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  • Ratzinger: "The celibacy of priests is indispensable"


January 14, 2020 "Benedict XVI" did not write a four-handed book with Cardinal Sarah. "From sources close to the Pope Emeritus comes the denial, Joseph Ratzinger would have been unaware that some of the notes on the celibacy of priests, entrusted to Sarah herself, would later be published in a book.

Yesterday the release of the text raised numerous controversies inside and outside the Vatican. In the book it is underlined how the celibacy of priests is "indispensable" and the need to not open to any change in this sense is reiterated. However, this position does not differ substantially from the thought of Pope Francis. Thus, the involvement of the Pope emeritus in the book becomes a mystery, as well as the timeliness of its publication and the underlying controversy.

According to sources reported by Corriere della Sera "after the embarrassment, the Vatican filtered in the evening the words of a source very close to Ratzinger". In the entourage of the Pope emeritus there is talk of an "evident editorial and media operation, from which Benedict calls himself out and is totally foreign".

Sarah: Raztinger knew about the book
But Cardinal Robert Sarah retorts in a tweet. "I solemnly declare that Benedict XVI knew that our project would take the form of a book," says the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship, later announcing that he will release "a more detailed declaration to restore the truth".

Des attaques semblent insinuer un mensonge de ma part. Ces diffamations sont d'une gravité exceptionnelle. For women who want to know the premise of the collaboration with the Benoît XVI pour écrire ce texte en faveur du célibat. Je m'exprimerai demain si nécessaire. + RS pic.twitter.com/L8Q6NmkXKE

- Cardinal R. Sarah (@Card_R_Sarah) January 13, 2020

The ultra-conservative cardinal yesterday spoke of "attacks" and "defamations" of "exceptional gravity" and published the letters that he exchanged, for the publication of the volume, with the Pope emeritus.

Still today, in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, the same who yesterday anticipated some pages of the book, the cardinal said that Ratzinger "wanted to reassure the tens of millions of faithful Christians who feel disoriented".

L'Osservatore Romano presented the release of the book in a neutral way: "The Pontiff Emeritus and the Cardinal Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship address in a book a theme on which Pope Francis has spoken several times".