Freeing Celibacy

Front Cover
Liturgical Press, 2006 - Religion - 115 pages

2007 Catholic Press Association Award Winner!

Mandatory celibacy for Latin rite Catholic priests has been the norm for almost 900 years. Now the clergy sexual abuse scandal and the rapidly declining number of priests have pushed many of the faithful to the point of questioning this tradition of the church. To this sometimes tense discussion of sex and power Donald Cozzens brings his signature calmness, his own gifted experience of celibate life, and his talent for distilling the spiritual truth of the human condition.

Cozzens explores priestly celibacy as source of power and burden of obligation, as spiritual calling and gift of the Spirit. Putting mandatory celibacy in historic perspective, he examines the ancient and contemporary experience of married clergy in the Eastern churches and the Roman rite church. It is time, he concludes, to set celibacy free from canonical mandate to become what it is meant to be: a graced way of life for some but not all of the church's ordained ministers.

 

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Contents

The Mystique of Celibacy
7
Celibacy as Charism
19
Celibacy as Obligation
31
Celibacys Exceptions
43
Celibacys Shadow
53
Celibacy and Homosexuality
65
Celibacy as Power
75
Celibacy as Oppression
85
Freeing Celibacy
95
Notes
107
Select Bibliography
113
Copyright

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About the author (2006)

Donald Cozzens is visiting associate professor of religious studies at John Carroll University in University Heights, Ohio.

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