According to the Catholic church, allowing women to become priests is a violation of 'the sacrament of holy orders' and under church law, it falls into the same category of gravest crimes, in the same category as heresy, schism and the sexual abuse of minors.
Their controversial stance on this issue has angered female campaigners who said the ordination of women is morally equal, something which the Vatican categorically denies.
Those women who do seek to become priests, and those bishops who ordain them will face automatic excommunication from the Vatican.
The Vatican’s revised in house rules came about after recent revelations of hundreds of new cases of priests who abused children, and Vatican officials and bishops who covered up for them and stood by passively.
The new rules attempt to control procedures and penalties for the most serious sacramental crimes, which includes the attempted ordination of women, and clerical sexual abuse of minors.
The Vatican's sex crimes prosecutor Charles Scicluna said that clerical abuse is 'an egregious violation of moral law' reported The Huffington Post. 'An attempted ordination of a woman is grave, but on another level: it is a wound, it is an attempt against the Catholic faith on the sacrament of (holy) orders. So they are [both] grave, but on different levels.'