Posts Tagged ‘Unius Uxoris Vir’

Unius Uxoris Vir

Wednesday, November 19th, 2008

Husband of one wife.

Expression found in the New Testament that opponents to clergy celibacy have been using for centuries in order to have a family. These words are found among others in the first Letter of St Paul to Thimothy (3:2):

“oportet ergo episcopum inreprehensibilem esse unius uxoris virum sobrium prudentem ornatum hospitalem doctorem”

“Now a bishop must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, sensible, dignified, hospitable, an apt teacher”

At the end of the 4th century pope Siricius gave a clear answer to its meaning, saying that before being ordained , having had only one wife was a sign of faithfulness. The newly ordained priest was thus more trusted to carry on his vows of perpetual abstinence.

Now, here is the official (and lengthy) answer from the Vatican.