While the apostle Peter may have taken his wife along with him in his ministry, for the better part of church history, the church considered celibacy to be the acceptable state for a priest. The reality was quite different – many priests in the medieval world had women on the side and just paid a tax to the Pope every time they had an illegitimate child. The Protestant Reformation(s) changed that. The Protestants believed that marriage was OK for a priests and developed a new model of the ideal Christian life: the vicarage family, that is, Dad the pastor, Mum the pastor’s wife and their pious children. It was controversial, and at first, ‘pastor’s wives’ were seen as more flagrant versions of the priests’ concubines so they and their husbands had to defend their position and lifestyle. Rather than arguing that the ideal woman was a celibate nun in a convent, Martin Luther held up his own wife, Katie von Bora, as the ideal woman. She was not only the first ministry wife, she was the pioneer and model of it. I thought I’d use some of the reading I’ve been doing on Katie to ventriloquize an interview with her, In Tandem style.
Posts tagged ‘ministry wives’