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Retired Pope Offers First-Ever Assessment of His Own Papacy

He recalls his "surprise" at Pope Francis' election and his "joy" at seeing him mingle with crowds

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is offering a first-ever assessment of his own pontificate in a book that recounts his decision to resign, his surprise at his successor and his attempts to dismantle what he calls the Vatican's "gay lobby."

    "Benedict XVI: The Final Conversations," is due out in September, the latest book-length interview that Benedict has conducted with German journalist Peter Seewald.

    Italian daily Corriere della Sera, which has the book's newspaper rights, provided a brief overview Friday.

    Corriere said Benedict recounts that he announced his resignation in Latin because he feared making a mistake in Italian. He recalls his "surprise" at Pope Francis' election and his "joy" at seeing him mingle with crowds. And he claims to have dismantled a group of powerful gay prelates in the Vatican.

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