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I apologize for the drive-by diary, but I read this, and it blew my mind.

I had always thought that the reason the Church claimed that its priests had to be celibate was because the Apostles were celibate, and Paul preached celibacy.   But now, it turns out that apparently the Apostles were married, and not only that, their wives travelled with them while they preached.  
The money quote is at the end of the article:

Claudio Hummes, a Brazilian Cardinal and close confidante of the new Pope, has made this point: "'Celibacy is a discipline, not a dogma of the Church,' Hummes was quoted as saying by the Folha de. S. Paolo newspaper. 'Certainly, the majority of the Apostles were married. In this modern age, the Church must observe these things. It has to advance with history.'" Indeed, while Archbishop of Buenos Aires, the future Pope Francis acknowledged that "the celibacy rule is simply one of tradition and is flexible."
Does this portend actual change in the Church?  

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Comment Preferences

  •  one we see married priests, (6+ / 0-)

    I bet the church's position on contraception will change in a hurry

    •  Perhaps not (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, Gooserock, SoCalSal, Timaeus

      Given the underlying rationale for the ban.

    •  history is not on your side, I fear (0+ / 0-)

      Orthodox priests have always been able to get married and it was only comparatively recently limited contraception options were okayed.

      The LDS Church also allows priests to get married and also did not allow for contraception for most of its existence. I believe that's more relaxed now (as long as the couple is married).

      Granted, in both examples, the church's position did change, but it definitely wasn't in a hurry and it's not exactly an enthusiastic endorsement of contraception.

  •  One reason (12+ / 0-)
    In 1967, Pope Paul VI, who charted the Catholic Church through the difficult shoals of the cultural upheavals of the 1960s, published an encyclical, or open letter to the church, entitled Sacerdotalis Caelibatus (Latin for "Of the celibate priesthood").

    In it, he outlined the reasons for keeping the tradition of celibacy a part of church teaching: it was a superior way of achieving grace, it freed priests from familial obligations in order to devote themselves to God, it mirrored heaven as a place without marriage.

    Celibacy in the Catholic Church is a law, not a doctrine, and can be changed by the pope at any time. Despite this, Pope Benedict XVI made it clear during his tenure that the traditional practice was unlikely to change.

    I have also heard it was a decision in the early days to prevent issues with church politics and power games inherent in family relationships, children, etc. Think "Bush dynasty", or even the Kennedy family for modern examples.

    “Texas is a so-called red state, but you’ve got 10 million Democrats here in Texas. And …, there are a whole lot of people here in Texas who need us, and who need us to fight for them.” President Obama

    by Catte Nappe on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:26:26 AM PDT

  •  Possibly even the Apostle in Chief (7+ / 0-)

    Look at it this way - the twelve apostles - all twelve of them - were successful middle class villagers.  Some of them were even upper middle class - Luke was a doctor.

    Twelve successful, smart, healthy, fairly young (most of them), men of means - and not a single one was married?  I think not.  In fact, I'd rather be led to believe that all of them were married.

    Then there's the Mary Magdalene thing - that could be a diary or two all its own.  Again, I'm leaning towards "they both slept in the same bed", based on the preponderance of evidence, as well as the dearth of evidence which suggests the opposite.

    Another beautiful day in Surveillance Nation.

    by thenekkidtruth on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:27:58 AM PDT

    •  Not only that (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      JBL55, Deep Texan

      Jesus beat off.

      He was a vigorous man.

    •  Well, Peter had a mother-in-law. (7+ / 0-)

      So that's one married disciple for sure.

    •  Luke Was an Apostle?? nt (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      bythesea, Wee Mama, Timaeus, Lujane

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:53:20 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The authors of Mark, Matthew, John and Luke... (7+ / 0-)

      were not apostles.

