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Last Testament
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Pope Benedict XVI, the only modern-day Pope to retire whilst in office, now finally breaks his silence. Since retiring from the papacy in 2013, the first Pope in over 700 years to do so, Pope Benedict has lived quietly in a convent in the Vatican gardens in Rome. He has devoted himself to a life of prayer and study and has vowed to remain silent, until now. So much controversy still surrounds Pope Benedict's time in office. In this book, written with bestselling German author Peter Seewald, he addresses the issues of his papacy and reveals how, at his late age, governing and reforming the Church was beyond him. Last Testament is also an autobiography, recalling Pope Benedict's childhood in Germany under Nazism, his early development as a priest, and eventually his appointment as Archbishop of Munich. After becoming Pope, his account deals with the controversies that rocked the Catholic world: how he enraged Muslims with his Regensburg speech, what he did and did not do to stamp out the clerical sexual abuse of children, the `Vatileaks' scandal and how he broke up a gay cabal within the Vatican itself. At all times, we see a man who is shy and retiring and modest being exceptionally open and frank with the outside world. In this Last Testament, a unique book insofar as no other living Pope has had the opportunity to write an account having left office, Benedict gives in his own words an unprecedented view of the difficulties, the achievements and the consequences of his time as head of the Catholic Church worldwide.
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The much awaited and revelatory account of Benedict XVI's papacy, told in his own words

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About the Author

Pope Benedict XVI served as Pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. He was elected on 19 April 2005 and resigned from the office on 28 February 2013. Two of his previous books under the title Jesus of Nazareth were also published by Bloomsbury, as was his Way of the Cross. Peter Seewald has worked as a journalist for Stern, Spiegel and the Suddeutsche Zeitung and is one of the most admired authors on religion in Germany today.

Reviews

To my mind this is the most sincere interview which Benedict XVI has given. It covers a variety of topics: from when and why the future pope played with a doll at seminary, through how he met Romano Guardini, the Italian-born German Catholic priest ... and why he needed humiliation when he failed with his academic dissertation, to finally why and when he decided to resign from the Cathedra Petri ... It is gripping from the very beginning ... An exquisite conversation between two people who know each other, like each other, and have mutual respect for one another ... A fantastic book which should not be overlooked by any open-minded Catholic who wishes to learn from our great tradition but also wants to progress with the Church. -- Lukasz Lukasiewicz * Catholic Times * The most revealing book yet on Benedict XVI ... Seewald has gathered in perhaps the finest harvest yet. For more than a decade I have read everything I can about Benedict XVI, but I was amazed by the revelations in this new book. -- Luke Coppen * Catholic Herald * For students of Benedict's theology, and of the history of the Catholic Church in the second half of the 20th century, this will doubtless be an invaluable book. -- Peter Stanford * Daily Telegraph * Joseph Ratzinger has certainly been a great theologian ... Last Testament [is] revealing about who this underrated man really is ... He bears comparison with the greatest doctors of the Church * Prospect * Throughout there are moments of breathtaking candor, as when [Pope Benedict XVI] reveals that it felt like "a guillotine" when he learned the outcome of the cardinals' ballots that elected him pope in 2005. Even in passages without such striking revelations, it's stunning to realize you're reading the inner thoughts - and confessions - of a former pope now speaking without the weight of that papal mantle ... The portrait here is one that deepens and defends the place of Benedict in history * Chicago Tribune * A beautiful portrait of a brilliant and incisive thinker and a holy and contemplative disciple of Christ * Christian Review * I can't begin to describe the influence that the writings of Joseph Ratzinger have had on me ... but suffice it to say that this beautiful and compelling book may well be the final gem in the crown of his work that we've all been waiting for -- Paul Senz * Catholic World Report * A document of the friendship between these two men from the land of the Reformation, the German former agnostic and the German pope emeritus. The relationship reveals an essential fact about the personality and intentions of Pope Benedict XVI: his commitment to conversing with the doubter in this age of skepticism, to speak in the language of the world ... This book does deepen our sense of the personality, gentleness, humor, and subtlety of the pope emeritus. * John Waters, First Things *

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