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Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI asked for forgiveness and thanked God in his last published letter


Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died this Saturday in a Vatican monastery at the age of 95, apologized to those he had "harmed" in his spiritual testament published after his death.

Pope Benedict XVI dies: look at his achievements and his controversies 4:22

(CNN) --

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died Saturday in a Vatican monastery at the age of 95, has apologized to those he "harmed," according to his spiritual testament published after his death.

Benedict, who was the first pontiff in nearly 600 years to step down, rather than hold the post for life, died Saturday, according to a Vatican statement.

He was elected pope in April 2005, after the death of John Paul II.

  • Joseph Ratzinger, Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, dies at 95

In the will, which consisted of a letter containing the pontiff's last words, Benedict spoke of the "many reasons" he had to be grateful for his life.

In the letter dated August 29, 2006, the pope emeritus thanked God for guiding him "well" throughout his life.

He also expressed his thanks to his parents, who he said gave him "life at a difficult time."


He went on to thank his sister for her “selfless” help and his brother for the “clarity of judgment” he shared with him.

Benedict was known to be more conservative than his successor, Pope Francis, who has taken steps to ease the Vatican's position on abortion and homosexuality, as well as doing more to deal with the sexual abuse crisis that has gripped the church in recent years and clouded Benedict's legacy.

  • 'God's Rottweiler': Benedict shaped Catholic doctrine but faced criticism for handling of sexual abuse crisis

In the 2006 letter, the pope emeritus "sincerely" asked for "forgiveness" for those he "harmed in any way."

In his last words, the pontiff asked "humbly", despite all his "sins and defects", that God welcome him in heaven.

In a separate letter released by the Vatican in February 2022, Benedict issued a general apology to abuse survivors, writing: "Once again, I can only express to all victims of sexual abuse my deep shame, my deep pain and my heartfelt request for forgiveness”, but did not admit any personal or specific crime.

There is no suggestion that his apology in his final letter relates to the Catholic Church's handling of allegations of sexual abuse against priests.

CNN's Jack Guy, Valentina Di Donato, Sugam Pokharel, Sharon Braithwaite, James Frater and Allegra Goodwin contributed to this report.

Benedict XVI

Source: cnnespanol

All news articles on 2023-01-01

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