Peter married- Pope not married-why?


Peter was clearly married as his mother-in-law is mentioned in the gospels. When/how did the church decide the Pope would not be married? Were there some married Popes in the past?


When/how did the church decide the Pope would not be married?

It’s not a matter of the Pope per se being married or not, but of bishops in general being married or not. The Tradition that bishops should not marry began in the 4th century. Since the Pope is a bishop, naturally - - - - -.

Were there some married Popes in the past?

Some earlier Popes, IIRC.



I am not sure when/how it happened but it should be noted that celibacy is a discipline, not a doctrine. And it is not forced on anyone. If you don’t want to be celibate then don’t become a Roman Catholic priest.


Maybe his wife had passed. The bible never mentions her.



30 Now Simon’s mother-in-law lay sick with a fever, and immediately they told him of her. 31 And he came and took her by the hand and lifted her up, and the fever left her; and she served them.

Mark 1:30-31

It would seem a poor daughter that would allow her mother to rise from a sick bed to serve the guests. I would assume that the daughter was dead and the mother-in-law had the running of the household.


That’s the bottom-line. That always comes to my mind every time I hear someone say that priests should be allowed to marry. BTW your avatar is the best avatar on CAF, hands-down.

Very good observation, you’re astute.


There is a tradition that Saint Peter’s daughter was in Rome. I don’t remember if the tradition mentions his wife.

However I do not believe this ‘tradition’ is old enough to be considered reliable.


Didn’t a tradition say that his wife was martyred with him in Rome?


OK, do you know why they decided bishops should not be married then? I assume they were allowed before?

Also, what is IIRC?


1st question: I have no idea.

2nd question: If I recall correctly (I didn’t know myself, Google told me:))


Bishops then were commonly selected from among the monastics. Monastics are always celibate.


It is possible, that his wife might be indirectly mentioned in this passage;
"Am I not free? Am I not an apostle? Are you not my workmanship in the Lord? If to others I am not an apostle, at least I am to you; for you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.
This is my defense to those who would examine me. Do we not have the right to our food and drink?** Do we not have the right to be accompanied by a wife (n), as the other apostles and brethren of the Lord and Cephas?**** (1 Cor 9:1-5 RSV-2CE)**

(n) Greek: woman, sister

Yes (according to the footnote) this might not be his wife, but if his wife was still alive, it would make sense that she would be traveling with the other women that assisted the apostles. No one knows for sure.


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