|Ex Pope Benedict's 2009 trip to Jerusalem (Image: Newsday)|
Rome’s Chief Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni has high praise for Pope Benedict XVI, saying the pontiff showed great respect for Jews. In an interview with Fiamma Nirenstein in Italy after Benedict announced his resignation, Di Segni — who is also a professor specializing in diagnostic radiology — called the Pope “an honest interlocutor” who was “clear when speaking to Jews.
We received respect from him. “Mutual respect is actually what is needed. Benedict XVI presented it to us, and even more.” Di Segni praised the “withdrawn character of this Pope, the fact that he was less than a media icon, as well as his intellectual integrity.” He also said that “at a time when radical Islam is thriving, the Church is amicable.”
As for what he would like to see in the next Pope, the rabbi said he hopes “the new Pope won’t be hostile. [We welcome] a non-hostile Pope that favors an in-progress alliance with us.”