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On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century

4.02 of 5 stars 4.02  ·  rating details  ·  439 ratings  ·  87 reviews
New York Times Bestseller!

From the man who became Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio shares his thoughts on religion, reason, and the challenges the world faces in the 21st century with Abraham Skorka, a rabbi and biophysicist.

For years Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Argentina, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka were tenacious promoters of inter-religious dialogues o
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Hardcover, 236 pages
Published April 19th 2013 by Image (first published November 17th 2010)
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Catechism of the Catholic Church by The Catholic ChurchStory of a Soul by Thérèse de LisieuxThe Confessions by Augustine of HippoDark Night of the Soul by John of the CrossJesus of Nazareth by Pope Benedict XVI
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87th out of 292 books — 164 voters
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,221)
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Jan Rice
This is what a book club will do for you! I never ever would have read a book like this if it hadn't been for the book club.

I don't mean because of the authors but because it's a book composed of a dialogue two people had had. My assumptions were that it would be lightweight, just to have something to publish.

By the way, there are two authors, not only the (at the time) cardinal but also a rabbi friend of his in Argentina, Abraham Skorka, both celebrating the value of dialogue.

At first my preco
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Matthew
The title should be different.

This book is a series of conversations between Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now our new Pope Francis) and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. They talk about a wide array of topics giving both Jewish and Christian answers respectively.

I really liked the style of this book. The respectful conversation between these two men really impressed me.

It offers a great insight into the mind of our new Pope. This is maybe the best look at what he thinks about issues that I have found to date.
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Katie Bagley
Generally, it was a great book. The only reason it lost a gavel from a perfect score is because, since the book was in the form of a conversation, there were several topics discussed that were particular to Argentine social history that could have done with some additional explanation or background. It caused me to look up a series of events/issues online, but that’s never a bad thing.
Jason Theobald
Like many others, I am sure, I was most interested to pick up this book because it was our new Pope in his own words. When I heard that this book was out there, I was intrigued; rarely do we get an insight into a Pope's mind like this, where it is not teaching but rather simply discussion. From the outset of this book, you get a good idea of what the the book will be like: friendly, intriguing dialogue which is not about debate but rather about finding common ground and looking at life from one' ...more
Nancy Bielski
This was absolutely lovely. The Rabbi and Pope said some really thought-provoking things. Very well articulated. I would recommend this to anyone who is interested in faith and religion. I think what they discuss doesn't necessarily push any specific religious doctrine, but instead discusses faith in general. It was great.
Debra
This very quick read is an only mildly interesting exchange between two religious leaders on topics that include past interfaith exchanges, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, fundamentalism, same-sex marriage, the holocaust, science, women – even a very brief discussion of pedophilic clergy - and others. The trend of the conversations is predictable, and the book really doesn’t offer anything new for the reader to discover. The reader expecting to get a glimpse into the minds of these two men will b ...more
Jean
On Heaven and Earth Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century is a fascinating book, in which the man who would become Pope Francis -- Jorge Mario Bergoglio, archbishop of Buenos Aires, warmly and casually converses with Argentinian Rabbi Abraham Skorka on a diverse range of topics. Some of these topics include: religion, prayer, euthanasia, women, homosexuality, abortion, divorce, money, poverty, politics, and power. Originally published in 2010, this book docume ...more
Maria Grazia
Scritto in tempi non sospetti, questo libro raccoglie i dialoghi tra il capo spirituali della chiesa cattolica e quello dell'ebraismo in Argentina. Non è una dotta disputa teologica sulle due religioni, perché i due interlocutori SONO dotti teologi, e non devono dimostrare niente a nessuno, ma piuttosto una chiacchierata amichevole in cui ciascuno dice la sua sugli argomenti più disparati, assentendo o dissentendo sulle altrui opinioni in uno spirito di rispetto estremo, come devono fare i veri ...more
Luboš
Pomůžu si slovy Roberta Pelikána, který psal pro časopis Respekt: „Jsem bez vyznání, a vnitřní záležitosti katolické církve mne proto vždy nechávaly chladným. Habemus papam tak pro mne vždy bylo pouhé habent (oni mají) – o mého papeže tu vskutku nešlo.

