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Celibacy in Crisis: A Secret World Revisited

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  13 Ratings  ·  4 Reviews

In the midst of the worst crisis the Catholic Church has seen in almost 500 years, this book challenges Catholic authorities to renew, rethink, or reform the long-standing institution of celibacy.

Paperback, 350 pages
Published September 19th 2003 by Routledge (first published January 1st 2003)
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Sally
Jun 22, 2011 rated it liked it
This 2003 book reports the author's findings from 40 years of studying celibacy in Catholic priests, giving context to the pedophile scandals then breaking in Boston newspapers and elsewhere in the nation. A monk for 18 years, a priest for 11 of those years, and afterwards a psychiatrist who treated many clerics, he has an inside as well as an outside view of his subject. He respects celibacy as a choice and one feels he remains a dedicated Catholic. Most of the book is a look at the various for ...more
Liz
Nov 29, 2015 rated it liked it
A difficult but interesting read from A.W.Sipe, the priest turned psychiatrist of Spotlight fame. Sipe's primary goal in the compiling of his 25+ years of research is to explain and contextualize "the world of celibacy, its nature, its practice, and its achievement." Up until Sipe's work, this world had never been the subject of scientific research. I didn't realize how extensively celibacy as an ideal and requirement manifests in the larger crisis. Given this, Sipe's work also begins to answer ...more
Christopher Joseph
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
My thoughts when I picked this up were this book would be a critique of some of the practices of the Church in regards to sexuality and celibacy, then give a practical guide to achieving celibacy, but this really felt like a bitter author who resented the Church (which asked for strict celibacy) and himself (because he couldn't control his sexual urges as a priest). So rather than present an anthropological and sociological analysis of celibacy using his wealth of experience (which he does have) ...more
Autumn
Nov 26, 2010 rated it really liked it
A fascinating and thoughtful book about the practice and theory of celibacy in the Catholic priesthood. The author doesn't posit that celibacy is good or bad, and discusses the ways it is practiced (or) not from the perspective of priests, as well as their sexual partners. I would recommend this book to anyone interested in the human sexuality in general.
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Former Benedictine monk for 18 years, sociologist and author.
More about A.W. Richard Sipe