THE YEAR 300 - CELIBACY, MARRIAGE AND HOLY COMMUNION
the year 300 A.D., due to difficulties in communication between the
churches, the different local churches adopted varied disciplines.
Though in all the differences, all recognized the supremacy of the
Pope in Rome.
was practised from the beginning of the Church by most of the
clergy, though this was not declared officially as an obligation
throughout the Church. The first priests were chosen from the first
converts and apparently some of the married men, shining in
holiness, were chosen for ordination, as Peter was.
official imposition of celibacy upon all the clergy started in Spain
at the Council of Elvira (305). About 315, in two local councils in
Galatia and Cappadocia, it became official that priests should not
in the Council of Nicea a lively discussion went on forbidding all
married bishops and priests to live with their wives, the advise of
Paphnutius was accepted to follow the 'ancient tradition' which
prohibited marriage after ordination.
a Council held at Rome under Pope Siricius in 386, the imposition of
continence upon all bishops, priests and deacons became, to some
extent, universal. St. Jerome and St. Ambrose spoke strongly in its
favor. And non-observance was sporadic and due more to ignorance or
pure human weakness.
the beginning, the Church maintained the indissolubility of
marriage; and anyone who departed from it was to be excluded from
Church also was very strict in prohibiting the marriage of near
relatives, forbidding the intermarriage of first cousins.
Justin described the universal practice of receiving Holy Communion
as early as the second century, adding: "No one is permitted to
partake of it unless he believes, is baptized and lives as Christ