Překvapené nadšení, které nejen ve mně vyvolává papež František, vypovídá mnoho nejen o stavu katolické církve, ale i o stavu našeho světa.
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Zneklidňující, neb nás to usvědčuje z pohodlnosti, nesnažíme-li se sami alespoň občas a alespoň na chvilku
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Bob
The cover describes it as 'las opiniones del papa Francisco I sobre la familia, la fe, y el papel de la Iglesia en el siglo XXI' but the conversations themselves offer much more -- Rabbi Skorka's insights on all these things, the role of religion in Argentine history, a Latin American perspective on world events, and a model of genuinely civil dialog on genuinely divisive topics. While the conversations have been carefully edited, there are spontaneous moments:
B."¿le conté la anécdota del Role
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Casey Taylor
An interesting way to be introduced to (the now) Pope Francis as he dialogues with a rabbi friend about a range of topics, including national issues (Argentina), sexuality, politics and the future of religion.

The text is interesting mostly because it sheds light onto Francis, but it's not the most exciting read. Premised on interfaith dialogue between friends, It's mostly agreements: "Oh, I like that! Yes, I agree."
Teresa Weaver
I enjoyed hearing the views of Pope Francis and Abraham Skorka. The book focused on similarities between the Catholic and Jewish religon.
Sue Coleman
EXCELLENT BOOK!!!

A priest and a rabbi... (no really--that's who wrote the book).

I am neither Catholic nor Jewish, but I absolutely loved reading this book. It is a journal of dialog between two prominent leaders in their respective religious communities (one of them now the current Pope). An excellent example to us all in breaking down our walls of religiosity and overcoming predjudice. I found a great deal of insight, wisdom, comfort, and satisfaction in reading the interviews that took place
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Don Weidinger
walk with respect and affection, Thomas put self in position of adversary, battle with temptations of devil, faith creates culture, through God miracles, as soon as believe righteous not, lessons of faith with humility, Judaism respect and suspect, give from self, guilt in personal responsibility, we need God vs pride, if history starts with us elderly minimalized, church as bride of Christ woman as bride of man, make more of a man in marriage and make more of a woman, not in absolutes leave roo ...more
LAPL Reads
In 2010, Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) had a series of religious dialogues with a fellow Argentinian, Abraham Skorka, a Conservative Rabbi and biophysicist. The two religious leaders discussed the principle that the role of faith plays in dealing with contemporary issues such as economic inequality, euthanasia, treatment of the elderly, political corruption, abortion and materialism. More controversially, they shared their opposition to gay marriage, their respect for some communis ...more
Bobby Morales
This book has given me a better understanding on how the church should face current issues, as well as the crucial importance of interrelations dialogue for the good of all people. Peaceful and thought-provoking ideas are all throughout the book that will help Christians better understand the world around them. It's a short-simple to read book of edifying dialogue between Pope Francis and an Argentinian Rabbi. Thanks be to God for these men and their literary contribution! I highly recommend thi ...more
Jill
A great dialogue between Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka. It had enough depth to encourage thought, but generally just gave a brief overview of each topic. Not deep enough to truly give a full understanding of the teachings of the Catholic Church or of the Jewish faith, but gave a fair introduction to the shared values as well as the differences between the two. The mutual respect and openness to dialogue are a great example of what true ecumenism should be. Well worth reading.
Sarah
I read this as spiritual reading for the last month or so, and I can't emphasize enough how wonderful a read it is. The book is a conversation between Pope Francis (back when he was Cardinal Archbishop of Buenos Aires, Jorge Bergoglio) and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. They cover all sorts of topics, some of which I had no interest in until I read what they had to say. I found myself highlight as much of Skorka's thought as I did Bergoglio's. Overall, highly recommended.
Lynne
Loved this book. It's an honest dialogue between a Christian and a Jewish person about "life." It's great how principles and morals are the same and it illustrates how all religions can coexist. I've always believed there is one God but believers just choose different paths to get there!
Lisa
Some things might have been lost in translation, but the conversations between both the (then) future Pope Francis, Jorge Mario Bergoglio, and Abraham Skorka of Argentina are truly interesting. Originally published in Spanish in 2010, the book records a series of conversations between the Catholic and Jewish leaders of Argentina on topics important to society today.

Of particular interest was the future pope's comment about the bounce back of religion at different times in history with figures l
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Deborah
Great dialogue between two men of great faith.

Ernesto Sabato - One and the Universe “One sets off for distant lands, or seeks the knowledge of man, or investigates nature, or searches for G-d; only afterwards does he realize that the phantom he was chasing was Himself.”

