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New York - April 14, 2008 - The American Bible Society is marking the first visit to the United States by Pope Benedict XVI with a special printing of the Gospel of Luke featuring the likeness of His Holiness on the cover. The Bible portion was created with the approval of the Vatican in the Good News Translation of the Bible Society, which has the Imprimatur of the National Conference of Catholic Bishops, and it honors the 200th anniversaries of five American dioceses and archdioceses: Louisville, Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia and New York.
In recent decades, the Bible Society has marked each visit from the head of the Roman Catholic Church with a significant expression of welcome. Each person attending the Papal Mass at Yankee Stadium, as well as those attending several of the smaller gatherings in New York, will receive their own commemorative copy of the Bible portion.
The American Bible Society is an interconfessional Christian organization with representatives of various branches of Christianity as members of the Board of Trustees and of the Bible Society itself. The Roman Catholic Church is a vibrant part of the Bible Society and that is why the Bible Society has not only created the special Bible portion, but has also created a radio welcome to the Holy Father through spot announcements running on radio station 1010 WINS in New York City, and as such, the Bible Society is helping to sponsor the extensive coverage of the Papal Visit.
The Rev. Dr. Paul Irwin, president of the American Bible Society, and Rev. Dr. Richard Jeske, director of ecumenical and interfaith relations, will meet with the Holy Father at a special meeting held with Christian leaders. In addition, Dr. Irwin will be the guest of Edward Cardinal Egan of the Archdiocese of New York at the Yankee Stadium Mass that will mark the conclusion of the Papal Visit.
Involvement with such unique opportunities is not something new for the Bible Society. In 1995 the American Bible Society printed a half-million copies of a commemorative Gospel of John that was used during the visit of Pope John Paul II and distributed at a Mass in Central Park. And the president of the Bible Society personally presented a copy of that booklet to the Holy Father.
In 1985 representatives of the American Bible Society went to the Vatican to give Pope John Paul II a unique new translation of the Bible in Italian, which was the work of sixteen Protestant and Roman Catholic translators who worked closely together on the translation. It was an example of growing interconfessional cooperation found around the world.
And in 1969 a Catholic Edition of the Good News Bible in Today's English Version, a proprietary translation of the American Bible Society, was presented to Pope Paul VI.
The American Bible Society, founded in New York City in 1816, continues in innovative ways to follow its original goal of sharing God's Word around the world in the languages people commonly use and understand so that they may come to know the purpose and power of God in their lives.
Founded in 1816 and headquartered in New York City, the mission of the American Bible Society is to make the Bible available to every person in a language and format each can understand and afford, so that all people may experience its life-changing message. The American Bible Society Web site is http://www.bibles.com/.FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Roy Lloyd Rebecca Silver
American Bible Society RLM Public Relations
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