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Pope Benedict XVI breaks silence to reaffirm priest celibacy


Retired Pope Benedict XVI has broken his silence to reaffirm the price of priestly celibacy


NICOLE WINFIELD Associated Press

January 12, 2020, 11: 47 PM

5 min read

VATICAN CITY — Retired Pope Benedict XVI has broken his silence to reaffirm the price of priestly celibacy, co-authoring a bombshell book on the exact moment thatPope Francisis weighing whether or no longer to allow married men to be ordained to address the Catholic priest scarcity.

Benedict wrote the book, “From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church,” together alongside with his fellow conservative, Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah, who heads the Vatican’s liturgy instruct of business and has been a restful critic of Francis.

The French day-to-day Le Figaro published excerpts of the book gradual Sunday; The Associated Press obtained galleys of the English version, which is being published by Ignatius Press.

Benedict’s intervention is unparalleled, given he had promised to live “hidden from the area” when he retired in 2013 and pledged his obedience to the unusual pope. He has largely held to that pledge, though he penned an peculiar essay closing year on the sexual abuse scandal that blamed the crisis on the sexual revolution of the 1960s.

His reaffirmation of priestly celibacy, nonetheless, gets to the coronary heart of a fraught policy misfortune that Francis is anticipated to weigh in on, and will smartly be regarded as a public strive by the previous pope to sway the considering of the present one. The implications for such an intervention are grave, and are at possibility of gasoline renewed apprehension about the unheard of area of two popes, one retired and one reigning, living aspect by aspect in the Vatican gardens.

The authors clearly anticipated that doubtless interpretation, and pressured in their joint introduction that they were penning the book “in a spirit of filial obedience, to Pope Francis.”

Francis has acknowledged he would write a file based fully totally on the quit results of the October 2019 synod of bishops on the Amazon. A majority of bishops on the assembly called for the ordination of married men to address the priest scarcity in the Amazon, where the faithful can breeze months without having a Mass.

Francis has expressed sympathy with the Amazonian quandary. While he has prolonged reaffirmed the reward of a celibate priesthood in the Latin ceremony church, he has pressured that celibacy is a convention, no longer doctrine, and this capability that truth can switch, and that there might perchance presumably be pastoral reasons to allow for a exception in a particular instruct.

Benedict addresses the misfortune head-on in his chapter in the short book, which is nonetheless of a joint introduction and conclusion penned by Benedict and Sarah, and then a chapter apiece inbetween. Correct to his theological carry out, Benedict’s chapter is dense with biblical references and he explains in scholarly phrases what he says is the “major” basis for the celibate priesthood that dates from the times of the apostles.

“The priesthood of Jesus Christ causes us to enter into a lifestyles that consists of becoming one with him and renouncing all that belongs most effective to us,” he writes. “For monks, right here is the root of the need of celibacy but also of liturgical prayer,meditationon the Observe of God and the renunciation of fabric goods.”

Marriage, he writes, requires man to give himself fully to his family. “Since serving the Lord likewise requires the full reward of a man, it does no longer appear doubtless to acquire on the two vocations concurrently. Thus, the capability to resign marriage so as to instruct oneself fully on the Lord’s disposition grew to transform a criterion for priestly ministry.”

The joint conclusion of the book makes the case even stronger, acknowledging the crisis of the Catholic priesthood that it says has been “wounded by the revelation of so many scandals, disconcerted by the fixed questioning of their consecrated celibacy.”

Dedicating the book to monks of the area, the two authors flee them to persevere, and for all faithful to acquire company and enhance them in their celibate ministry.

“It’s pressing and major for all people—bishops, monks and lay people—to quit letting themselves be intimidated by the foul-headed pleas, the theatrical productions, the diabolical lies and the stylish errors that strive to effect down priestly celibacy,” they write. “It’s pressing and major for all people—bishops, monks and lay people—to rep a fresh watch with the eyes of faith on the Church and at priestly celibacy which protects her mystery.”

The book is being published at a moment of renewed passion — and confusion — in smartly-liked culture about the nature of the connection between Francis and Benedict, thanks to the Netflix drama, “The Two Popes.”

The movie, starring Anthony Hopkins as Benedict and Jonathan Pryce as Francis, imagines a days-prolonged dialog between the two men before Benedict launched his ancient resignation — conversations in which their varied views of the instruct of the church transform obvious.

Those meetings by no methodology took instruct, and the two men didn’t know one one other smartly before Francis became elected to be triumphant Benedict. But whereas the movie takes ingenious liberties for the sake of narrative, it gets the level all over that Francis and Benedict indeed have very varied aspects of look for — which the unusual book bears out .

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