Women were not supposed to enter the altar area at all--though I suspect
this was often ignored when it was a question of cleaning. Nevertheless,
purists would not allow women to touch the sacred vessels either. Thus any
untoward effect of women's natural functions was contained reasonably well.
There is a famous letter attributed to Gregory the Great in Bede's
Ecclesiastical History denying the idea that women could be considered
"polluting" when menstruating or giving birth or otherwise functioning
according to God's plan but in general ecclesiastical authorities were
inclined to take no chances.
The law locks up the man or woman
Who steals the goose from off the common
But leaves the greater villain loose
Who steals the common from the goose.
From: Stephanie Budin <[log in to unmask]>
To: [log in to unmask] <[log in to unmask]>
Date: Monday, February 12, 2001 9:46 AM
Subject: Re: de[con]secration/de-secration (bloodshed)
> Many Greetings from a new member,
> Concerning bloodshed and sexual acts as defiling, was there any
>prohibition against giving birth within church space?
> Stephanie Budin