Vatican City, Sep 9, 2016 / 05:02 am America/Denver (CNA).
Though he has rarely spoken since resigning from the papacy, Benedict XVI granted several lengthy interviews to German journalist Peter Seewald shortly after stepping down - conversations that touched on themes such as the reform of the Curia, his resignation and his thoughts on Pope Francis.
The interviews, conducted a few months after Benedict’s Feb. 28, 2013, resignation, were released as a book in several languages Sept. 9. The English language version, Last Testament, is due to be published in November.
About 240 pages in length, the book in German is titled Letzte Gespräche. It “touches upon all the most important stages of life of Joseph Ratzinger.”
These stages include Benedict’s childhood under the Nazi regime, the discovery of his vocation to the priesthood, the hardships of the war and his time in the Vatican until his election to the papacy. It also covers “the anxiety” of his first few days as successor of St. Peter, as well as his “painful” decision to resign and his thoughts on Pope Francis.
In his responses to Seewald, Benedict speaks about himself, his faith, his weaknesses, his private life, the scandals and controversial issues of his reign, and his papacy in general, explaining the reason for his choice to resign – "initially only communicated to a few trusted people to avoid leaks," Corriere della Sera reports.