Nicene and Ante-Nicene Fathers, Ser. II, Vol. XIV:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
The Canons of the Councils of Ancyra, Gangra, Neocæsarea, Antioch and Laodicea, which Canons were Accepted and Received by the Ecumenical Synods.: Canon XLIV
Women may not go to the altar.
Ancient Epitome of Canon XLIV.
The altar must not be approached by women.
The discipline of this canon was often renewed even in the Latin Church, and therefore Balsamon unjustly attacks the Latins when he says; “Among the Latins women go without any shame up to the altar whenever they wish.” For the Latins have forbidden and do forbid this approach of women to the altar no less than the Greeks; and look upon the contrary custom as an abuse sprung of the insolence of the women and of the negligence of bishops and pastors.
If it is prohibited to laymen to enter the Sanctuary by the lxixth canon of the Sixth synod [i.e. Quinisext], much more are women forbidden to do so who are unwillingly indeed, but yet truly, polluted by the monthly flux of blood.
Next: Canon XLV
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