The penitential of Bishop Theodore of Canterbury (died 690 AD)

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The penitential of Bishop Theodore of Canterbury (died 690 AD)

The penitential book had the following prescriptions:

  1. “During the time of menstruation women should not enter into church or receive communion, neither lay women nor religious. If they presume to do so all the same, they should fast for three weeks” (paragraph 17).
  2. “In the same way those women should do penance, who enter a church before their blood is purified after birth, that is for forty days” (paragraph 18).

Theodori Poenitentiale I, 14, § 17-18.

Source: Ida Raming, The Exclusion of Women from the Priesthood, Scarecrow Press, Metuchen 1976, pp. 47-49.

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