Former Pope Benedict XVI, who died Saturday in a Vatican convent at the age of 95, asked forgiveness to those he “wrong” in a spiritual testimony published after his death.
Benedict, who stepped down as pope for the first time in nearly 600 years rather than maintain a tenure, died Saturday, according to a Vatican statement.
He was elected pope in April 2005 after the death of John Paul II.
In his will, which consists of a letter containing the Pope’s last words, Benedict spoke of “many reasons” that he had to be grateful for his life.
In a letter dated August 29, 2006, the former Pope thanked God for guiding him “successfully” throughout his life. He also thanked his parents, who he said gave him a “life in difficult times.”
He went on to thank his sister for his “selfless” help, and his brother for the “clarity of judgment” he shared with him.
Benedict has moved to soften the Vatican’s position on abortion and homosexuality, and has done much to address the sexual abuse crisis that has engulfed the Church in recent years and clouded Benedict’s position in his successor. Known to be more conservative than one Pope Francis. heritage.
In April 2019, Benedict discussed the sexual abuse crisis in an open letter, blaming it in part for the sexual revolution of the 1960s and the liberalization of moral teachings in the church.
In January 2020, Benedict was forced to distance himself from a book widely viewed as disrespectful to Francis as he considered whether to allow married men to become priests in certain cases. The book, From the Deepest of Our Hearts, endorsed the centuries-old tradition of clerical celibacy within the Catholic Church. Benedict was initially listed as a co-author, but it was later revealed that he contributed only his one section of the text.
A year later, Benedict, who had served as archbishop of Munich and Freising from 1977 to 1982, was denounced after the publication of a church-commissioned report on abuses by Catholic clergy.
In a 2006 letter, the former pope “sincerely” asked for “forgiveness” to those who were “in some way wrong” in the letter.
In his closing words, the former Pope “humbly” asked God to welcome him into Heaven despite all his “sins and shortcomings.”
In a separate letter published by the Vatican in February 2022, Benedict issued a general apology to abuse survivors, writing: Please forgive me,” but he did not admit any personal or specific wrongdoing.
There is no suggestion that his request for pardon in his last letter is related to the Catholic Church’s handling of sexual abuse accusations against priests.