Fr. Gary Selin, "Priestly Celibacy: Theological Foundations" (Catholic UP, 2016)


One of the particular markers of the Latin rite of the Catholic Church is priestly celibacy. How did this discipline develop there? Why did it develop? What does it mean? Since it is a discipline that can be changed, should it be made optional? Fr. Gary Selin, in his new book, Priestly Celibacy: Theological Foundations (Catholic University Press, 2016), wrestles with these questions. Following an overview of the development of this discipline and a summation of theological arguments for it, Fr. Selin contends that priestly celibacy should be understood not only as a mandatory discipline but as a gift, and develops a synthesis that ties together its Christological, ecclesiological, and eschatological significance through the Eucharist. This tightly organized, well-written, and theologically rich work is highly recommended for anyone, regardless of level of knowledge, who is interested in the issue of celibacy in Catholicism and the theology and history behind it.

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