      It is possible that a John Mark was a later companion or fellow traveller of Peter's. He could very well have been one of the first of the 2nd generation of Jesus's followers, after he was executed/murdered by the Romans. He wrote the first gospel called "Mark" to be included as canon. It ended with an empty tomb and followers being very confused and afraid. The rest of the text was patched on to match later canonical gospels.

      Matthew's author(s) wrote for the Jewish community, and did so as the Jewish Temple and Jerusalem was being destoyed or after, which is about 70 to 73 CE. That Gospel consoled Jews and told the story of Jesus from their point of view.

      John was a very young person when Jesus was around. He may have inspired a lot people, and he took Mother Mary with him probably to Ephesus. He probably told stories that were like jewels of narration. But the guess is that before the author of John completed his work, John may have been either too infirm or had passed away waiting for Jesus to return. Thus the gospel John was written very late in the first century around 96 CE.

      Luke is another late chronicle, and along with Acts was written by a person outside of the core group, but a person very dedicated to keeping the story alive for Gentiles and others. He wrote in Turkey, and could possibly have written and the document last edited around 100-150 CE.

      ALL of these gospels were influenced by the theology and christology of Paul, who clearly invented a lot of stuff that we take as true. In fact, while his letters were written before 66 CE, they circulated in a way that for 20 years could have kept them separate from the narratives of Matthew and Luke, but may have touched the author of John deeply (remember, young John was deeply connected with Jesus and inspired the author equally, and Paul's writings were in parallel with their goals). Mark's author could very well have written with the Kerygma in mind and was less affected by Paul's theology.

      The main thing is that these are not histories and given the book burnings during the 4th and 5th centuries, we have no way to verify the provenance.


      "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

      by unclebucky on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:33:44 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  That is one set of dates sometimes (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        ascribed to these texts. I think that JA T Robinson's redating is likely to be correct for some of them. In addition the epistle to the Hebrews, which is generally not ascribed to Paul, has very substantial overlap with Paul's theology. Since the general consensus is that the epistle to the Hebrews was written before 70 that strongly suggests that the ideas in Paul either spread very quickly or had more general support than just his letters.

        Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

        by Wee Mama on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:53:15 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  JA T Robinson? Not at all. Way too early. n/t (0+ / 0-)

          "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

          by unclebucky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:28:30 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Some of the reasons given for later dates don't (0+ / 0-)

            stand up, like the presence of conflict (Saul was persecuting Christians in the 30s with official backing, Stephen was martyred in the 30s, James the apostle in 42 , James the brother of Jesus in 62, so conflict per se is not a sign of lateness). As Hengel pointed out, the large Jewish population that spoke Greek meant there was a need for texts in Greek from the beginning (a third of the Jewish tombs in Jerusalem were in Greek and there were as many Jews living outside Palestine as lived inside it). Finally I've never seen the scholars supporting the later dates give an explanation for the total absence of the destruction of the temple from NT texts.

            Hebrews is almost certainly from before 70.

            In any case the earliest Ms for John is c. 120 so the very late dates for that gospel are also unlikely.

            Did you now that tax collectors used shorthand and small notebooks to take down tax information?

            Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

            by Wee Mama on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 02:06:31 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  The later dates make more sense... (0+ / 0-)

              The fishermen were not writers.

              It was of the later generation after 70 CE that wrote down what they feared they would forget.

              Even though many of them did forget the REAL Jesus and thought they remembered Paul's Christ.

              Well, the dating of gospels early follow the assertion that the Apostles wrote them. That's certainly a mark of bad science, typical of conservative scholars. Recent work suggests these dates are more likely:

              Mark: 70 CE.
              Matthew: 85 CE.
              John: 96 CE.
              Luke: 75-110 CE.

              None of the direct authors were Apostles. They may have relied on Apostolic recollections, or the recollections of those who heard the Apostles (more likely). If the Apostles ranged in age, in the years 27 to 30 CE, to be 18 to 40 years old, they would be, for fishermen, to be of incredibly good health. But that doesn't jibe with events. After the terrible years of the destruction of Judea, it's not likely that they were around by this time. Rather, a second or third wave of followers felt the need to chronicle what went on two generations prior.


