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Jesus and wife

• The Irish Independent article (September 20) 'Ancient text is uncovered claiming Jesus had a wife', gives a false impression of the history of church teaching.

The writer of this article, Mark Hughes, says that this document could "undermine centuries of church teaching on whether women can be priests and clerical celibacy".

Although most of the church's teaching has always condemned the idea of priests being able to marry or engage in sexual activity, this was, in practice, not followed.

Until the reforms of Pope Gregory XII in the 12th century, priests often married, kept concubines or had children (perhaps sometimes they'd do all three!).

The case of women not being accepted as priests is a little different.

Women were seen as little more than property when many church doctrines were being developed. I think this may have more to do with it than the fact that Jesus never married.

James McGovern
Drumcondra, Dublin 9

Irish Independent