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Benedict XVI ‘will destroy a diary he kept during his papacy’

Pope Benedict XVI greets the crowd as he concludes his final public appearance from the balcony of the papal villa in Castel Gandolfo, Italy, on the day of his resignation (CNS photo/Paul Haring)

Benedict XVI kept a diary throughout his papacy but plans to destroy it, according to an Italian newspaper.

The retired pope apparently admitted to the diary in a new book-length interview to be published in September.

The historic book, called The Last Conversations, follows the format of previous book-length interviews Light of the World and Salt of the Earth and shares the same German author, Peter Seewald.

The Corriere della Sera newspaper, which has acquired the rights to publish excerpts of the book in Italy, has published a preview summarising its contents.

According to the article, the Pope Emeritus said he planned to destroy his diary even though he realised it would be a “golden opportunity” for historians.

Benedict XVI, the article reported, said he managed to “break up” a gay lobby at the Vatican consisting of four or five people seeking to influence decisions.

He also admitted to “lack of resoluteness in governing”, according to the article.

The book is reported to end speculation that Benedict XVI resigned because of any threats.

Benedict also talks about his successor Pope Francis. “Two different figures, two different ways of understanding the papacy: the pope emeritus outlines the differences and his own peculiarities and those of Bergoglio,” the article said.

The book will be released on September 9 and runs to 240 pages.