Question from Nick H on 3/26/2008:
You had a recent question about priestly celibacy and when it became required.
I would encourage your questioner to read two books: "The Case for Clerical Celibacy" by Alphons Cardinal Stickler - a very brief and accessible book and The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy by Fr. Christian Cochini - a much more detailed, scholarly treatment. The most important point from the general description of Cochini's book is this:
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.
Answer by Richard Geraghty on 3/27/2008:
Thank you for your note.