              "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

              by unclebucky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 10:19:11 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's quite possible to believe that the evidence (0+ / 0-)

                supports somewhat earlier dates than you list without believing in direct apostolic authorship. And indeed JAT Robinson (a markedly liberal theologian, by the way) never advocates for direct apostolic authorship.

                Matthew was a tax collector, not a fisherman. Tax collectors were educated men who used shorthand and small notebooks to do interviews about assets and income in order to set the tax bills for people. In other words, Matthew was ideally situated to be a collector of sayings. It is also known that the students of rabbis in that time would take notes on their teachers' instruction.

                It is odd to me that no one ever comments on the incongruency of attributing a gospel to Matthew, a tax collector. I think we visualize a tax collector at the time as an IRS man with sandals. But that's quite inadequate. Tax collectors were educated men who had sold out to a violent occupying power in order to make money. So the better analogy is to think of a Vichy French priest who instead of using his Jesuit education for his people  instead using it to make a profit serving the Nazis. To my mind the parsimonious reason for attributing the gospel of Matthew to a tax collector is that key elements of it go back to him. By the way, very early traditions suggest that Matthew wrote down recollections and observations that were then used by other people. So the attribution of the Gospel of Matthew to Mathew may only mean that the author of the Gospel used sources that go back to Matthew. This is not at all impossible.

                I also never see skeptical sources commenting on the fact that half the canonical Gospels have authors who explicitly are not apostolic. Neither Luke nor Mark have ever been claimed to be apostles (they also are not fishermen). So we have the odd situation that half the canonical Gospels have authors attributed to them that are not apostles while all the apocryphal Gospels claim apostolic authorship.

                Hengel's point that among the earliest followers of Jesus there were many people who spoke Greek but not Aramaic or Hebrew still needs to be addressed. There was a great need for materials in Greek right from the beginning. It was not only as the first generation died out that such materials were wanted or needed.

                Is it true? Is it kind? Is it necessary? . . . and respect the dignity of every human being.

                by Wee Mama on Mon Jun 24, 2013 at 07:52:27 AM PDT

                [ Parent ]

    •  Minor detail: Luke (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      thenekkidtruth, Lujane

      was not one of the Twelve Apostles.  He may have been one of the Disciples, who in the Eastern tradition are called the Seventy Apostles.


  •  The reason why (14+ / 0-)

    The reason why celibacy became big in the church is because the church did not want priests to leave their property to their wives and children.

  •  There are many misconceptions about this. (11+ / 0-)

    The rule of celibacy for priests was not initiated until about the year 1100, more than half of the way into the history of the church.

    Moreover, it has never been an absolute rule, and as the quote points out it has never been "dogma."  I've met Roman Catholic priests who are married with children.  How is that possible?  They were converts from protestantism.

    Of course the rule should be abolished.  Some religious orders could choose to remain celibate.  Some individual priests would do so.  And perhaps there should remain a rule of celibacy for very high-ranking clerics like archbishops and cardinals.

    But the average priest should be able to marry.  Shoot, if that had been the rule 40 years ago, I might be a Jesuit today.

    The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.-Bertrand Russell

    by Timaeus on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:44:35 AM PDT

  •  I never understood the whole "Heaven wo marriage" (0+ / 0-)

    thing. Like, I grew up Mormon which is sort of peripheral Christianity, and when you imagine a "Heaven" don't you picture yourself there with your spouse and family? Why would God put so much emphasis on marriage and sexual chastity, but then nullify all of that in the Hereafter? That makes zero sense.

