The secretariat's press release quoted portions of the letter praising the booklets, but did not include Benedict's admission that he has not read them in full.
The letter was presented at a press conference announcing the series of booklets on Pope Francis' theology.
The prefect of the communications secretariat, Monsignor Dario Viganò, read portions of Benedict's letter at the press conference, "including the lines that were blurred out", the AP reports. The portion of the letter which was blurred out is the beginning of Benedict's explanation that he has not in fact read all the volumes which were sent him.
Msgr. Viganò, who was ordained a priest of the Archdiocese of Milan, has been prefect of the Secretariat for Communications since that office was established in June 2015.
The secretariat was formed as part of Pope Francis' reform of the Roman Curia, and is meant to consolidate the Vatican's media arms and to increase their presence among digital platforms.
The secretariat oversees all of the Vatican's communications offices, including Vatican Radio, L'Osservatore Romano, the Vatican Television Center, the Holy See Press Office, Vatican Internet Service, the Vatican Typography office, the Vatican's Photography Service, and Libreria Editrice Vaticana.