Bloomsbury is to publish Last Testament, a new book by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in November, after acquiring world English language rights.
Since retiring from the Papacy, Pope Benedict has lived quietly in a convent in the Vatican gardens in Rome, devoting himself to a life of prayer and study.
In the book, he addresses the controversies that surrounded his Papacy and reveals how at his late age, governing and reforming the Papacy and particularly the Vatican, was beyond him. Last Testament is also an autobiography – Pope Benedict starts by recalling his childhood in Germany under Hitler and the Nazis when he joined Hitler Youth under duress. It goes on to cover his early life as a priest and eventually his appointment as Archbishop of Munich. After becoming Pope, his account deals with the controversies that rocked the catholic world - how he enraged the Muslim world with his Regensburg speech, what he did and did not do to stamp out the clerical sexual abuse of children, the Vatileaks scandal and more.
"Last Testament will generate exceptional interest throughout the world among Benedict`s critics as much as among his millions of admirers", the publisher said. "The story of the first Pope to resign in 750 years is by any standards a major publication".
Robin Baird-Smith, publisher at Bloomsbury, said: “We are excited to be publishing this astonishing new (and last) book by Pope Benedict - the Pope who vowed on retirement to remain silent. With complete honesty, this very personal book touches on all the most controversial issues of Benedict's Papacy.”