Vatican City

Pope finishes anticipated third book on Jesus's life

'Great gift in the year of faith' says Vatican

Pope finishes anticipated third book on Jesus's life

(ANSA) - Vatican City, August 2 - Pope Benedict XVI finished the third book of a trilogy on the life of Jesus Christ, the Vatican announced in a press statement Thursday. The book, dedicated to Jesus's childhood, will now be translated from the pope's native German into other languages for global publication. "It is a great gift in the year of faith," the Vatican's secretary of state, Cardinal Tarcisio Bertone, said while vacationing in the northwestern alps Wednesday. "We will read this third volume eagerly and with great savor". Bertone also indicated the pope may finish an encyclical this year, which would be his fourth. The book on Jesus took a few months longer to complete than expected, according to Vatican sources who said last February that the book would probably be finished within a month. The sources said that the book will be translated into 12 languages, compared to the nine for the previous installment. 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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