A bit of light, holiday reading: Benedict XVI responds by letter, to an Atheist.

Exclusive to the Register, we publish below the first English translation of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI’s letter to the militant Italian atheist, Piergiorgio Odifreddi.

In September, the Italian newspaper La Repubblica printed extracts of the letter whose full contents were published in Italian on Nov. 23 by the German-language agency Kath.net.

The Pope Emeritus sent the letter in response to a book Odifreddi wrote in 2011 entitled Dear Pope, I’m Writing to You. The work was a critique of certain arguments and lines of thought found in Benedict’s theological writings, beginning with his 1967 volume Introduction to Christianity, and including his book Jesus of Nazareth, which he wrote as pope.

Full text


  1. Light reading, indeed. The word “dialogue” appears five times in the missive.

  2. The Popes reply (At least in Europe have been known for much longer) was kindly and eloquent. Indeed Benedict as the supreme scholar and intellectual that he is always engaged with Atheists of various intellectual merit in letters that are now famous and generally much admired.
    Like many recent pontiffs he liked to widen his appeal to engulf many outside the Church and thus lead many inside the church to greater understanding and tolerance of differences.

    • At last – something on which we can totally agree!

      Miracles evidently do happen!


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