After they released a book defending clerical celibacy, Cardinal Sarah met with Benedict XVI to ensure there was “no misunderstanding” that he was coauthor.

Last week, Cardinal Sarah and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI released a book entitled “From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy, and the Crisis of the Catholic Church.” The book is a defense of clerical celibacy and speaks out against the ordination of married men.

Following its release, there was controversy over whether or Benedict XVI was coauthor of the book, despite it containing a chapter written by him along with an introduction and conclusion attributed to both.

Last Friday, Cardinal Sarah met with the pope emeritus to address the controversy with him, saying:

“Because of the incessant, nauseating and deceptive controversies that have never stopped since the beginning of the week, concerning the book From the Depths of Our Hearts, I met Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI this evening.”

Sarah said there was “no misunderstanding” between them after their meeting, encouraging others to read and reflect on the book which he called “excellent reading for all.” Sarah also thanked his publisher, Ignatius Press, “for the thoroughness, probity, seriousness, and professionalism which they have shown.”

“With Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, we have seen how there is no misunderstanding between us. I came out very happy, full of peace and courage from this beautiful interview.”

Father Joseph Fessio, SJ, editor-in-chief of Ignatius Press, said those suggesting Benedict XVI didn’t coauthor the book or authorize its publication are incorrect. Fessio said the publisher stands by listing the pope emeritus as coauthor.

“Are these people really implying that Cardinal Sarah is involved in a conspiracy to distort the truth? If Cardinal Sarah is telling Ignatius Press that the chapters from Pope Benedict are from Pope Benedict, we take his word for it.”

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