Presbyters Uniwersytet Warszawski
ER 1244
Tertullian denonunces rapid clerical promotions and the usurpation of priestly powers among heretics. Tertullian, "The Prescription Against Heretics", Carthage (North Africa), ca AD 200.
Chapter 41
5. Ipsa mulieres haereticae, quam procaces! Quae audeant docere, contendere, exorcismos agere, curationes repromittere, fortasse an et tingere.
6. Ordinationes eorum temerariae, leues, inconstantes. Nunc neophytos conlocant, nunc saeculo obstrictos, nunc apostatas nostros ut gloria eos obligent, quia ueritate non possunt.
7. Nusquam facilius proficitur quam in castris rebellium ubi ipsum esse illic promereri est.
8. Itaque alius hodie episcopus, cras alius; hodie diaconus qui cras lector; hodie presbyter qui cras laicus. Nam et laicis sacerdotalia munera iniungunt.
(ed. Refoulé 1954: 221-222)
Chapter 41
5. The very women of these heretics, how wanton they are! For they are bold enough to teach, to dispute, to enact exorcisms, to undertake cures, it may be even to baptize.
6. Their ordinations, are carelessly administered, capricious, changeable. At one time they put novices in office; at another time, men who are bound to some secular employment; at another, persons who have apostatized from us, to bind them by vainglory, since they cannot by the truth.
7.  Nowhere is promotion easier than in the camp of rebels, where the mere fact of being there is a foremost service.
8. And so it comes to pass that to-day one man is their bishop, to-morrow another; to-day he is a deacon who to-morrow is a reader; to-day he is a presbyter who tomorrow is a layman. For even on laymen do they impose the functions of priesthood.


This passage does not suggest that in the group Tertullian alludes to women were ordained, but that they performed some rituals usually reserved for the presbyters or bishops.

About the source:

Author: Tertullian
Title: The Prescription Against Heretics, Prescription Against Heretics, De Praescriptione Haereticorum
Origin: Carthage (Latin North Africa)
Denomination: Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian
Tertullian was born and active in Carthage (North Africa). He was most probably trained as a lawyer. He converted to Christianity before AD 197. His rigorist views drew him towards the Montanists (before AD 207), and eventually he distanced himself even from them, creating a party of his own. He died after AD 220. He may have been a presbyter [402]. He left many writings, both from the Catholic and Montanist period.
“The Prescription Against Heretics“ was written in the Catholic period, about AD 200. It is directed against the “heretics”, i.e. various Gnostic groups. It denies them the right to use the Holy Scripture for their argumentation.
R.F. Refoulé ed. Q.S.Fl. Tertulliani De praescriptione haereticorum, Corpus Christianorum. Series Latina 1, Turnhout 1954, 185-224.


Change of denomination
    Described by a title - Presbyter/πρεσβύτερος
      Usurping episcopal power
        Usurping presbyterial power
          Relation with - Woman
            Female ministry
              Former ecclesiastical career - None
                Religious grouping (other than Catholic/Nicene/Chalcedonian) - Unspecified 'heretic'
                  Please quote this record referring to its author, database name, number, and, if possible, stable URL: S. Adamiak, Presbyters in the Late Antique West, ER1244,