It's nice to hear from him, but...
It's weird to have two popes. I don't care what anyone says. This has never happened before in any one's memory. Two popes. No schism. No rivalry - except that which the media fabricates.
Benedict and Francis are not much different from one another - that's what I think anyway - they just have a different way of expressing themselves.
If you are interested in the Benedict letter, there's a story on it here. I like what he said to the atheist professor Piergiorgio Odifreddi:
“Dear professor, my criticism of your book is in part harsh. Frankness, however, is part of dialogue: Only in this way can understanding grow. You were quite frank, and so you will accept that I should also be so. In any case, however, I very much appreciate that you, through your confrontation with my Introduction to Christianity, have sought to open a dialogue with the faith of the Catholic Church and that, notwithstanding all the contrasts in the central area, points of convergence are nevertheless not lacking.”People do not like 'harsh' - they do not like it because they think people are 'mean', and mean is not nice. Yet Odifreddi took it very well:
Writing in Monday’s La Repubblica, Odifreddi said few people “can understand the surprise and excitement” you feel on receiving “an unexpected letter from a pope.” He said the letter was delivered on Sept. 3, and he waited to publish it to make sure he had Benedict XVI’s permission. The depth of his answer was “beyond reasonable hopes,” Odifreddi said, and he was particularly surprised that Benedict read his book from cover to cover and wanted to discuss it, as it had been billed as a “luciferian introduction to atheism.”
Odifreddi said the entire 11-page letter will be included in a new edition of his book. He said that he and Benedict may disagree on almost everything, but they have “united in at least one common goal: the search for the Truth, with a capital ‘T.’” - NCRegisterI bet both popes are getting tons of letters in hopes they will respond personally or call them up.