Tributes pour in for outgoing pope

2013-02-11 17:31
Pope Benedict XVI (Picture: AP)

Pope Benedict XVI (Picture: AP)

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Jerusalem - Tributes poured in on Monday for Pope Benedict XVI, who announced that he was quitting as head of the Catholic church.

The pope improved ties between Judaism and Christianity, which helped reduced anti-Semitism around the world, the Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi of Israel.

"During his term, the relations between the Chief Rabbinate and the Church, and Judaism and Christianity, became much closer, which brought to a decrease in anti-Semitic acts around the world," a spokesperson for Rabbi Yona Metzger told AFP expressing hope that his successor would continue in the same vein.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Monday said that she respected the pope's decision to resign because of his frailty.

"If the pope himself, after thorough reflection, has come to the conclusion that he doesn't have the strength anymore to carry out his duties, then this has my utmost respect," Merkel said in a brief statement at the Chancellery in Berlin.

"He had to make a difficult decision."

French President Francois Hollande said the pope's decision was "eminently respectable", while British Prime Minister David Cameron said the pope had worked "tirelessly" to boost ties with Britain.

Read more on:    angela merkel  |  david cameron  |  pope benedict xvi  |  israel

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