Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, at 89 years of age, broke his silence in this long-form interview with the journalist Peter Seewald, a long time collaborator with whom he has written three other books.
The book is available in English, German, and Italian, and it is titled "Last Testament.”
Pope Benedict's book lives up to the expectation. He touches upon every possible subject, and he answers with a seemingly straightforward depth.
Peter Seewald asks him the hardest question: Does he think his pontificate was a failure? Pope Benedict answers:
"I do not see myself as a failure. For eight years I carried out my work. There were difficult moments (…) but in general many people found new paths to faith and there has been positive movement.”
He says that more than a theologian, he tried to be a pastor. Or even a "confessor” who "treated God's Word with passion.”
He explains his decision to step down and even how he wrote his document of resignation. He says he did not feel any pressure and that was not disillusioned.
He confesses that he did not see Cardinal Bergoglio as a top candidate for the papacy, but when he was elected he was glad to see how he prays and how he treats people.
Pope Benedict states he does not feel strong enough to write any more books, but that he prepares the homilies for his Sunday Masses at Mater Ecclesiae monastery.
It is a work of great spirituality and humanity, that will allow people to better understand the pontificate of Pope Benedict XVI, who has now become the first retired Pope to write a book about his own papacy.