As the house of Windsor slowly begins to crumble from within, the house of St. Peter may be following suit. Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is back in the spotlight after co-authoring a book reaffirming his views on the need for celibacy among priests. The pro-celibacy book has been a sore spot for the current papal administration, as Pope Francis is considering allowing married men to be ordinated in the Amazon to solve a priest shortage there, according to the Associated Press.
Just so everyone is on the same page here: two men, who have probably not had sex in the last thirty or more years, are arguing via lengthy essays and secretaries on whether men who do have sex can be priests—but only in the Amazon. Hard to believe it gets stranger from here.
The book in question, From the Depths of Our Hearts, which drops next month for anyone who wants to get on the pre-order list, was written by Cardinal Robert Sarah with some chapters written by the retired pope. The premise of the book is a staunch defense of the necessity of celibacy in the priesthood, which Benedict supports. However, he has asked to be removed from the list of authors so the book is not seen as a papal ruling on an ecclesiastical issue. It should just be two guys sharing their opinions with other guys about not doing the dirty with some ladies. The book’s English publisher is refusing to remove Benedict’s name from the cover, stating that they consider the piece to be a “co-authored publication.”
Yet it wouldn’t be the first time, he tried to get into a hat measuring contest with Francis. In April of 2019, Benedict wrote a 6000-word essay on current church issues, including the ongoing church sex abuse scandal. According to NPR, the pope emeritus blamed the scandal on shifting cultural norms, including “the secularization of the West, the sexual revolution of the 1960s and more generally, ‘the absence of God.’”
Although Benedict abdicated the gilded chair of St. Peter due to his declining health, seven years ago, he continues to act like that shit did not even happen. Benedict operates under the title of ‘emeritus pope,’ he’s not gone back to using his real name, he continues to wear the white papal cassock instead of the black frock worn by the priesthood, and he still lives in Vatican City. “Just as no one is in charge of accepting the pope’s resignation, no one was in charge either of telling Benedict XVI what he could and couldn’t wear, where he could live, what kind of entourage he could have,” Theologian Massimo Fagioli wrote in National Catholic Reporter.
As the two popes remain locked in a perpetual episode of ‘bitch stole my look’ Catholics are forced to endure the division of having a strictly conservative non-pope lingering in the background while the supposedly liberal Francis works to cement his legacy out of Benedict’s shadow. Someone, please get these two men in the same room and don’t let them out until one of them decides to take off the white dress for good.