Heid presents a penetrating and wide-ranging study of the historical data from the early Church on the topics of celibacy and clerical continence. He gives a brief review of recent literature, and then begins his study with the New Testament and follows it all the way to Justinian and the Council in Trullo in 690 in the East and the fifth century popes in the West. He thoroughly examines the writings of the Bible, the early church councils, saints and theologians like Jerome, Augustine, Clement, Tertullian, John Chrystostom, Cyril and Gregory Nazianzen. He has gathered formidable data with conclusive arguments regarding obligatory continence in the early Church.
"Stefan Heid shows with strong, conclusive arguments that clerical continence was a requirement for bishops, priests and deacons from apostolic times. His arguments for a celibate clergy are convincing and irrefutable." Fr. Kenneth Baker, S.J., Editor, Homiletic and Pastoral Review