FILE- In this Sunday, May 17, 2015 file photo, Pope Francis arrives to celebrate a canonization ceremony of four new saints in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican. Pope Francis this weekend, Oct. 15-16, 2016, will canonize Jose Gabriel del Rosario Brochero, Argentina's "gaucho priest," the poncho-wearing, mate-sipping pastor who rode his mule Malacara to the far-flung peripheries of Argentina to minister to the poor. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino, File)
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Pope Francis said on Tuesday he believes the Roman Catholic Church’s ban on women becoming priests is forever and will never be changed, in some of his most definitive remarks on the issue. He was speaking aboard a plane taking him back to Rome from Sweden, in the freewheeling news conference with reporters that has become a tradition of his return flights from trips abroad.

A Swedish female reporter noted that the head of the Lutheran Church who welcomed him in Sweden was a woman, and then asked if he thought the Catholic Church could allow women to be ordained as ministers in coming decades.

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