In an unprecedented glimpse into the Vatican’s inner sanctum, “The Successor: My Memories of Benedict XVI” will shed light on the nearly ten-year period during which two Popes—Benedict XVI and his successor, Pope Francis—coexisted within the same spiritual and physical territory.

Authored by Pope Francis and based on discussions with Vatican journalist Javier Martinez Brocal, the book is set to captivate readers with its insider perspective on one of the Church’s most extraordinary epochs.

Scheduled for publication in Spain on April 3, the book narrates the deep and respectful relationship between Pope Francis and Benedict XVI. It uncovers the nuances of their interactions, highlighting how Benedict XVI’s broader perspective often guided Francis in his decision-making processes. “He would never say, ‘I don’t agree.’… ‘This is fine. But we should also take into account this other thing…'” Francis recounts, illustrating the collaborative spirit that defined their relationship.

One of the most striking revelations is the depiction of Benedict XVI’s decision to resign—the first Pope to do so in 600 years—and his continued support for the Church and Francis thereafter. This decision and its aftermath are portrayed not just as a moment in history but as a testament to Benedict’s courage and the unique bond between the two leaders.

The book promises to offer a dual portrait of Joseph Ratzinger: from his days as Cardinal to his tenure as Pope Benedict XVI, providing a comprehensive look at the man who made history by resigning. “Benedict and I had a very profound relationship,” Pope Francis said, sharing they had immense mutual respect and affection for each other.

“The Successor” not only explores the personal dynamics between the two Popes but also serves as a historical document of an unprecedented situation. Its translation into several languages is eagerly anticipated, as it offers an intimate look at the challenges and triumphs of leading the Catholic Church during a time of transition and coexistence.

Editorial credit: Ajdin Kamber /
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