Had the church in history prohibited woman to sing in churches?

Hello, i was reading this of a writer, i would like to know if this is true or not:

“Since the year 1234, and for the next seven centuries, the Catholic Church forbade women to sing in temples. Their voices were unclean due to that case of Eve and the original sin.”

Is this true or not? If it is not how can i disprove it?

Thank you.

I can’t answer the question about history. But even when I was a child, my parish had only a men’s choir, and a very good one. Now that parish now has a choir comprising both men and women, and still a very good one. But the previous practice wasn’t because anyone considered women ‘unclean!’ Many parishes also had men and women sit on different sides of the church.

Whose the writer?

What’s the book?

What’s the source for his claim?

This is clearly an unsubstantiated, biased, uniformed opinion. “Temples?” I know of no Catholics who would have called their churches temples, after 1234. Considering this was well after the establishment of monasticism, women certainly did sing in church. Cloistered nuns would have provided all the singing/chanting needed for the Masses at their convents. As well as chanting the psalms for the LOTH.

If women’s voices are unclean because of original sin then men’s voices are also unclean.

This stuff is typically put out by organizations which promote women priesthood. Google it and you will come up with womenpriests.org and ministryforwomen.org. They cite regional synods which are obscure at best and very well might never have taken place such as the Synod of Auxerre (695) which supposedly forced women to veil and forbade them from singing in Church.

I’m not sure if that synod took place or not and it really isn’t the point. The point is that the historicity of women singing in Church is of interest mainly to groups who push the priesthood for women. Most of the rest of the Church has seemed to have moved on.


Right. The burden of proof is on the one making the claim. If it is true that the Church forbade women from singing, then there should be evidence of that in Church documents and/or other historical documents. Until such sources are given, there’s really nothing to discuss.

Eduardo Galeano, an article called: “Paradoxo Andante” It is originally in portuguese and spanish.

I’d probably point out that Mary probably sang the first song to Jesus - as a mother often does to her child in the womb.

I believe it was St. Ephrem the Syrian, a Church Doctor from the fourth century which first introduced females into the choir. Look him up in a website to find more info on this saint. He is revered both in the East and the West but for some reason is quite unknown in these present days in the West (the Catholic Church).

This is true. At some point it was forbidden to women to sing intra ambitum ecclesiae. I found it mentioned in a document within the website of the Pontifical Council for the Laity (link).

it is out of tolerance that we have passed today from the absolute prohibition to women to sing intra ambitum ecclesiae to the actual economy

It was also forbidden to women to read in Church, serve at the altar, et cetera. Some of those things are under the explicit direction of Sacred Scripture under the New Testament.

There is often a lot of modern feminist nonsense regarding the ways the Church should have behaved according to today’s standards. They may raise someone’s popularity but they are not worth much, ultimately. Man and woman do have equal dignity in the eyes of our Creator, but man has a role and woman another role. This is why the Lord was born a male when He took flesh. He did not discriminate or lessen the dignity of women in doing so. Au contraire, He exalted the dignity of womanhood in His Blessed Mother.

The point is that it is irrelevant to argue the ecclesiastic discipline of the past days. The Church has a discipline, and the discipline must be followed. The modern feminist-minded faithful will not be satisfied until they see the ordination of a Catholic woman to the priesthood :shrug: Which, if I am not wrong, is scheduled to take place about an hour and a half after the End of Time.

Sounds like rubbish. We do not have “temples”, and I am highly suspect he invented the date “1234”…

Yes, women have for the most part been forbidden to sing “Officially” in Church, and this practice was much older than 1234, and had nothing to do with “uncleanliness” or Original Sin, but more with the fact that the traditional place of the Choir is within the Sanctuary, a place traditionally forbidden to women, and the role of the Choir was again traditionally for clerics, and women can not be clerics, if I recall right. With the advent of Choir Lofts separated from the Sanctuary, and the Clerical state being limited to Deacons, this allowed for women to “Officially” sing in Church, I say “Officially” since I see no reason why they couldn’t have sung in pews.

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