Women Priests in the Ancient Church

About valid Tradition

Scriptural Tradition Latent Tradition Dynamic Tradition Informed Tradition Valid Tradition

1. Properly ordained women priests (presbyterae?)

In the Early Church it has never been a general practice to ordain women as priests for reasons explained elsewhere. Moreover, the term 'presbytera' could have a variety of meanings. It usually meant being a 'priest's wife'.

However, there may have been exceptions to this general rule. It is possible that in the South of Italy some women were ordained priests.

Some evidence can, peerhaps, be found both in archeological inscriptions and historical records. Read these documents:

For more ancient times read:

Here is a tombstone for the Catholic woman priest Leta in South Italy, 4th cent. AD.

See also:

2. Women in pastoral leadership roles

There are also examples of women involved in a variety of pastoral ministries.


John Wijngaards



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