Hi, guys —
Peace be with you,
My Bible study group has all these questions. I
was elected to find out the answers.
- Were all of Jesus' twelve Apostles married?
- Did Peter take his wife to Rome with him?
- When did the Roman Catholic Church decide that priests
were to be celibate?
- Did the Church decide this for our priests because
married priests were bequeathing the Church properties
to their own children?
Thanks and God be with you,
Can you address the Apostle's marital status and when the Church decided on celibate priests? }
Hi, Susanna —
- Not all were married.
- It is unknown what happened to Peter's wife.
However, it appears from the Gospel that she predeceased
even his joining of the group of disciples, because
had she been alive,
the sickness of her mother would not have meant
that there was no one to wait on Jesus and the
- The Church always ordained married and non-married
More detailed information can be found by searching
the Catholic Encyclopedia at newadvent.org.
You can search any of the relevant terms.
- The married men could stay married until the
death of the partner, and could never be bishop,
- the unmarried could not marry, and could be
In the Middle Ages, many clergy who had nephews
or illegitimate sons would give them benefices
(places in the Church).
Hi, Susanna —
I'd offer a modification of Mary Ann's answer.
It is a long standing tradition that the Church
does not elevate married men to bishop, but that
does not necessarily go back to the beginning. St.
Paul writes to Timothy and Titus respecting both
presbyters and episcopoi (bishops). In his
instructs, he tell them not to ordain either if they
have more than one wife.
So there is evidence that the Church may have ordained
married men as bishops however the practice didn't