The ban on the ordination of women was published 23 years ago on 30 May 1994 on the Feastday of Joan of Arc. It is interesting to note that the college of bishops were NOT CONSULTED by Pope John Paul ll or Cardinal Ratzinger about this ban on ordaining women. Attached below is confirmation of this from Bishop Geoffrey Robinson's book:
The College of Bishops
In the circumstances I have outlined, the college of bishops does not play the role in the church today that it should.
In the twenty years I worked as an active bishop I can remember very few occasions when the pope consulted the body of bishops and none when the pope asked the bishops to vote on an issue. We were not asked to vote before the publication of the document on the ordination of women, not even when the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith spoke of this teaching as ‘infallible’, with the pope doing nothing to contradict him. If bishops are not asked their opinion even when the word ‘infallible’ is in the air, the college of bishops would seem to have no practical importance in the church, and the statement of the Second Vatican Council that this college is a co-holder of supreme power would seem to have little meaning. No explanation was given as to why the bishops were not consulted, but one may surely ask whether the reason was that some people close to the pope were afraid that the bishops would not give this teaching the near-unanimous endorsement that alone would have given credence to the use of the word ‘infallible’ in speaking of it. 36
Foot Note 36: In fact, a kind of consultation did take place, but it only serves to strengthen the points I have made. The presidents of the Bishop’s Conferences of the world were called to Rome. There they were presented with a completed document banning the ordination of women and were asked to endorse it in the name of the bishops. The presidents replied that they could not speak in the name of all their members without first consulting them. They also asked for two changes in the document: the omission of the words ‘having heard the views of the bishops’ and of the word ‘irreformable’.
“Confronting Power and Sex in the Catholic Church” Reclaiming the Spirit of Jesus by Bishop Geoffrey Robinson, Page 125, (Columba Press 2007)
Photos: Bishop Geoffrey Robinson and Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger