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Retired Pope Benedict critiqued Francis' interview

Pope Francis Appoints 19 New Cardinals at St. Peter's Basilica

By Nicole Winfield

VATICAN CITY (AP) - The man who serves two popes has revealed that retired Pope Benedict XVI wrote four pages of critique and commentary on Pope Francis's landmark interview in which he blasted the church's obsession with "small-minded" rules.

Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, Benedict's personal secretary and head of Francis' papal household, told German broadcaster ZDF that Francis had solicited Benedict's input on the interview, which was published in September in 16 Jesuit journals around the globe and helped define Francis' agenda.

The Jesuit priest who conducted the interview, the Rev. Antonio Spadaro, said Tuesday that he gave the first printed copy of the interview to Francis on the day it was published. Francis gave that version to Benedict to critique, Spadaro told The Associated Press.

Though Benedict's comments had no impact on the published article, the revelation is further evidence of the remarkable and unprecedented collaboration between the two popes, who stay in touch by phone, in person and by sending notes back and forth across the Vatican gardens via Gaenswein.

Gaenswein told ZDF that Francis had given him a first copy of the interview to forward on to Benedict, and received a four-page letter from the retired pope three days later.

"He did his homework - he read it and, in accordance with his successor's request, he did indeed offer some thoughts and some remarks on certain comments or certain questions on which he thought something additional could perhaps be said in another place," Gaenswein recalled.

"Of course I won't say what, but that was interesting," Gaenswein said.

Francis has said he relies on his predecessor's sage advice and has increasingly coaxed Benedict out of his secluded retirement to participate more in the public life of the church.

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Beverly Doyle March 18 2014 at 1:03 PM

I am grateful for Pope Francis.

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1 reply
elnpet Beverly Doyle March 18 2014 at 3:18 PM

Why ? He knew about the pedofiles long before he was pope. Nothing new in the Catholic church for any one to know about . The true meaning of the church is long gone. People and their morals have gone to hades.

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1 reply
mcgrawnrh elnpet March 18 2014 at 4:31 PM

elnpet, you know what? You're just JEALOUS of Pope Francis!!!!

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Jim March 18 2014 at 2:07 PM

As long as he keeps his mouth shut.

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dwnrgrv60515 March 18 2014 at 7:21 PM

please, no more gay priests

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1 reply
mcgrawnrh dwnrgrv60515 March 19 2014 at 3:41 AM

please no more westboro ministers . . .

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vagerbino March 18 2014 at 6:50 PM

Life is really quite simple, one either loves or one hates. So many of the comments reveal almost a universal hatred for ones fellow man and Catholics in particular. Seems like a simple rule, such as loves ones neighbor as one loves himself is a lost art. Can we just not wake up each morning, thank God for another day, say a simple prayer and get on with our day. So simple, even Frances might have thought of it. Praise God.

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Richard March 18 2014 at 3:35 PM

Now that is what leadership looks like.

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GERONIMO March 18 2014 at 9:25 PM

I think its great to have two Popes living and talking to each other.
Hopefully we'll see some great changes in the future.

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Joe Topoly March 18 2014 at 11:10 PM

It is very good that the two Popes communicate and try to make a better world and are working on improvement of the world

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Maria March 18 2014 at 4:40 PM

Pope Francis be a good pope. Kind, funy, and I'm sure he give the people hope. Like him.

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john March 18 2014 at 4:36 PM

Pray for our Popes.....

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1 reply
Jive Turkey john March 18 2014 at 4:37 PM

I pray they get saved.

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3 replies
Lukie239 March 18 2014 at 6:01 PM

I wil be GLAD TO SAY HOW MUCH I light his way to all people. right from he first I read of how he wanted to show he seeks no greatnest just needs to meet his people so learn of what they feel. first of all I am not catholic . my dad was and tho he left it with honest feeling that made him do so. i will not explain unless i am asked for all the truth i know it was a hard thing. His mother was irish she told him it was his choose and she was not upset after he told her About and why. I felt what he did was for his faith he would live by just at not their church. I never got to meet her as she died young I am proisent and was aloyal Chrisian. I went to church evey sunday and taught kinder age tots later i went to the birkshiers for week and met wonder people. it was so good to meet other like me was also doing it at their church. I have not able to stay in contact with them after all, i felt prud to be in young age friends and i sang in the cawer. my family was always in my prayers and now as i am 82 years old and say my prayers every night before i sleep. my other grandmother was taken care of me as my mom had to work in the big mill in town like my dad. she was a spooler and dad fixed the machines. Gramma raised me well til she had a str. MY dad would pick her up and bring her down stairs ever day before going to work. she had been someone that did not believe in yelling as some do. she was the most person i could ever love so so much. all these years and i alway s had my grandma reminding me she was doing a most good to me as if she was here all the time. the Pope has to deal for my other grand ma. we have to see you grow proud of you and how you will somday do for your own children

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