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Rome Reports

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Vatican's blurred photo of Benedict XVI's letter provokes controversy

There are two polemics that surround a letter written by Benedict XVI about a series of books on Pope Francis' theology.

The prefect of the Secretariat for Communication publicly read the text, but did not publish its entirety in the communication. He mentioned that Benedict XVI was pleased because the books would help to overthrow "the foolish prejudice that views Pope Francis as a man lacking particular theological or philosophical formation."

The Vatican communication omitted the second part of the letter, in which the pope emeritus acknowledges he would not write a theological reflection on the work "because for my whole life it has always been clear that I would write and express myself only on books that I had also truly read. Unfortunately, even if only for physical reasons, I am not able to read the eleven little volumes in the near future, all the more so in that I am under other obligations to which I have already agreed."

The photo of the letter the Vatican published online blurs areas and hides the second part.

The controversy is that many believe it was intentionally blurred. In that case, was it to hide the fact that Benedict XVI would not read the books, or should it be interpreted as a value judgment on this series of books?