The Perils of Celibacy: Clerical Celibacy and Marriage in Early Protestant Perspective

9 Pages Posted: 15 Jul 2005 Last revised: 2 Sep 2019

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Catholic, clerical, sexual crimes, children

Suggested Citation

Witte, John, The Perils of Celibacy: Clerical Celibacy and Marriage in Early Protestant Perspective. 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 , Emory Legal Studies Research Paper , Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=755032

John Witte (Contact Author)

Emory University School of Law ( email )

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