Rome – Buenos Aires Rabbi Abraham Skorka’s decades-old friendship with Pope Francis has resulted in an historical event, as Skorka, at the request of the Pope, became the first Jew in history to actually move into the Pope’s Vatican quarters for an extended stay.
The VATICAN INSIDER (http://bit.ly/15ItqbY) reports that Skorka, in a recent interview, spoke openly about his longstanding friendship with Pope Francis, their spiritual bond, and their plans for continuing to spread the message of world peace, which includes a trip together to Israel in 2014.
On his stay at the Vatican with the Pope which began on September 25, Skorka said, “I eat with him at breakfast, lunch and dinner every day. He cares for me, and controls everything regarding my food to makes sure it is all kosher, and according to my religious tradition. These are festive days, and I have to say certain prayers at meals and, I expand the last prayer and translate it. He accompanies me together with the others at table—his secretaries and a bishop, and they all say ‘Amen’ at the end.”
Skorka said he and Pope Francis are planning to travel to Israel next year at the invitation Israeli and Palestinian leaders.
“We are dreaming of traveling together to Israel soon, and the Pope is working on this subject”, Skorka said. “I dream of embracing him at the Kotel, or Wailing Wall, and I will accompany him to Bethlehem, in the Palestinian territories. His presence can help a lot at this moment when the peace talks are starting again.”
Skorka said their friendship began in 1997 when Pope Francis, then Jorge Mario Bergoglio, became coadjutor bishop of the Buenos Aires archdiocese.
“Ours is a spiritual journey,” Skorka said. “Like him I don’t much like protocol, and like him I too go for the essentials. We hold to different traditions, but we are creating a dialogue that has not existed for centuries. Both of us believe that God has something to do with our friendship and what we are doing. There are too many coincidences for it all to be mere chance.”