Pope Francis

Dialogika Resources

"Neither of us attempted to convert the other."

The following video was produced by the Elijah Interfaith Institute as part of its project “Make Friends,” in which some of the world’s most prominent religious leaders encourage people everywhere to make friends across religious lines. In this video selection, Pope Francis and his friend Rabbi Abraham Skorka discuss the personal meaning their dialogues have had for them, with the pontiff repeatedly stressing that respect for the integrity of each other's religious identity is crucial. His words are transcribed below. 

Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka on interreligious dialogue.

 

Pope Francis: "[When we conversed,] there was a basis of total trust, and because we knew in our conversations—and I want to highlight that—neither of us negotiated our own identity. If we had, we would not have been able to talk. It would have been a sham. ... And the friendship grew, always maintaining our respective identities. ... It's very important because my religious life became richer with his explanations, so much richer. ... And I began to further understand the [scriptural] revelation, and he further understood the Christian stance. It developed from our own identities and that's really nice. ... And neither of us attempted to convert the other."