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The study was published Tuesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

-- The San Diego Union-Tribune

Benedict XVI disowns co-authorship of controversial celibacy book

VATICAN CITY -- Retired Pope Benedict XVI never agreed to appear as the co-author of a controversial book on priestly celibacy, his personal secretary, Archbishop Georg Gaenswein, said Tuesday.

It was a remarkable disavowal of a work seen by many as both an attack on Pope Francis' authority and a serious breach of Benedict's promise to remain "hidden to the world" following his retirement in 2013.

In the book, Benedict is presented as arguing against a relaxation of the celibacy rule for priests, wading into a topic on which Francis is due to make a decision within a few weeks.

 

Gaenswein told the ANSA news agency that Benedict knew that Cardinal Robert Sarah was writing a book on the subject and sent him an essay on priesthood "authorizing him to do what he wanted with it."

Benedict has asked to have his name removed as co-author, Gaenswein said. Sarah tweeted separately that the work would now be presented as written by him "with the contribution of Benedict XVI."

The book is called "From the Depths of Our Hearts: Priesthood, Celibacy and the Crisis of the Catholic Church" and comes out in France on Wednesday. An English version is due on Feb. 20.

-- dpa

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