The world will have a more complete idea of Pope Benedict XVI's thoughts on sexual abuse in the Church when his interview with the German journalist Peter Seewald is published in a month.
With his book “Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and the Signs of The Times” due for release on Nov. 24, Ignatius Press has released some of the questions Seewald posed to the Pope.
Seewald met with Pope Benedict XVI during his summer vacation at the pontifical villa at Castel Gandolfo the last week in July. Their discussions over the course of that time are presented in the volume which "tackles head-on some of the greatest issues facing the world of our time," according to the publishing company.
One of the most difficult issues facing the Church this year was the revelation of sexual abuse of children by clergy and religious in Europe. The book not only presents Pope Benedict's thoughts on sexual abuse but also gives his answer about whether he thought about resigning over the scandals.
The revelations of abuse resulted in some calling for the Pope to resign for his supposed inaction in the face of abuse when he served as the prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and later as Pope.
In response, many rose to defend the Pope, including Archbishop Timothy Dolan of New York. He said, "No one has been more vigorous in cleansing the Church of the effects of this sickening sin than the man we now call Pope Benedict XVI."
The Holy Father also takes on other complicated questions within the Church today, such as the celibacy of priests, contraception, women priests, same-sex relationships and Communion for the divorced and remarried.
Papal infallibility, the possibility of a Third Vatican Council and the question of whether or not genuine dialogue is possible with Islam are also confronted by the Pope in the wide-ranging series of questions that count nothing as taboo.
Ignatius Press says that all people—believers and unbelievers—will be fascinated by the content of the book, which documents "a lively, fast-paced, challenging, even entertaining exchange" between the two.
This is Seewald's third book-length interview with Joseph Ratzinger, but the first after his election to the papacy. The two previous volumes were “Salt of the Earth,” published in 1996, and “God and the World,” from 2002.