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Rome Reports

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Rabbi Skorka: The Pope is a true friend. Thanks to him I was able to accept the concept of death

ABRAHAM SKORKA Rector, Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano (Argentina) "What do I mean when I say a true friend? Well, he's someone I can freely talk to, no topic is off limits. I can have an open heart to heart conversation with him.â? He and a group of representatives from the Jewish community, greeted the Pope after his general audience in St. Peter's Square.  But Skorka's friendship with the Pope goes back to Buenos Aires. That's where they decided to deepen the inter-religious dialogue between Jews and Christians. For about a year they worked on a book they later co-authored titled 'On Heaven and Earth'.  As they worked on the book, the rabbi's father in law died and Bergoglio lost one of his brothers. Despite their religious difference, the Rabbi says, Cardinal Bergoglio made him understand and accept death, when he told him, death means returning one's soul to God. ABRAHAM SKORKA Rector, Seminario Rabinico Latinoamericano (Argentina) "To die means to have the strength and the courage to give your soul to God. That comment he made was very healing for our hearts.â? Skorka came to Rome, to take part in an inter-religious conference on Hebrew and Christian dialogue. The four day symposium was organized by the Focolare Movement and it brought together 12 Jews and 15 Christians to Rome all the wary from Argentina, Uruguay and the U.S. AMY UELMEN Fordham University (USA) "Open ourselves to what we can learn on a very profound level form each others texts, from each others stories and our each others efforts to live a committed life of faith.â? The speakers said before becoming Pope, one of Bergoglio's priorities in Buenos Aires was to strengthen the relationship and understanding between Catholics and Jews. KLH AA JM -PR -U