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Last Testament

Pope Benedict made history by being the first Pope in over a thousand years to resign from office. The Catholic Church the world over was stunned. Faced with the internecine warfare in the Vatican, by accusations of corruption in the Church and by a seemingly endless series of clerical sex scandals he decided that the resolution of all these problems was outside his power for a man of his age. In this most touching and revealing book, the author speaks with disarming honesty and humility of his inner life, his life of prayer and his firm belief in God. But he also addresses all the causes celebres which impacted his pontificate, including the Vatileaks scandal, readmitting a holocaust denier to full communion with the Church, his arguably misunderstood Regensburg speech which upset Muslims, his childhood in Nazi Germany. On a more personal level he writes with great warmth of his successor Pope Francis and writes beautifully of his love of Mozart. This book comes as a final and fitting sequel to his previous works on Jesus of Nazareth.
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The much awaited and revelatory account of Benedict XVI's papacy, told in his own words

About the Author

Pope Benedict served as pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. He was elected Pope on 19 April 2005, and resigned from the office on 28th February 2013. This is his final book.


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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