Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI—who spoke of staying "hidden from the world" when he became the first pontiff to resign in almost 600 years—is in the news once again. In an interview for a new biography out Monday in Germany, he accuses critics of seeking to "silence" him and links gay marriage and abortion to the Antichrist, the AFP reports. In Benedict XVI - A Life, Benedict accuses his critics of a "malignant distortion of reality" and denies there is a rift with his less conservative successor. My "personal friendship with Pope Francis has not only endured, but grown," he says.
The 93-year-old made waves earlier this year when he broke his silence to speak out against lifting the Catholic Church's insistence on priestly celibacy. His comments in the new biography are likely to be even more controversial. He says a century ago, "everybody would have considered it to be absurd to speak of a homosexual marriage. Today, one is being excommunicated by society if one opposes it." He says "it's the same thing with abortion and creating human life in the laboratory," but "the fear of this spiritual power of the Antichrist is then only more than natural." Catholic News Service reports his comments appear in the last chapter of the book by Peter Seewald, who says the interview took place in the fall of 2018. (Read more Pope Benedict XVI stories.)