Church Council Decrees (5th-7th c.)
Church councils, which were gatherings of bishops and other important churchmen, decided the church's official stance on many issues, including the position of women in the church, whether as wives of clergymen or in their own right. The following decrees come from councils held in Gaul (later called France) and applied to the church there, but they are in line with similar decisions by more general councils. The practice of ordaining deaconesses died out relatively quickly, but it took many centuries for the church to enforce clerical celibacy widely. Source: Corpus Christianorum, Series Latina, Vol. 148: Concilia Galliae, A. 314-A. 506, ed. C. Munier; and Vol. 148A: Concilia Galliae, A. 511-A. 695, ed. Charles de Clercq (Turnholt, 1963). Tr. E.M.A.