These essays offer a historically rigorous dismantling of Western claims about the superiority of celibate priests.
Although celibacy is often seen as a distinctive feature of the Catholic priesthood, both Catholic and Orthodox Churches in fact have rich and diverse traditions of married priests. The essays contained in Married Priests in the Catholic Church offer the most comprehensive treatment of these traditions to date. These essays, written by a wide-ranging group that includes historians, pastors, theologians, canon lawyers, and the wives and children of married Roman Catholic, Eastern Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox priests, offer diverse perspectives from many countries and traditions on the subject, including personal, historical, theological, and canonical accounts. As a collection, these essays push especially against two tendencies in thinking about married priesthood today. Against the idea that a married priesthood would solve every problem in Catholic clerical culture, this collection deromanticizes and demythologizes the notion of married priesthood. At the same time, against distinctively modern theological trends that posit the superiority, apostolicity, and “ontological” necessity of celibate priests, this collection refutes the claim that priestly ordination and celibacy must be so closely linked.
In addressing the topic of married priesthood from both practical and theoretical angles, and by drawing on a variety of perspectives, Married Priests in the Catholic Church will be of interest to a wide audience, including historians, theologians, canon lawyers, and seminary professors and formators, as well as pastors, parish leaders, and laypeople.
Contributors: Adam A. J. DeVille, David G. Hunter, Dellas Oliver Herbel, James S. Dutko, Patrick Viscuso, Alexander M. Laschuk, John Hunwicke, Edwin Barnes, Peter Galadza, David Meinzen, Julian Hayda, Irene Galadza, Nicholas Denysenko, William C. Mills, Andrew Jarmus, Thomas J. Loya, Lawrence Cross, and Basilio Petrà.