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Letter from Rome: Confusion over women's ordination

A cardinal says he's open to women's ordination; a priest who did so remains suspended

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Letter from Rome: Confusion over women's ordination

Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich is the archbishop of Luxembourg.

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One of the world's most influential cardinals recently admitted that he is "open" to the idea of ordaining women to the Catholic priesthood.

"I am not saying that women have to become priests; I just don't know. But I'm open to it," said Cardinal Jean-Claude Hollerich SJ in an interview published Sept. 13 on the website of KNA, the German Catholic news agency.

Hollerich is a high-profile cardinal with international stature due to his position as president of the Commission of the Episcopal Conferences of the European Union. He's also archbishop of his native Luxembourg. So his views matter.

But just a few days after he commented on women priests, Tony Flannery — the Irish Redemptorist who was suspended from priestly ministry in 2012, primarily for his support of women's ordination — revealed that the Vatican had sent him a series of doctrinal proposals in July (via his superior general) to which he would have to "submit" as a first step towards "a gradual readmission" to public ministry.

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