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Pope Francis in Sri Lanka IIPHILADELPHIA - Dialogue and encounter have been two of the popular buzzwords of the Francis papacy, but for one of the pope’s major interreligious interlocutors, they are more than mere maxims, they are a way of life. For two decades, Pope Francis and Rabbi Abraham Skorka have been friends - brothers, in fact - which is how he still addresses his old pal via e-mail or phone calls when they speak.

The two first met in 1997 in Buenos Aires and struck up a friendship initially over sports but one that would lead to a co-authored book and a series of public dialogues on a range of hot button issues from sex to death and everything in between.

Crux - Pope’s favorite rabbi: Commitment to peace the answer to language of hate