London, July 16 (ANI): New rules announced by the Vatican have declared that ordaining women as Roman Catholic priests is a "crime against the faith" and subject to discipline by its watchdog.
The Telegraph quoted Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, as saying that the new rules put attempts at ordaining women among the "most serious crimes" alongside paedophilia and will be handled by investigators from the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (CDF), considered the successor to the Inquisition.
The unexpected ruling follows Pope Benedict XVI's open-armed welcome to Anglican clergy dissatisfied with General Synod attempts to compromise over calls for the ordination of women as bishops.
Under current plans the first women bishops could be ordained in the Anglican Church as soon as 2014, a move which has caused a deep schism between reformers and traditionalists, who threaten to leave the Church of England in droves and defect to Rome.
However, within the Roman Catholic Church itself, there have been growing calls to allow women to become priests in the wake of the widespread paedophilia scandal.
But the Vatican has made its stance clear on by comparing such actions to child abuse crimes and issuing new rules for investigating both by the same disciplinary body. (ANI)