November 23, 2010.
The highly-anticipated book based on a rare interview with the Pope is about to make it to a bookstore near you. “Light of the World” was written by German journalist Peter Seewald, who conducted the interview in six one-hour sessions last summer. Seewald has already published two similar books about Joseph Ratzinger. This time, the Pope took the opportunity to discuss the clerical sex abuse scandal, relations with Islam, the conclave, the notion of a papal resignation and the "threatening catastrophe" facing humanity. Peter Seewald
Author, “Light of the World”
“He's a Pope that welcomes you, that stops for every question. He's a man of dialogue, who has no problems facing critical questions. Actually, this pope is not a person that is afraid of questions.”
Vatican Spokesman, Father Federico Lombardi explained that the Pope gave this interview so that he could respond in a way that would make sense to everyone.
“He thought that talking to people in today's society, in a simple, colloquial language could serve to shed light on many issues people are curious about.”
Arch. Rino Fisichella
President, Pontifical Council of New Evangelization
“Familiarity, confidence, irony, and in some moments sarcasm, but overall, simplicity and truth are characteristic features of this interview chosen by Benedict XVI in order to make the general public part of his thoughts.”
His remarks in relation to the use of condoms sparked some media confusion. The pope said there may be a basis of people, such as male prostitutes to use a condom, which can be a first moral, responsible step, however this is not the way to deal with HIV.
Lombardi added that Pope Benedict XVI has not changed church teaching on condoms and does not justify promiscuous sexual activity.
In the book, the Pope also addressed the issue of sexual abuse committed by priests, saying that it was an enormous shock when he understood the extent of the problem.
With this interview, the Pope also gave the general public a chance to get to know him better on a personal level.
Author, “Light of the World”
“He is a brilliant man with an immense intellectual power and great spiritual strength. He is a very simple man, very much a man of God.”
Benedict XVI talked about his likes and dislikes, saying he watches the news with his personal secretaries and passes major holidays with them. In his free time, he is not one to watch sports, but he does like watching films. His favorite one is about Saint Josephine Bakhita.
Also on a personal level, he talked about seeing Pope John Paul II just before his death. It was an experience that can't be described in words, he said, adding that he simply received his blessing and held his hand.
"Light of the World: The Pope, the Church and the Signs of the Times,” is about to hit bookshelves worldwide in eight different languages.