(Rabbi Skorka & Henrique Cymerman)
Francis gave another, yes another interview! We've lost count but believe this is number eight. This one is unique because it is the first one done for the Spanish speakers of the world. Mr. Henrique Cymerman conducted the interview. Cymerman came to our attention at Call Me Jorge... because of Franics' trip to the Holy Land. Once the Alitalia jet was airborne, Francis went over to his reporter friend Cymerman to say hello. Reporter, Gerard O'Connell, was sitting next to Cymerman and was stunned he knew Francis. After Francis left he asked where he knew him from. Henrique Cymerman told O'Connell, he was friends with Rabbi Abraham Skorka and he had traveled with him to the Vatican to do a television story on Francis. To make a long story short after he had interviewed Francis for five hours and the cameras were turned off, Francis asked Cymerman what could he do for Israel. Cymerman was taken back by this and the two started up a friendship. Francis also told Cymerman that “inside every Christian there is a Jew.” After he returned to Israel and talked with the powers that be there, Henrique Cymerman proposed to Francis a trip the Holy Land. The reason for this was because they felt it would help to promote unity and peace amongst the three great monotheistic religions. Francis agreed to this and Cymerman told Francis he would take care of the ground work. Henrique Cymerman related all of this to Gerard O'Connell who wrote an article, When Pope Francis asked an Israeli Reporter, "How Can I Help?" for The National Catholic Review.
(Francis at the Kotel or Wailing Wall.)
Which brings us up to today. An excerpt of the interview with Francis conducted by Henrique Cymerman can be read in Spanish online at La Vanguardia, Entrevista al papa Francisco: "La secesión de una nación hay que tomarla con pinzas". It is soon to be released simultaneously in five languages as well as in video format. When it does come out in English, Call Me Jorge... will either link to it or post the interview.
Henrique Cymerman shared some of the highlights about his interview with a group of young Argentine journalists and social commentators. In the audience was Pablo Mendez Shiff who asked Cymerman a few questions and wrote a piece for Info News, El ángel judío del papa Francisco.
Francis on the recently completed "Invocation for Peace"
"The Sunday was the most surreal event of my life : to see singing psalms in Hebrew; rabbis, Muslim imams and cardinals with long dresses, all mixed in together. It was something that even we can not foresee the extent of what will happen in the long term."
Francis thanks Cymerman
"Thank you for everything you've done: I will appoint you as an Angel of Peace."
Francis' concern about anti-Semitism.
"The reality is that the Catholic Church persecuted the Jewish people systematically in different periods of history. I said 'I can not understand the Inquisition.How is it possible that the Church is dedicated to people who keep persecuting another faith? You can not attack a Jew if you're a good Christian, because it is the root of your faith!'"
Cymerman illustrates "the philosophy of (Francis)"
"In the Vatican, there are priests who do not like Jews. I saw a group and told them: 'There was a group of priests who cursed the Jews in front of a picture of Jesus and Mary on the wall. When they were saying these things, Jesus came out of the painting and said to Mary: Mom, Let's go! We are not wanted here."
Remember that joke above? It is the same one Francis told to his rabbinical buddies at the last lunch. (Click here to read The Last Lunch.) We will withhold comment on the interview until it is released in full.
America's CBS channel on Francis' soon to be released interview
A MUST WATCH ------> Henrique Cymerman's news story on Rabbi Skorka
(Henrique Cymerman & Francis)