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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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(p.256) Conclusion
Defiant Priests

Michelle Armstrong-Partida

Cornell University Press

This concluding chapter argues that medieval priests did not renounce their ministry and their ecclesiastical careers to marry and have families. Rather, in fourteenth-century Catalunya, parish clergy were able to meld a family and household with their profession despite the prohibition against marriage. The fact that so many clergymen were promoted through the holy orders to become parish priests and still managed to form de facto marriages, support their children, and train their sons to be clergymen indicates that, even though the standards of the medieval Church had changed since the Gregorian period, the customs of parish clergy had not. Contrary to contemporary assumptions, celibacy and the absence of marital union did not define the medieval Catalan priest. Ultimately, their public sexuality, use of violent acts in defense of honor, and participation in competition for standing in the community are evidence that clerics adopted characteristics of lay manhood in medieval society.

Keywords:   medieval priests, de facto marriages, clerical unions, medieval Church, parish clergy, celibacy, Catalan priests, lay manhood, medieval society

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