Of God and His Creatures

This curious passage is in the Liber de haeresibus, printed as the genuine work of St Augustine in Tom. viii of the Maurist edition. St Athanasius, Ep. ad Dracont., mentions married monks, though they probably were the exception. The enforcement of clerical celibacy originally went no further than a prohibition of marriage subsequent to ordination. Such a marriage came readily to fall under the prohibition of a second marriage, which underlies the phrase husband of one wife, 1 Tim. iii, 2. Like some other things in the Church, clerical and monastic celibacy developed in time from a gospel germ (Matt. xix) and apostolic practice (1 Cor. vii, 7).

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