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Priestly celibacy: a gift and a commitment (can. 277 § 1).

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Aroh Prudentius Emeka

“Tesi Gregoriana” Diritto Canonico 99

2014, pp. 416

978-88-7839- 283-0  


Is celibacy an exclusive practice of the Latin Church? Why has priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church always been singled out for attacks? Is the requirement of celibacy harmful to man’s psycho-sexual equilibrium and to the normal development of human personality? Is celibacy a greater burden to priests from non-Western cultures like Ingho-Nigerian culture? Is priestly celibacy still relevant in today’s society? If priestly celibacy is a charism, how can it be imposed by law? These crucial questions about priestly celibacy find their answers in this work. There has been a debate concerning the primary source of the obligation of priestly celibacy. This work clarifies that since priestly celibacy is a charism of the Holy Spirit, the primary source of obligation does not rise from the law but from the charism itself (gift) and from the free response which the person gives in love to this charism (commitment). The work traced the magisterium of the Church on priestly celibacy from 1917 code to the pontificate of Benedict XVI and came to the conclusion that the crisis associated with celibacy is not solved by abrogating the law but through an integrated celibate formation of seminarians. The work therefore developed an «integrated celibate formation model for Igho-Nigerian seminarians»., a model which is adaptable to the formation of seminarians in any socio-cultural and ecclesial situation.

Prudentius Emeka Aroh, was ordained a priest for the Catholic Archdiocese of Onitsha, Nigeria in 2000. He studies philosophy and theology at Bigard Memorial Seminary, Enugu, Nigeria. After a brief work in the Archdiocesan curia, he began the study of canon law at the Pontifical Gregorian University, Rome, concluding his licentiate degree in 2011, with magna cum laude and his doctorate degree in 2014 with summa cum laude.

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