William of Rothwell
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William of Rothwell


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

The dates of William of Rothwell are uncertain. A Dominican lector, he wrote probably at Oxford sometime in the late 1250's. He composed a study on the principles of nature as well as a Super Sententias or summary-commentary on the Sentences wich is heavily dependent on the Commentary of Peter of Tarentaise.

Latin Text

"Utrum sexum mulier impediat susceptionem ordinis.
Respondeo: sic, quia sexus connumeratur inter essentialia ordinis.
Mulieribus enim non competit docere, nec debent viris in domino instituto praeferri".

Commentaria de Petri Lombardi Sententiis, National Library, Harley Ms. 3211, fol. 28 ra.

"Does the female gender block the reception of [holy] order?
I respond 'yes', because [the right] gender is numbered among the essential requirements of orders.
Indeed, it is not suitable for women to teach nor ought they to be preferred to men according to what the Lord instituted."
British National Library, Harley Ms. 3211, fol. 28 ra.

edited and translated by John Wijngaards

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