Tuesday, July 28, 2020 at 7:30 p.m.
Join us for a special webinar as Philadelphia's new archbishop, the Most Rev. Nelson Pérez, and Rabbi Abraham Skorka, SJU University Professor, discuss Catholic-Jewish relations and some pressing issues facing both communities in American society today.
[ Video available. Click on “Videos” above.]
Archbishop Nelson Pérez was installed as Philadelphia's 14th Bishop and 10th Archbishop on February 18, 2020, having been appointed to that position by Pope Francis in January. Previously the Bishop of the Diocese of Cleveland, OH, his new position in Philadelphia was something of a homecoming. He had studied at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary, where he had earned Master of Divinity and Master of Arts in Theology degrees in 1988 and 1989, respectively. Father Pérez’s first assignment after ordination to the priesthood on May 20, 1989 was as parochial vicar of Saint Ambrose Parish, Philadelphia (1989-1993). He also served as assistant director of the Office for Hispanic Catholics (1990-1993), founding director of the Catholic Institute for Evangelization (1993-2002), Pastor of Saint William Parish, Philadelphia (2002-2009), and Pastor of Saint Agnes Parish, West Chester, PA (2009-2012). His work in education included teaching courses in psychology and religious studies at LaSalle University, Philadelphia (1994-2008). Father Pérez also taught Developmental Psychology at Saint Charles Borromeo Seminary (Fall 2011) when he was appointed by Pope Benedict XVI to be the Auxiliary Bishop of the Diocese of Rockville Center, NY.
Archbishop Pérez currently serves as a member of the Administrative and the Religious Liberty Committees for the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops. In November 2018, Bishop Pérez began a three-year term as the bishop liaison for the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry (NFCYM).
Archbishop Pérez’s pastoral vision can be summarized as: “Church on Mission: Proactive, Involved, Supportive, Fruitful, and Joyful” (Pope Francis, Evangelii Gaudium, §24).
Rabbi Dr. Abraham Skorka is visiting University Professor at Saint Joseph's University in Philadelphia. Born in Buenos Aires, Rabbi Skorka is a chemist, rabbi and writer. He served for over twenty years as rector and professor of biblical and rabbinic literature of the Seminario Rabínico Latinoamericano Marshall T. Meyer, which trains Masorti / Conservative rabbis, cantors and educators in the Latin American Jewish Community. In addition, he has served as Senior Rabbi of the Masorti Olami Community Benei Tikva in Buenos Aires. He was also honorary professor of Hebrew Law at the Universidad del Salvador in Buenos Aires. He has published several books and articles in the field of biophysics and numerous articles in the field of Biblical and Talmudic research.
The future Pope Francis and Rabbi Skorka co-hosted over 30 television programs in Argentina and later co-authored a book on interfaith dialogue, On Heaven and Earth, that was published in Spanish in 2010 and in English in 2013. Rabbi Skorka also wrote the introduction to Pope Francis’s official biography. In 2012, the future Pope Francis granted an honorary doctoral degree to Rabbi Skorka on behalf of the Catholic University of Argentina. In May 2014, Rabbi Skorka accompanied the Pope on his pilgrimage to the Middle East. One of its major highlights was their joint prayer for peace at the Western Wall, which was widely covered by world media. Rabbi Skorka was also instrumental in organizing a prayer for peace in the Vatican with the presidents of Israel and the Palestinian Authority shortly afterward. Most recently, he accompanied the Holy Father on his historic journey to Egypt and was present with him at the Conference on Human Fraternity in Abu Dhabi.