The following is from this article on a recent meeting of rabbis with Pope Benedict:
- Several participants commented on Pope Benedict’s demeanor at the meeting.
“At the beginning he seemed as taciturn and as sharp in his bearing as I would have expected,” said one. “But as soon as we were finished with the formalities and he stepped down to greet each of us individually, the warmth and kindness were unmistakable.”
“John Paul was a philosopher,” Rabbi Bretton-Granatoor said. “This pope, when he talks to you, you think you’re the only person in the universe. This will be a thoughtful, circumspect and very focused papacy, and that bodes very well for the dialogue.”
“Certainly John Paul took Jewish-Catholic relations to new heights, but in all my meetings with him — some 15, including eight or nine private audiences — I never saw such a degree of relaxed intimacy and friendship,” said Rabbi David Rosen, international director of interreligious affairs for the American Jewish Committee.
That personal connection, Rabbi Rosen said, will alter Jewish-Catholic dialogue.