St Peter


My son asked me if St Peter was married? I answered no but he showed me references from Matthew’s Gospel that indicates he was at the time Jesus called him (both reference were to a Mother in law. I’m confused:shrug:


Yes, St. Peter was married. Celibate priests didn’t come until later in the Church. Tradition does tell us, though, that St. Peter did practice celibacy. Here’s an article you can read:


This is one reason a Catholic should to be familiar with scripture at lest the New Testament. It also is the reason it’s so easy for a young uniformed Catholic to be led out of the Church.


Ever since I was a kid, I just figured his wife was deceased bc we didn’t hear anything about her, just her mother. But we don’t know one way or another.


I think it is likely that he was a widower at the time. Where was his wife when her mother was so ill?



…it’s easy to fall into that presumption… Scriptures are mostly silent on the issue of Peter’s wife–only his mother-in-law is mentioned in the Gospels; and, as far as I can recall, there’s only one general mention of any of the Apostles’ wives:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]5 And the right to take a Christian woman round with us, like all the other apostles and the brothers of the Lord and Cephas?

(1 Corinthians 9:5)
Maran atha!




Hi, Mary!

…actually, this is another one of those issues that seem to evade attention… Paul never married; not only that, but he actually urged all others to embrace his example:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]25 Now concerning virgins, I have no commandment of the Lord; but I give counsel, as having obtained mercy of the Lord, to be faithful. 26 I think therefore that this is good for the present necessity, that it is good for a man so to be.

(1 Corinthians 7:25-26)
…so while the mandate of celibacy did not occur in the Church till later in her history, the practice of celibacy occurred right from the pages of Scriptures!

Maran atha!





…actually there’s a general reference to this by St. Paul (read my previous post on it).

Maran atha!



You’re forgetting someone: Jesus. Our Lord was celibate, and He bestowed great favor on those who were virgins. A virgin was His mother, and a virgin took care of His mother to the end of her days.



…yeah, due to the silence in Scriptures, it could be understood in that manner; yet, what is actually taking place is that St. Peter has taken in his mother-in-law… so the references revolve around St. Peter, his household, and the actual person that is ill–his mother-in-law.

Maran atha!



Hi, James!


Jesus is the Major Player here and He chose to remain Celibate!

…and it does seems that St. John (both John’s for that matter) remained celibate as well.

Maran atha!



From the earliest days of the Catholic Church celibacy was required upon ordination.

VATICAN (CWN) – The official Vatican newspaper L’Osservatore Romano devoted two full pages of its January 15 edition to the question of priestly celibacy. The paper’s coverage indicated that the tradition of celibacy was firmly established in the ancient Church. ** The newspaper’s coverage was based on the work of theologian Stefan Heid, who has studied recent debates on celibacy in light of the traditions established in the early years of Christianity. He concludes that the tradition dates back to the first Apostles-- who, while some (such as St. Peter) were married, observed “perfect continence.” Heid finds, from his study of the earliest Church councils, that the Apostles clearly understood Jesus to call for celibacy among priests, and thus they believed that in order to follow Jesus’ example, they themselves must become celibate. **

The reality is that priestly continence is an Apostolic Norm. From the beginning, continence was required for priest and bishop –

See :
Apostolic Origins of Priestly Celibacy, by Fr. Christian Cochini, S.J.(Ignatius, San Francisco, 1990);

There is no question that Priestly continence was the norm from the beginning and there were no legitimate exceptions.

Here is more testimony to the truth:
Fr. George William Rutler, in an article entitled* A Consistent theology of clerical celibacy *(Homiletic & Pastoral Review, Feb. 1989), notes that “Virginity and celibacy were not synonymous in the original ecclesiastical institution of celibacy. Those clerics whose marriages were recognized by the Church, and they were many, were expected to abstain from conjugal union after ordination. The new archeology shows that this was the case for all the Eastern Churches in the earliest centuries, and in a mitigated form later. In the Latin Church this was the clear rule throughout the first millenium, culminating in the laws of the Gregorian reform, especially as found in the First Lateran Council of 1123, and the Second Lateran Council of 1139…The discipline of the Second Lateran Council explicitly forbidding marriage after ordination was not an innovation in the observance of continence. Its prohibition of clerical marriage was only a regulation ensuring that the apostolic norm of abstinence would be better observed.”