Dialogue requires that each participant become acquainted with the other person.
“G-d’s candle is man’s soul which reveals the innermost parts of his being.” Prov 20:27
In its most profound sense, to have a conversation is to bring
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Marianna
I actually found that the rabbi's voice resonated more for me. An excellent example of what constructive, open-minded dialogue is.
John
Through a series of topic a respectful, open discussion takes place. It seems like this open, honest discussion between the catholic and Jewish faiths will be an important part of Pope Francis' papacy.

I'm encouraged by the humbleness of both Skorka and Bergoglio in their frank perspectives on each faith's unique but complementary approaches to the challenges of our modern times. The common reciognition of man's "restlessness" as being our search for God is the starting point and constant 'backdr
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Alice
I enjoyed this series of conversations between Jorge Mario Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) and Abraham Skorka, a rabbi and biophysicist. I had heard many positive things about Pope Francis and see him as a sign of the Catholic Church moving in a good direction. I was impressed with his thoughts, but also of Rabbi Skorka. I found him to be reflective, open-minded, and wise. Conversations between people of different religions, ethnicities, races etc. always strike me as so valuable, and I'm glad to s ...more
Jen Cragen (MKmaineknitter)
Despite viewing the Old Testament/Torah from different places, both men met to talk about various topics and shared their views on God, the Devil, Death, Euthanasia, Women, Same-Sex Marriage, Poverty and the Holocaust among other Twenty-First Century Topics.

Both view God in a similar way, though the Jewish prohibition of not referring to God by his name is handled by using G-d for when Rabbi Skorka refers to Our Heavenly Father throughout the book. There are differences in whether we believe in
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JoAnna
"God is always being sought and found. We are presented with this paradox: we seek Him to find Him and because we find Him, we seek Him." (p.15)

"This indicates the brutality that we sometimes have inside...We cannot analyze history from an ethical, purist point of view. History has always been like that, regrettably, with or without faith. This has to humble us." (p. 200).

Historically, the best way for me to get to know popes has been through books. Unlike his predecessor, Pope Francis has relat
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Haley Keller
This book is basically a transcript of conversations that Bergoglio (now Pope Francis; then Archbishop of Buenos Aires) and Skorka (a Jewish rabbi). They talk about a wide variety of topics and what their views are on them.

I absolutely loved this book. I loved getting both of their perspectives on every topic, and although they occasionally disagreed, they were always respectful of each other. I always enjoy learning more about various religions, and I loved seeing a Catholic perspective and Jew
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Stuart
On Heaven and Earth is a book of dialogue between Pope Francis (then Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio) and Rabbi Abraham Skorka. Both men are Argentinian and both are respected religious leaders as well as brilliant minds. In these conversations, which read like brief letters back and forth to one another, various subjects such as God, the Devil, Science, Education, are covered. My initial impression was that it was nice to see subjects other than religion covered. This has potential to attract a ...more
Barb Klein
“On Heaven and Earth” by Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, and Abraham Skorka, an Argentine Rabbi, is a dialogue between the two men regarding church in the 21st century that took place in 2010. As a Catholic I was very interested to read about the coming together of the Catholic and Jewish religions. I also wanted to get a clearer picture of the man who is pope.

I found this dialogue to be eye-opening and heart-warming. There were no subjects that were NOT discussed and I found the openne
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Joyce
On Heaven and Earth is a book of interfaith dialogue between Catholic Jorge Mario Cardinal Bergoglio (now Pope Francis) and Conservative Jewish Rabbi Abraham Skorka. It is important to bear in mind that there are two authors; it's not just a book by the Pope.

There are one or two gems in the book, particularly the forewords by both men, which shed light on the importance of friendship and knowing the other person first before being able to enter into a genuinely loving and respectful interreligi
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English Translation? 2 8 Mar 21, 2013 10:59AM  
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See Also: Pope Francis.

He is the 266th and current Pope of the Catholic Church, elected on 13 March 2013. As such, he is Bishop of Rome, the head of the worldwide Catholic Church and sovereign of the Vatican City State.

Born in Buenos Aires of Italian descent, Bergoglio worked briefly as a chemical technician before entering seminary; he was ordained in 1969. From 1973 to 1979 he was Argentina's Pr
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“...I think that we succumb to attitudes that do not permit us to dialogue: domination, not knowing how to listen, annoyance in our speech, preconceived judgments and so many others.” 10 likes
“God makes Himself felt in the heart of each person. He also respects the culture of all people...God is open to all people. He calls everyone. He moves everyone to seek Him and to discover Him through creation.” 1 likes
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