Retired Pope Benedict has recently published a defense of priestly celibacy in a book co-authored with Cardinal Robert Sarah.
Benedict said he "cannot remain silent!" about the issue of the centuries-old tradition of celibacy in the church.
"The call to follow Jesus is not possible without this sign of freedom and of renunciation of all commitments," Benedict wrote. "Celibacy must penetrate, with its requirements, all of the attitudes of existence."
Benedict's comments come on the heels of a proposal that would allow married men to serve as priests in certain areas. The proposal came as a result of a three-week summit held by Pope Francis in October to discuss the environmental and religious issues in the Amazon region, including a shortage of priests.
The change would allow married men to serve as priests, but would only apply to some churches in the Amazon region, including parts of Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, French Guiana, Guyana, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela. The proposal would only allow married men to become priests — not allow priests to marry — and would not affect the vow of celibacy for those currently serving as priests in the region.
Pope Francis is expected to publish his conclusions on the proposal in the coming months.
🔦 Benedict's book, called "From the Depths of Our Hearts," is set for release in France on Wednesday.