East and West: A historical review of priestly celibacy and marriage.

Here’s another installment on the topic of vocation. If you’re looking for a great source for the significant Church decisions and events regarding priestly celibacy and marriage this is a the article for you.

The article starts with the early Church and walks you up to the current century providing council decisions, documents and statements by Pope’s, and clear explanation of the differences and similarities between the two lungs of the Church.

Here’s the short of it. Both East and West only select celibate priest to be bishops. Both allow married deacons and only the East allows married priests (remember only celibate priests can become bishops).

They both have this significant rule: the sacrament of marriage can not follow the sacrament of the priesthood. In neither Church can a man, whether priest or deacon, be married after being ordained. This is one reason deacons are supposed to be of mature age so they will have decided on marriage or not before becoming a deacon. Remember that in the western Church deacons can not get remarried if they are divorced or widowed.

It would seem we only have one difference while noting that the Church of the West has always respected the honor and historicity of the married state of the priest of the East.



About Rob Brock

A Catholic convert with a fire for discipleship, catechesis, and formation that leads to transformed lives in Christ. View all posts by Rob Brock

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