Sobel seeks forgiveness in pope’s presence

A top Brazilian rabbi charged with shoplifting says he plans
to seek God’s forgiveness when he meets next month with the pope.

Rabbi Henry Sobel, who has led the Sao Paolo Jewish
congregation, told the Estado de S. Paulo newspaper that he still plans on
joining other Brazilian religious leaders next month in a meeting with Pope
Benedict XVI when he visits Brazil,
a predominantly Roman Catholic nation.

“I am not Catholic, so I cannot ask for the pope’s
forgiveness,” Sobel said in remarks translated by the Associated Press in
a story Friday. “But I will ask the God of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and Israel
to forgive me. Perhaps in the pope’s presence I could feel his humility and
have some of it enter my soul.”

Sobel faces shoplifting charges in Palm Beach, Fla., where he was arrested in March. He is well regarded
in Brazil for his activism against the dictatorship in that
country in the 1960s and for promoting inter-religious harmony.

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