I had to smile at his opening paragraphs, in which Benedict addresses his critic courteously but forcefully:
Today, therefore, I would at last like to thank you for having sought in great detail to confront my book, and thus also my faith. This in large part was precisely what I intended in my address to the Roman Curia at Christmas 2009. I must also thank you for the faithful manner in which you dealt with my text, earnestly seeking to do it justice.
My opinion of your book as a whole, however, is rather mixed. I read some parts of it with enjoyment and profit. In other parts, however, I was surprised by a certain aggressiveness and rashness of argumentation.
I would like to respond chapter by chapter, but unfortunately I do not have sufficient strength for this. I shall therefore choose a few points that I think are particularly important.
When I read that I thought: “Yes, Odifreddi, you got the pope to read your book–but you also awakened the old German university professor!”
Beyond this, however, the letter contains a number of nice passages on various important topics.