LA STAMPA (Italy)
VATICAN CITY - A book by Pope Francis and the Chief Rabbi of Buenos Aires will be translated and published into English on May 7.
"Sobre El Cielo y La Terra" (On Heaven and Earth) was written as a series of conversations between then Archbishop of Buenos Aires Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio and Rabbi Abraham Skorka published originally in Spanish in 2010 by Sudamericana. There are 29 chapters of this one-on-one inter-faith dialogue, each on a different subject.
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The themes that the Argentine religious heads deal with include God, atheism, abortion, the Holocaust, fundamentalism and globalization, reports La Stampa. Catholic publisher Image Books (part of Random House) says that the book will simultaneously be released in English in print, digital, and audio formats, as well as a release of the Spanish language version in North America.
Billed as an offering of Francis’ views on his efforts to strengthen relations between faiths, the book is just one of eleven that the new pope has already published in Spanish. This book offers a unique perspective at the beginning of Francis’ papacy on his commitment to strengthen religions through respect on all issues.
As Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Bergoglio was known for his respect for other faiths and has encouraged all parties to engage in dialogue to learn from one another. In the back-and-forth with Rabbi Skorka, a trained biophysicist, the future Pope wrote: “Dialogue is born from an attitude of respect for the other person, from a conviction that the other person has something good to say. In order to dialogue it is necessary to know how to lower the defenses, open the doors of your house, and offer human warmth.”
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Pope Francis. Photo by casarosada.gob.ar