"This is an absurdity," he commented on the issue, according to agency APIC.
The British newspaper "The Sunday Times" had suggested in its Sunday edition that the Irish theologian Linda Hogan was a possible candidate for the Cardinal office. Canon law (Canon 351) requires that to be chosen a cardinal, the person must be at least a priest, and on elevation must be made a bishop, if not already a bishop.
The occasion of speculation about female cardinals was Pope Francis' remarks about women in the church: the Pope had shown himself open to women in leadership positions within the Catholic Church. He had not spoken about anything relating to the cardinalate in this context. On the other hand, the Pope rejected the idea of female priests: This question has already been conclusively dealt with under Pope John Paul II, according to Francis.