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Keeping the VowThe Untold Story of Married Catholic Priests$
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D. Paul Sullins

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199860043

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860043.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 06 December 2021

Are Married Priests Worse—or Better?

Are Married Priests Worse—or Better?

Chapter:
(p.169) 7 Are Married Priests Worse—or Better?
Source:
Keeping the Vow
Author(s):

D. Paul Sullins

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199860043.003.0007

Alone of all world religions, the Catholic Church requires its ordinary clergy—not just monks and nuns—to practice celibacy. One justification for this is the idea that celibate priests can be more fully devoted to the service of God and their parish since their commitment is not divided between the Church and their wife and family. Data comparing married and celibate priests provide no support for this claim. Compared to celibate priests, married priests devote more time, not less, to prayer and work, and are more satisfied in their ministry and faithful to Church doctrine. Rather than a distraction, their wives encourage and support them to devote themselves even more fully to Church ministry. However, married priests and their wives support continuation of the rule of celibacy much more strongly than do celibate priests.

Keywords:   Catholicism, clergy celibacy, Church doctrine, clergy, ministry

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