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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI breaks his Silence on the Church Abuse Crisis in Unprecedented New Book
Co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah, the two Bishops appeal for reform and renewal
Ignatius Press
Jan. 12, 2020
SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 12, 2020 /Christian Newswire/ -- Many Catholics thought that Feb. 28, 2013, would be the last we would hear from Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. And most assumed that the Pope Emeritus would never author another book. Over the past seven years, as the Church has descended into more and more of a crisis, the former Supreme Pontiff has largely remained silent. The release of From the Depths of Our Hearts, published in English by Ignatius Press, comes as a shock to anyone who knows him, and the content of the book should incline everyone to take notice of what he has to say.
The book is a serious and unflinching look at the crisis in the Catholic Church and it pinpoints the heart of the turmoil — priestly ministry. "The priesthood is going through a dark time," writes Pope Emeritus Benedict, along with his co-author, Cardinal Robert Sarah. "Wounded by the revelation of so many scandals, disconcerted by the constant questioning of their consecrated celibacy, many priests are tempted by the thought of giving up and abandoning everything."
In this book, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah give their brother priests and the whole Church a message of hope. They honestly address the spiritual challenges faced by priests today, including struggles of celibacy. They point to deeper conversion to Jesus Christ as the key to faithful and fruitful priestly ministry and church reform.
Responding to calls for refashioning the priesthood, including proposals from the Amazonian Synod, two wise, trusted and spiritually astute pastors explain the biblical and spiritual role of the priesthood, celibacy and genuine priestly ministry. Drawing on Vatican II, they present priestly celibacy as more than "a mere precept of ecclesiastical law." They insist that renewal of the Church is bound to a renewed understanding of priestly vocation as sharing in Jesus' priestly identity as Bridegroom of the Church. And they affirm that optional celibacy for priests is not actually optional for an authentic priesthood.
This book is a crucial message for clergy and laity alike, and will likely become a catalyst for renewal and restoration for a hurting Church.
"Their book is not just about priestly celibacy, important as that is in itself," says Ignatius Press founder and editor Father Joseph Fessio. "It is about, as Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI describes it in his first paragraph: 'the lasting crisis that the priesthood has been going through for many years.' But it is about more than that; it is about the nature of the Church and of Christian discipleship. This is a book that all should read. It is powerful and personal — from the depths of their hearts."
From the Depths of Our Hearts is available for preorder now and ships on Feb. 20.
For more information, please contact Lisa Wheeler (404-519-1987 or LWheeler@CarmelCommunications.com) or Kevin Wandra (404-788-1276 or KWandra@CarmelCommunicatiosn.com) of Carmel Communications. 
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) was Pope from 2005-2013. A world-renowned theologian, biblical scholar, and theological expert at Vatican II, he is the author of numerous works, including the trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth, Introduction to Christianity, and The Spirit of the Liturgy. He resides in Vatican City.
Robert Cardinal Sarah, born in Guinea, West Africa, was appointed prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis. He is the author of the bestselling books God or Nothing, The Power of Silence, and The Day is Now Far Spent
SOURCE Ignatius Press
Lisa Wheeler, 404-519-1987, LWheeler@CarmelCommunications.com
Kevin Wandra, 404-788-1276, KWandra@CarmelCommunications.com
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