The rare existence of two living men who have served as pope has raised challenges for the Catholic Church over the past several years and, in a new book, former pope Benedict XVI is stirring up new controversy.
The 93-year-old ex-pope has an authorized biography out in Germany this week, which ends with an interview between Benedict and the journalist Peter Seewald. In the exchange, Benedict sharply attacked gay marriage, abortion and scientific methods of conception, inserting himself into the debates that have defined the Catholic Church for decades.
“A century ago, anyone would have thought it absurd to talk about homosexual marriage. Today those who oppose it are excommunicated from society,” he said. “It’s the same thing with abortion and creating human life in the laboratory.”
Benedict added to this thought, claiming that these developments in the world represent an existential threat to Christianity.
“Modern society is in the middle of formulating an anti-Christian creed,” he said. “The fear of this spiritual power of the Antichrist is then only more than natural, and it really needs the help of prayers on the part of an entire diocese and of the Universal Church in order to resist it.”