Pope Benedict has issued a rare condemnation of priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and ordaining women.
Benedict issued the denunciation during his homily in St. Peter's Basilica on Holy Thursday, when priests recall the promises made when they were ordained.
The pope said a group of priests in a European country recently published an appeal that gave examples of how to be disobedient.
He said the priests called for women to be allowed to join the clergy, but noted that his predecessor, Pope John Paul, said the Catholic church has received no authority from God to ordain women.
His comments were in response to a call to disobedience launched by a group of Austrian priests.
Their appeal comes amid calls for reform in the Catholic church on issues including the ordination of women priests, abolishing celibacy for clergy, divorce and support for victims of sexual abuse by priests.
1. (Italian) Pope Benedict XVI:
“Recently a group of priests from a European country issued a summons to disobedience, and at the same time gave concrete examples of the forms this disobedience might take, even to the point of disregarding definitive decisions of the Church's Magisterium, such as the question of women's ordination, for which Blessed Pope John Paul II stated irrevocably that the church has received no authority from the Lord.”
2. (Italian) Pope Benedict XVI:
“But is disobedience really a way to do this? Do we sense here anything of that configuration to Christ which is the recondition for true renewal, or do we merely sense a desperate push to do something to change the Church in accordance with one's own preferences and ideas.”