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Book published posthumously according to Benedict XVI's wishes


Well-Known Member
In the book Benedict defends priestly celibacy which is a discipline, tradition, not a doctrine and is at the discretion of the pope. For me, I oppose mandatory celibacy as a criterion for priesthood, but I do understand all the complexities related to a change of policy. In this article Benedict attempts to explain the differences between Protestant and Catholic ideas of ordained priesthood.
The book “What is Christianity?” was released only in Italian in late January by Mondadori.
Pope Benedict dated the preface of the book May 1, 2022, and included an order that it not be published until after his death, which occurred Dec. 31.

Elio Guerriero, who helped Pope Benedict compile the essays in “What is Christianity?” said the controversy over the book with Cardinal Sarah was what led Pope Benedict to insist on waiting to publish the collection of essays until after his death.

“I do not want to publish anything else in my life,” Guerriero said Pope Benedict told him. “The fury of the circles opposed to me in Germany is so strong that the appearance of any word from me immediately provokes a murderous clamor on their part. I want to spare myself and Christendom this.”

The new version of the essay does defend priestly celibacy as the most appropriate expression of the total self-giving of a priest to God and as a condition for ritual purity in line with the Israelite priesthood. But the new version focuses more on the connection to ancient priesthood and the offering of a sacrifice than it does to celibacy.

Pope Benedict had book published after his death because his writings provoked ‘a murderous clamor’ from critics | America Magazine