Over the last couple of years, women have succeeded in breaking down a lot of walls in different sectors of life.

The fact that there is a female candidate, Hillary Clinton, in the United States of America presidential election shows how much ground has been broken.

However, it does not seem like this is going to spread to the Roman Catholic Church, as a recent statement from Pope Francis has confirmed.

During a recent interview on a plane from Sweden to Rome, the Catholic leader shut down any hopes of having a female priest, Christian Today reports.

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Speaking to a Swedish female reporter, who asked for his opinion on this controversial matter, after noting that he had just been welcomed in Sweden by the head of the Lutheran Church, who is a woman, the Pope said the ban on female priests is forever.

"But forever, forever? Never, never?", she asked. To this, Pope Francis responded: "If we read carefully the declaration by St John Paul II, it is going in that direction."

"St Pope John Paul II had the last clear word on this and it stands, this stands," he added.

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In 1994, Pope John Paul closed the door on female priesthood in a document.

A group that promotes female priesthood, the Women's Ordination Conference (WOC), have responded to this.

In a statement, titled, "Patriarchy Will Not Have the Last Word", said the Pope John Paul document was "outdated, fallible and painful", adding that they were "profoundly disappointed" by these comments.

"The Church cannot be afraid to examine customs when they no longer communicate or resonate with the gospel. A Church that is not open to the gifts of half of its membership is unsustainable and out-of-touch with the needs of its people," WOC said.

All of this comes after Pope Francis raised the hopes of many women by setting up a group to study the role of women deacons in early Christianity.

This was done in August, 2016.

Do you agree with Pope Francis and John Paul II's stance on female priesthood?