Pope Benedict has issued a rare condemnation of priests who have questioned church teachings on celibacy and ordaining women during a 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.