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Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Serviettes

Pope Gelasius in his ninth letter (chap. 26) to the bishops of Lucania condemned
the evil practice which had been introduced of women serving the priest at the
celebration of Mass. Since this abuse had spread to the Greeks, Innocent IV
strictly forbade it in his letter to the bishop of Tusculum: "Women should not
dare to serve at the altar; they should be altogether refused this ministry." We
too have forbidden this practice in the same words in Our oft-repeated
constitution Etsi Pastoralis, sect. 6, no. 21.


Benedict XIV, enc. Allatae sunt, 1755