Benedict XVI’s personal secretary Georg Gänswein told ANSA on Tuesday that he has requested the Emeritus Pope’s name as the co-author of a controversial new book be removed. In comments in the book presented as being co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah, Benedict is quoted as saying that celibacy is of “great significance” as it ensures clergymen can focus on their job. The case has caused controversy as Pope Francis is considering a proposal to allow married men to be ordained in the Amazon region.
“It is a misunderstanding that does not raise questions about Cardinal Sarah’s good faith.” Earlier on Tuesday, Sarah denied that Benedict XVI was unaware that some of his opinions about priestly celibacy would be used in the book. “I solemnly say that Benedict XVI knew that our project would take the form of a book,” Sarah said via Twitter. “I can say that we exchanged several drafts to set the corrections.” The 92-year-old German became the first Pope to resign in almost 600 years when he stepped down in 2013. Sarah added that the book was not an attack on Pope Francis. “My attachment to Benedict XVI remains in tact and my obedience to Pope Francis is absolute,” he said.
Former Pope Benedict wants his name removed as co-author of a controversial book on the issue of priestly celibacy, his personal secretary said on Tuesday. Archbishop Georg Ganswein told Reuters that, at the former Pope’s behest, he had asked the principal author of the book, Cardinal Robert Sarah, to contact the publishers and make the necessary changes.
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI did not co-author the book Des profondeurs de nos couers (From the Depths of Our Hearts) with Cardinal Robert Sarah, and this morning asked the Guinean cardinal to have his name removed as co-author, Archbishop Georg Gänswein, his personal secretary, told the Italian news agency ANSA, after midday on Jan. 14.
“I can confirm that this morning, at the instruction of the Emeritus Pope, I asked Cardinal Robert Sarah to contact the editors of the book requesting that they remove the name of Benedict XVI as co-author of that same book, and also to remove his signature from the introduction and conclusion [to it],” stated Archbishop Gänswein, who is also the prefect of the papal household. He said: “The emeritus Pope in fact knew that the cardinal was preparing a book and had sent a brief text on the priesthood authorizing him to make whatever use he wanted of it. But he did not approve any project for a book under the two names, nor had he seen or authorized the cover.”