By Alfons Maria Cardinal Stickler

Publisher: Ignatius Press

1995, Softcover, 106 pages

In order to arrive at a correct understanding of the much discussed topic of clerical celibacy, it is clearly necessary to clarify the pertinent facts and regulations found within the Church from its beginnings until the present time. Further, it is also necessary to explore the theological reasons for celibacy. This can only be done on the basis of a knowledge of the relevant sources and of current scholarship, especially if Cardinal Stickler’s presentation is to be accepted as valid and scientifically credible.

In order to understand the historical development of celibacy in the Western and Eastern Churches, this study will begin with an analysis of the actual concept of clerical celibacy which necessarily lies at the basis of the respective obligations that it imposes. In addition, in order that Stickler’s conclusions be solidly founded, he provides an outline of the method which a proper treatment of this argument demands. The final part will be dedicated to the theological presuppositions and foundations of celibacy. (from the back cover)