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Retired Pope Benedict critiqued Francis' interview

By The Associated Press

This article was published March 18, 2014 at 7:05 a.m.

VATICAN CITY — The man who serves two popes has revealed that retired Pope Benedict XVI wrote four pages of critique and commentary on Pope Francis's landmark interview in which he blasted the church's obsession with "small-minded" rules.

Monsignor Georg Gaenswein, Benedict's personal secretary and head of Francis' papal household, was quoted by German broadcaster ZDF as saying that Francis had solicited Benedict's input.

The revelation is further evidence of the remarkable and unprecedented collaboration between the two popes, who stay in touch by phone, in person and by sending notes back and forth across the Vatican gardens via Gaenswein.

It's unclear whether any of Benedict's suggestions made it into the final version of the interview, which was published in 16 Jesuit journals around the globe in September and helped define Francis' agenda.

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