The book, entitled “From the depths of our hearts,” argues in favor of the centennial tradition of priestly celibacy within the church, defending the ability to “make itself completely available to the Lord” as a criterion for those who desire it. be ordered
Gaenswein said the ex-Pope asked him to call Cardinal Robert Sarah, the author of the book, Tuesday morning to request the removal of his name and photograph from the cover of the book, reports the Austrian Catholic news agency Kathpress.
However, a section of the book that bears the name of the former pope is “100 percent Benedict,” the secretary added, explaining that Benedict wrote it last summer and gave it to Cardinal Sarah.
Benedict knew that the writing would appear in a book, but he did not know its format or composition, Gaenswein said.
The Vatican Press Office does not plan to make a new statement about the book, he said.
Cardinal Sarah also said Benedict would no longer be credited as co-author.
Sarah, a conservative leader within the church, also published a detailed letter describing Benedict’s participation in the book. The introduction to the book states that the authors “cannot remain silent,” since the Vatican considers whether to allow married men to become priests in some circumstances.
“We can say: ‘Silence, not opossum! I cannot remain silent!'” Benedict and Sarah wrote in the joint presentation of the book, according to excerpts published on Sunday by the French newspaper Le Figaro.
Benedict also wrote that he believes that celibacy has a “great meaning” and is “truly essential,” since a priest’s path to God becomes the foundation of his life.
“The call to follow Jesus is not possible without this sign of freedom and renunciation of all commitments,” he wrote. “Celibacy must penetrate, with its requirements, all attitudes of existence.”
He raised the question of whether some respected married older men, known as “viri probati”, could be ordered to help overcome the shortage of priests in the region.
The proposal is pending Francis’s approval, but critics fear that it may lead to a wider dissolution of the discipline of celibacy throughout the world.
Amy Woodyatt of CNN contributed to this report.