While not a doctrine, an Apostolic “norm” means rules, including commands and prohibitions; the celibacy required for priests from the apostles was mandatory, and obligatory.




I did say that tradition teaches St. Peter was celibate after he was called by Christ.


Priestly celibacy applies only to the priesthood. Those who seem perpetually worried about this discipline need only leave it to those who are in formation for the priesthood. They accept and embrace it. The rest of us need not concern ourselves with it. We can relax in that it is 100% scriptural. Those who object are normally not involved - so why, one may ask, do they care?


Is celibacy practiced by married Catholic priests?


I think you mean chastity, not celibacy. Celibacy is being unmarried. Chastity is no sex. Married Catholic priests generally have children, so they are not chaste.


Thanks for the clarification 🖒



…I understand that these are special circumstances… those who are Catholic Priests and are married were married Priests (Pastors) in the Eastern Rites or came in from non-Catholic roots… in either case they were already married before joining the Catholic Church; I also understand that they must agree to the stipulation of not remarrying in the case of the loss of the wife.

Maran atha!



To clarify, some married, that is non-celibate, individuals were ordained. However, in the early church, upon their ordination they were no longer allowed conjugal or sexual relations with their wives. Never in the early Church do you see an ordained priest being praised for having children after ordination. On the contrary, that was considered as wrong since they were expected to practice perfect continence, that is, so sex.

Today, the rules have been loosened. Today a married priest is free to have sex with his wife, but he is not free to remarry if his wife dies.

On pages 294-299 several quotations by St. Jerome are discussed. Fr. Cochini quotes St. Jerome in Adversus Jovinianum, I, 34. PL 23, 257a-c, and reasons as follows,

“ ‘… You surely admit that he who goes on siring children during his episcopate cannot be a bishop. …’

So, while some married priests did break their vow of “perfect continence,” that is no sex, the Church never approved of that. It was considered a disgrace for a married priest to beget children with his wife after ordination.




From I recommend both articles on priestly celibacy in the early Church.

The classical Catholic translation of the Bible into English, commonly referred to as the Douay-Rheims version, gives us a text that excludes the interpretation that all the Apostles, Saint Paul inclusive, were married: “Have we not power to carry about a woman, a sister, as well as the rest of the apostles, and the brethren of the Lord, and Cephas?”

An objection could be raised that the Douay-Rheims version does not translate the text directly from the Greek but from a Latin version known as the Vulgate. This Latin text reads mulierem sororem or “a woman sister.” A return to the original Greek should dispel any discrepancies in this regard.

The Real Meaning of Adelphên Gunaika

What are the Greek words which have been translated as “believing wife,” “a sister, a wife,” or “a woman, a sister”? The key words (transliterated into Latin characters) are: adelphên gunaika.

Gunaika (the accusative or objective form of gunê) can mean both “a woman” and “a wife.” This happens, incidentally, in Romance languages like French, Spanish, and Portuguese, in which femme, mujer, and mulher, respectively, can have both meanings.

To avoid any ambiguity as to the meaning, Saint Paul qualified the word gunaika with the word adelphên (the objective form of adelphê), which means “a sister,” thus making a composite expression translating literally into “a sister woman.”

To understand the meaning of the expression “sister woman,” some historical background is needed. Among the Jews, it was the custom for pious ladies to follow their spiritual masters to aid them in their domestic needs. The Gospels record the fact that pious women followed the Divine Master and served Him. In Saint Matthew’s Gospel, one reads:
And there were there many women afar off, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto Him; among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee (27:55-56). 2

Likewise, Saint Luke writes:
And it came to pass afterwards, that He traveled through the cities and towns, preaching and evangelizing the kingdom of God; and the twelve with Him. And certain women who had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities: Mary who is called Magdalene, out of whom seven devils were gone forth, and Joanna the wife of Chusa, Herod’s steward, and Susanna, and many others who ministered unto Him of their substance (8:1-3).
The Greek word employed by both Saint Matthew and Saint Luke referring to these pious women who followed and served Our Lord is the same word used by Saint Paul: gunaikes. None of the exegetes thought of translating the expression as “wives.”

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