Canons of the Synod of Reims

Gaul, province of Lyons

630 AD

Translation by John Wijngaards


Source: MANSI XII, 597
Canon 23. Viduas quae se domino consecrari petierint, vel puellas domino consecratas, nullus neque per auctoritatem regiam, neque qualiconque potestate suffultus, aut propria temeritate rapere, aut trahere audeat. Quod si utrique consenserint, communione priventur. Canon 23.“Let no one either on the authority of the King nor supported by whatever power nor on his own temerity rape widows who have asked to be consecrated to the Lord or women who have been consecrated to the Lord, neither let anyone dare to hand them over. But if it was by common consent, they should be deprived of holy Communion. ”

Note: the reference to the power of the king in Canon 23 above obviously refers to the well-known case of St Radegund who was ordained deacon in the same region by the Bishop of Noyon in 550 AD. King Clothaire, Radegund’s husband, was trying to force her to leave the monastery in Poitiers where she had found refuge.

The phrase: “widows/women who have been consecrated to the Lord” therefore refers to the case of women deacons.