Vatican City

300,000 copies of pope's new Jesus book in Italy by X-mas

Reported price dispute between Vatican and publisher resolved

300,000 copies of pope's new Jesus book in Italy by X-mas

Vatican City, November 6 - An estimated 300,000 Italian editions are in store for Pope Benedict XVI's The Childhood of Jesus after the Vatican resolved a price tussle with publishers, ANSA sources said Tuesday. The third book in the pope's Jesus trilogy, scheduled for bookstores in time for Christmas, was delayed in printing after the Vatican refused to price copies at 0.77 euros per copy because it was too cheap, ANSA sources said. The Italian edition of the book - penned in the pope's native German - is published by Rizzoli in conjunction with the Libreria Editrice Vaticana. Rizzoli is reportedly in negotiations with publishers in 32 countries for the translation of the volume into 20 languages, compared to the nine for the previous installment. Benedict finished the book in August. The book on Jesus took a few months longer to complete than expected, according to Vatican sources. Given the lack of Biblical sources on Jesus's life before the age of 30, Benedict has recognized his book should not be regarded as the last word on the subject, he says. "Anyone is free to contradict me," he said early this year. The pope's second installment of the trilogy came out last March to acclaim from the Catholic and Jewish worlds. More than one million copies were reserved before its publication on March 11 and the volume went on to set a record for the German pontiff and theologian. The book gripped Catholics with its insights into Jesus's life, death and resurrection. Jewish groups hailed the pope's emphatic denial that the Jews were to blame for Jesus's death. From The Entry Into Jerusalem to the Resurrection, Benedict's remarks focused on the events leading up to Christ's crucifixion and the meaning of his death and rebirth. The book was a follow-up to the pope's bestselling Jesus of Nazareth: From the Baptism in the Jordan to the Transfiguration in 2007.

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