By Helen Parish

The talk over clerical celibacy and marriage had its origins within the early Christian centuries, and continues to be a great deal alive within the glossy church. The content material and kind of controversy have remained remarkably constant, yet every one period has chosen and formed the resources that underpin its narrative, and imbued an historical factor with an immediacy and relevance. the fundamental query of no matter if, and why, continence will be demanded of these who serve on the altar hasn't ever long past away, however the implications of that question, and of the solutions given, have replaced with every one new release. during this reassessment of the background of sacerdotal celibacy, Helen Parish examines the emergence and evolution of the celibate priesthood within the Latin church, and the demanding situations posed to this version of the ministry within the period of the Protestant Reformation. Celibacy was once, and is, intensely own, but in addition polemical, institutional, and old. Clerical celibacy obtained theological, ethical, and confessional meanings within the writings of its critics and defenders, and its position within the lifetime of the church is still outlined and on the subject of broader debates over Scripture, apostolic culture, ecclesiastical background, and papal authority. Highlighting continuity and alter in attitudes to priestly celibacy, Helen Parish finds that the results of celibacy and marriage for the priesthood succeed in deep into the historical past, traditions, and knowing of the church.

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246a–c); see also Epiphanius, Adv. Haer. 1061a]. 52 Adv. Haer. 720a, 714c]; Cochini, Apostolic Origins, pp. 68–9. 53 Cochini, Apostolic Origins, p. 69. 54 Audet, pp. L. L. Bullough and J. Brundage (eds), Sexual Practices and the Medieval Church (Buffalo: Prometheus, 1982) p. 4. 1100–1700 30 Whatever the precedent set by the example of the unmarried and married apostles, by the second century there was a sense in the works of Christian and non-Christian writers that at least some of the adherents of the new religion practised a form of continence.

61; Phipps, Clerical Celibacy, chapter 5. 57 For further discussion of these themes, see H. Chadwick, The Early Church (Penguin 1968), chs 3 and 4; Heid, Celibacy, pp. 58ff. 58 The link between clerical continence and the views of Encratite groups hostile to marriage has been made by, for example, K. Muller, Aus der Akademischen Arbeit: Vortage und Aufsatze (Tubingen, 1930) p. 79; Abbott, History of Celibacy, pp. 49–54, suggests that Christianity was born into a world in which there was already a strong ascetic current.

19:12)’, Catholic Biblical Quarterly, 30 (July, 1968): 335–8. The literal understanding was sufficiently widespread that the church was moved to condemn mutilation in the fourth century. Origen’s actions were recorded by Eusebius, but the authenticity of the account has been questioned (see, for example, Daniel F. Caner, ‘The Practice and Prohibition of Self Castration in Early Christianity’, Vigilae Christiani, 51 (1997): 396–415). Patristic commentators tended to assume continence rather than castration was implied here.

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