Abstract

The Second Vatican Council’s 1965 decree, Presbyterorum Ordinis (On the Ministry and Life of Priests) received an unwelcome reception within the Church. Priests, principally in the United States, Canada, and Europe, believed the document inadequate because it had not resolved the debate on mandatory clerical celibacy and priestly identity. The immediate aftermath of the council saw large numbers of priests leave active ministry and fewer men in formation for priesthood. Presbyterorum Ordinis’s unresolved questions led to the 1971 Synod of Bishops on the Ministerial Priesthood. After a lively debate, clerical celibacy was reaffirmed and by the late 1970s the controversies surrounding priestly life and ministry were in decline.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1947-8224
Print ISSN
0735-8318
Pages
pp. 27-53
Launched on MUSE
2014-12-14
Open Access
No
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