Religion: A Time to Talk

On the day before Lent began, Ronald Sobel became the first Jewish rabbi to enter the pulpit of St. Patrick's Cathedral, the New York City citadel of Roman Catholicism. After he spoke, hundreds of congregants strode 15 blocks up Fifth Avenue to Sobel's Temple Emanu-El—something of a cathedral for Reform Judaism—to hear Monsignor James Rigney, rector of St. Patrick's parish.

The pulpit exchange inaugurated a year in which members of the two famous congregations will meet each month to discuss candidly such controversial issues as Israel, abortion, and parochial school aid. Similar dialogues...

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