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‘I cannot keep silent’: Benedict XVI and Cdl Sarah defend priestly celibacy in new book

Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah have co-authored a new book on priestly celibacy, taking a firm stand against the priestly ordination of married men in the Latin Church. Titled, “From the Depths of Our Hearts,” [De profoundeur de nos cœurs] the new book by the pope emeritus and the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments will first be released in French on January 15. - Tomorrow


The timing of the new volume is significant. It comes ahead of Pope Francis’s highly anticipated post-apostolic exhortation on the recent Synod of Bishops on the Amazon. The meeting, which took place in October at the Vatican, proposed creating an exception to celibacy in the Latin priesthood.

“The ability to renounce marriage in order to place oneself totally at the Lord’s disposal is a criterion for the priestly ministry,” Benedict XVI writes in the new book. “As for the concrete form of celibacy in the ancient Church, it should also be pointed out that married men could only receive the sacrament of Holy Orders if they had committed themselves to sexual abstinence, that is to say, to a Josephite marriage. Such a situation seems to have been quite normal during the first centuries.”

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