Report: Benedict XVI hits back at criticism of resignation

BERLIN (AP) — A German newspaper has quoted a letter allegedly written by Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI in which he hit back at criticism of his 2013 resignation.

The Bild daily reported Thursday that it had obtained correspondence from November between the German-born pontiff and an unidentified German cardinal. The paper published a photo of a small excerpt with Benedict’s signature.

In the letter, Benedict allegedly said he understood “deep-seated pain” caused by the end of his papacy, but for some “the pain has turned into an anger that no longer merely concerns my resignation, but increasingly also my person and my papacy as a whole.”

Bild reported he said the anger “devalued” the papacy.

The Vatican declined to confirm or deny the authenticity of the letter, or comment on it Thursday.

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