In case you haven’t heard of it yet, Pope Francis went to Jordan one May weekend, along with some of his old pals.
These old pals though, weren’t quite like him—religion-wise. These 2 friend of his were a sheikh and a rabbi. You read that right. Sheikh Omar Abboud is the leader of the Muslim community in Argentina, while Rabbi Abraham Skorka once wrote a book with Pope Francis.
But that news is nothing compared to the fact that this is the first time in history that the official entourage of the pope included leaders from different religions.
To say the least, it was a controversial move—but endearing just the same. It showed the world that interfaith leaders can be together and can work together as friends.
With much of the controversy that surrounds the pope’s trip to the Holy Land, he insists that it is one made for religious purposes, and not political. What we think of it is—even if it is part politics, that won’t stop us from admiring this move of his. There have only been 4 pontiffs in the modern era to do it.
There have been protests of course, mainly from conservative Israelis who took to the Christian buildings in Jerusalem to scrawl down graffiti referring to Jesus as ‘garbage’ and wishing that death fall upon the Arabs and Christians.
It was to be expected. But the site of the pope in the Holy Land was certainly seen by a lot of people in the Jewish country—and the whole world—to be a welcome change.