I’m doing some private research on women’s ordination in the early church, specifically how the earliest church fathers (before the Council of Nicea) viewed the role of women in the church.
So far, I’ve been unable to find anything that specifically explains why women cannot be priests, and the few times the fathers do make mention of it (that I have found), the women are often involved with heretical groups and it’s hard to tell whether they are being criticized because they are women or because they are heretics (usually gnostics).
I have no doubts that women were not allowed to be priests in the early church, but I’m trying to find any evidence at all that explains why the church fathers held this view. Does anyone have good information to provide? Thanks!
And by the way, yes, I’ve seen this post: catholic.com/tracts/women-and-the-priesthood
The tract doesn’t really give any explanation for why they oppose the practice, and as I said before, in many of these examples, they are dealing directly with heretics (usually gnostics). One exception may be one of the quotes from Tertullian, but that’s all.