Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI, who died Saturday at the age of 95, asks "forgiveness" to all those to whom he "caused wrong", in his spiritual testament written in 2006.
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"To all those whom I have wronged in one way or another, I ask forgiveness from the bottom of my heart", writes Joseph Ratzinger, pope from 2005 to 2013, in this text dated August 29, 2006 and published Saturday evening by the press service of the Holy See.
The former pope, implicated in early 2022 for his management of child crime cases in Germany when he was Archbishop of Munich (1977-1982), had already asked for "pardon", while ensuring that he had never covered crimes.
"I pray that our land will remain a land of faith, and I beg you, dear compatriots: do not let yourselves be distracted from the faith", also writes the 265th pope, who had surprised the whole world by renouncing his office before retire to a monastery for almost ten years.
“Stay firm in the faith! Do not let yourself be disconcerted!”, he urges again.
Benedict XVI, who held a conservative line at the head of the Catholic Church from 2005 to 2013, also seems to distance himself from certain scientific advances.
"I have lived through the transformations of the natural sciences for a long time and I have been able to observe how, on the contrary, the apparent certainties against the faith have vanished", he writes.
He also thanks God for his parents, his sister and his brother as well as "the many friends, collaborators, teachers and students", who have been at his side.
“And I want to thank the Lord for my beautiful homeland at the foot of the Alps. Bavaria, in which I have always seen the splendor of the Creator himself shine,” he adds.
“And finally, I thank God for all the beauty I was able to experience at all stages of my journey, but especially in Rome and Italy, which became my second home.”