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Francis of Meyronnis
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Francis of Meyronnis


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 pp. 108-110; 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. 88-89, 142,163.

Information on the author

Francis of Meyronnis (1285-1328) came from Digne in Provence and lived in Paris from 1320 to 1321, taking his Master’s degree there in 1323. Several editions of his work exist from the early 16th century. They present a text which is brief and compact, possibly at times abbreviating a longer work. The three early editions (Bergamo 1507, Venice 1519, and Venice 1520) are textualy identical.

Latin Text

Selections (paragraph numbering by John Wijngaards)

§ 1. Quarto queritur utrum cuilibet fideli possit conferri sacramentum ordinis. Respondeo sic, quia est eius materia debita. Contra patet, de multis quibus, licet sint fideles, ordo conferri non debet. Ista questio est introducta propter sex dubia. Primum si etas puerilis impedit... Secundum si sexus muliebris impedit. Dicitur simpliciter quod sic secundum doctrinam Apostoli qui non permittit eas in ecclesia docere.
Preclarissimum illuminati doctoris Francisci de Mayronis in quattuor Sententiarum libros scriptum (Venice, 1519), IV Sent., dist. 25, q. 4, fol. 221 vb.

"Fourthly it is asked whether the sacrament (sacramentum).of orders can be conferred on any believer. I respond yes, since they are the required matter of the sacrament (sacramentum). Against this it is evident that orders ought not be conferred on many even though they are believers. This question is initiated according to six doubts. The first if the age of.childhood impedes . . . . The second if the sex of a woman impedes. It is simply stated as in accord with the teaching of the Apostle who did not permit them to teach in church."

§ 2. Sed quid de patiente defectum in natalibus? Dicitur quod ordinari potest de potentia absoluta Pape, quia solum prohibetur de iure positivo. Sed de iure naturali potest, et si fiat de facto est ordinatur....

"But what about someone who suffers a deficiency in birth? [= illegitimacy?]. It is said that it is possible to ordain [such a person] by the absolute power of the Pope since this [illegitimacy] is solely prohibited by positive law. But by natural law such a person is capable [of being ordained], and if this is done, he is ordained de facto ....

§ 3. Sed dubium videtur quod ecclesia possit eligitimare aliquas personas ad susceptionem ordinum, ita quod si fieret nihil factum esset, sicut instituit illegitimas aliquas ad matrimonium, ut in tertio gradu parentele. Hic videtur difficile quare non esset si fieret de facto ibi sicut hic. Unde videtur quod eque bene possit illegitimare in proposito, sicut ibi; nec apparet aliqua causa quare non.
ed.cit., fol. 221 vb

But a doubt arises as to whether the church is capable of illegitimating any persons from the reception of orders in such a way that if it [the ordination] took place, it would be as if nothing had happened, just as she has instituted some illegitimacies for matrimony such as consanguinity in the third degree. Here it seems difficult to see why it [the mariage] would not have happened de facto there as it is here. Whence it seems that [the church] is equally well able to illegitimate in the [above] proposition [regarding ordination] as [she is] here [regarding marriage]; nor does there appear to be any reason why not."
Ibid. (Venice edition, fol. 221 vb).

edited by John Wijngaards

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