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Defiant Priests$
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Michelle Armstrong-Partida

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781501707735

Published to Cornell Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.7591/cornell/9781501707735.001.0001

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Marriage Defines the Parish Priest

Marriage Defines the Parish Priest

(p.29) Chapter 1 Marriage Defines the Parish Priest
Defiant Priests

Michelle Armstrong-Partida

Cornell University Press

This chapter demonstrates the pervasiveness of clerical unions and the proclivity of parish priests to form de facto marriages with women. These were enduring unions in which clerics were fully committed to their women and children. Moreover, maintaining a family did not hinder the careers of priests since many clerics were promoted from the minor to major orders, and even to the position of rector, in spite of their unions and households of children. The omnipresence of long-term unions and sexual affairs among the clergy illustrates that forming a sexual relationship with a woman became an element of clerical manliness in medieval Catalunya. Meanwhile, visitation records show that episcopal officials worked not to eradicate clerical unions among the clergy but to prevent the clergy from flagrantly displaying their families in public.

Keywords:   clerical unions, de facto marriages, clerics, long-term unions, sexual affairs, sexual relationship, clerical manliness

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