Indeed, it's official. Bloomsbury is announcing that Pope Benedict has a new book coming in November 2016, entitled, The Last Testament. It appears to be 224 pages.
Ever since Bloomsbury merged ("bought out?") T & T Clark, they have been emerging as a major academic press. In fact, I love what they have done with the Library of New Testament Studies Series (formerly Journal for the Study of the New Testament Supplement Series published with Sheffield Academic Press).
But back to the major headline: Benedict XVI "breaks his silence."
This is obviously going to be a very interesting read. I imagine the book will be set up like the other collaborations Ratzinger has done with Peter Seewald, which essentially work as extended interviews. The book is said to be the "nearest to an autobiography from the shy and private man who has remained 'hidden to the world' in a former convent in the Vatican gardens."
The press release goes on to say that in the book:
"he breaks his silence on issues such as:
- The “Vatileaks” case in which his butler leaked some of his personal letters that alleged corruption and scandal in the Vatican (the butler remains in jail)
- The presence of a “gay lobby” within the Vatican and how he dismantled it
- His alleged Nazi upbringing
- His attempts at cleaning up the “dirt in the church” (clerical sexual abuse)
Another press release states:
- The mysterious private secretary “Gorgeous George”
“So much controversy still surrounds Pope Benedict`s Papacy – in this book he addresses these controversies and reveals how at his late age, governing and reforming the Papacy and particularly the Vatican, was beyond him. But the book 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.”I know what I'll be reading in November!
Here is a picture of some of my Bloomsbury purchases.