Canons of the Synod of Nîmes
in the province of Narbonne, Gaul
Translation by John Wijngaards
Source: Hefele-Leclercq, p.93
Canon 2. Illud aetiam a quibusdam suggestum est, ut contra apostolicam disciplinam incognito usque in hoc tempus in ministerium feminae nescio quo loco levviticum videantur adsumptae; quod quidem, quia indecens est, non admittit ecclesiastica disciplina; et contra rationem facta talis ordinatio distruatur: providendum, ne quis sibi hoc ultra praesumat .
Canon 2. It has also been suggested by some persons that, contrary to the apostolic church order, - unheard of until this time! - women have been admitted to the levitical [= diaconal] ministry I don't know in what place. This, however, is something church order does not allow because it is indecent. And since such an ordination has been performed against reason, it should be undone. Moreover, steps should be taken to ensure no one else will anymore presume to do such a thing.
Comment: Some commentators have argued that 'levitical' here means 'priestly' ministry. This seems unlikely.
(1) People at the time were well aware of the Old Testament distinction between the ministry of priests, descendants of Aaron and Zadoc, and that of Levites. (2) The Church context in Gaul wtinesses a reaction against the introduction of women deacons not women priests.
Ministries of women in the West
gaul, italy, germany
north africa, gaul, italy
england, wales, ireland
southern italy, sicily
basque area, gaul, spain
This website is maintained by the Wijngaards Institute for Catholic Research.
The Institute is known for issuing academic reports and statements on relevant issues in the Church. These have included scholars' declarations on the need of collegiality in the exercise of church authority, on the ethics of using contraceptives in marriage and the urgency of re-instating the sacramental diaconate of women.
You are welcome to use our material. However: maintaining this site costs money. We are a Charity and work mainly with volunteers, but we find it difficult to pay our overheads.
Visitors to our website since January 2014.
Pop-up names are online now.
The number is indicative, but incomplete. For full details click on cross icon at bottom right.
Join our Women Priests' Mailing List
for occasional newsletters:An email will be immediately sent to you
requesting your confirmation.