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John of Bassolis
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John of Bassolis

died 1347

Data published by John Hilary Martin, O.P.,‘The Ordination of Women and the Theologians in the Middle Ages’, published in Escritos del Vedat 16 (1986) 87-143, here p. 101; also in , A History of Women and Ordination, Volume 1, The Ordination of Women in Medieval Context, ed. by Bernard Cooke and Gary Macy, the Scarecrow Press, London 2002, pp. 31-160, here pp. 83-84, 138.

Information on the author

Little is known of the life of John of Bassolis. The date of birth, education, and even his country of origin is uncertain. He is thought to have been a teacher at Rheims in 1313. The fourth book of his Sentences may be definitely dated 1313. If we identify him with an English Franciscan of this name, his death occurred in 1333; if he is identified with Juan de Basiols of Aragon, his date of death is 1347. M. Pasiecznik, who has made a study of Bassolis, leaves the question open. For Wadding, Bassolis was a faithful friend and careful disciple of Scotus, while K. Michalski and A. Callebaut see him as essentially a precursor of John of Mirecourt and a propagandist for Ockham. In our question, he follows the lead of Scotus. Cf., M. Pasiecznik, ,(John de Bassolis, OFM», Franciscan Studies 13.4 (1953), 59-77; 14.1 (1954), 49-80. He certainly follows Scotus in his arguments against holy orders for women.

Latin Text

Circa distinctionem XXV, quero unam questionem, scilicet utrum pena canonica et aetas puerilis vel sexus muliebris impediat ab executione vel ministratione seu receptione Ordinum... Quarto dico de sexu mulierbri quod simpliciter et absolute et de facto et de iure excludit a susceptione cuiuslibet ordinis. Et dico quod hoc est ex institutione Christi, quia non est praesumendum quod ecclesia privaverit totum sexum muliebrem a tali dignitate nisi quia Christus sic instituit viros scilicet tantum modo ordinari etiam de facto. Cuius signum est, quia matrem suam que fuit mulier dignissima numquam voluit ordinari; nec in ecclesia praeferri Huius autem statuti Apostolus fuit promulgator ad Timotheum, scribens, 'Mulier (inquit) docere non permitto, doctrina (inquam) publica in ecclesia que pertinet ad ordinatos. Et ad hoc est ratio ut discat mulier subiici iuxta imprecationem Dei post lapsum mulieris et viri per ipsam Genesis secundo (! ), 'sub viri potestate eris'.
Opera de Joannis de Bassolis doctor subtilis Scoti... fidelis discipuli... (Paris, 1516-1517), IV Sent., dist. 25, q. 1. 11; vol. 2, fol. 106 va.


"On distinction 25, I ask one question, naturally, whether canonical guilt and the state of childhood or the female sex impede one from the execution or ministration or reception of order . . . .
On the fourth issue concerning the female sex, I say that simply and absolutely both de facto and de jure, it excludes from reception of any order. And I say that this is from the institution of Christ since it is not to be presumed that the church would deprive the whole sex of women from such a dignity unless because Christ thus clearly instituted males only de facto to be ordained in such a way. The sign of this is that since his mother, who was the most worthy woman, never wished to be ordained, nor to be preferred in the church. The apostle, however, was the promulgator of these laws writing to Timothy, 'Women, (he said) I do not permit to teach' doctrine (I say), which pertains to the ordained, publicly in church. And it is for this reason that a woman is taught to be subject according to the curse by God after the Fall (through her) of men and women in Genesis two 'you will be under the power of men. "
Commentary on the Fourth Book of Sentences, dist. 25, q. 1, Opera de Joannis de Bassolis doctor subtilis Scoti . . . fidelis discipuli. . . , (Paris, 1516 1517) vol. 2, fol.106 va.

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