Council of Paris
Lib 1, Canon 45. We have sought by all possible ways to prevent the illicit admission of women to the altar.(39) We have learned through a report of trustworthy people that in some provinces, in contradiction to the divine law and to canonical instruction, women betake themselves into the altar area, impudently take hold of the sacred vessels, hold out the priestly garments to the priests and what is still worse, more indecent and unfitting than all this they give the people the body and blood of the Lord and do other things which in themselves are indecent [quae ipso dictu turpia sunt].
It is most amazing how this practice, unpermitted in the Christian religion, could creep in; that is, how women, to whose sex it is in no way befitting to do what is contrary to the divine law, could ever allow themselves to do what is forbidden to secular males. Doubtless it occurred through the carelessness and negligence of some bishops. Therefore woe to us priests into whose hands the burdens of that priest have passed as they are described in Macch. 2: For they have indeed disregarded their duty which was delegated to them for the cult, and, while Gods temple was without holy service, given themselves to carnal passions and illicit actions, so that women, without anyone preventing them, betake themselves into consecrated houses and therein have been able to introduce unpermitted things.(42)
One would be almost inclined to think when reading this that the actual reason for the statement to whose sex it is in no way befitting lies in the danger of carnal passions and illicit actions. As a basis for the exclusion of women that would not be exactly convincing.
39. The editor notes in the text: Conc. Paris, lib. I, c. 45; abbrev. Mansi 14, 565.
42. Hefele-Leclercq, vol. 4, p. 67; Mansi, vol. 14, p. 565.
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 2017.
Pop-up names are online now.
The number is indicative, but incomplete. For full details click on cross icon at bottom right.