St. John Paul II made it unequivocally clear that the Catholic Church will not have women priests when, in 1994, he re-affirmed the Church's ancient practice of only ordaining males in the decree "Ordinatio Sacerdotalis." He stated that the exclusive ordination of men was something already contained in the deposit of faith that Jesus has given to His Church, and that even he, the Vicar of Jesus Christ, had no authority whatsoever to change it. In essence, he was saying that the Church does not invent but rather transmits the teaching and action of her Head Jesus Christ.
Recently at my parish, I have been teaching a class on St. John Paul II's "Theology of the Body." At the heart of this teaching is the realization of the meaning imprinted on the body to love. This meaning is expressed poignantly in the marital act between husband and wife. In light of this, one of the participants asked if Mary and Joseph were truly married, as they never shared the marital act.
Papal names make for a fascinating study of Church history. One could argue that the first pope's name was changed, by Jesus, from Simon to Peter at Caesarea Philippi. After that, popes kept their baptismal name until Mercury was elected in 533. He thought it was inappropriate for a pope to be named after a Roman god so he changed his name to John II. The next five popes went back to keeping their own name until Catelinus was elected in 561. That was either his real name or a nickname, but he didn't like it. So, Catelinus changed his name to John III.
I've seen one of the latest jewelry fashions is a sideways (horizontal) cross. Is this a good idea for Catholics?
As a priest, I am probably the last one to ask about what is in or out in fashion. But even I have noticed the trend of women wearing necklaces or bracelets with a horizontal cross, instead of a traditional, vertical cross. Some celebrities, considered real trendsetters, proudly wear one of these sideways crosses.