The succession of statements and denials after the news of the publication of a book between Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah in which celibacy was defended seems to have been settled with the request of Pope Emeritus of remove the signature and its photo from the volume.
The new book signed by Benedict XVI and Sarah, one of the main leaders of the conservative faction that criticizes every movement of Francisco, was considered by some an interference and pressure to the Argentine Pope before the next decision you will have to make about the proposal to order married men emerged from the recent Synod on the Amazon.
The volume, titled “De profondeurs de nos coeurs” (From the depths of our hearts) andIt was planned to be published tomorrow in French by the Fayard publishing house and had on the cover the names of both Benedict XVI and Sarah and the photo of both.
Therefore, the controversy immediately broke out about the fact that Pope Emeritus, who had promised to remain silent after his resignation in February 2013, had participated in such a book.
The controversy was increased when on Monday night some media, including the Corriere della Sera, published an exact version leaked by a person who did not want to identify himself and who defined himself close to the pontiff emeritus in which he assured that “Benedict XVI has not written the book four-handed with Cardinal Sarah” and that it is “a media publishing operation, of which Benedict does not want to be part and is totally foreign”.
The same anonymous source explained that Pope Emeritus “He only made available to Sarah a text about the priesthood he was writing“And that” I didn’t know anything about the cover of a book, nor had I approved it. “
These statements from the supposedly Ratzinger environment provoked Sarah’s harsh reaction, prefect of the congregation of the Divine Worship who on Twitter assured that accusing him of lying were “Defamations of extreme gravity” and published three letters with which he wanted to prove the collaboration with the pontiff emeritus.
The Guinean Cardinal published on Tuesday morning an official statement in which He explained step by step in the statement how the writing and publication of the book with the text of Benedict XVI was forged and a prologue and a conclusion signed by both.
Sarah said she communicated to the Pope emeritus the possibility of publishing the material he had received from the pontiff and his in a book, since it would have been difficult to do so in the media.
The cardinal added that the German pope, who decided to resign from the pontificate in 2013, was able to see on November 19 the volume, the cover – in which the photo of the two appears – and their content.
And he added that on November 25 Benedict XVI expressed his approval for the publication “according to the way he had planned” the cardinal, as can also be read in the letters of Pope Emeritus that Sarah published last night on Twitter.
So who tells the truth?
At the end of the morning, the historic secretary of Benedict XVI and his most trusted person since his resignation, Archbishop George Gaenswein, made statements that he confirmed to EFE in which he assured that the Pope emeritus “Never approved any project of a book with double signature” with Cardinal Sarah.
He explained that “the Pope emeritus knew that the cardinal was preparing a book and had sent him his text on the priesthood authorizing him to make the use he wanted”, but that “he had not approved any book with double signature or had seen the cover.”
Archbishop Gaenswein, current Prefect of the Pontifical House, said that “it was a misunderstanding without questioning the good faith of Cardinal Sarah” and “the text Benedict sent to the cardinal is his, but not (he is the author) of the other texts “, which are the introduction and conclusions.
Likewise, Gaenswein, who continues to reside with Benedict XVI in the Mater Ecclesiae residence in the Vatican, added that by indication of the same emeritus Pope Cardinal Sarah has been asked to contact the editors to remove the name as co-author of the book and his signature as well. of the introduction and conclusions.
In these, both Ratzinger and the cardinal wrote: “I can’t shut up”, citing a phrase of St. Augustine to refer to his position against the priestly ordination of married men.
But before the blunt refusal of the personal secretary of Benedict XVI, the Guinean Cardinal backed down and on Twitter announced that “considering the controversies that have caused the publication of the book, it is decided that the author will be Cardinal Sarah with the contribution of Benedict XVI” and added that “the rest of the texts will remain the same.”
For some, this case has once again been an attempt to manipulate a fragile Benedict XVI, who will turn 93 in April, through the most conservative area of the Church and facing Francisco.
Meanwhile, the case also raises debate about the lack of regulations that regulate the figure of Pope Emeritus to avoid such controversies. Efe