January 25, 2020
By Nicole Winfield
A Vatican cardinal at the center of a storm over a book about celibacy and the Catholic priesthood is denouncing the “brutality” of criticism directed at him and his collaborator, Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.
In an interview with Italian daily newspaper Il Foglio published Saturday, Cardinal Robert Sarah doubled down on his argument in the book, “From the Depths of Our Hearts,” that the Catholic priesthood is incompatible with marriage.
“If you weaken the law of celibacy, you open a breach, a wound in the mystery of the church,” Sarah told the newspaper.
Sarah, who heads the Vatican’s liturgical office, insisted on the sacramental link between the priesthood and celibacy, even though the Catholic Church has for centuries had married priests in its Eastern Rites as well as in the ranks of Anglican and other Protestant converts.
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