s a desire to simplify into one bite-sized morsel. My hope is that the complexity of the mystery of the church is always revered.” — Cardinal Joseph Tobin

Questions regarding whether women should be appointed to the Catholic priesthood has been under consideration by a commission initiated by the Pope in late 2016.

Pope Francis has earned a reputation for offering a more theologically flexible approach to many fraught issues for the Catholic Church, including gay marriage, the ordination of married men as priests and action to combat climate change.

He recently courted attention by saying he wished to see the translation of The Lord’s Prayer changed, arguing the current popular version implies that God can lead people into committing a sin.

The Pontiff’s positions have made him highly popular among many Catholic churchgoers and even many non-Catholics despite facing significant internal opposition from more conservative figures within the Vatican.

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{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

TomD January 15, 2018 at 10:56 am

This isn’t the first time this has been rumored. It has been reported that Pope John Paul II made such an offer to Mother Teresa and she turned it down.

Laura T January 16, 2018 at 7:53 am

No, he can’t. “Those promoted as cardinals are men freely selected by the Roman
Pontiff, who are at least in the order of presbyterate and are
especially outstanding for their doctrine, morals, piety, and prudence
in action; those, however, who are not yet bishops must receive
episcopal consecration” (Canon 351).

TomD January 16, 2018 at 8:13 am

Correct, he can’t do so without changing canon law, or without granting a dispensation as allowed in canon law (I am no expert on that matter, so I don’t know if a dispensation is allowed). In theory it could be changed. Also, recall that Reginald Pole was made a cardinal while a deacon and ordained to the priesthood 20 years later and to the episcopate 2 days after that. If such rules existed in canon law at that time then there must have been a dispensation.

It would look very odd, I would have to say, for someone to be named to the College of Cardinals who had not taken some type of religious vows.

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