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Pope Rules Out Women’s Ordination

Pope Francis speaks to journalists on his flight back to Rome, Nov. 1, 2016.

Pope Francis has ruled out women’s ordination, saying that Roman Catholic Church ban on women becoming priests will never be changed.

Francis made the remark Tuesday aboard a plane on his way back to Rome from Sweden, responding to a Swedish female reporter who noted the head of Lutheran Church who welcomed him in Sweden was a woman.

"Concerning the ordination of women in the Catholic Church, St. Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands,” he said.

Reporter: Forever, forever? Never, never?.

Pope Francis: "If we read carefully the declaration by St. John Paul II, it is going in that direction."

Following a 1994 study, Pope John Paul ruled out female ordination in his apostolic letter "Priestly Ordination," declaring "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."

Women deacons

In August, Pope Francis created a special commission to examine the role of women deacons in the Catholic Church, although he did not suggest the church would permit women to become priests.

The pope appointed Archbishop Luis Francisco Ladaria Ferrer, the secretary of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith as president of the 13-member commission. In addition to Ladaria, six women and six men from academic institutions around the world serve on the commission.

The Vatican did not set a date for the commission to begin work or a deadline for it to reach conclusions.

Francis accepted a proposal to create the official study commission during a closed-door meeting with some 900 superiors of women's religious orders, gathered in Rome for their triennial assembly in May.