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The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy

Author(s): Christian Cochini

ISBN13: 9780898709513

ISBN10: 0898709512

Publisher: Veritas Warehouse - Ballycoolin D 11

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  • Fr. Christian Cochini, S.J. examines the question of when the tradition of priestly celibacy began in the Latin Church, and he is able to trace it back to its origins with the apostles. He examines evidence about the marital status of every known bishop, priest or deacon of the period and gives an exhaustive list of married clerics from apostolic times until the end of the seventh century, a list that includes not only the Western Church, but the East and also the Nestorian, Novatian and Pelagian Church. Then Cochini examines the relevant Church documents for the same period, including council and synod documents, papal letters, ecclesial and even secular legislation as it relates to the problem. He also provides a survey of scholarly literature on the topic.

    This is the definitive scholarly statement on the discipline of priestly celibacy in the Church East and West. What Cochini shows through patristic sources and conciliar documentation is that from the beginning of the Church, although married men could be priests, they were required to vow to celibacy before ordination, meaning they intended to live a life of continence. He provides extensive documentation, a bibliography and an index.

    Fr. Cochini SJ, is a French citizen, and for several years he has been involved in inter-religious dialogue in China, the details of which I have presented below. He has just published a Guide to the main Buddhist Temples in China. Thanks to the assistance of his many Chinese friends, Fr. Cochini was able to achieve his program of visits to some 150 Buddhist temples, which rank among the most important in the areas of Han nationality. He personally declared that he owed a special debt of gratitude to the abbots, monks, nuns and lay persons, who received him with great openness into their monasteries, and provided him with first-hand documentation. The book, will be the first of its kind in western language. It will serve as an instrument for fostering inter-religious dialogue between overseas Christians and Chinese Buddhists, and will also be a useful reference for the international Buddhist community. Buddhism is so intertwined with Chinese history and culture that the long presence of these Chinese communities living in Buddhist monasteries and temples on Chinese soil, throws an interesting light on some important chapters of the history of China.
  • Christian Cochini

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    This work is of the first importance. It is the result of serious and extensive research. There is nothing even remotely comparable to this work in this whole century.

    - Henri Cardinal de Lubac


The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy