We first saw this on this blog, and it was also reported by Andrea Tornielli: the Patriarch of Lisbon, Cardinal Policarpo, in an interview to the monthly of the Portuguese Bar Association, said the following:
[Q.:] Women cannot hold positions of responsibility in the Catholic Church. What is your opinion?
[A.:] Your affirmation is not accurate, look, since St. Paul... [sic] The problem that was recently considered is the one of ministerial priesthood. Other than that, there have been periods in which women were absolutely decisive; it suffices to think of the role of monasteries, where they had great responsibilities. The problem that was put was highlighted by the fact that non-Catholic churches ordained women to the ministerial priesthood, which created, let us say so, controversy. The position of the Catholic Church is very much based in the Gospel, it does not have the autonomy that, for instance, a political party or government in general has. It has its fidelity to the Gospel, to the person of Jesus and to a very strong tradition that we received from the Apostles. And already at the time of Jesus there was a very beautiful complementarity between the role of women and the role of men. It was not by fortune that Jesus chose men to be apostles and gave women another kind of attention... [sic] I believe this is a false problem. Once I was here in the Diocese and, when we had a discussion, there was a young women who asked the question: why can't women be priests? And I decided to risk it. I said: you are right, but, in order that others study this matter, it is necessary to know if there are candidates...[sic] which one of you would like to follow it? All kept their heads down. I have met and I know women in [positions of] responsibility in the church who do not want the ministerial priesthood. Once, in the context of an international meeting on the new evangelization, in Vienna, this question was posed, and I said that there is not, at this moment, any Pope who has the power to do that. This would create tensions, and it will happen only when God wants it to happen and, if it is in His plans, it will happen. Once, I asked a [note: probably Lutheran] priest in Denmark, and he was very curious, and told me that in the area of charity, all women are there, with all their tenderness and dedication; regarding the Sunday mass, it got empty as soon as women began presiding. I do not know why. The Holy Father John Paul II, at one point, seemed to settle the matter. I believe that the matter is not settled like this; theologically, there is no fundamental obstacle; there is this tradition, let us say it this way... [sic] it was never different. [Added emphasis]
[Q.:] From a theological point of view, there are no obstacles... [sic]
[A.:] I believe that there are no fundamental obstacles. It is a fundamental equality of all members of the Church. [Added emphasis.] The problem is on another level, in a strong tradition, which comes from Jesus, and in the ease with which the reformed churches went that way. This did not make the solution of the problem any easier, if this problem has a solution. It is certainly not for our lifetime, today, then, in the moment in which we are living, it is one of those problems which it is better not even to raise... [sic] it provokes a chain of reactions.
These are the fruits of the government of Cardinal-Patriarch Policarpo (Paul VI, Class of '78; John Paul II, Consistory of 2001), leader of the Portuguese Church for the past 13 years: legalization of abortion on demand and establishment of same-sex "marriage" as the Church pretended to do something about both as it actually did nothing, collapse of religious attendance, as well as preserving the proud position of Lisbon as the only - let us repeat: the only - Western European capital without a regular diocesan Traditional Mass.
Cardinal Policarpo is the most ardent adversary of the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum in Southern Europe, and has led the Portuguese Church in ignoring it - including the publication of local instructions, now made void by Universae Ecclesiae -, establishing ridiculous conditions for the implementation of Summorum. And what has been his prize? After reaching the resignation age this year, he was proud to report this month that the Pope has decided to keep him in place for the next two years.
It is as if Rome actually wanted to punish Portuguese Catholics with such an abysmal prelate. For the sake of defending the honor of the Holy See, we would have to agree with the second hypothesis defended by the blog Casa de Sarto, reporting from Portugal: the options available to the Holy Father in the Portuguese Church - widely considered in Rome as the most mediocre episcopate in all of Europe (composed of second-rate anachronistic liberals, not counting any orthodox names or even bright and influential "progressives" in their midst) - are very limited... He would have better luck naming as the new Lisbon Patriarch a priest from any other Portuguese-speaking country - curiously enough, an option that, we are told, is now available, after the first Concordat negotiated with the Portuguese Republic in 1940 (a direct consequence of the brave resistence put up by Pope Saint Pius X beginning exactly 100 years ago, in 1911, with the publication of the encyclical Iamdudum), which established that only Portuguese citizens could be named bishops, was modified in this regard by a new Concordat, in 2004. We are absolutely certain that Rome could find a better Patriarch among a small number of Angolan, Brazilian, Mozambican, or Timorese priests or bishops (admittedly, a very small number, but larger in South America, Africa, or Asia than what can be found in the Portuguese spiritual wasteland).