Pope Benedict XVI once again denounced the ordination of women and the abolition of priestly celibacy in the Roman Catholic Church during a stern Holy Thursday address.
Delivering his homily at Mass on Thursday in St. Peter's Basilica, Pope Benedict said the ban on female priests was a 'divine constitution,' as Jesus chose only men to be his apostles during the Last Supper.
Surrounded by more than 1,600 priests, bishops and cardinals the Pope stated he would not tolerate disobedience among priests, inferring to an Austrian group called Preachers’ initiative.
The initiative was established by Rev. Helmut Schüller in 2006 to combat a shortage of priests.
Referring to them as a group of priests from a European country, the Pope rejected their ideas saying they are making a “desperate push to change the church in accordance with one's own preferences and ideas”.
Speaking to the New York Times, Father Helmut Schüller, described the Vatican as an "absolutist monarchy".
"I think that in the history of the Church, a lot has changed, even if not always voluntarily,"
Schüller told the Times. "There has been new science, new technology, new practices. The teachings are always changing."
He said he was not surprised by the Pope’s comments: “But I don’t think they were very harsh,” he said. “There was no threat or sanction implied in his words.”