A new book-length interview with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI hit bookshelves today in the Italian language. In “Last Conversations” the retired Pontiff is interviewed by German journalist Peter Seewald, the journalist who also interviewed Benedict for other books, including Salt of the Earth, God and the World, and Light of the World.
This latest series of interviews covers a number of themes including Benedict’s decision to resign.
Jesuit Fr Federico Lombardi, who is now president of the Joseph Ratzinger (Benedict XVI ) Foundation, told Vatican Radio there are two very important aspects of this book.
The first he says, is the witness Pope Emeritus Benedict gives as he lives this last phase of his life. “The last time of his life is preparation for the encounter with God. This is a very important witness, profound, spiritual; a witness of faith.”
Fr Lombardi goes on to say that this theme “justifies this book”, because his explanation of “how he experiences now the presence of God in his life is something that is precious and urgent…”
Another key theme says the Ratzinger Foundation president, is “how he says again clearly and I think in a definitive way the reasons of his renunciation, eliminating every rumour, every false interpretation as consequence of the scandals of the difficulties. ‘No,’ he says no, “it was a time I (the Pope Emeritus) had already overcome the difficulties and then there was the good time to take a decision before God in total responsibility and this I have done and I am happy with this decision and I have not changed my mind.””
Recalling other interesting themes and points in the book, Fr Lombardi mentions Pope Benedict’s reflections on his participation at the Second Vatican Council, and his collaboration with St John Paul II. Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s “Last Conversations” is released worldwide in Italian as of today.