In "Last Testament: In His Own Words," the English version of his autobiography, the usually private Pope Benedict dives into many of the issues that swirled around his time serving, offering a revealing portrait of the former leader of the Catholic church.
Pope Benedict talks in "Last Testament" openly about the issue of cleaning up the "dirt in the church" (clerical sexual abuse), his alleged Nazi upbringing, and the "Vatileaks" case in which his butler leaked letters that alleged corruption and scandal in the Vatican.
He also discusses his unprecedented decision to become the first Pope in over 700 years to resign from office.
ROME, ITALY - MARCH 11: People walk past a poster of Pope Benedict XVI hanging on a wall near Vatican City on March 11, 2013 in Rome, Italy. Cardinals are set to enter the conclave to elect a successor to Pope Benedict XVI after he became the first pope in 600 years to resign from the role. The conclave is scheduled to start on March 12 inside the Sistine Chapel and will be attended by 115 cardinals as they vote to select the 266th Pope of the Catholic Church. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: Pope Benedict XVI waves to pilgrims, for the last time as head of the Catholic Church, from the window of Castel Gandolfo where he will start his retirement today on February 28, 2013 in Rome, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Roman Pope Emeritus. (Photo by Franco Origlia/Getty Images)
Pope Benedict XVI blesses faifthful for the last time upon arrival in Castel Gandolfo on February 28, 2013. Once he steps down later in the day, Pope Benedict XVI will begin his retirement in the papal summer residence at Castel Gandolfo, a sumptuous villa outside Rome with ornamental gardens, breathtaking views and its own farm. AFP PHOTO / FILIPPO MONTEFORTE (Photo credit should read FILIPPO MONTEFORTE,FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP/Getty Images)
ROME, ITALY - FEBRUARY 28: A nun looks through a window as she waits for Pope Benedict XVI to address pilgrims, for the last time as head of the Catholic Church, from the window of Castel Gandolfo where he will start his retirement today on February 28, 2013 in Rome, Italy. Pope Benedict XVI has been the leader of the Catholic Church for eight years and is the first Pope to retire since 1415. He will stay at the Papal Summer residence of Castel Gandolfo until renovations are complete at a monastery in the grounds of the Vatican and will be known as Roman Pope Emeritus. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)
Pope Francis (L) embraces Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI as he arrives at the Castel Gandolfo summer residence March 23, 2013. Pope Francis travelled by helicopter from the Vatican to Castel Gandolfo for a private meeting with the former Pope Benedict XVI. REUTERS/Osservatore Romano (ITALY - Tags: RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY) ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS PICTURE IS DISTRIBUTED EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS
A bishop adjusts Pope Benedict XVI's mantle during the weekly Wednesday general audience in St. Peter's Square at the Vatican June 2, 2010. REUTERS/Tony Gentile (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION IMAGES OF THE DAY)
Pope Benedict XVI wears a red hat as he arrives to lead his weekly general audience in Saint Peter's Square at the Vatican September 6, 2006. REUTERS/Max Rossi (VATICAN)
Pope Benedict XVI holds a monstrance during a ceremony following an Eucharistic procession at La Prairie in Lourdes on September 14, 2008. The pontiff is on a pilgrimage to the shrine where the faithful believe the Virgin Mary appeared to a peasant girl, Bernadette Soubirous, 150 years ago. REUTERS/Alberto Pizzoli/Pool (FRANCE)
Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI gestures at the Munich Airport before his departure to Rome, June 22, 2020. Former Pope Benedict traveled to his native Germany last week to visit his ailing older brother. Sven Hoppe/Pool via REUTERS
Pope Benedict XVI holds his last general audience in St Peter's Square at the Vatican February 27, 2013. The weekly event which would normally be held in a vast auditorium in winter, but has been moved outdoors to St. Peter's Square so more people can attend. The pope has two days left before he takes the historic step of becoming the first pontiff in some six centuries to step down instead of ruling for life. REUTERS/Alessandro Bianchi (VATICAN - Tags: RELIGION TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY)
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The Catholic Times calls the book, "The most sincere interview which Benedict XVI has given ... an essential book."
The topic of his successor Pope Francis is also explored, and Pope Benedict admits at first perhaps he had some doubts about Pope Francis. "No one expected him," Benedict says in "Last Testament." "When I first heard his name, I was unsure. But when I saw how he spoke with God and with people, I truly was content. And happy."