I am currently reading Jesus of Nazareth, volume II, and was struck by what is said about the evangelization of the Jews. Pope Benedict XVI states fairly clearly in the first book that he is writing these books not as the Pope, but as a theologian – as Joseph Ratzinger, not Pope Benedict XVI. Nonetheless, he is one of the greatest theologians of our day, and he is also the Supreme Pontiff, so his opinion carries a certain weight.
Somehow or another (maybe through CatholicCulture.org , I forget) I came across a great blog post on this topic by Msgr. Charles Pope of the Archdiocese of Washington. The author expresses well what I felt upon reading the passages in question, and the comments that people have posted are also intelligent and informative, giving varying perspectives on the topic. I highly recommend it, if you are interested in these issues.
I would like to know more about what “struck” you about the evangelization of the Jews. I’ve not read the book, but am curious.
To summarize (somewhat inaccurately, because it’s too complex to summarize in one sentence): at first glance, it seems that Ratzinger is saying that we don’t have to concern ourselves with encouraging Jews to convert to Catholicism. What he says was a real surprise for me. It brings up all sorts of questions, and the blog post I linked to (and the commentaries) says it very well, so I recommend reading what Msgr Pope says.
Just to add to what I said: what Ratzinger really means, how correct it is, and the authority we should grant to it, are all up for some debate.