Laws Regarding Women in Society
Over the next couple centuries, the Catholic Church, built within a patriarchal framework, continuing building off the theology in the Hebrew text, began to establish laws. These laws put in place by the Catholic Church, redefined the idea of marriage, sexuality, parental rights, and eternal salvation. Women became restricted in their freedom within marriage as well as their freedom to roam or travel. The Penitential was created, which defined sins and their punishments (Condren, 1989). Included in the Penitential were restrictions about acceptable forms of sex and contraceptives aimed at women and homosexuality; most of which are still in effect today. Expanding the limitations of women’s sexual freedom, women whom became pregnant outside of marriage, were shunned in the church and the community; but not so for the fathers (Condren, 1989). Thus, the concept and idea of illegitimate children was born; replacing the once all embracing attitude toward children in the Celtic tribes. Following the now natural order of religious consciousness, laws were established to make the father’s last name as the lines lineage; since the only way to achieve salvation was through the male God and His Son.