    "We need institutions and cultural norms that make us better than we tend to be. It seems to me that the greatest challenge we now face is to build them." -Sam Harris, neuroscientist

    by MarthaPeregrine on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:49:43 AM PDT

  •  Maybe the Roman Catholic Church. (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Timaeus, Lujane
    Does this portend actual change in the Church?  
    But there are a lot of Churches.  In mine (the Episcopal Church), priests have always been able to marry, although their spiritual predecessors in the Anglican Church were generally forbidden until Edward VI reversed that edict in the 16th century.
  •  First, Paul was nuts. (7+ / 0-)

    And in a fishing community, people were NOT celibate or chaste.

    There is one possible explanation for the case of "celibacy" or not being married [yet]:

    The Apostles (there were not 12, as the legend goes, but rather from 10 to 20 or so) were very young. They were idealistic young kids who might have been from 16 to 25 and had not yet gotten enough savings or possessions to form a household in which to marry and have kids.

    It is said that Jesus was the eldest, but that he had brothers and sisters. Also, Joseph kinda disappeared from the picture, and could have died or been infirm earlier that he was not recorded. Jesus was the business owner and was not married because he was "married" to the business and head of the house.

    For whatever reason, Paul and those kinda 2nd generation followers of Jesus got into their heads a lot of stuff that Jesus did not advocate, and which ideas they put "into his mouth".

    I would rather think this:

    Jesus, Mary and James & Co. had a contractor business that made many things out of wood. Tables, cabinets, chairs, steps, roofs and so on. They had a house in Galilee near a place where there were fishermen (eh? Peter, etc.). There were people of various professions that served the businesses, residents and government (tax collectors?!) in Jesus's circle. He regularly had lunches, dinners and parties at his house, to which he invited this circle of friends. They were young, curious and definitely NOT the kind of people who Jesus castigated in his speeches, namely the Pharisees, Sadducees etc. They mainly spoke Aramaic, read Hebrew in Temple, and spoke some Greek and Latin, given that there might have been gentiles living in Galilee's Greco-Roman cities. In effect, it was a bit like Chicago, San Francisco or New York City, with a large diverse population. Jerusalem was like going to an antique place where the power brokers lived and did their business (Washington DC).

    And after all this happened, Paul invented a religion that could contain all of Jesus's ideas about The Way and building the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. But then, Paul went nuts, and he made a religion of dogma, scolding and faith, far from what we think Jesus was all about.

    All of this is conjecture, but in my heart of hearts, I feel that such a scenario is closer to the truth than what christianISTs represent.

    Ugh. --UB.

    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 09:58:51 AM PDT

    •  Funny how he changed Western civilisation forever (0+ / 0-)

      Literally. Without an army.
      I guess 'nuts' isnt always a handicap.

      •  Changed ultimately for the worse... (0+ / 0-)

        If they had transcribed more of Jesus's OWN words instead of stuffing words of Paul into his mouth, I'd say for the better.

        But no, it was a matter of backwards (take that any way you like) infiltration of bad ideas.

        Actions would have been less theologically impulsive, but could have changed the world.

        Dogma and hence faith have greatly injured the human collective search for knowledge.

        Through those who took Paulism to an obscene extreme, the world has been seriously handicapped.

        Ugh. --UB.

        "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

        by unclebucky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:31:46 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Is there ANY reliable evidence that Jesus existed? (0+ / 0-)

      He is not mentioned by any contemporary historian...

      •  That is not the point. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        So much authorship was burnt in the 4th and 5th centuries by christianISTs themselves that provenance of Jesus's existence will never be able to be substantiated.

        I would say it's better to argue WHICH Jesus that is depicted was the real thing.

        Paul's is not.
        The majority of the gospel writers' text is not.
        All the doctors of the RCC is not.
        Calvin's and Knox's is not.
        Certainly Joe Smith's is not.

        Heck all we have are dogmatists arguing over the proverbial "i" (the iota) and forgetting the We.

