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Pope Francis friend Rabbi Kreiman an 'Opus Dei co-operator'

El Rabbi Angel Kreiman-Brill y monseñor José María Yanguas.

Rabbi Kreiman fought for the rapprochement of Judaism to the Catholic Church

Rabbi Ángel Kreiman Brill, who did a great job bringing Judaism closer to the Catholic Church, passed away these days. In line with Benedict XVI, he considered the dictatorship of relativism to be the main challenge to religion in postmodern culture. He celebrated the election of Pope Francis as a true friend of the Jewish people.


Ángel Kreiman Brill (1946-2014) is recognized as one of the most relevant personalities of contemporary Judaism on the international scene. Born in Argentina, his first studies at the Morim seminary accredited him as a Hebrew teacher and together with Reuben Nisembon he was the first to graduate from the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary, where he also held managerial and teaching functions, later obtaining a law degree and finally the doctorate from the Free University of Barranquilla, in Colombia.

Kreiman was a visiting professor at various institutes and universities in different countries, and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from the American Theological Seminary. Among other positions, he was Chief Rabbi of Chile and served in the Israeli Congregation of the Argentine Republic, being also international vice president of the World Council of Synagogues.

The dictatorship of relativism

Rabbi Kreiman, who even came to advise the White House on religious freedom, developed an intense task in interreligious dialogue, especially with the Catholic Church. He frequently engaged in activities in which, true to his personal style, he exhibited a peculiar and lively emphasis on emphasizing common identity with his own beliefs.


Angel Kreiman-Brill. Photo:


In an international conference on cultures and rationality held in 2004 at the University of Navarra(Spain) in which he participated along with other experts such as Nivazi Oktem, from the University of Istanbul, Gunter Wenz, dean of the Evangelical Theology Faculty of the University of Munich, the Orthodox Bishop Hilarion Alfeyev and Paul O'Callaghan, from the University of the Holy Cross, the rabbi vigorously stressed the need to found the renewal of anthropological thought on natural law. Kreiman saw in the unwavering moral values ​​upheld by religious faith a common foundation of human dignity and considered, in line with Benedict XVI, that the dictatorship of relativism constituted the main challenge to religion in postmodern culture. He celebrated the election of Pope Francis as a true friend of the Jewish people.

a common identity

When he presented one of his interreligious-themed books at the Austral University -where he was also a visiting professor-, and in the framework of a conference on the founder of Opus Dei, he did so together with the Archbishop of La Plata, Monsignor Héctor Aguer, and both expressed on that occasion their mutual appreciation for the religious tradition that can be considered a common heritage of both religions.

During another congress at the University of the Holy Cross in Rome in 2002, Rabbi Kreiman drew -as he had also done in another similar one held in Buenos Aires- a parallel between Judaic teachings and the spiritual message of the founder of Opus Dei, expressing that many of Josemaría Escrivá's concepts are reminiscent of the Talmudic tradition and reveal his profound knowledge of the Jewish world as well as -according to the holy founder himself liked to recall- his passionate love for two Jews: Jesus and Mary.


Catholic priests from Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Uruguay at a meeting of the CJCUC (Jewish Christian Center for Understanding and Cooperation), chaired by the Chief Rabbi of Efrat, Dr. Shlomo Riskin and whose Latin American Director was Rabbi Dr. Angel Kreiman-Brill .


Kreiman explained his status as an Opus Dei cooperator , saying that he was personally motivated in a special way by the idea of ​​sanctifying work and making God present in each of our activities, trying to perfect ourselves and perfect the work of the Creator, being co-creators or partners. of God in the work of creation, as presented in the Genesis account. Anticipating the Second Vatican Council, Opus Dei was the first institution of the Catholic Church to accept non-Catholics as cooperators, including quite a few Jews.

Also as a professor, Kreiman Brill gave seminars at various Catholic universities, including the Universidad del Salvador. In his last years he was director for Latin America of the Center for Judeo-Christian Cooperation and Understanding, based in Israel, where Catholic priests from various countries deepen their knowledge of their common roots in Judaism. It was his last service to the progress of the dialogue between both religions.

a man of god

With a prophetic gesture, Kreiman always sought the truth even when it was not pleasant to the ears of his interlocutor, which earned him not a few resistances in his rabbinate.

He loved the beauty of the liturgy as an area of ​​communion with the divine, considering it a form of prayer. He was critical of secularism, which he also saw as a risk within religions, to the detriment of mystery.


Angel Kreiman. Photo:


Notwithstanding his naturally expansive and always cheerful temperament, he was above all an inward man. On his last trip to Argentina, he phoned me to meet with the journalist Jorge Rouillon and the former secretary of Worship Norberto Padilla. We had lunch at the Universidad Austral, in the midst of the bustle of numerous students who were talking animatedly around us. He passed his gaze over that restless and youthful crowd and after staring at me, according to his style, he asked me if these young people would truly come closer to God on the occasion of their passage through the university cloisters. He did not ask me about the place of the university in the ranking, he went to the essentials, to his ultimate and supreme interest: God.