On Heaven and Earth: ADL Plays Role in New Bestseller from Pope Francis

  • May 3, 2013

ADL is proud to play a role in the publication of the new bestselling book On Heaven and Earth an interreligious dialogue between the newly elected Pope Francis and a prominent Argentine rabbi. This book was published for the first time in English by Image Books and demonstrates Pope Francis' commitment to interfaith dialogue and deepening positive relations with the Jewish people.

Written with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, Rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the 21st Century records seminal discussions from numerous hours of conversation between the two religious leaders. ADL Interfaith Director Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg helped facilitate the English translation of the book.

Originally published in Argentina in 2010, On Heaven and Earth brings together a series of conversations between Rabbi Skorka and then Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio where both men talked about various theological and worldly issues, including God, fundamentalism, atheism, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and globalization.

"This remarkable book wonderfully demonstrates the warm and positive relationship Pope Francis has developed with Jews and Judaism," Rabbi Greenberg wrote in a blurb for the book. "These honest and respectful exchanges between then-Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio and Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka on a wide range of sensitive and complex topics - God, religion, fundamentalism, politics, and the Holocaust - is a model not only for Jews and Catholics but for all those seeking productive interfaith dialogue in helping to repair a broken world."

Dr. Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, Saint Joseph's University, Philadelphia wrote: "Whether or not they agree with everything that is said, readers of all religious backgrounds will be impressed by the substance and frankness of these conversations between Cardinal Bergolio and Rabbi Skorka. They clearly enact the call of the Second Vatican Council for 'fraternal dialogues' between Catholics and Jews. This is how religious leaders should speak to one another: on the basis of sincere friendship and respect. This book will also encourage anyone who wondered if a pope from a non-European country could be personally committed to the Catholic Church's new relationship with Jews."

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