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March 14, 2013 AT 5:38 PM
The selection of Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina to lead the Roman Catholic Church demonstrates a shift from Europe to the Southern Hemisphere, geographic shifts that Jews have also experienced. “There is a practical need to educate and get everyone up to speed,” said Rabbi Noam Marans, director of Interreligious and Intergroup Relations for the American Jewish Committee. As priests get their doctorates from the third world, the Catholic Church will be a very different church, said Rabbi Jack Bemporad, director for the Center for Religious Understanding. “I think that there is a new way in which we can engage in interreligious dialogue and that is basically to respect the other,” he said.