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Cardinal Fernandez regrets writing ‘inconvenient’ book

February 06, 2024

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CWN Editor's Note: Cardinal Victor Fernandez, the prefect of the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, has said of the book he wrote about mysticism and sensuality that “by today’s standards it is an inconvenient book.”

The cardinal said that he recognized soon after the publication of the books that “very young or very old people could get confused” by his sexually explicit imagery, and so he “ordered it to be withdrawn.” He added that he bought up the books that were available and destroyed them.”

“That is why I regret that the ultra-conservative sectors that do not accept me have used this book and have spread it widely,” the cardinal complained.

The above note supplements, highlights, or corrects details in the original source (link above). About CWN news coverage.


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  • Posted by: Randal Mandock - Feb. 10, 2024 3:21 PM ET USA

    "Ultra-conservative"? This is a favorite word combination used in the "New Jerome Biblical Commentary" (1990) to describe Catholic exegesis that predates Vatican II. On encountering that term several times in this commentary, I concluded that the work was not in the least bit scholarly, but instead political. I set it aside in favor of genuinely Catholic and patristic commentaries. "Conservative" and "ultra-conservative" are political terms that have no place in Catholic scholarship or theology.

  • Posted by: feedback - Feb. 07, 2024 3:55 AM ET USA

    The book reads like Fr. Marko Rupnik's manual for sexual abuse. I'm myself neither "very young" nor "very old" but I found some paragraphs too repulsive and too sacrilegious to read. I imagine that the first readers of the book, after its publication in 1998, had similar reaction and that's why Fr. Fernandez bought up the remaining books to destroy them. After having spent his time, energy, and money to write and publish it, he shouldn't blame "the ultra-conservative sectors" for finding it out.