        So, what I have come to think is that Jesus can be understood only as a furniture and building contractor who lived in Galilee, and who thought a lot as he matured. He not only thought, but he talked and debated. Finally, Jesus, Mary & James Co. lost a principal, Jesus, who began to, like a lot of other Jews who thought something big was going to happen. Jesus seems to have been the least militant and the most social reformist of those who were roving the countryside of Galilee and other areas where they could be relatively unchecked. But when he went to Jerusalem, where he thought he would succeed, the powers that be killed him stone dead.

        His best stuff can be found in the Beatitudes, Parables, the Lord's Prayer (up to but not incl. the "doxology"), related passages and the Letter of James.

        To heck with Paul and his "religion". I suspect even the best in his letters to be able to be twisted by those who wanted to control the assemblies rather than let them thrive, and those who wanted central control of the "theology" and "cristology".

        Meh. Paul.

        Ugh. --UB.

        "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

        by unclebucky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 05:42:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Interesting take, tho I had a professor (0+ / 0-)

          who argued that Jesus was not some peaceful guy, but a real trouble maker who took over the Temple which required Roman troops to restore order. He cited evidence from Josephus I think, but then Josephus lived after Jesus and doesn't elaborate on him much. I lean toward the idea that Jesus probably didn't actually exist.

          •  Peaceful guy? Naw. The point is that... (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            after he got a good reception to his ideas, he began moving around in Galilee and Samaria. He probably wasn't violent, and neither were his followers.

            But when he approached the antique city, he may have run into those who didn't want any other influence into their control.

            First, they pushed back, and he pushed against them. They got the authorities involved, and that was that. Romans don't goof around.

            The Jesus that we are all told about probably didn't exist. But I have this sneaking suspicion that a Jesus, who no longer is clearly documented, did.

            And there is no dogma involved here. Jesus was never the Creator of the Universe, and there is probably not a "God" such as many thumpers, fundies or dogmatists imagine.

            Ugh. --UB.

            "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

            by unclebucky on Sun Jun 23, 2013 at 08:52:54 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

  •  This is something pretty much all Catholics know (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama, Pi Li, FG, Joy of Fishes, Timaeus, viral

    Yes, some of the Apostles certainly were married.

    And no, the prohibition against priests being married is not "dogma."  It's simply a policy of the Catholic Church -- one that has been around for centuries, true.  But since it's not dogma, and just a policy, it can be changed if the Church leaders decide to do so.  

    As others pointed out, the inception in the middle ages had to do with not wanted priests to have children who would lay a claim to inherit Church property.

  •  The Bible mentions Peter's mother-in-law. (0+ / 0-)

    I never quite figured out how the Roman Church worked their way around that passage, or if they just ignored it.

    "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist." --Dom Helder Camara, archbishop of Recife

    by JamesGG on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:25:46 AM PDT

  •  The reasoning they usually give (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Wee Mama

    is not that the Apostles were unmarried, but rather that Jesus was unmarried (they believe that he was). Which makes a little more sense - but not much. (I personally think he married and his wife and child/children died before he started his ministry.)

    (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

    by PJEvans on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:28:12 AM PDT

  •  You forgot to put "BREAKING" in the title (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    happymisanthropy, jan4insight, VClib

    Black Holes Suck.

    by Pi Li on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:43:53 AM PDT

  •  There are married priests... (0+ / 0-)

    in the RCC.

    The myth about celibate apostles was to support the celibacy of priests, bishops and head cheeses, so that they could not claim anything for offspring (very well, but it is no longer necessary with contracts and oaths).

    There are Catholic married priests.
    * Those who migrated from the Anglican and Lutheran churches.
    * Those Eastern Rite churches who say that the pope is OK to be leader.

    Then there are married priests/vicars and bishops in the Anglican Church and the Lutheran Church.

    Not a biggie. But we all know about the RCC and their fixation on "tradition"!



    "Daddy, every time a bell rings, a Randian Libertaria­n picks up his Pan Am tickets for the Libertaria­n Paradise of West Dakota!"

    by unclebucky on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 10:48:53 AM PDT

  •  Jesus was married too! (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    As a Jewish mother and friend of mine said:  "Of course Jesus was married, his mother was Jewish".

