Thursday, March 19, 2015

A BRIEF HISTORY OF CELIBACY IN THE CATHOLIC CHURCH, Perfect for Late Night Comedy! (Special thanks to Edwina Gateley for Sharing this Resource)


FIRST CENTURY


PETER -first pope - and apostles chosen by Jesus were, for the most part, married men



SECOND/THIRD CENTURY


Age of gnosticism -light/ spirit = GOOD


darkness / material things = EVIL


A person cannot be married and be perfect; HOWEVER, priests were married




 FOURTH CENTURY


306 - Council of Elvira, Spain; Decree #43 - a priest who sleeps with  his wife the night before Mass will lose his job


325 - Council of Nicea; decreed that after ordination, a priest could not marry; Proclaimed the Nicene Creed


352 - Council of Lnodicea; women are not to be ordained (suggesting that before this time there was ordination of women).


385 - Pope Siricius left his wife in order to become pope; decreed that priests may no longer sleep with their wives.


FIFTH CENTURY


401-S t. Augustine wrote, "Nothing is so powerful in drawing the spirit of a man downwards as the caresses of a woman."


SIXTH CENTURY


567 - 2nd Council of Tours; any cleric found in bed with his wife would be excommunicated for a year and reduced to the lay state


580 -Pope Pelagius II; his policy was not to bother married priests as long as they did not hand over church property to wives or children



590-604 -Pope Gregan; the Great said that all sexual desire is sinful in itself (meaning that sexual desire is intrinsically evil?).


SEVENTH CENTURY


France: documents show that the majority of priests were married


EIGHTH CENTURY


St Boniface reported to the pope that in Germany almost no bishop or priest was celibate.


NINTH CENTURY


836 - Council of Aix-la-Cha pelle openly admitted that abortions and infanticide took place in convents and monasteries to cover up activities of uncelibate clerics


S t. Ulrich, a holy bishop, argued from scripture and common sense that the only way to purify the Church from the worst excesses of celibacy was to permit priests to marry.




ELEVENTH CENTURY


1045 - Pope Boniface IX dispensed himself from celibacy and resigned in order to marry.



1074 -Pope Gregory VII said anyone to be ordained must first pledge celibacy: 'priests must first escape from the clutches of their wives'.



1095 - Pope Urban II had priests' wives sold into slavery; children were abandoned.


TWELFTH CENTURY


1123 - Pope Calistus II: First Lateran Council decreed that clerical marriages were invalid 1139 - Pope Innocent II: Second Lateran Council confirmed the previous council's decree.


FOURTEENTH CENTURY

Bishop Pelagio complains that women are still being ordained and hearing confessions


FIFTEENTH CENTURY

Transition: 50% of priests are married


SIXTEENTH CENTURY


- Council of Trent states that celibacy and virginity are superior to marriage
1517 - M artin Luther


1530 - Henry VIII


SEVENTEENTH CENTURY
Inquisition, Galileo, Newton


EIGHTEENTH CENTURY


1776 - American Declaration of Independence


1789 -French Revolution


NINETEENTH CENTURY


1804 - Napoleon


1882 - Darwin
1847 -Marx, Communist M anifesto



1858 - Freud


1869 - First Vatican Council; infallibility of the pope



TWENTIETH CENTURY


1930 -Pope Pius X I: sex can be good and holy


1951-Pope Pius X II: married Lutheran pastor is ordained a Catholic priest in Germany 1962 - Pope John X X III: Vatican Council II; vernacular; marriage is equal to virginity


1966 -Pope Paul VI: celibacy dispensations


1970's - Ludmilla Javorova and several other Czech women ordained to serve needs of women imprisoned by Communists


1978 -Pope John Paul II: puts freeze on dispensations


1980 - married Anglican/ Episco pal pastors are ordained as Catholic priests in the USA; (also in Canada and England in 1994)


1983 - New Canon Law



POPES WHO WERE MARRIED


• St Peter, the Apostle


• St Felix III -483-492 (2 children)


•. St Hormidas -514-523 (1 son)


• St Silverus (Antonia) 536-537


• Hadrian II -867-872 (1 daughter)


• Clement IV -1265-1268 (2 daughters)


• Felix V - 1439-1449 (1 son)






POPES WHO WERE SONS OF OTHER POPES, CLERICS

Name of Pope


St Damascus


Papac y


Son of ...


St Lorenzo, priest



St Innocent I


401-417


Anastaius I



Boniface


418-422


son of a priest



St Felix


483-492


son of a priest



Anastasius II


496-498


son of a priest



St Agapitus I


535-536


Gordiaous, priest



St Silverus


536-537


St Homidas, pope



Deusdedit


882-884


son of a priest



Boniface VI


896-896


Hadrian, bishop



John XI


931-935


Pope Sergius III



John XV


989-996


Leo, priest




POPES WHO HAD ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN AFTER 1139


Innocent VIII


1484-1492


several children



Alexander VI


1492-1503


several children



Julius II


1503-1513


3 daughters



Paul III


1534-1549


3 sons, 1 daughter



Pius IV


1559-1565


3 sons



Gregory VIII


1572-1685


1son



HISTORY SOURCES
Oxford Dictionan; of Popes


H.C. Lea, History of Sacerd otal Celibacy in the Christian Clzurch, 1957


The Churclz With A Human Face, E. Schillebeeckx, 1985


J. McSorely, Outline Histon; of tlze Church by Centuries, 1957, F.A. Foy (ed.),1990
Catholic Almanac 1989


D.L. Carmody, The Double Cross - Ordination, Abortion and Catholic Feminism, 1980


P.K. Jewtt, The Ordination of Women, 1980


A.F. Ide, God's Girls - Ordination of Women In the Early Christian & Gnostic Churches, 1986


E. Schussler Fiorenza, In Memory of Her, 1984


P. DeRosa, Vicars of Christ, 1988



MYTHS AND FACTS


Myth: All priests take a vow of celibacy.


Fact: Most priests do not take a vow (religious orders only); it is a promise made before the bishop (secular priests)


Myth: Clerical celibacy has been the norm since the Second Latern Council in 1139.


Fact: Priests and even popes still continued to marry and have children for several hundred years after 1139. The Eastern Catholic Church still has married priests.

In the Latin Church, one may be a married priest if:


a) one was a Protestant clergy first and joins the Catholic Church; or


b) if one is a lifelong Catholic and promises never again to have sexual relations with one's wife


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