Rorate Caeli

Vatican spokesman says no plans for women cardinals -- but not impossible, either

From The Irish Times:

The Holy See yesterday dismissed as “nonsense” weekend Irish media reports that Pope Francis might nominate two Irish women as cardinals.

Responding to reports in Irish and Irish-American media that Pope Francis might name both TCD ecumenics Prof Linda Hogan and former president Mary McAleese as cardinals at a future conclave, senior Vatican spokesman Fr Federico Lombardi said:

“This is just nonsense . . . It is simply not a realistic possibility that Pope Francis will name women cardinals for the February consistory.

“Theologically and theoretically, it is possible,” he added. “Being a cardinal is one of those roles in the church for which, theoretically, you do not have to be ordained but to move from there to suggesting the pope will name women cardinals for the next consistory is not remotely realistic."

We are not saying that Fr. Lombardi was laying brick for the pathway towards women cardinals in the future. 

That said, the "progressive" Catholic media has already pounced on this as the watershed moment where "the Vatican" has said women can be cardinals in the future. Words have consequences.