James of Edessa
Died 710 AD
Resolutiones Canonicae, § 24. The deaconess has
absolutely no authority regarding the altar. That is because she is ordained
for [service to] the church [community], not for [service to] the altar.
However this is the authority she has: she can sweep the sanctuary and light the sanctuary lamp, and this even when the priest or deacon is not there.
Also, if she lives in a in a community of nuns, when there is no priest or deacon, she can take the holy sacrament from the tabernacle and distribute this to the women who are her companions, or to children who happen to be there.
But she is not allowed to consume the blessed sacrament on the table of the altar itself, or to put the blessed sacrament on the altar, or to touch the altar in any way.
Note 1. The prohibition, that she may not touch the altar is directly related to the prejudice regarding a woman's monthly periods which were supposed to make her unclean.
Note 2. The same text is found in the Jacobite Pontifical and in the Nomocanon of Bar-Hebraeus. See A.Lamy, De Syrorum Fide et Disciplina, Louvain 1859, p. 127; Joseph Assemani, Bibliotheca Orientalis, vol.II, De Monophysitis § 10.
Please, credit this document
as published by www.womenpriests.org!
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 2014.
Pop-up names are online now.
The number is indicative, but incomplete. For full details click on cross icon at bottom right.