“An interlocutor of the highest level”

Reactions and commotion for the death of Joseph Ratzinger all over the world. “In his brief but intense pontificate, Benedict XVI has left an important mark not only in his Church but the whole world” remarks, among others, the Rabbi of Rome Riccardo Di Segni. “The image of himself that he proposed – reads a note – was more of a theologian, a professor, than of a pastor. For this reason, his ascent to the papal throne raised questions and even concerns for many. In the Jewish world, in particular, there were fears of a doctrinal involution and a slowdown in the dialogue, which had made many steps forward with John Paul II. Instead, it was precisely the doctrinal depth characterizing him that gave strength and new tools to the path of friendship. Benedict XVI, on the one hand established precise limits. On the other, he showed unusual openness and fought against deep-rooted prejudices”. “Even after his retirement – concludes Rabbi Di Segni – he continued to elaborate on his thought by discussing it with rabbis. The news of his death leaves us with regret for losing an interlocutor of the highest level, firm in his faith and convictions, but willing to listen respectfully”.

From top, Pope Ratzinger preparing to enter the Great Synagogue of Rome and with Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni.