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Rolandus Bandinelli, the later Pope Alexander III, wrote his <I>Stromata</I> (=Commentaries on Laws) in Bologna in 1148 AD. It is basically a commentary on Gratian's Law Book.

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Rolandus Bandinelli

Rolandus Bandinelli, the later Pope Alexander III, wrote his Stromata (=Commentaries on Laws) in Bologna in 1148 AD. It is basically a commentary on Gratian's Law Book.

Translation from the latin by John Wijngaards

Deaconesses were ‘readers of the gospel’

“There is no doubt that formerly there existed the custom of ordaining deaconesses, that is: readers of the gospels. Because no deaconess was allowed to be ordained before the age of forty and after ordination they were forbidden to marry.
But women have no part in the order of the priesthood, nor can they have it.”

Note. Since he accepts that there were deaconesses in the early church, he restricts women from the priesthood, but not necessarily from the diaconate. However, mistakenly, he equates ‘deaconesses’ with ‘readers of the gospels’.

On Causa 15, question 3, beginning.

Woman is totally subject to her husband even with regard to her religious relationship to God.

“It is shown in this chapter that if a woman has vowed abstinence from food or drink or dress or anything else except for the carnal debt with the consent of her husband, she need not observe the vow if he orders her to do the opposite. This meaning and the decree itself is clearly proved in these chapters. For a woman must always be subject to her husband as to her own head, as is being taught clearly in these five chapters

On Causa 33, question 5, chapter 11.

A husband has full powers to punish his wife.

“Wives may in no way be killed, but apart from the danger of death they can be punished to incarceration.”

On Causa33, question 2, chapter 10.

Source: Ida Raming, The Exclusion of Women from the Priesthood, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen 1976, pp. 49-50.


Wijngaards Institute for Catholic ResearchThis 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.

Visit also our websites:Women Deacons, The Body is Sacred and Mystery and Beyond.

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