Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI. Credit: L'Osservatore Romano

In a personal letter reportedly sent to the head of the Secretariat for Communications, Benedict XVI said that he sees continuity between himself and his successor, Pope Francis.

The letter, according to a press release from the Secretariat March 12, was sent to Msgr. Dario Vigano on the occasion of the release of a series of books called “La Teologia di Papa Francesco” (“The Theology of Pope Francis”) published by the Vatican’s publishing house.

The books “show rightly that Pope Francis is a man of profound philosophical and theological formation and, therefore, help to show the inner continuity between the two pontificates, even with all of the differences of style and temperament,” Benedict wrote.

“I applaud this initiative that wishes to oppose and react to the foolish prejudice that Pope Francis is only a practical man lacking in particular theological or philosophical formation,” he continued, “while I am only a theorist of theology that has understood little of the concrete life of a Christian today.”

Excerpts from the letter were included in the Secretariat’s press release, though it was not available in its entirety.

The eleven-book series was written by international theologians and edited by Fr. Roberto Repole, president of the Italian Theological Association.

There are currently agreements for the books to be published in English, Spanish, French, Portuguese, Polish and Romanian.