The firestorm over ‘From the Depths of Our Hearts’

A firestorm seems to have broken out over Cardinal Sarah and Pope Benedict’s joint book defending priestly celibacy. This has led to the Cardinal publishing the following reply to attacks on him and his integrity:

Translation from Bree Dail.


Cardinal Sarah also published three letters signed by Benedict XVI ( Transcript).

In his first September 20 letter Benedict says that he was asked by Sarah to write a text on celibacy. He says that he has started to write reflections on the priesthood, promising to transmit a text with particular emphasis on celibacy, and allowing Sarah to use this text.

The second October 12 letter conveys Benedict’s text and, again, allows Sarah to use it.

The third November 25 letter approves and praises a manuscript sent by Sarah. Benedict XVI thanks for the elaboration done on his contribution,

“For my part, the text can be published in the form you have in mind.”



Here is CNA’s report on yet another unholy fracas at the Vatican:

VATICAN CITY — 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 of a new book on priestly celibacy and that Pope Benedict XVI has asked for his name and photo to be removed from the cover.

According to the German-language news agency KNA, Archbishop Gänswein said Jan. 14 that he had called Cardinal Robert Sarah that morning, at Pope Benedict XVI’s request, to ask the book’s publisher to remove the signature of the pope emeritus from the introduction and conclusion, because he had not co-authored them.

Archbishop Gänswein said that the chapter in the main part of the book is, however, “100 percent Pope Benedict XVI,” according to KNA. “It was a misunderstanding – without questioning Cardinal Sarah’s good intentions,” Archbishop Gänswein said.

The book, “From the Depths of Our Hearts,” is to be released in the United States in February, and will consist of chapters written individually by Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah, as well as an introduction and conclusion reportedly credited jointly to them in the French edition, although the text has not yet been published. Its French release is scheduled for Jan. 15.

Archbishop Gänswein said that Pope Benedict XVI wrote the text on priestly celibacy included in the book during the summer of 2019, that he freely gave it to Cardinal Sarah at his request, and that he knew it would appear in a book. He said the pope emeritus was not informed of the plan for the actual form and layout, according to KNA.

Cardinal Sarah, prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, Vatican’s liturgy office, sent a tweet in the early afternoon in Rome Jan. 14 saying future editions of the book will list him alone as author with a contribution by Pope Benedict XVI, “however, the full text remains absolutely unchanged.”

Approximately two hours prior, Cardinal Sarah had tweeted a communique claiming Pope Benedict XVI was sent a “complete manuscript” of the book on November 19, comprised of the cover, the common introduction and conclusion, and their individual texts.

In the same statement Cardinal Sarah said Pope Benedict XVI sent a message November 25 agreeing for the manuscript to be published in the form proposed.

The previous day, on January 13, Cardinal Sarah tweeted a series of letters from Pope Benedict XVI, that seemed to affirm that the pope emeritus wrote the chapter attributed to him and authorized its publication. The letters also seemed to indicate that Cardinal Sarah had edited the text provided by Pope Benedict XVI, with the pope emeritus’ full approval.

In the book, Pope Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah argue that priestly celibacy is not merely an optional feature of Church life today, but an ontological necessity for the priesthood.

Pope Benedict XVI’s chapter in the book examines the history of the priesthood in the Old and New Testaments, saying that a proper understanding of the nature of the priesthood is crucial in answering contemporary questions about the priesthood.

(Sources: CNA, Fr Z’s Blog and Gloria TV)


Ignatius Press to keep Benedict XVI listed as coauthor of new celibacy book

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4 Responses to The firestorm over ‘From the Depths of Our Hearts’

  1. Thank God for Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Sarah speaking truth into the darkness of evil of “homo-sexuality” within the Magisterium and much of the Church! The leaven of the Faith is strong, but in many places the “proofing” is contaminated with humanism under the cover of “human rights”.


  2. Very interesting. I’m not sure why Ganswein would argue the point.


  3. JabbaPapa says:

    It seems quite clear to me that the current Roman Pontiff has ordered Pope Benedict to make this statement, as there is nobody else with sufficient authority to do so.

    Athanasius +Schneider’s Christus Vincit came to me in the post today, and the Pope’s new book (original French text) has been put into the Post as well.


  4. kathleen says:

    A very interesting update to this issue from the Catholic Herald.

    The book is set for English publication by Ignatius Press. The publisher said on Tuesday it still considers the text to be coauthored.… etcetera

    Unless one doubts the sincerity of the holy Cardinal Sarah, it most certainly was “coauthored”.

    What a lot of turmoil the news of this book has caused here! Most Catholics see it as a very telling sign that Benedict XVI is cleatly unhappy with the modernist changes proposed by Francis!

    If the pope Emeritus is backing down now from admitting the co-authorship of the book, this could well have been caused by threats or accusations of him breaking his word to not intervene in the governance of the Church once he supposedly stepped down from the Papacy!
    But as a bishop and representative of the Apostles, which he most certainly contonues to be of course, he has every right to intervene to correct errors and heresies, and when he sees traditional disciplines being derrogated or questioned. The beautiful gift of a celibate priesthood has brought great holiness upon the Church and countless good fruits and blessings.

    Courage, dear Pope Emeritus… don’t flee again for fear of the wolves!


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