The Washington Post has an interesting interview with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, an Argentinian Conservative, that is a religious not a political designation, Rabbi. Lots of background on his relations with the Pope in Argentina. PopeWatch found this passage especially intriguing:
Skorka said the pope’s study was filled with papers on chairs and books on the floor. (”Don’t imagine everything is ordered,” the rabbi said, laughing.) One of the books had been sent and inscribed by the dissident theologian Hans Kung. “Both of us stood one very close to the other trying to read the German dedication,” Skorka said. “Something like, ‘You already did a lot, but the world expects from you to continue doing very important things.’”
The rabbi said the pope is aware that some religious conservatives, inside and outside the church, are unsettled by his approach. Francis has said Catholic leaders have been driving people away by talking too much about divisive social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage. The pope has dropped some of the more regal trappings of the papacy. He uses a Ford Focus instead of fancier cars in the Vatican fleet and wears only the most basic clothes.
“He is receiving very, very harsh criticism from people who don’t like a pope without red shoes, and a pope who speaks to people in a very simple and direct language, and a pope who will transmit to people that he is close to them, that he in some way hugs them through jokes and through simple words and through simple expressions,” Skorka said. “The criticism he is suffering from is not new for him. He already had this kind of pressures and other kind of pressures during his serving as archbishop of Buenos Aires, so he knows exactly how to handle these pressures. He’s a very strong man and he will go ahead.”
Go here to read the rest. PopeWatch believes that Pope Francis might very well be called Pope Rorschach from his effect on many people who interact with him. The Pope has a winning personality and like so many people with such personalities those who have a friendly relationship with him tend to assume he shares their views. At least PopeWatch hopes that the Rabbi is not reflecting the Pope’s views in that the criticism that is directed towards him has anything to do with his simplicity of life. That is a grave misunderstanding of the concerns raised as to some of the remarks of the Pope. As for the book from Kung, PopeWatch hopes that serves as humor reading for the Pope.