Canons of the Synod of Epaon


Canons of the Synod of Worms

868 AD

Worms lies in Germany near Mainz. It was a well-know ecclesiastical centre.

Source: MANSI XV, 882  

Canon 73. Diaconissam non ordinandam ante annum quadragesimum et hoc summo libramine. Si vero suscipiens manus impositionem et aliquantum temporis in ministerio permanens, semetipsam tradat nuptiis, gratiae dei contumeliam faciens anathemizetur ... cum eo, qui eidem copulatur".

Canon 73. "No woman should be ordained before she is forty years old and then with great discretion.
If, however, after receiving the laying on of hands and having stayed for some time in the ministry, she then gives herself over to marriage, she will be excommunicated because she has put shame on God's grace . . . as also the man who is joined to her."

Comment: This injunction, based on the Universal Council of Chalcedon, shows that the diaconate of women functioned in Germanic lands during the 9th century. The references to the 'laying on of hands' and the deacon's 'ministry' both speak of a real ordination and a ministry as deacon.

Ministries of women in the West

gaul, italy, germany
north africa, gaul, italy
england, wales, ireland
southern italy, sicily
basque area, gaul, spain
england, germany

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See our Documented Appeal to Pope Francis to Request the Re-instatement of the Ordained Diaconate for Women.

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