In order to arrive at a correct understanding of the much discussed topic of clerical celibacy, this book clarifies the pertinent facts and the discipline found within the Church from its beginnings until the present time, and explores the theological reasons for celibacy. Cardinal Stickler begins with a discussion of the relevant sources and current scholarship to support his conclusions.
To understand the historical development of celibacy in the Western and Eastern Churches, this study begins with an analysis of the actual concept of clerical celibacy, providing an outline of the method which a proper treatment of this argument demands, as well as the theological presuppositions and foundations of celibacy.
Cardinal Alfons Maria Stickler is a member of numerous international academic organizations. He has been a consultor to many Congregations of the Roman Curia, was a member of the preparatory commission for the Second Vatican Council.
"A wealth of information on the history of celibacy for the clergy of the Catholic Church-in the East and the West. Particularly impressive are his arguments showing that celibacy is necessarily connected to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It is refreshing to find a book on celibacy that is rooted in Scripture, the Fathers of the Church and the Magisterium." -Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic & Pastoral Review