A Vatican office has acknowledged blurring portions of a letter written by Benedict XVI regarding Pope Francis’ philosophical and theological formation, the Associated Press reported Wednesday.
The Secretariat for Communications released the photo March 12 along with a press release announcing a “personal letter of Benedict XVI on his continuity with the pontificate of Pope Francis.”
The AP’s Nicole Winfield wrote March 14 that the Vatican has admitted “that it altered a photo sent to the media of a letter from retired Pope Benedict XVI about Pope Francis. The manipulation changed the meaning of the image in a way that violated photojournalist industry standards.”
Winfield added that “The Vatican admitted Thursday [sic] that it blurred the two final lines of the first page … The Vatican didn’t explain why it blurred the lines other than to say it never intended for the full letter to be released. In fact, the entire second page of the letter is covered in the photo by a stack of books, with just Benedict’s tiny signature showing, to prove its authenticity.”
So what was it the Holy See would rather you not see? Benedict, it seems, had received an eleven-volume set of The Theology of Pope Francis, about which he said some kind words — but:
“I do not feel that I can write a brief and dense theological page about them because for my whole life it has always been clear that I would write and express myself only on books that I had also truly read. Unfortunately, even if only for physical reasons, I am not able to read the eleven little volumes in the near future, all the more so in that I am under other obligations to which I have already agreed. I am sure that you will understand, and I extend to you my cordial greeting.”
In other news, the Vatican has always had a mission in Eastasia.
(Via Tony Woodlief.)