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Canons of the Synod of Rome


Canons of the Synod of Rome

held under Pope Zacharias

743 AD

translation by John Wijngaards

Source: MANSI XII, 383  

Canon 5. Ut presbyteram, diaconam, nonnam aut monacham vel spiritualem commatrem nullius sibi praesumat nefario coniugio copulare. Nam qui huiusmodi opus perpetraverit, sciat se anathematis vinculo esse obligatum et dei iudicio condemnatum atque a sacro corpore et sanguine Domini nostri Jesu Christi alienum. Statuentes apostolica censura, ut quicumque sacerdotum eos communicare praesumpserit, eorum consortio condemnatus sacerdotii sui honore privetur; si autem hi qui coniuncti sunt, admoniti declinaverint, et ab alterutro fuerint divisi, poenitentiae submittantur ut sacerdos loci providerit.

Canon 5: That no man presume to join to himself in a criminal marriage a female priest (presbytera), a female deacon (diacona), a religious sister or nun or his own godmother. For the man who commits such a crime should know that he is burdened under the chain of anathema and condemned in God's judgement and removed from the sacred body and blood of Jesus Christ.

And we decree with apostolic censure that whoever among the priests presumes to give them holy communion, be condemned to keep their company and deprived from the honor of his priesthood. But if those who live together, renounce [their sin] after admonition and have separated from each other, let them submit to penance as their local priest will prescribe.


The presbytera mentioned here is in all likelihood the ordained wife of a presbyter as we know were ordained in Rome at the time.

Background information about clergy wives can be found here.

John Wijngaards

Ministries of women in the West

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