From the Depths of Our Hearts

Benedict XVI and Robert Cardinal Sarah
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The Catholic Church faces a major crisis and the turmoil in priestly ministry is at the heart of it. “The priesthood is going through a dark time,” write Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah. “Wounded by the revelation of so many scandals, disconcerted by the constant questioning of their consecrated celibacy, many priests are tempted by the thought of giving up and abandoning everything.”

In this book, Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Robert Sarah give their brother priests and the whole Church a message of hope. They honestly address the spiritual challenges faced by priests today, including struggles of celibacy. They point to deeper conversion to Jesus Christ as the key to faithful and fruitful priestly ministry and church reform. 

From the Depths of Our Hearts is an unprecedented work by the Pope Emeritus and a Cardinal serving in the Vatican. As bishops, they write “in a spirit of filial obedience” to Pope Francis, who has said, “I think that celibacy is a gift for the Church … I don’t agree with allowing optional celibacy, no.”

Responding to calls for refashioning the priesthood, including proposals from the Amazonian Synod, two wise, spiritually astute pastors explain the biblical and spiritual role of the priesthood, celibacy, and genuine priestly ministry. Drawing on Vatican II, they present priestly celibacy as more than “a mere precept of ecclesiastical law”. They insist that renewal of the Church is bound to a renewed understanding of priestly vocation as sharing in Jesus’ priestly identity as Bridegroom of the Church.

This is a book whose message is for clergy and laity alike.


  • An unprecedented book coauthored by a former Pope
  • Looks seriously and unflinchingly at the crisis in the Catholic Church
  • A forthright discussion of priestly celibacy and its role in the Catholic Church
  • A book for clergy and laity alike concerned about the Catholic Church


Benedict XVI (Joseph Ratzinger) was Pope from 2005-2013. A world-renowned theologian, biblical scholar, and theological expert at Vatican II, he is author of numerous works, including the trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth, Introduction to Christianity, and The Spirit of the Liturgy. He resides in Vatican City.

Robert Cardinal Sarah, born in Guinea, West Africa, was appointed prefect of the Congregation for Divine Worship and the Discipline of the Sacraments by Pope Francis. He is author of the best-selling books God or Nothing, The Power of Silence, and The Day is Now Far Spent.  

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  • Leslie Hetzel

    Book review
    Mar 9th 2020

    A true gift straight from The Holy Spirit! This writing enlightens the heart and mind to the amazing gift that is the Priesthood! How sad that it has been so misunderstood for centuries. I will never view our priests the same, and am eternally grateful for their sacrifice and dedication to The Lord our God. Thank you for shining the light on the truth for your weary faithful, Pope Emeritus Benedict and Cardinal Sarah. With all true sincerity, May God bless you both abundantly!!!!!!

  • Alison Morrison

    From the Depth of Our Hearts
    Feb 29th 2020

    This is a much needed reaffirmation of the gift of the priesthood by two of the most devoted, articulate and thoughtful princes of the Church in an age of clerical confusion. I strongly and enthusiastically recommend this book for everyone!