“I cannot remain silent, I have to speak”. These words of pope emeritus Benedict XVI appear in book written jointly with cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship. The book, entitled “From the Depth of our Hearts,” is about the nature of the Church and Christian discipleship. It includes an explanation of the biblical and spiritual importance of priestly celibacy. Some see the book as a response to the recent Special Assembly of the Synod of Bishops for the Amazon, during which the question of relaxing the celibacy rule was raised.
Fragment of the book ”From the bottom of our hearts”:
“I can’t remain silent. Celibacy is of great importance and is essential for our path to God to remain the foundation of our lives. From the daily celebration of the Eucharist, which implies constant service to God, spontaneously the inability to marry arose. It is not possible to carry out two vocations at the same time, so you should give up all compromises. If ideology divides, then truth connects hearts “
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, in a new book written with a conservative cardinal, defends priestly celibacy in the Catholic Church in what appears to be a strategically timed appeal to Pope Francis not to change the rules. Excerpts from the book were published on Sunday on the website of the French newspaper Le Figaro. The Vatican made no immediate comment on the book. In his part of the book, Benedict says that celibacy, which became a tradition in the Church only about 1,000 years ago, carries “great significance” because it allows a priest to concentrate on his vocation. He says “it doesn’t seem possible to realise both vocations (priesthood and marriage) simultaneously.”