Jews and the Vatican: Epilogue: The Portable Altar of Ludwig the Priest

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Inbal Freund-Novick is an organizational consultant and co-founder of The Unmasked Comics Project, a social change comics venture with comics artist Chari Pere. After spending a year as a visiting fellow at JPPPI (The Jewish People Policy Planning Institute), she currently serves in the World Jewish Diplomatic Corps of the World Jewish Congress.

Freund-Novick is a participant in Discovering Common Values: The Catholic-Jewish Leadership Conference, hosted by the Vatican and held at the Pope’s summer palace of Castel Gandolfo. She’ll be blogging about it all week, only at MJL.

On the last night before we were all going away, Ludwig, a priest from Bavaria, was showing around his new purchase — a priest’s traveling kit, with everything a priest might need to visit the sick or lead mass away from home.

catholic priest's traveling kit

The kit had some very interesting small version things for the priest like in this kit, which I found online, but it also had some unique artifacts that are typical to Italy such as electric candles on top of the regular ones. One thing which I found cool was a portable altar — I mean, this is so retro to the Mishkan days!

We spoke really late on that night. I showed him this blog, to have him understand what trouble I was intending to get him into — an exposure to some crazy Jewish minds — and he was very surprised to read about how I saw this whole encounter. catholic priest travel kitWhen I woke up the following morning, I jokingly asked him what forms one needs to submit to the Pope to add a few more hours to the night for sleep. I mean, do you fill in the pink one before the blue and yellow ones or the other way around?

Ludwig explained that a request for the pope is done with gold and silver forms. (I’m still unsure as to which part of that was a joke.) In any case, my request moved upwards on that morning as Cardinal Casper — the Cardinal in charge of relationships with the Jews — came over to speak to us. As we were in discussion with the Cardinal, Ludwig told him of my request (Cardinals, apparently, can also laugh!) so I hope it’s gone higher now. More hours of sleep my way please!

Ludwig, next time when you are in Jerusalem, you are invited to a Shabbat meal with us and you can have a look at our altar — a table full of good kosher food in a Jewish family’s home.

Read the previous entries about the Jews and the Vatican Conference.

Posted on June 29, 2009

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