The Perils of Celibacy: Clerical Celibacy and Marriage in Early Protestant Perspective
John Witte Jr.
Emory University School of Law
Emory Public Law Research Paper No. 05-20 “The Perils of Celibacy: Clerical Celibacy and Marriage in Early Protestant Perspective,” in Lisa Cahill and John Garvey, eds., Sexuality in the Catholic Tradition (Lexington, KY: Crossroad Publishers, 2006), 107-119
The recent scandals over clerical pedophilia have raised anew ancient church battles over the propriety of clerical celibacy. Using a sensational sixteenth-century case as a laboratory, this Article analyzes the traditional Catholic arguments in favor of clerical celibacy and the attacks on those arguments by the sixteenth-century Protestant reformers. It then draws from this historical battle several modern lessons about clerics, children, and sexual crimes.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 10
Keywords: Catholic, clerical, sexual crimes, children
Date posted: July 15, 2005 ; Last revised: July 16, 2014
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