Benedict XVI has said that, although he does not see himself “as a failure”, governance was not his “forte” as pope.

In a book-length interview with the author Peter Seewald, Benedict said that when he resigned he had the “peace of someone who had overcome difficulty” and “could tranquilly pass the helm to the one who came next”.

The new book, Last Testament, will be released in English by Bloomsbury in November. The German and Italian editions were released last Saturday with excerpts published in the Italian daily Corriere della Sera.

Benedict XVI said once again that he was not pressured by anyone to resign, nor was his decision provoked by any particular event or a wish to run away from any problem.

“My weak point perhaps is a lack of resolve in governing and making decisions,” he said. “Here, in reality, I am more a professor, one who reflects and meditates on spiritual questions. Practical governance was not my forte and this certainly was a weakness.”

Pope Francis, on the other hand, “is a man of practical reform”, the retired pope said. His personality and experience as a Jesuit provincial and archbishop have enabled him to take practical organisational steps.

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