Speaking of papal books, Francis has a new book now, released on 11 February. It was a cooperative venture with a priest, Fr. Luigi Epicoco. San Giovanni Paolo Magno. Or St. John Paul, The Great.
As reported by CNA, In one chapter, Francis says he is
“convinced celibacy is a gift, a grace, and walking in the footsteps of Paul VI and then of John Paul II and Benedict XVI, I am convinced that celibacy is a decisive grace that characterizes the Latin Catholic Church. I repeat: It is a grace, not a limit.”
Fine. I’m glad that he made that statement and put it in writing.
But not where it was really needed.
That was needed in the new Exhortation on the Amazon.
What’s with that, anyway?
Also according to CNA, Francis says that if we were to read the sermons he gave in Buenos Aires, we would see that he is in “total harmony with the thought of St. John Paul II with respect to the priesthood”.
In From The Depths Of Our Hearts, Sarah cited John Paul II’s 1992 Apostolic Exhortation Pastores dabo vobis.
The synod on the subject of the priesthood made it possible to compose in 1992 the Apostolic Exhortation Pastores Dabo Vobis. In it, Saint John Paul II forcefully teaches that priestly celibacy follows from what the council described as the essence of the character and of the grace proper to the sacrament of Holy Orders: the enablement to represent Christ the Head for the Body that is the Church-Bride. The Church, as the Bride of Jesus Christ, desires to be loved by the priest in the total, exclusive manner in which Jesus Christ the Head and Bridegroom loved her.10 [Pastores, 29] This statement by Saint John Paul II is of capital importance. It holds up celibacy as a need of the Church. The Church needs men who love with the very love of Christ the Bridegroom.
Without the presence of the celibate priest, the Church can no longer become aware that she is the Bride of Christ. Priestly celibacy, far from being merely an ascetical discipline, is necessary to the identity of the Church. You can say that the Church would no longer understand herself if she were no longer loved totally by celibate priests who sacramentally represent Christ the Bridegroom.
I wonder if, after reading the fulsome endorsement of celibacy by their hero Francis in his new book, Austen, Beans at Co. will manifest a little openness to the book about celibacy penned by Card. Sarah and Benedict XVI.
An apology to Sarah and Benedict is in order.