From the Depths of Our Hearts

Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church

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The Catholic Church faces a major crisis and the turmoil in priestly ministry is at the heart of it. “The priesthood is going through a dark time,” write Pope Emeritus Benedict and 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 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. 

From the Depths of Our Hearts is an unprecedented work by the Pope Emeritus and a Cardinal serving in the Vatican. As bishops, they write “in a spirit of filial obedience” to Pope Francis, who has said, “I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church … I don’t agree with allowing optional celibacy, no.” 

Responding to calls for refashioning the priesthood, including proposals from the Amazonian Synod, two wise, 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. 

This is a book whose crucial message is for clergy and laity alike. 

POINTS OF INTEREST

  • An unprecedented book coauthored by a former Pope
  • Looks seriously and unflinchingly at the crisis in the Catholic Church
  • A forthright discussion of priestly celibacy and its role in the Catholic Church
  • A book for clergy and laity alike concerned about the Catholic Church

Cardinal Sarah’s chronology of his collaboration with Benedict XVI in writing From the Depths of Our Hearts. 

Pope Benedict XVI

Pope Benedict XVI is widely recognized as one of the most brilliant theologians and spiritual leaders of our age. As Pope he authored the best-selling Jesus of Nazareth; and prior to his pontificate, he wrote many influential books that continue to remain important for the contemporary Church, such as Introduction to Christianity and The Spirit of the Liturgy.

Cardinal Robert Sarah

Robert Cardinal Sarah was born in Guinea, West Africa. Made an Archbishop by Pope John Paul II and a Cardinal by Pope Benedict XVI, he was named the Prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis in 2014. He is the author of God or Nothing.

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"Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah have written the best kind of food for the Catholic soul: concise, elegantly readable, rich in substance, and passionately pastoral in its message. Don't be fooled by its brevity: This is an immensely important book not just for priests, but for laypeople committed to sustaining and renewing the life of the Church they love."

+Charles J. Chaput, O.F.M. Cap., Archbishop of Philadelphia

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