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 Post subject: Widespread violation to celibacy in 16th century?
PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 11:21 am 
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Does anyone know how widespread the clergy violated celibacy during the 16th century? A Protestant pastor claimed, ?by the 16th century, many priests disobeyed this church law.? He also claimed that in Germany at this time, almost all of the clergy was not celibate. Any input to challenge this?

Thanks.


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 11:47 am 
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He made the accusation, maybe HE should produce the statistics. I'm sure that the 16th century had much dissent, moral decay, and unchristian clergy. As for the claims that 'almost all' of 'many' of the clergy did anything, the burden of proof's on him. The reforms at Trent and via the great saints like Ignatius of Loyola and Teresa of Avila didn't happen by mistake.

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 3:57 pm 
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There were times in Church history that the rule of celibacy was violated by priests, but I agree that words like almost all place the burden of proof on him.

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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 4:23 pm 
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Perhaps the Protestant pastor can being with Martin Luther, an Augustinian, who was living with an ex-nun. Frederick of Wittenburg protected Luther for political and monetary reasons. The Protestant Revolt would give the German nobles the opportunity to loot the church, steal its lands and do away with the political competition.

Knowing of Luther's proclivities, Frederick was concerned that Luther not make the Revolt into a married priest issue. Luther lived with the ex-nun until the revolt was underway before he publically married her.

Luther enticed priests to break their vows and recruited priests who had already broken their vows by offering them positions in his "Not Catholic" church.

The best source for information is Luther's own words.

E. Michael Jones
Luther spent much of his time writing to various priests and clerics urging them to marry, and thereby break the solemn vows they had made . . . Once that spiritual transaction had been accomplished the apostate priest was firmly in the Lutheran camp . . . Once they had made two contradictory sets of solemn vows, there was no way out . .. The marriage vows were, of course, invalid; however . . . they seemed every bit as compelling.

'Within me,' one unhappy priest who has succumbed to the trap writes . . . 'a constant conflict rages. I often resolve to mend my course, but when I get home and wife and children come to meet me, my love for them asserts itself more mightily than my love for God, and to overcome myself becomes impossible for me.'

(Luther, Denifle, 3) . . .

http://ic.net/~erasmus/RAZ407.HTM#V. THE IMMEDIATE ILL EFFECTS OF PROTESTANTISM ON


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PostPosted: Fri May 06, 2005 5:03 pm 
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As I understand it, violation of celibacy vows was sadly quite widespread in the 1400s and 1500s. I don't know just how widespread it was, though. As has been mentioned, Luther himself was an example of a priest violating his vow of celibacy, and judging from his own words about his struggles against sin, he evidently had great trouble remaining sexual pure even when he was a Catholic in communion with the Church, and saw marriage and women and the cure for his impurity.

Incidentally, in my own genealogy we've found one of those unfaithful clerics from the 1500s -- Alexander Stewart, Bishop of Moray, Scotland, died 1537. So I guess I should, erm, thank His Excellency for enabling me to exist and thus to receive the inestimable grace of communion with our Lord in His Holy Catholic Church. :|

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PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 6:49 pm 
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Wow, Polycarp, that is a tough one!

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 Post subject: Re: Widespread violation to celibacy in 16th century?
PostPosted: Sat May 07, 2005 6:55 pm 
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Victor wrote:
Does anyone know how widespread the clergy violated celibacy during the 16th century? A Protestant pastor claimed, ?by the 16th century, many priests disobeyed this church law.? He also claimed that in Germany at this time, almost all of the clergy was not celibate. Any input to challenge this?

Thanks.


Going by their word, millions more people died from the inquisition than what was alive at the time. They are not reliable!

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