Married Priests and the Reforming Papacy the Eleventh-Century Debates

Author: Barstow, Anne
Treats the patristic and early-medieval documents that later became references in the debates over clerical celibacy, the Gregorian attack on clerical marriage, its defenses, the defense of the Norman Anonymous, and the consequences of the reformers' success in making celibacy a necessary condition of clerical status.


". . . conveniently brings together most of what is known of the history of married priests in the eleventh and twelfth centuries. . . . [Chapters 3 and 4], on the defense of clerical marriage, are the most important in the book. The suggestions for dating the Norman Anonymous make good sense. A final chapter opens many perspectives by relating the success achieved by the Gregorians to more general social changes." - American Historical Review ". . . a useful study of the controversies . . . [Barstow] succeeds in clarifying the world of practice and the polemics in a clear, sensible, and sympathetic survey, which draws many threads together and will be a valuable aid to future students both of celibacy and the papal reform." _ Journal of Ecclesiastical History

". . . has many virtues . . . [Barstow] can be justly commended for a valiant effort over difficult and dangerous terrain. . . . [Her] treatment of the Gregorian attack on marriage and the ensuing defense is, without doubt, the most valuable contribution she makes. Barstow's book does decidedly advance our knowledge of an important issue; it is therefore a `must' for college libraries." - Horizons "[T]he debates on clerical marriage versus celibacy add a dimension to our understanding of the controversies of that age. Barstow documents her work admirably; she is well versed in her subject." - Church History

"A reliance on primary sources in the chapters on the Gregorian Reform . . . . and the defense of married priests . . . makes her book valuable for factual information about clerical marriage in the Middle Ages." - Theological Studies "Those who relate clerical celibacy and the demeaning of women by the Church have all the proof they could want in this book. . . . Recommended reading for all in the celibacy fray." - Diaspora - Publication of the Federation of Christian Ministries

"Her careful historical treatment of the subject corrects many current misapprehensions. Most persons do not realize that until the 12th century many of the secular clergy in the West were married. . . . Barstow's book reads well, sheds considerable light