|Roy Peterson, President of the American Bible Society|
The Pope's visit to Philadelphia allows ABS to stress three things about its current identity:
First, ABS wants to let everyone know that it is still in the business of disseminating the Bible. As I write in my forthcoming The Bible Cause: A History of the American Bible Society (Oxford University Press, 2016), ABS has long been in the business of distributing scripture portions at important events in American history.
Second, Peterson wants everyone to know that ABS is inter-confessional in its outlook. Over the last fifty or so years the leadership of ABS has worked hard to rid itself of its earlier anti-Catholicism. Today, the Society works closely with certain sectors of the Roman Catholic Church in America. As the op-ed mentions, Peterson will be presenting a special Bible to Francis at some point during his visit.
Third, Peterson uses this op-ed to let everyone know that ABS is now based in Philadelphia. At one point in the article Peterson refers to Philadelphia as his "own city." Stay tuned. As I will describe in the "Afterword" of The Bible Cause, ABS will be doing a lot in the near future to take advantage of their new home by make connections between the Bible and the history of Philadelphia and the United States.
Here is a taste of Peterson's piece: