In order to arrive at a correct understanding of the much discussed topic of clerical celibacy, it is necessary to clarify the pertinent facts and regulations found within the Church from its beginnings until the present time. Further, itis also necessary to explore the theological reasons for celibacy. This can be done only on the basis of a knowledge of the relevant sources and of current scholarship, especially if this book's presentation is to be accepted as valid and credible. Before tracing the historical development of celibacy in the Western and European Churches, this study begins with an analysis of the actual concept of clerical celibacy, which necessarily lies at the basis of the respective obligations that it imposes. To give solidity to his conclusions, Cardinal Stickler provides an outline of the method which a proper treatment of this argument demands. The final part of his book is dedicated to the theological presuppositions and foundations of celibacy.
"A wealth of information on the history of celibacy for the clergy of the Catholic Church—both in the East and the West. I was particularly impressed by his arguments showing that celibacy is necessarily connected to the priesthood of Jesus Christ. It is refreshing to find a book on celibacy that is truly theological— one that is rooted in Scripture, the Fathers of the Church, and the Magisterium."
— Fr. Kenneth Baker, S. J., Editor Emeritus, Homiletic & Pastoral Review