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William of Rubio
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William of Rubio

born 1290-?

Data published by John Hilary Martin, O.P.,‘The Ordination of Women and the Theologians in the Middle Ages’, published in Escritos del Vedat 16 (1986) 87-143, here pp. 107-108; also in , A History of Women and Ordination, Volume 1, The Ordination of Women in Medieval Context, ed. by Bernard Cooke and Gary Macy, the Scarecrow Press, London 2002, pp. 31-160, here pp. 87,141,167

Information on the author

William of Rubio, from the Franciscan Province of Aragon, was a student at Paris between 1315 and 1325, possibly under Francis de la March. The Franciscan General Chapter of Assisi, meeting in 1334, examined and approved his commentary on the Sentences. No manuscript of his work survives, which is curious in the light of its approval by the Chapter. We rely on an edition published at Paris in 1518.

Latin Texts

Selections (paragraph numbering by John Wijngaards)

§ 1. "Quantum ad tertium dicendum quod aliqui sunt illegitimi et inhabiles absolute et simpliciter ad ordinem recipiendum; alii autem ad ipsum debite et congrue recipiendum, et hoc ex divinis ordinatione. Hoc apparet quoniam omnis ille est ad recipiendum ordinem illegitimus absolute qui si attentat recipere nihil facit. Ille autem est illegitimus ad debite recipiendum qui licet possit ipsum recipere absolute, non tamen sine peccato..."
F. Guilielmi de Rubione venerabilis admodum patris et theologi facile doctissimi, provincia Aragonlae quondam ministri Disputatorum in quatuor libros Magistri Sentetiarum, 2 v. in 5, (Michaelis Conradi & Simonis Vincentii: Paris, 1518), IV Seen., dist. 25, q. 3 II: fol. 196 rb. "'

"In so far as the third issue is concerned, it is said that some are illegitimate and unfit for the reception of orders absolutely and simply; others, on the other hand, are [illegitimate and unfit] by aptness and by suitability in regard to the same reception and that by divine command. This is clear since every one who is absolutely illegitimate in regard to the reception of orders if he attempts to receive it, nothing happens. One, on the other hand, who is illegitimate for reception by aptness although he is able to receive it absolutely, he may not without sin . . "
Commentary on the Fourth Book of Sentences, dist. 25, q. 3 (Paris edition, 2: fol. 196 rb).

§ 2. "...aliqui sint simpliciter divinitus illegitimati ad nullo modo posse aliquem ordinem recipiere apparet, quia cum, ut dictum est superius, ecclesia nullum possit sua autoritate simpliciter et absolute illegitimare, per consequens omnis simpliciter illegitimatus ad ordinum susceptionem est a Deo illegitimatus."

". . . It is clear that all those who are simply illegitimate by divine will are in no way able to receive any order since as the church is not able on its own authority simply and absolutely to make someone illegitimate, as was said above, consequently anyone simply and absolutely illegitimate as far as the reception of orders is concerned must have been made illegitimate by God."

§ 3. "Sed multi sint tales, ut omnis mulier. Sexus enim muliebris omnino impedit ordinis susceptionem, quod non potest esse, ut videtur, nisi propter Divinam ordinationem."

"But there are many of those [i.e. absolutely impeded from receiving orders] as every woman is. In fact the gender of a woman totally impedes her reception of orders; which could not be the case, as has been shown, except through a divine decree [lit. ordination]."

§ 4. "Non enim est verisimile quod ecclesia privasset totum muliebrem sexum eo quod posset ipsi competere quod etiam esset ad salutern et utilitatem eius, sed constat quod ordo esset ad salutem et ad utilitatem mulieris sicut et hominis si competere ipsi posset; ergo ipsam et maxime totum sexum ecclesia sine eius culpa aliqua non privasset. Confirmatus quia aut mulier secundum Divinum beneplacitum et statutum est simpliciter et absoluta illegitima ad ordinum susceptionem, aut non. Si primum ergo non obstante quocunque statuto ecclesiae in contrarium ipsa posset recipere absolute ordines, quod est falsum. Si autem ponatur secundum, sequitur propositum, videlicet quod eius illegitimatio seu inhabitatio absoluta non est ex ordinatione ecclesiae, sed Divina. Hoc etiam modo dicitur esse illegitimus, videlicet absolute, omnis cui est impossibilis actus ordinis sicut est mutus."
Ibid. (unspoken)

"For it not likely that the church would deprive the entire sex of women from something for which they were competent and which also would be for their salvation and utility. But it is evident that orders would be for the salvation and utility of women, as it is of men if women could be competent for it. Therefore the church most certainly would not be able to deprive a woman [lit. her] even less the whole sex without some sin on her part. This is confirmed, since either a woman is simply and absolutely illegitimate in regard to the reception of ordination according to divine will and by divine decree, or she is not. If then, as was first said, a woman would be able to receive orders absolutely without any law of the church obstructing to the contrary, which is false. If the first [is true], not withstanding any contrary decree of the Church woman would absolutely be able to receive orders, which is false. If however the second alternative is true, then the proposition follows, namely that the absolute illegitimacy or incapability of women is not from the regulation of the church, but of God. In this way [the femal sex] are said to be illegitimate, namely absolutely. An act of ordination is impossible for all of them as it would be for a person who cannot speak."

edited and translated by John Wijngaards

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