Bringing you the "Good News" of Jesus Christ and His Church While PROMOTING CATHOLIC Apologetic Support groups loyal to the Holy Father and Church's magisterium
Home About
What's New? Resources The Church Family Life Mass and
Ask A Catholic
Knowledge base
AskACatholic Disclaimer
Search the
AskACatholic Database
Donate and
Support our work
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
New Questions
Cool Catholic Videos
About Saints
Disciplines and Practices for distinct Church seasons
Purgatory and Indulgences
About the Holy Mass
About Mary
Searching and Confused
Contemplating becoming a Catholic or Coming home
Homosexual and Gender Issues
Life, Dating, and Family
No Salvation Outside the Church
Sacred Scripture
non-Catholic Cults
Justification and Salvation
The Pope and Papacy
The Sacraments
Relationships and Marriage situations
Specific people, organizations and events
Doctrine and Teachings
Specific Practices
Church Internals
Church History

Tim Byrne wrote:

Hi, guys —

I have heard a radio personality declare he has left the Catholic Church because, he claims, he found out that the Apostles were all married.

  • How can the truth to this question be discovered?

I would like to know what documentation could support the position that, Yes, the Apostles were all married or, No, the Apostles were not married.

I appreciate your answer to this perplexing question.


  { What sources are there to support the issue of whether the Apostles were, or were not, married? }

Eric replied:


No, the Apostles were not all married. The only Apostle we have inspired proof of being married is St. Peter, owing to Matthew 8:14's reference to his mother-in-law. Tradition, if I recall correctly, tells us that all the Apostles, except St. John, were married. (St. Jerome identifies St. John as a virgin in his treatise Against Jovinianus, I. 26. Eusebius says Peter and Philip had children, see History III. XXX. Tertullian (Monogamy 8, 4), however, says that only Peter was married.)

I'll be perfectly honest: This is a very ignorant and irrational reason to leave the faith. It makes the erroneous assumption that the Catholic faith stands or falls on the practice of priestly celibacy. This is extraordinarily silly. Anyone who is well informed knows several things:

  1. One, priestly celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine or teaching. As such, it can (and is) changed. My pastor, for example, is married.
  2. Two, that universal priestly celibacy was not introduced until the 12th century — (First and Second Lateran Councils).
  3. Three, that priestly celibacy and priestly continence are distinct concepts. You can prove the Apostles were married, but you can't prove they exercised their marital rights and that proscription is the focus of the book The Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy by Christian Cochini (See, for example, Tertullian, On Exhortation to Chastity, Chapter VIII).
  4. Four, that married clergy is the norm in many Eastern Catholic churches (e.g., in Ukraine).

No one who knows anything about Catholicism would be the least bit scandalized, shocked, or surprised by the assertion that St. Peter (or any) of the Apostle were married.


Please report any and all typos or grammatical errors.
Suggestions for this web page and the web site can be sent to Mike Humphrey
© 2012 Panoramic Sites
The Early Church Fathers Church Fathers on the Primacy of Peter. The Early Church Fathers on the Catholic Church and the term Catholic. The Early Church Fathers on the importance of the Roman Catholic Church centered in Rome.