It’s hard work keeping an institution stuck in the 1400s. Sometimes, reversing centuries of social progress requires taking unpopular stands, like comparing uppity women to abusive pedophile priests. From the Guardian:
The Vatican today made the “attempted ordination” of women one of the gravest crimes under church law, putting it in the same category as clerical sex abuse of minors, heresy and schism.
The new rules, which have been sent to bishops around the world, apply equally to Catholic women who agree to a ceremony of ordination and to the bishop who conducts it. Both would be excommunicated. Since the Vatican does not accept that women can become priests, it does not recognize the outcome of any such ceremony.
The latest move, which appeared to bar and bolt the door to Catholic women priests, came at a time when the Church of England moved in the opposite direction, to a step closer to the ordination of female bishops.
The Vatican’s reclassification of attempted female ordination was part of a revision of a 2001 decree, the main purpose of which was to tighten up the rules on sex abuse by priests in reaction to the scandals that have been sweeping through the church since January. The most important change is to extend the period during which a clergyman can be tried by a church court from 10 to 20 years, dating from the 18th birthday of his victim.