Why Celibacy?

“The Church today demands a profound renewal of celibate priesthood and the fatherhood to which it is ordered.”


Resources · Excerpt


In a critical moment for the Catholic Church, Why Celibacy? brings light and hope with a new perspective on the Church’s perennial wisdom on priestly celibacy. Fr. Carter Griffin shows what true fatherhood is, and how it can direct priests to more faithfully serve the Church.

Why Celibacy? explores

  • the question of optional celibacy or married priests
  • some pitfalls of celibate fatherhood
  • the qualities needed in candidates for celibate priesthood
  • what matters most in the formation of priests
  • why biological fathers are also called to spiritual fatherhood
  • the powerful impact of celibacy on the Church and the wider culture

In Why Celibacy? readers will find a meaningful proposal for building up the Church and supporting not just priests, but all fathers.


  • “A renewed vision of the priesthood.” —Scott Hahn
  • “Essential reading for priests and those who form them.” —Mary Healy
  • “ . . . A question on the minds of many in today’s society—including Catholics and even priests.” —Archbishop Paul S. Coakley
  • “The reform of the Church will not happen without the reform of the priesthood Fr. Griffin engagingly describes . . . .” — Fr. Roger J. Landry
  • “A thoughtful, trenchant, inspiring, and very timely defense.” —George Weigel
  • “We need celibacy now more than ever—and a celibate priesthood of true, spiritual fathers.” — Msgr. Andrew R. Baker
  • “This book has the timing of a divine intervention.” —Deacon James Keating
  • “Seminarians who read this will be excited about the gift of celibacy. . . . ” —Fr. Brett Brannen
  • “Fr. Carter Griffin has done a great service for the Church. . . . ” —Fr. Paul Scalia
  • Why Celibacy? makes the case that priests do not renounce fatherhood but embrace celibacy as a privileged way of living it.” —Sr. Sara Butler

About the Author

Fr. Carter Griffin is the Rector of Saint John Paul II Seminary in Washington, DC. He is a graduate of Princeton University and a former line officer in the United States Navy.

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