The Awareness of Mystery and Conjugal Spirituality in the Ministry of the Married Ambrosian Clergy in the Early Middle Ages
Are you already subscribed? Login to check
whether this content is already included on your personal or institutional subscription.
From approximately 1088, the introduction, also to Milan, of celibacy for
the clergy (fostered by the ecclesiastical reform) marked the end for the Ambrosian
Church of a centuries-old lifestyle, disciplined by the canons (as in
the East) and rooted in the ancient rule of worship, common to the whole
Christian people. The disappearance of the legitimately married ministry
meant the loss of what had previously been, in the ecclesial community, the
living paradigm of the conjugal status (characterized by the exclusivity of
the spouses’ reciprocal belonging, demonstrated by absolute chastity before
the nuptials and rigorous monogamy, even in the case of widowhood, by
respect for the female figure in the person of the presbytera and by the use
of marriage in harmony with worship and its celebrations). This change was
not devoid of consequences also in regard to the cultural and theological
perceptions of marriage.