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Topless Activists Protest Against Restriction on Women Ordination; Pope Francis Unlikely to Reform.

Straight on the heels of feminist groups releasing a pink smoke on a hill in Vatican protesting restriction of priestly ordination to women in Catholic Church, two topless women protested in St Peter's Square on Tuesday demanding a greater role for women.

The incident happened just a new minutes after the 115 cardinals from around the world entered the conclave to elect a new pope to succeed Pope Benedict XVI who resigned last month.

Many Christian denominations allow ordination of women, but the Catholic Church has been strictly following the age-old law of allowing only men to be ordained as priests.

Feminist groups have long been demanding that women be allowed to carry out the Holy Eucharist.

Pope Francis I, who on Wednesday was chosen to lead the 1.2 billion member Catholic Church, is very unlikely to give in to the demands of the feminist groups, as the Church has been very adamant all these years not to ordain women as priests.

The 76-year-old pope, who chose Francis as his Papal name in honour of St Francis of Assisi, is a theological conservative who strongly stood for the Vatican's stand on controversial issues like ordination of women as priests, gay marriage and abortion.

Canon law allows only men to be ordained as priests. And there was only instance of a woman being ordained in the history of the church, when Bishop Felix Davidek secretly ordained a woman named Ludmila Javorova as a priest in 1970 due to shortage of priests in Czechoslovakia. The Holy See officially declared in 2000 that it was invalid.

Stating that allowing only men for priestly ordination is a divine law, the Holy See issued a decree in 2007 that any woman attempting ordination and any priest trying to ordain a woman will be excommunicated from the church.

Several protestant churches like Anglican, Church of England, Apostolic Johannite Church, and several others Christian denominations allow ordination of women as priests.
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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Date:Mar 14, 2013
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