Benedict XVI asked for prayer for him in his will

A picture of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. stands in the Rottenburg Cathedral of St. Martin.

Imago/Ulm press photo agency

(dpa) Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. thanked him in his will, but also asked for forgiveness. In his spiritual testament, which the Vatican published on Saturday evening, he thanked God for giving him life and leading him through all sorts of tribulations. “Pray for me so that the Lord will let me into the eternal mansions despite all my sins and shortcomings,” asked Pope Francis’ predecessor.

Benedict also spoke of “dark and arduous stretches” of his path, on which the Lord had guided him well. “I sincerely apologize to anyone I have wronged in any way,” he wrote.

The emeritus pontiff particularly emphasized his “beautiful homeland in the Bavarian foothills of the Alps”. “I pray that our country remains a country of faith and I ask you, dear compatriots: do not let yourself be dissuaded from the faith,” said Benedict. To his companions he demanded: “Be firm in your faith! Don’t get confused!”

Born in Bavaria, he also referred to his theological work. It has often appeared as if science had produced irrefutable insights that were contrary to the Catholic faith. According to his own statement, however, with the changing generations he saw the collapse of apparently unshakable theses that had turned out to be mere hypotheses. He cited the liberal generation, the existentialist generation and the Marxist generation as examples.

The text is dated August 29, 2006, when Benedict was already Pope. He died on Saturday morning at the Vatican’s Mater Ecclesiae Monastery at the age of 95. Joseph Ratzinger, as his real name was, was Pope until 2013 and resigned that year.

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