Former Pope Benedict makes ‘incredible’ plea to Pope Francis not to end clerical celibacy

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Pope Benedict XVI has publicly urged his successor Pope Francis not to open the Catholic priesthood up to married men, in a plea stunned Vatican experts.

The former chief issued the defence of clerical celibacy in a book written with arch-conservative Cardinal Robert Sarah.

“I cannot keep silent!” Benedict wrote in the book, which follows a meeting of bishops from the Amazonian at the Vatican last year that recommended the ordination of married men in certain circumstances.

They asked the church not to be “swayed” by “bad pleas, theatrics, diabolical lies, fashionable errors that want to devalue priestly celibacy”.

-Noah Harte