Rabbi Abraham Skorka, co-author with Pope Francis of the New York Times bestseller On Heaven and Earth, was interviewed in a 60 Minutes special titled “Francis” which aired on April 13, 2014.
Skorka, Rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires, Argentina, was interviewed because of his longtime friendship with Pope Francis which began over an Argentinean soccer rivalry.
The friendship grew as the two religious leaders discovered common ground among their faiths over hours of dialogue on various theological and worldly topics which were recorded in the book On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the 21st Century (April 19, 2013).
“While studying the books of the Talmud, I found one that says that friendship means sharing meals and spending time together, but in the end it points out that the sign of a real friendship is the ability to reveal what is in one’s heart to the other person,” wrote Skorka in On Heaven and Earth. “That is what happened over time with the two of us,” he said, referring to the bond he forged with then Cardinal Bergoglio.
Originally published in Argentina in 2010, On Heaven and Earth is an encapsulation of what Skorka and then Cardinal Bergoglio believe on topics including God, fundamentalism, atheism, abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, same-sex marriage, and globalization. It is available in English from Image Books, the Catholic-interest imprint of the Crown Publishing Group, a division of Random House LLC, a Penguin Random House Company.
On Dec. 2, 2014, Image Books will publish a special edition of Pope Francis’s popular Apostolic Exhortation The Joy of the Gospel (Evangelii Gaudium). In The Joy of the Gospel, Pope Francis explores a number of themes that are important for Catholics around the world, including obstacles to faith and what can be done to overcome those hurdles, how to foster more faithful and effective communication with God, and how Jesus answers the yearnings many feel in their hearts and souls. The Image Books edition will include a foreword by Father Robert Barron (author of Catholicism), an afterword by bestselling author Scott Hahn, and an exclusive eight page study guide.
Founded in 1954 with the mandate of providing quality religious titles to readers at an affordable price, Image Books is the only imprint from any trade publisher that is exclusively dedicated to Catholic topics. It has a uniquely rich history of publishing leading and classic Catholic-interest authors such as Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI, Cardinal Timothy M. Dolan, Cardinal Donald W. Wuerl, Archbishop Charles J. Chaput, Father Robert Barron, Mother Angelica, Mother Teresa, John L. Allen, Jr., Mike Aquilina, Raymond Arroyo, Colleen Carroll Campbell, Bill Donohue, Scott Hahn, Ronald Rolheiser, Amy Welborn, and Christopher West.
Praise for On Heaven and Earth:
“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.”
— Philip A. Cunningham, Ph.D., Professor of Theology and Director of the Institute for Jewish-Catholic Relations, Saint Joseph’s University, Philadelphia
“This remarkable book wonderfully demonstrates the warm and positive relationship Pope Francis has developed with Jews and Judaism. 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.”
— Rabbi Eric J. Greenberg, Director, Department of Interfaith Affairs Anti-Defamation League
To request a review copy of On Heaven and Earth contact Katie Moore, publicist, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (719) 268-1936