    And to Mary of Magdala also.

  •  Paul was originally Saul and considered himself (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    more Jewish than other Jews. And at the time there were many different Jewish sects including ultra-ultra orthodox and Paul/Saul considered himself the most Jewish of all. In other words a true beliver but one willing to do the oppressors work in rooting out fellow Jews whom Rome considered trouble makers and he persecuted if they were also not being Jewish enough in Paul/Saul 's opinion. So this ridgid and unstable personality has a hysterical reaction leaving him blind for days and coming out a true beliver in Jesus. Some have considered the possibility that he was dosed with Amanita muscaria that sometimes induces some strange and terrifying side effects along with its better known psychedelic ones. And perhaps was "coached" while in his altered state  due to mental disease or perhaps drug effect. On top of that consider he was hired by Rome to stop the cult of Christianity and in his own way did just that by his invention of some other mythos that continues today.

    I'd tip you but they cut off my tip box. The TSA would put Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad on the no-fly list.

    by OHdog on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 11:48:34 AM PDT

  •  Jesus asked His disciples to leave their families (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    A traveling hippie commune they were not.
    Except in GODSPELL>

  •  An Apostle is a Disciple Who's Written an Epistle (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Paul was celibate, and felt that the celibate lifestyle was ideal because it offered fewer distractions to the Life of Faith, and he certainly seems to have made it work for himself.  But even he acknowledged that the lifestyle wasn't for everybody and that it shouldn't be imposed on everybody.  When he extols the virtues of celibacy, in the next breath he adds, "Nevertheless, it is better to marry than to burn."

    (Paul also had a somewhat flexible definition of the term "Apostle", which was neccessary because he wasn't one of Jesus's original followers and therefore in some eyes lacked Street Cred.  Paul claimed to have Seen the Risen Christ -- referring, I assume to his Conversion -- and therefore he counted as one.  Paul also addresses several other people in his letters as Apostles, presumably because although they weren't among the Twelve Disciples, they had known Jesus.  Among the Apostles Paul cites are his sometimes partner Barnabas, and a woman named Junia.  Paul never mentions Mary Mags, but she would have met his criteria too,)

    Martin Luther rejected manditory celibacy for the clergy on strictly common sense grounds.  From a practical point of view, the priest is going to need a housekeeper, and putting a man and a woman in a house together and expecting nothing to happen would be like putting sparks next to straw and expecting nothing to burn.

    This pronouncement came to bite him in the butt when a cartload of fugitive nuns who had escaped from a nearby convent showed up on his doorstep.  He had to quickly find husbands for them all.  And one of them had her sights set on him.

    Although Luther reccommended marriage to others, he was reluctant to embrace it for himself.  He said it was because he could be arrested and executed by the Pope at any time and so he could not in good conscience start a family.  But part of it seems to be that he felt severe moral qualms about breaking his own monastic vows, even though he preached to others that those vows were not binding.

    Eventually Katerina von Bora wore him down and she proved to be the perfect wife for him, sensibly maintaining his household and grounding Luther's sometimes erratic temper.  And Luther took some perverse pleasure in the thought of how a monk and a renegade nun were siring a house-full of children must be making the Pope's brain explode.

    "All the World's a Stage and Everyone's a Critic." -- Mervyn Alquist

    by quarkstomper on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 12:59:43 PM PDT

  •  Who's surprised? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    This isn't a surprise - it's in the Bible. It's been official Church position that celibacy is a church discipline, not doctrine. In fact, there are married priests - mostly converted Episcopalian and Lutheran priests. One of most popular priests in the diocese where I live is a married former Episcopal priest.

    AFAIK, celibacy mainly started to prevent what was called "alienation of church property" - i.e. the leaving of land beneficed to a church for its support to a priest's children in his will. No (official) children, no inheritance problem.

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