Former Pope Benedict XVI sent a four-page commentary to Pope Francis on the September 2013 interview he granted to Jesuit magazine La Civilta Cattolica, according to Archbishop Georg Ganswein, prefect of the Pontifical Household.
The Italian news agency Korazym reports that in an interview with the German television station ZDF, Archbishop Ganswein – who is also Benedict XVI’s secretary – said the retired Pope wrote the commentary at the request of Pope Francis.
“When Father Spadaro (the director of La Civilta Cattolica) delivered the first copy of this interview, (Pope) Francis gave it to me and asked that I take it to Benedict,” said Archbishop Ganswein, speaking to ZDF on March 13, the first anniversary of Pope Francis’ election.
“Look, the first page after the index is blank,” Pope Francis reportedly told him, instructing that Benedict “should write down all the criticism that comes to mind and afterwards give it to me.”
Archbishop Ganswein said that he went to see Benedict XVI and deliver a copy of the interview. “Three days later, he gave me four pages – not written by hand of course, but dictated to Sister Brigit in a letter.”
“He did his homework,” the archbishop said of the former pontiff. “He read it and responded to the request of his successor, offering some reflections and some observations about certain statements or questions which he thought could perhaps be developed later on another occasion.”