Letter: Medieval monk in the wrong order

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The Independent Online
Sir: The injured medieval monk whose skeleton was recently found in York ('Bones of medieval monk reveal injury like Gascoigne's', 7 September) could not have been both a Cistercian and a Gilbertine.

St Gilbert did initially adopt the Cistercian rule in the 12th century, and petitioned the Abbots assembled at Cteaux to take his new foundation under their wing. However, this request was refused because Gilbert's new community was mixed, and the Cistercians did not wish to direct women. (The roots of the current misogyny in this Church of ours are indeed long and deep])

St Gilbert then went on to found a separate community of Canons Regular, and placed both of the groups under the rule of St Augustine. Thus, the 13th-century monk whose bones were discovered in York would have been an Augustinian.

Yours faithfully,

HELEN WOOD

London, W6

8 September

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