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celibacy, clerical

celibacy, clerical. Clerical celibacy, common since early Christian times, has scant scriptural authority. The Council of Elvira (c.305) forbade all western clergy to marry, a decision later confirmed by popes and western councils. The 11th-cent. Hildebrandine reforms, implemented in England sensitively by Lanfranc, sought to eliminate renewed clerical concubinage. Lateran decrees (1123, 1139) reinforced this situation which remains the official catholic line, whereas the eastern church decreed (691) that, though bishops must be celibate, priests and deacons could continue already-established marriages. Clerical marriage was a major issue at the Reformation. Compulsory Anglican celibacy was abolished (1549), though Cranmer was already secretly married. Elizabeth initially disapproved of married clergy, even of Parker. After the second Vatican Council (1962–5) allowed a married diaconate, Paul VI in Sacerdotalis caelibatus resisted strong pressure to end celibacy (1967). Recent catholic reordination of married former Anglican bishops and priests (1995) has complicated the issue.

Revd Dr William M. Marshall

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cleric

cleric adj. clerical; sb. clergyman. XVII. — ecclL. clēricus — Gr. klērikós (eccl.) belonging to the Christian ministerial order, f. klêros lot, heritage, as used (e.g.) in Acts 1: 17 ‘the lot (klêros) of this ministry’.
So clerical of the clergy XVI; of a clerk or penman XVIII. — ecclL. clēricālis, f. clēricus.

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cleric

cler·ic / ˈklerik/ • n. a priest or minister of a Christian church. ∎  a priest or religious leader in any religion. ORIGIN: early 17th cent.: from ecclesiastical Latin clericus ‘clergyman,’ from Greek klērikos ‘belonging to the Christian clergy,’ from klēros ‘lot, heritage’ (Acts 1:26).

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cleric

clericAmharic, barbaric, Garrick, Pindaric, samsaric •fabric • cambric • Aelfric • chivalric •geriatric, paediatric (US pediatric), Patrick, psychiatric, theatric •tantric •epigastric, gastric •alphanumeric, atmospheric, chimeric, cleric, climacteric, congeneric, Derek, derrick, Eric, esoteric, exoteric, ferric, generic, hemispheric, Herrick, Homeric, hysteric, mesmeric, numeric, skerrick, spheric, stratospheric •red-brick • Cedric •calendric, Kendrick •anthropometric, asymmetric, diametric, geometric, isometric, kilometric, metric, obstetric, psychometric, pyrometric, sociometric •electric, hydroelectric, photoelectric •androcentric, centric, concentric, eccentric, egocentric, ethnocentric, Eurocentric, geocentric, phallocentric, theocentric •airbrick • hayrick • Friedrich •Dietrich •empiric, lyric, panegyric, Pyrrhic, satiric, satyric, vampiric •pinprick • citric • oneiric • hydric •nitric •aleatoric, allegoric, anaphoric, camphoric, categoric, choric, Doric, euphoric, historic, metaphoric, meteoric, phantasmagoric, phosphoric, pyrophoric, semaphoric, sophomoric, theophoric, Warwick, Yorick •con trick •auric, boric, folkloric •Kubrick, rubric •Ugric • Cymric • xeric • firebrick •Rurik, sulphuric (US sulfuric), telluric, Zürich •Frederick • Roderick • undertrick •agaric • Alaric • choleric • limerick •turmeric •archbishopric, bishopric •rhetoric • maverick • overtrick •Masaryk

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