Pope’s Book Co-authored With Rabbi to Be Translated Into English

'On Heaven and Earth’ discusses Holocaust, same-sex marriage and globalization, among other topics.

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A book co-authored by newly installed Roman Catholic Pope Francis and an Argentine rabbi will be translated into English for the first time, publisher Image Books said on Tuesday.

"On Heaven and Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family and the Church in the 21st Century," which was first published in Spanish in 2010, will be released in the United States and Canada on May 7, Image Books said.

The new pope, formerly Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina, co-wrote the book with Rabbi Abraham Skorka, rector of the Latin American Rabbinical Seminary in Buenos Aires, as a series of conversations.

Their exchanges cover topics such as God, atheism, abortion, the Holocaust, same-sex marriage, fundamentalism and globalization among other topics, the publisher said.

The book is billed as offering Francis' views on his efforts to strengthen relations between faiths.

Francis, who took his name after Saint Francis of Assisi, was elected the leader of the world's 1.2 billion Roman Catholics on March 13.

He has received high marks from U.S. Catholics and the American public, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday, but many respondents said they knew little about him.

Francis has published 11 books in his native Spanish.

The Spanish-language version of the book, entitled "Sobre el Cielo y la Terra," will also be published by Vintage Espanol in the United States and Canada.

Image Books and Vintage Espanol are imprints of Random House Inc, which is owned by Germany's Bertelsmann.

A nun holds a photograph of Pope Francis during a Thanksgiving Mass for the newly elected pope at Tegucigalpa, March 19, 2013.Credit: Reuters
Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio, now Pope Francis, leading a mass at the Metropolitan Cathedral in Buenos Aires.Credit: AP

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