Sunday, February 25, 2007

Historic Papyrus Now In Vatican (Vatican)

Officially known as Bodmer XIV-XV, it includes the oldest written version of the Gospels of St. John and St. Luke. This most historic manuscript was written between 175 and 225 A.D. and is considered to be one of the most important manuscripts in Christianity.

At the Vatican library, these papyri are now available for the first time for worldwide scholarship. Considered to rank in importance on par with the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Bodmer Papyri are now among the most important acquisitions of the Vatican Library.

The papyrus is named for Martin Bodmer, who founded "Bibliotheca Bodmeriana" in Cologny, Switzerland in 1951 to realize his dream of showing history "as it is reflected in the intellectual creations of all times and places."

Bodmer XIV/XV was offered by the Martin Bodmer Foundation to secure the library's future.Pave the Way Foundation worked for over one year with Fr. Richard Donahoe, rector of the Cathedral of St. Paul in Birmingham, Alabama, and Archbishop Pietro Sambi, Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, to first alert the Vatican Library of the availability and ultimately to locate, through Mr. Harry Epstein, treasure and director of Pave the Way, the donor Mr. Frank Hanna III who helped to make this historic event a reality.

Commenting on the effort and the reasoning for PTWF's intense work for this event, Gary Krupp, President of Pave the Way Foundation, said, "Pave the Way Foundation's mission is to ultimately eliminate the use of religion as a tool of those who would use it to enhance private agendas and to commit acts of violence. We do this through education and promoting tolerance by removing non-theological obstacles between the world's religions. We initiate historic, concrete gestures, such as the Bodmer gift, with full expectation that actions and gestures of good will rather then just words will result in improved, self sustaining and mutually beneficial relations between the faiths ..."

Mr. Krupp and Mr. Harry Epstein, director of PTWF, are both Jewish and were both particularly proud to have played such a pivotal role in this successful undertaking, which is so important to the Christian world.Other historic events, engineered by PTWF, include the largest Jewish Papal Audience in history, to simply thank Pope John Paul II for all he has done in religious reconciliation in January 2005; this was the Pope's last major audience.

Then in September 2005, PTWF arranged for the first loan ever from the Vatican Library to the State of Israel, which included manuscripts of Maimonides and others, which were displayed at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem for their 40th anniversary. This historic event "paved the way" for the Israeli Museum to loan a Rembrandt and a Botticelli to the Vatican for their 500th anniversary celebration of the Basilica of St. Peter. In May, of 2006, PTWF honored the Vatican Library for its inter-religious outreach. PTWF has been helping to establish the finalization of full diplomatic relations with Israel and the Holy See.

The foundation plays an active role in facilitating the resolution of issues encountered by the Greek Orthodox and Anglican Churches.

Pave the Way is currently working with moderate Palestinian Muslims to begin a new electoral party of peace in that troubled region.



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