US BISHOPS SHARE MORNING WITH POPE FRANCIS: CELIBACY BOOK SAGA CONTINUES

US BISHOPS SHARE MORNING WITH POPE FRANCIS: CELIBACY BOOK SAGA CONTINUES

Pope Francis spent nearly three hours this morning meeting with American bishops from Region IX who are in Rome for their ad limina apostolorum visit. Region IX includes the dioceses of Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska. In these meetings with bishops, occasionally saying something in English but mostly through a translator, Pope Francis has always let it be known that the bishops can say anything they want and ask anything they want – a “no holds barred” encounter, as he said in one of his earlier meetings.

You will learn more about the U.S. bishops’ ad limina visits this weekend on Vatican Insider when I talk with Archbishop Joseph Naumann of Kansas City in Kansas. He was present at the papal encounter this morning.

Re: the saga of the book on the priesthood and celibacy co-authored by Pope emeritus Benedict XVI and Cardinal Robert Sarah: I only want to reiterate the last part of the Register story that I posted yesterday:

“The Register asked both Archbishop Gänswein and Nicolas Diat ** or comment. Archbishop Gänswein has yet to respond, but on Jan. 15 Diat confirmed to the Register Cardinal Sarah’s summary of events, most notably stressing that the cardinal showed Benedict in person a draft copy of the cover during a private audience.

“Cardinal Sarah sent a confidential letter [to Benedict] on Nov. 19 with the full text. The proofs were complete: introduction, the two texts, and the conclusion,” Diat explained. “Then, on Dec. 3, he showed the draft cover during an audience with Benedict XVI.”

Diat also maintains that as recently as last Thursday, Jan. 9, Archbishop Gänswein spoke with Davide Cantagalli who is working on the Italian edition, and that during their conversation Archbishop Gänswein “gave his support for all the work Italian editors were doing.” Cantagalli told the Register that Diat’s comments regarding him were “false” but would not offer further details when asked.

**Nicolas Diat, a French journalist and author who has worked with Cardinal Sarah on his previous three books (God or Nothing, The Power of Silence and The Day Is Now Far Spent) and assisted in editing the current book, “From the Depths of our Hearts.”

The French publisher Fayard, has this photo of the book on their website:

U.S. publisher Ignatius Press offers this cover:

Ignatius said in a January 14 statement: “Ignatius Press published the text as we received it from the French publisher Fayard. Fayard is the publisher with whom we have collaborated on three other Cardinal Sarah titles. The text we received indicates the two authors are Benedict XVI and Cardinal Sarah. That text also indicates that Benedict XVI co-authored an introduction and a conclusion with Cardinal Sarah, as well as his own chapter on the priesthood, wherein he describes how his exchanges with Cardinal Sarah gave him the strength to complete what would have gone unfinished.”