Podcast: There is more to Benedict XVI’s new interview than abortion and gay marriage

Retired Pope Benedict XVI, pictured in a 2013 file photo. In a newly published biography, Pope Benedict said the Catholic Church is threatened by a "worldwide dictatorship of seemingly humanist ideologies." He cited same-sex marriage, abortion and the "creation of humans in the laboratory" as examples. (CNS photo/Paul Haring) 

A newly-published interview with Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI grabbed headlines this weekend because of the former pope’s comments linking abortion, in-vitro fertilization and gay marriage to the “Antichrist.” That interview was part of a new 1,000-page biography of the pope emeritus by Peter Seewald, released in German on Monday and slated to be published in English in November. He also said that “modern society is in the process of formulating an anti-Christian creed, and resisting this creed is punished by social excommunication.”


Listen and subscribe on Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

On this episode of the “Inside the Vatican” podcast, America’s Vatican correspondent Gerard O’Connell and I look at the interview and go beyond the media spin: We examine Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s historical connections to some of the topics he addressed, and Gerry highlights what is new in the excerpts he has seen thus far, including the emeritus pope’s revelation that he has written a “testament” to be published after his death.

Earlier in the episode, Gerry gives an on-the-ground update from “phase two” of Italy’s coronavirus lockdown. We also discuss the interreligious day of prayer organized by Vatican and Muslim leaders for an end to coronavirus, along with Pope Francis’ call for nations and corporations to share any eventual Covid-19 vaccine. That call was the latest in a string of requests from the Vatican for greater multilateral cooperation, which former Italian prime minister Enrico Letta recently discussed in an interview for America with Gerry.

Links from the show:

Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI sees church threatened by pseudo-humanism

Pope Francis joins Muslim leaders in calling for world day of prayer to end the coronavirus

Former Italian Prime Minister Enrico Letta contemplates a post-Covid-19 multilateral future

[Explore America’s in-depth coverage of Pope Francis.]


The latest from america

Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, co-founder and former editor of La Repubblica, speaks on Italian television Feb. 1, 2015 (CNS photo/Cristiano Minichiello, AFG). 
The only reports of Mr. Scalfari’s long conversations with Francis have come from the elderly journalist, who does not record or take notes.
Gerard O’ConnellAugust 02, 2020
For young Catholics, puberty can feel like a minefield where one wrong sexually-charged step could have everlasting consequences.
John DoughertyJuly 31, 2020
Brendon Busse, S.J., center, celebrates a Mass at Dolores Mission Church in Los Angeles on June 20 for hospitality workers to view online. (Courtesy Unite Here Local 11)
For many in the hospitality industry, writes J.D. Long-García, the lingering pandemic means no job, unpaid bills and even imminent homelessness.
J.D. Long-GarcíaJuly 31, 2020
There are more young girls selling their bodies as Zimbabwe’s economic difficulties continue, in a broad collapse now exacerbated by the pandemic. The city is experiencing a spike in social vices like child prostitution and domestic violence.
Tawanda KaromboJuly 30, 2020