A Catholic Bible ‘summit’ in challenging times

The Catechetical Office of the Archdiocese of NY has put on some big conferences the past few years for people who want to dig deeper into their Catholic faith.

But they really seem to have come up with something special this year on June 26.

The New York Catholic Bible Summit will take place from 8:15 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. at Fordham U’s Lincoln Center Campus.

The theme is “Living the Word of God in Challenging Times.”

The keynote address in English will be given by Monsignor Lorenzo Albacete (that’s him), an internationally known and high regarded theologian and writer  from Yonkers who has a good sense of humor and is a fine story-teller.

The keynote in Spanish will be delivered by Rev. Virgilio P. Elizondo, professor of pastoral and Hispanic theology at Notre Dame.

Ticket info, directions, presenter bios — and whatever else you want to know — can be found HERE. The conference is being sponsored by the Catechetical Office, Fordham and the American Bible Society.

Here is a line-up of workshop presenters:

Rev. Dempsey Rosales Acosta, Ph.D., St. Agnes Church, New York City, En Espanol
Sr. Dianne Bergant, CSA, Ph.D., Catholic Theological Union, Chicago
Rev. Lawrence Boadt, CSP, Ph.D., Washington Theological Union, Washington, DC
Rev. Claudio M. Burgaleta, SJ, Ph.D, Fordham Univeristy, Bronx, En Espanol
Eleana Salas Caceres, FMA, Peruvian Epsicopal Conference, Lima, Peru, En Espanol
James Campbell, Ph.D., Loyola Press, Chicago
Rev. Virgilio P. Elizondo, Ph.D, Notre Dame University, South Bend, En Espanol
Bro. Ricardo Grzona, FRP, Ph.D., United Bible Societies of the Americas, En Espanol
ValLimar Jansen, OCP Publications, Portland, Oregon
Liana Lupas, Ph.D., American Bible Society, New York City
Rev. James Martin, SJ, America Magazine, New York City
Sr. Margaret Palliser, OP, Ph.D., Living with Christ, New London, CT
John Pilch, Ph.D., Georgetown University, Washington, DC
Rev. Timothy Scannell, Ph.D., St. Joseph Seminary, Yonkers

American Bible Society names new president

I should mention that the NYC-based American Bible Society has announced that the Rev. R. Lamar Vest, a Pentecostal Christian and a Bible Society veteran, will serve as its next president.

He’ll take over Jan. 1.

In June, the Society said it would not renew the contract of then-President Paul Irwin and was placing him on leave. A New York Times report had revealed that Irwin had paid $5 million to a Web consultant with ties to the pornography and gambling worlds.

The American Bible Society, founded in 1816, tries to make the Bible available everywhere and to everyone.

Vest is currently executive vice president of Global Scripture Ministries for the American Bible Society. He has also served as chairman of the Bible Society’s Board of Trustees.

He has served two terms as presiding bishop of the Church of God, a Tennessee-based Pentecostal denomination that claims a membership of 6 million people in nearly 150 countries. He has also served as president of the National Association of Evangelicals and as secretary of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America.angelicals and is presently secretary of the Pentecostal/Charismatic Churches of North America (P N

American Bible Society won’t retain president

The Manhattan-based American Bible Society announced today it will not renew the annual contract of its president, Paul Irwin, and that the group’s executive vice presidents will retain interim responsibility of day-to-day matters.

irwin.jpgIrwin’s role with the Christian group, which basically seeks to get a Bible in every pair of hands, appears to be done (that’s him).

Last month, the NY Times ran a story about an “electronic commerce” honcho named Richard J. Gordon whose clients included porn companies, online gambling sites — and the American Bible Society. Irwin previously worked with Gordon when Irwin was running the Humane Society.

With Irwin in charge, the ABS spent $5 million on services from Gordon’s company, the NYT said.

After the NYT story appeared, the ABS’s board quickly suspended Irwin and Chief Financial Officer Richard Stewart.

Here’s a summary from WORLD Magazine, a Christian news site. According to the report:

Founded in 1816, ABS is one of the nation’s oldest and best-endowed charities, with nearly $693 million in cash and investments on its balance sheet at the end of 2007. But ABS had a $72.8 million operating deficit in 2003 and operating deficits totaling more than $160 million between 2002 and 2006.

Irwin is a United Methodist minister.

American Bible Society reviewing link to e-commerce tycoon

I got this ominous-sounding press release today from the American Bible Society, a NYC-based group, nearly 200 years old, that tries to make the Bible available to everyone:

New York – May 20, 2008 – The American Bible Society Board Chairman, Dr. Dennis C. Dickerson, announced today that two American Bible Society executives, Dr. Paul Irwin, President, and Richard Stewart, Chief Financial Officer, have been placed on leave at the request of the Board of Trustees.

The Board has committed to a full and independent review of the financial stewardship of the American Bible Society.

The American Bible Society’s Executive Vice Presidents, Dr. R. L. Vest and The Reverend Simon Barnes, will assume responsibility for day-to-day operations, reporting to the American Bible Society Board of Trustees Chairman, Dr. Dennis C. Dickerson.

On Sunday, the NYT ran a lengthy story about a guy named Richard J. Gordon, an “electronic commerce” tycoon who has had a wide range of clients — from porn companies to, you guessed, it the American Bible Society.

The Times reported that the American Bible Society paid $5 million to Gordon’s company between 2005 and 2007 for several projects, including digitizing the Bible.

“I have absolutely no knowledge of Richard Gordon’s involvement in pornography,” Paul Irwin told the Times.