After decades in which “women’s ordination” was openly discussed, Pope John Paul II declared, in 1994, that priestly ordination is reserved to men and the Church has no authority to change this. Many Catholics remain puzzled as to how or even whether the question has been fully resolved. This analysis will review the chief arguments in the debate and attempt to explain why the Catholic doctrine of the priesthood does not compromise the Church’s teaching on women’s equal rights and dignity with men. BIO: Sister Sara Butler, M.S.B.T., S.T.L., Ph.D. holds the Paluch Chair of Theology at the University of St. Mary of the Lake, Mundelein Seminary, in the Archdiocese of Chicago. She is a member of the International Theological Commission and the Anglican-Roman Catholic International Commission, and a consultant to the Baptist-Catholic International Commission and the U.S. Bishops’ Doctrine Committee. The author of many scholarly articles, Sister Sara recently published The Catholic Priesthood and Women: A Guide to the Teaching of the Church (Chicago: Hillenbrand Books). She belongs to the Missionary Servants of the Most Blessed Trinity.