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Huguccio wrote his commentary on Church law, the Summa, in 1188 AD.

Huguccio had an enormous influence on canon lawyers and theologians of later centuries. His work formed the basis for the later works of Laurentius and Johannes Teutonicus.

Translation from the latin by John Wijngaards

‘Deaconesses’ did not receive real holy orders

“(These women) ... should not receive the veil, that is: they should not be ordained to be deaconesses. For in the past some nuns were ordained to be deaconesses, not to holy orders but to some ministry such as to proclaim the Gospel during matins or something similar. At present this does not happen, but without any specific institutions there are still some nuns in some places who read the Gospel.”
.....“Deaconesses were ordained, that is: they were elected and established with some solemnity in one or other ministry, which agrees with deacons. Perhaps they sang or read out the Gospel during matins as well as prayer. This ministry and dignity was called the diaconate.”

“Some people say that formerly women were ordained until the deaconate, that afterwards they were forbidden in the time of Ambrosius, that afterwards again they were ordained during the time of this council (Chalcedon), that they are not being ordained now. But the first explanation prevails, namely that the deaconate was merely the imposition of a religious veil.”

On Causa 27, quaestio 1, chapter 23

A Woman cannnot receive holy orders because of her sex

“I am saying that a woman cannot receive ordination. What prohibits her from it? A decree of the Church and her sex, that is a decree of the Church made on account of her sex. If therefore a woman is ordained in fact, she does not actually receive ordination, and is forbidden to exercise the office to which she was ordained”.

On Distinction 23, chapter 25

The borderline case of hermaphrodites

“As to a hermaphrodite, if he has a beard and always wants to engage in manly activities and not in those of women, and if he always seeks the company of men and not of women, it is a sign that the masculine sex predominates in him and then he can be a witness where a woman is not allowed, namely with regard to a last will and testament, and he also can be ordained a priest. If he however lacks a beard and always wants to be with women and be involved in feminine works, the judgment is that the feminine sex predominates in him and then he should not be admitted to giving any witness wherever women are not admitted, namely at a last will and testament, neither can he be ordained then because a woman cannot receive holy orders. ”

On Causa 27, quaestio 1, chapter 23, ad v.

Man rather than woman is an image of God

“On account of three reasons the man is said to be an image of God and not the woman. First of all: just as there is one God and from him everything arose, so one man was created from the beginning from whom all the others arose. Therefore to this extent he has a similarity with God namely that as everything proceeded from this one God so all other human beings proceed from this one man. Secondly just as from the side of Christ when he was sleeping in death on the cross the origin of the Church flowed namely water and blood through which are signified the sacraments of the Church through whom the Church subsists and has its origin and becomes the spouse of Christ, so from the side of Adam when he was sleeping in paradise was formed his spouse because from there was taken a rib, from which Eve was formed. Thirdly: just as Christ is head of the Church and governs the Church so the husband is head of his wife and rules and governs her. And through these three causes the man is stated to be the image of God and not the woman, and therefore the man must not be like the woman a sign of subjection, but a sign of freedom and preeminence. However, in a fourth way both the man and the woman are said to be an image of God, wherefore we have the expression ‘Let us make man’ that is ‘let us make him in our image and our likeness’ that is capable of the divine essence through reason, through the intellect, through memory, through genius and this is said both about the woman and the man.”

On Causa 33, quaestio 5, chapter 13

God’s glory was only truly revealed in the creation of man, not in the creation of woman.

“On account of three reasons a man is said to be the glory of God and not a woman. Firstly, because God appeared more powerful and more glorious in the creation of a man than of the woman, because it is especially through man that the glory of God is manifest because God made him by himself and from the slime of the earth against nature, but woman is made from the man. Secondly because the man was made by God without any intermediate tool, which is not the case with regard to woman. Thirdly because the man glorifies God directly, that is without any intermediary, whereas the woman only glorifies God through the man, because the man teaches and instructs the woman to glorify God”.

On Causa 33, quaestio 5, chapter 13

Woman wears a veil as a sign of subjection

“A man does not need to cover his head. When he prays he does not need to carry a sign of subjection as if he were not free before God, that is as if he were not subject to him without any intermediate being.”

On Causa 33, quaestio 5, chapter 13

Source: Ida Raming, The Exclusion of Women from the Priesthood, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen 1976, pp. 61-64.

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.

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