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Last Testament: In His Own Words Hardcover – November 15, 2016
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"The most sincere interview which Benedict XVI has given . . . 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." - The Catholic Times
"Throughout there are moments of breathtaking candor . . . 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
"There are beautiful moments in the book." - The Huffington Post
"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." - Catholic Herald
"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
"Prophetic and important analysis. The Testament is a fascinating read for this and so much more, and there is a consistent note of joyful and solid faith which is an inspiration." - Joanna Bogle, The Catholic World Report
"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, The Catholic World Report
"[Last Testament] deepens our sense of the personality, gentleness, humor, and subtlety of the pope emeritus." - First Things
"The book is striking on a number of levels . . . The first 100 pages alone make the book worth purchasing, generously sprinkled as it is with these tiny flakes of biographical intimacy, which can surprise as much as they move . . . One other pleasant aspect of reading this book, especially when one approaches the second half, has been the little displays of wit and sometimes attitude." - Patheos
"Offers readers a journey through the theological life of the retired pope." - Superior Catholic Herald
About the Author
Pope Benedict XVI served as pope of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013. He was elected pope on April 19, 2005, was inaugurated on April 24, 2005 and resigned from the office on February 28, 2013.
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This is probably the last opportunity, of a total of four, that Peter Seewald has had to do this. By now, I have listened to all of the interviews. The first interview is Salt of the Earth: The Church at the End of the Millennium, the second was: Light of the World: The Pope, The Church and the Signs Of The Times, and God and the World: A Conversation With Peter Seewald being the third. I was very impressed by these. As with this book, I was interested initially and primarily in this because of the questions that were asked (the issues probed are listed above in the book description). They are ones that we all would probably like answers for. I am very curious. I wanted to hear how Pope Benedict would answer them.
What makes it more interesting, Seewald does not supply the questions ahead of time. He asks. The pope responds. This gives us the chance to hear the Holy Father speak his mind unrehearsed. That's also the way the Pope wants it. It is here that we understand his grasp of the Church and its teachings, mission and history, as well as its problems, shortcomings, difficulties and failures. He hides from nothing. In fact, it is surprising how frank he is in his responses. It is almost as if he sympathizes with Seewald's looking for answers. He gives the Church a certain humanness that is very attractive, something that many are looking for at the parish level.
One of the strongest impressions that he has left in my mind as Pope is that he describes his role, not as you might expect--the world leader of a billion Catholics--but as someone who is to bear witness to Christ. He does not pontificate. Pope Benedict is certainly not a light-weight. His wisdom and understanding of matters is such that he can break things down to people at all levels, including children. I was there witnessing this at World Youth Day in Cologne. It was amazing!
I hope to also read this as an audiobook, which I think always adds to the satisfaction of it. It's not the Pope's voice, but you can imagine! As is the case with many books that I really like, I buy both the audio and either the hardcover or paperback edition. Doing that with a book like this allows me to dive into the text to draw whatever more I can from something like this interview I have listened to.
A great contribution to the Church and to people of all faiths. I believe that this can help greatly in clearing up many misunderstandings people may have.
A great read! A page-turner!
I doubt whether the popular misconception of Ratzinger as cold and aloof will survive a reading of this book.
Thank you for everything, Papa.
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