Europe

Retired pope offers first-ever assessment of his own papacy

  • Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony to celebrate Benedict's 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)

    Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI embrace during a ceremony to celebrate Benedict's 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • A general view of the ceremony with Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI, to celebrate Benedict's 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)

    A general view of the ceremony with Pope Francis and retired Pope Benedict XVI, to celebrate Benedict's 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

  • Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI greet during a ceremony to celebrate Benedict's 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)

    Pope Francis, left, and retired Pope Benedict XVI greet during a ceremony to celebrate Benedict's 65th anniversary of his ordination as a priest, in the Clementine Hall of the Apostolic Palace, at the Vatican, Tuesday, June 28, 2016. The ceremony served in part to show continuity from Benedict to Francis amid continued nostalgia from some conservatives for Benedict’s tradition-minded papacy. (L'Osservatore Romano/Pool photo via AP)  (The Associated Press)

Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI is offering a first-ever assessment of his own pontificate in a book that recounts his decision to resign, his surprise at his successor and his attempts to dismantle what he calls the Vatican's "gay lobby."

"Benedict XVI: The Final Conversations," is due out in September, the latest book-length interview that Benedict has conducted with German journalist Peter Seewald.

Italian daily Corriere della Sera, which has the book's newspaper rights, provided a brief overview Friday.

Corriere said Benedict recounts that he announced his resignation in Latin because he feared making a mistake in Italian. He recalls his "surprise" at Pope Francis' election and his "joy" at seeing him mingle with crowds. And he claims to have dismantled a group of powerful gay prelates in the Vatican.