Thank you for digging this up. I only have it as a French quotation in a
semi-popular history of Brittany.
BTW has anyone made a study of this ? Tried to elucidate just who these
women were ? Remembering that Brittany was a Celtic realm where the Goddess
had still some residual influence...
Am I right that this is 8th century, ie pre-Norse invasions ?
----- Original Message -----
From: "ambrós" <[log in to unmask]>
To: <[log in to unmask]>
Sent: Sunday, December 24, 2000 1:06 PM
Subject: Re: Canonesses
> ----- > (3) I have a reference somewhere to ladies called
> > CONHOSPITAE who called down the wrath of bishops
> > because they were assisting priests to take the
> > Sacraments to the sick & dying. These seem to be early
> > proto female "clergy" - administering but (probably) not
> > consecrating the sacraments.
> The only primary souce which I know of is a letter from three Gaulish
> bishops, Licinius of Tours, Melanius of Rennes and Eustochius of Angers,
> who objected to Breton bishops about women distributing the Eucharistic
> "Through a report made by the venerable Sparatus, we have learned that
> you continually carry around from one of your fellow-countrymen's huts
> to another, certain tables upon which you celebrate the divine sacrifice
> of the Mass, assisted by women who you call conhospitae; and while you
> dristribute the eucharist, they take the chalice and administer the
> blood of Christ to the people. This is an innovation, an unheard of
> superstition. For the love of Christ, and in the name of the Church
> United and our common faith, we beg you to renounce immediately upon
> receipt of this leter, these abuses of the table. We appeal to your
> charity, not only to restrain these little women from staining the holy
> sacraments by administering them illicitly, but also not to admit to
> live under your roof any woman who is not your grandmother, your mother,
> your sister, or your niece"
> Fr Ambrose