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Benedict XVI denies co-authoring book on priestly celibacy

Benedict XVI denies co-authoring book on priestly celibacy

Posted January. 16, 2020 07:40,   

Updated January. 16, 2020 07:40


A new book that had been allegedly co-authored by Benedict XVI (93) who defends priestly celibacy is now under public attention on whether it was actually written by the former pope. Cardinal Robert Sarah (75) of Guinea said that “he had included Benedict XVI’s name under his permission,” which was declined by the Benedict later on. The publishing of the book had been initially scheduled for Wednesday but has been postponed.

Archbishop Georg Gänswein, the private secretary of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, said Tuesday the former pontiff was not informed he would be presented as co-author and that Benedict has asked for his name and photo to be removed from the cover. The archbishop added that the Benedict had sent various writings and contributions but did not approve of including his name as co-author, having not even confirmed the final draft of the book before publication.

Titled “From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church," the book defends the importance of Catholic tradition as well as priestly celibacy. When the controversy escalated, Cardinal Sarah announced that he would publish the book as the single author of the book and include the Benedict as a contributor. It is still unknown when the book will be published.

Cardinal Sarah, a conservative, is prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments. He was appointed by Pope Francis in November 2014.

The controversy has also sparked rumors of conflict between Benedict XVI and Pope Francis. The pontiff, who comes from Argentina, is against priestly celibacy in the Amazon region, where there is a severe shortage of priests. Some view the book as a form of opposition to the Pope’s beliefs. Some say that conservatives in the Vatican are using the Benedict to attack the liberal Pope Francis.

Youn-Jong Kim zozo@donga.com