The Spirit of Celibacy
By Rev. Johann Adam Mohler, trans. by Cyprian Blamires
In 1828, theology professors in the German university city of Freiburg issued a provocative statement calling for the abolition of mandatory celibacy for Catholic priests. They advanced two arguments: 1) Celibacy is no longer up-to-date and 2) there is a pressing shortage of priests. A young Catholic theologian and priest, Johann Adam Möhler (1796-1838) responded with an article called "Illumination on a Memorandum Concerning the Elimination of Celibacy Prescribed for Catholic Priests." The consequence of Möhler's article was a dramatic rise in vocations to the priesthood. Young men of all walks of life rediscovered priesthood as a way of following Christ and making him present to others, and as an invitation to discover a spiritual life that affirms the beauty of this world.
This book is the first English translation of this classic work on celibacy and speaks well to modern day concerns about priestly celibacy and the shortage of priests. An insightful commentary by theologian and professor Dieter Hattrup of the University of Paderborn sheds more light into this discussion, making this a wonderful addition to priestly formation, sacramental and Holy Orders courses, or for anyone concerned about celibacy and the priesthood.