Articles on Celibacy

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Margareta, head of the women’s community at Lippoldsberg (in modern-day Germany) clasps hands with an Augustinian monk as he hands her a book. Lippoldsberg Evangeliary. Kassel, Landesbibliothek, MS theol. 2o 59, f. 73v.

Nuns were secluded to avoid scandals in early Christian monastic communities

Pope Francis recently confirmed that clergy members abused nuns. Since the early days of monasticism, the presence of nuns led to restrictions that limited contact between men and women.
Theodore McCarrick, retired archbishop of Washington D.C., prays during the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in 2011. AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, File

Theodore McCarrick will continue to be a Catholic priest

In the Catholic understanding, priesthood is not simply a job that a someone can be fired from. Ordination is a deeply spiritual ceremony that is believed to transfer the power of the Holy Spirit.
New priests being ordained during a ceremony led by Pope Francis in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Vatican, when they take vows, including to remain celibate. AP Photo/Andrew Medichini

How views on priestly celibacy changed in Christian history

Early Christians were open to marriage for priests. It wasn't until the 12th century that celibacy became mandatory in the Catholic Church.
Pope Francis has acknowledged that celibacy is one of the challenges of the Catholic Church in the 21st century. Reuters/Stefano Rellandini

Why the Catholic church is ‘hemorrhaging’ priests

Pope Francis recently acknowledged that the Catholic Church is struggling to recruit new priests, endangering its very future. Why don't people want to join the clergy?

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