(Rome) Pope Francis is to visit on the Holy Land 25th and 26th May, according to CNN reports, citing Israeli sources. He is not to do it with the Ecumenical Patriarch Bartholomew, as hoped by Constantine Opel, but with his Jewish friend, Rabbi Abraham Skorka. Skorka recently gave an interview about his days as a "personal guest" of the Pope in the guest house Santa Marta and utters some veritable "nonsense" about Pope Francis. Or not?
The visit of the Pope to the Holy Land, was recently confirmed by the Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, Archbishop Fouad Twal for 2014, without so far announcing an exact date.
To the Holy Land Not with Patriarch Bartholomew, but with Rabbi Skorka
Pope Francis has long been already thinking about a trip to the Holy Land. Originally it was just after his election that he would visit together with the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople the holy sites of Jesus. A gesture in memory of the joint meeting in Jerusalem of Pope Paul VI. and Patriarch Athenagoras in 1964. An event that could be found in 2014 to take place exactly fifty years later, so the desire of Constantinople. A sign to make the special closeness between the Roman and Byzantine church could be made visible.
But this idea soon appeared in the background. Instead, Pope Francis looked around for a personal tour guide. He contacted his friend, the Argentine Rabbi Abraham Skorka, with whom he had worked as Archbishop of Buenos Aires on a conversation book, and invited him to accompany him on his journey to the Holy Land.
Skorka: "The Pope Has Celebrated the Beginning of Shabbat in the Vatican"
Skorka said in an interview for the Jewish monthly Pagine Ebraiche, was completely reproduced in the Osservatore Romano in its issue of 25-26th of November, which he gave, when he met at the Community of Sant'Egidio in Rome, as a "personal guest of Bergolio in Santa Maria":
"We were close for a few days, the three daily meals and have shared other moments both public and private. We talked about everything: about dialogue, but also about the journey that we will do together to Israel [...] Together we have celebrated the beginning of Shabbat, he was by my side when I recited the Kiddush and has broken challah, which Zion Evrony, the Israeli Ambassador, brought to the Holy See. They were unforgettable days and I think that they have a value that goes beyond the affection and confidence that has always connected us."
In the interview, Skorka always speaks of Pope Francis as Bergoglio. Likewise, he does not speak of a trip to the Holy Land, but of a trip to Israel, which is considered another territory in extent and possible destinations and represents a delicate question. In September, the President of the National Authority, Mahmoud Abbas, has invited the Pope to Palestine. On Monday, Pope Francis will receive Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will in audience.
The Skorka interview is interesting because of the unusually harsh criticism were expressed by the rabbi against the "World rabbbinate in all its parts," which in his opinion "is going through a deep and destructive crisis" both in "Israel" as well as "in all communities of the Diaspora."
Skorka sees "Ideal Judaism" According to Rabbi Heschel, Who Worked on Nostra Aetate
"The Church is in crisis, we are in a crisis," said Skorka who sees the "model of the ideal Judaism" which is "according to Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel." Heschel, born in 1907 in Warsaw and died in New York in 1972, who together with the German Cardinal Augustin Bea, was instrumental in the "Jewish declaration" of the Second Vatican Council in the Declaration Nostra Aetate concerned with the relationship of the Church to non-Christian religions. In 1971 he was called by Pope Paul VI. and received in audience.
Most Important Signal of this Pontificate? "The Rejection of Proselytism"
However, as Skorka draws a parallel between his proposals for a reform of Judaism and those of Pope Francis for the Catholic Church, the rabbi responds to the question about the new pope's "important signal": "I see great value in Bergoglio's comments against proselytism. It is a point on which he insists with a special emphasis and gets even more weight when we think of the evangelizing framework within which these statements were made."
Pope Francis wants to Only Introduce More Catholics to Faith"?
Skorka has in an interview then that one must remember how evangelization was until recently connected inseparably with proselytism:
"But now, the Pope speaks of it only to introduce Catholics to the faith."
The rabbi emphasizes in an interview several times that Pope Francis rejects "proselytism". However, as the Vatican expert Sandro Magister draws attention, something is wrong in the end quite complete, when Skorka concludes with the statement: "Now, however, the Pope speaks of it to introduce only the Catholics to the faith."
L'Osservatore Romano Printed the "Nonsense" Without Batting an Eyelash?
"Only the Catholics?" Asks Sandro Magister. "The Osservatore Romano reprinted the interview without batting an eyelash. But how could Pope Francis ever say such nonsense?" asks the Vatican expert.
Overall, it is striking that since this pope took office Jewish representatives are often at the Vatican in and out. With the Skorka interview, who says he is reproducing a statement of Pope Francis, is in the last three months already the third controversial statement that was made public after a meeting with the Pope by Jewish representatives (see the report What has Pope Francis really say as chairman of the World Jewish Congress - Violent polemics in Poland and the report Pope Francis Condemns Catholic protest against syncretistic "commemorative liturgy" in Buenos Aires A riddle? .
Text: Settimo Cielo / Giuseppe Nardi
image: Settimo Cielo
Trans: Tancred firstname.lastname@example.org
Link to Katholisches...