News Release

CHICAGO — Rabbi Abraham Skorka, long-time friend to Pope Francis who co-authored a book with the pontiff, and Chicago Cardinal Francis George are among the theological luminaries presenting at the New World Pope conference on Feb. 7-8 at DePaul University.

Hosted by DePaul’s Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology, this two-day conference will focus on Pope Francis and the future of the church. As the one-year anniversary approaches of Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio’s elevation to pope, the conference will feature a number of speakers who will be presenting reflections on Pope Francis and what his election means for the church.
Skorka, one of the key conference presenters, co-authored the book, “On Heaven & Earth: Pope Francis on Faith, Family, and the Church in the Twenty-First Century,” with the would-be pontiff in 2010. In his 20-year friendship with Pope Francis, the two have worked together to create a better understanding between the two religions.

Earlier this month, Skorka and 15 other rabbis lunched with Pope Francis at the Vatican to mark the Roman Catholic Church’s annual Day of Judaism, which was initiated in the 1990s to foster Jewish-Catholic relations and help Catholics understand the Jewish roots of Christianity. Skorka is also set to accompany Pope Francis when he visits the Holy Land in the spring.

Skorka will address the conference live via video conference on the first day of the conference.

Other speakers include Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, who will focus on Pope Francis and the new evangelization; Francesca Ambrogetti and Sergio Rubin, co-authors of “El Jesuita,” which at the time of the 2013 papal conclave, was the only biography of the new pope; and Andrea Tornielli, Vatican reporter for more than 15 years and author of “Francis: Pope of a New World.”

“The conference aims to go beyond 'Pope Francis the Rock Star' to explore the deep roots of his faith and his thought, and to ask what this extraordinary man means for the future of the church," said William T. Cavanaugh, director of the Center for World Catholicism & Intercultural Theology at DePaul.

While the conference has reached maximum capacity, those wishing to be waitlisted for Friday only may check the conference website for online registration. The conference also will be live streamed on the Internet. Information about registration and live streaming links are at

More conference information is at


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