Capitulary of Bishop Theodulf of Orléans

760-821 AD

Canon 6. “While a priest is celebrating Mass, women should in no way approach the altar, but remain in their places, and there the priest should receive their offerings to God.
Women should therefore remember their infirmity, and the inferiority of their sex: and therefore they should have fear of touching whatever sacred things there are in the ministry of the Church.
These things also laymen must need to fear, in order that they may not undergo the punishment of Ozam who when he wanted to touch the Ark of God in an extraordinary circumstance, died because God struck him.”

J.D.Mansi, Sacrorum conciliorum nova et amplissima collectio, Florence 1759ff.; reprint Paris 1901ff., vol 13. col. 996 [also in J-P Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 105, 195].

Latin original:

“Foeminae, missam sacerdote celebrante, nequaquam ad altare accedant, sed locis suis stent, et ibi sacerdos earum oblationes Deo oblaturus accipiat. Memores enim esse debent foeminae infirmitatis suae, et sexus imbecillitatis: et idcirco sancta quaelibet in ministerio ecclesiae contingere pertimescant. Quae etiam laici viri pertimescere debent, ne Oziae poenam subeant, qua dum arcam Domini extra ordinationem contingere voluit, Domino percutiente interiit.”

In his second capitulary Theodulf was even more explicit: “When Mass is being celebrated, no woman should dare access the altar, minister to the priest, or stay or sit between the chancels” [Latin original: “quando missa celebratur, nulla femina ad altare praesumat accedere aut presbytero ministrare aut intra cancellos stare aut sedere.”], (Mansi, op. cit., vol 13, p. col 1010 [also in Migne, Patrologia Latina, vol. 105, 209])

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