VATICAN CITY — Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI has taken the surprising and historic step of co-authoring his first book since his resignation almost seven years ago — and by asking in it that Pope Francis not allow the ordination of married men to the priesthood in the Latin Church.
The 175-page book, entitled Des Profondeurs de nos cœurs (From the Depths of Our Hearts) and written with Cardinal Robert Sarah, the prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments, discusses the spiritual challenges confronting today’s priests, and draws attention to the danger of ordaining married men as priests, which they see as placing the Church’s future in jeopardy.
The work, consisting of two separate texts by Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah who jointly co-signed an introduction and conclusion, also aims to be a “homage to the priests of the whole world.”
Consisting of four chapters and a foreword by Cardinal Sarah’s biographer Nicolas Diat, it will be published in French on Jan. 15, with Ignatius Press publishing an English edition on Feb. 20 (available for pre-order starting Jan. 13).
In a Jan. 12 statement, Ignatius Press described the book as “a serious and unflinching look at the crisis in the Catholic Church” which “pinpoints the heart of the turmoil — priestly ministry.”