Pope emeritus Benedict XVI, known for his traditionalist positions, claims that his detractors want to “silence him” and compares gay marriage and abortion with the “antichrist “, in an authorized biography published Monday In Germany.
Joseph Ratzinger, 93, says he is the victim of a “malicious deformation” of reality. “The spectacle of the reactions of German theology is so aberrant and malicious that I prefer not to talk about it,” he says in interviews published in the book ” Benedict XVI – One Life .”
“I prefer not to analyze the real reasons why they simply want to silence me,” he adds. In Germany, where the Catholic Church is led by prelates considered reformist, Ratzinger has been frequently criticized for his views on Islam or social issues.
The one who was pope between 2005 and 2013 is accused of trying to sabotage the modernization efforts of the church of his successor, Pope Francis. In the book, Ratzinger assures, however, that he has good relations with the current pope. “As you know, my personal friendship with Pope Francis was not only maintained but developed,” he says.
In February, Benedict XVI was caught up in a controversy at the Vatican when his private secretary was removed from the environment of Pope Francis.
The decision was made after the publication of a book signed by Pope Emeritus and ultra-conservative Guinean Cardinal Robert Sarah in which they defended the celibacy of priests, a very controversial topic within the Church.
Some considered the book as an intrusion into Pope Francis’ pontificate and even as a manifesto of the traditionalist fringe of the Church. After 48 hours of controversy, Benedict XVI asked that his name be removed from the cover of the book, the introduction and the conclusions.
In the biography published this Monday, Benedict XVI reiterates his opposition to gay marriage, affirming that he sees in him the work of the ” Antichrist “, an evil force that seeks to replace Jesus Christ.
“A hundred years ago it would have been considered absurd to talk about gay marriage, today we are excommunicated when we oppose it,”
“It is the same with abortion or the creation of humans in the laboratory,” he adds.
“Modern society is formulating a creed to the antichrist that supposes the ex-communication of society when one opposes,” he insisted.
According to the Pope Emeritus, “the real threat to the church” is “the world dictatorship of ideologies that claim to be humanists.”
Seewald is the author of several books of interviews with the Pope Emeritus and the biography that appears this Monday, in the Droemer-Knaur publishing house, is the culmination of several years of work dedicated to the figure of Benedict XVI.
The author of the biography is an advocate of Benedict XVI and argues that his image of him as an ultra-conservative and reactionary pope is largely due to the “slander” of one of his main critics, the German ecumenical theologian Hans Kung.
The biography, according to a statement from the publisher, will also appear in English, Spanish, French and Polish.
On April 16, Pope Emeritus celebrated his 93rd birthday in the Vatican, surrounded by a strict sanitary cord to protect him from the coronavirus, his private secretary announced. Joseph Ratzinger, the first modern-day pope to resign in 2013, is ‘confined’ to the Mater Ecclesiae monastery in the Vatican Gardens, where he will not be allowed visitors as a precaution.
“Since we live under ‘house arrest’, like so many others in Italy, there will, of course, be no visits,” his private secretary, German Archbishop Georg Ganswein, told Vatican Radio.