Spanish cardinal asks priest to explain controversial contents of new book

.- Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach of Barcelona, Spain has called Fr. Manel Pousa “to speak personally” about the contents of a recently published book. In it, the priest voices support for “voluntary” celibacy, women priests and admits he has “blessed” civil unions of same-sex prisoners.

The book, “Father Manel. Closer to Earth than to Heaven,” hit bookstores in Spain on Feb. 28. It recounts the life of the controversial Spanish priest, who told reporters in 2008 that he had paid for abortions.

The author of the book, Francesc Buxeda, said it highlights Father Manel’s work in prison ministry in Catalonia and in the poor neighborhoods of Barcelona.

The Archdiocese of Barcelona responded to the book's release on March 8, stating that “Cardinal Lluis Martinez Sistach, Archbishop of Barcelona, has summoned Fr. Manel Pousa to speak personally with him about the some of the contents of this book and to make whatever decisions are appropriate.”

CNA contacted the archdiocese, but no further information was given.

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