Pave the Way Foundation

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Pave The Way Foundation
Founder(s) Gary Krupp, Meredith Krupp
Headquarters
Key people Chairman Elliot M. Hershberg
President Gary L. Krupp
Secretary Meredith S. Krupp
Treasurer Harry M. Epstein
Mission Promote tolerance between religions
Motto Embrace the Similarities - Savor the Differences
Website www.ptwf.org

Pave the Way Foundation (PTWF) is a non-sectarian organization whose mission is to identify and eliminate non-theological obstacles between religions, headed by Gary Krupp. It has done considerable research on the papacy of Pius XII and has sought to deconstruct negative stereotypes such as "Hitler's Pope". In his Pius XII related work Krupp has criticized historians who have private agendas and who let down the general public by failing to do proper research [1] Krupp, a non-historian, has been subject to criticism from historians for spreading misinformation relating to Pius XII.

Work[edit]

In September 2000, in recognition of his sale of medical equipment, at substantial savings to Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza Hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, Italy, Italy,[2] Gary Krupp was made a Knight Commander of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope John Paul II, only the seventh Jew to be so honored.[3] Mr. Krupp also assisted the Hospital in 2006 by [facilitating] a sale of MRI equipment to the hospital by General Electric.[4]

Receiving the honor from the Pope inspired Krupp, a developer of medical facilities from Long Beach (NY), to follow the example of his fellow Jewish Knight Commanders in dedicating himself to the work of reconciliation between the Catholic and Jewish religions, In 2003 he founded the Pave the Way Foundation.[3]

The foundation promotes the philosophy, "Embrace the Similarities - Savor the Differences," through Catholic-Jewish cultural exchanges, talks, pilgrimages and youth projects.[3] PTWF has developed a Palestinian-Israeli Prosperity Plan that is designed to help provide meaningful jobs and thereby reduce one of the fundamental factors that contributes to hostilities and violence.[5] In an effort to bring people closer together, it has coordinated the purchase of baby formula and diapers by Americans for impoverished families in the Holy Land, but the purchases are made by and for people of different faiths (e.g., Jewish Americans buying for Palestinians).[6] Similarly, PTWF has provided blankets to Holocaust survivors in Jerusalem.[7] PTWF also developed a manual of etiquette to help to train Israeli security personnel in response to Christian criticisms.[8]

PTWF has commended Islamic clerics who condemn violence in the name of their religion, explaining that such statements are important “in bringing an end to the chain of violent events that now endanger every human being on the planet.”[9] PTWF also calls upon all world religions to speak out against violence and deaths perpetrated in the name of their religion and shun any persons who pervert the name of their religion to support violent and destructive goals.[9]

The Foundation also works to foster a strong partnership between the Vatican and the State of Israel. Krupp has lobbied the Israeli government to address the concerns of the Vatican on matters including the legal status of Catholic entities in Israel, issue of visa for Church employees and access of pilgrims to major shrines.[3]

The Foundation's accomplishments include initiating the largest Jewish audience in history to meet with a sitting Pope. On January 18, 2005 168 Jewish leaders met with Pope John Paul II. It initiated the first ever loan of the manuscripts of Maimonides from the Vatican Library to the State of Israel in September 2005.[3] It identified the availability and a donor to acquire the Bodmer papyrus for the Vatican Library January 18, 2007.[10]

It arranged the digitizing of the manuscripts of the Franciscan Custody of the Holy Land for permanent archiving and protection.[11] It negotiated the acquisition of high tech medical equipment for Casa Sollievo Della Sofferenza the hospital of St. Padre Pio in Italy.[3] It sponsored the exhibit “Pope John Paul II and the Jewish People - A Blessing to one another in New York."[12] It is also working to help bring peace to the Middle East promoting the Wasatia Forum with Palestinian children.[citation needed]

Krupp and the Foundation have played a role in diplomatic/political mediation between the Vatican and the State of Israel. When Israeli representatives withdrew from negotiations between the Catholic Church and Israel over proposed legislation relating to the Fundamental Agreement of 1993, Krupp acted as lead mediator between the two sides. Pave the Way lobbied Israeli diplomats, Jewish philanthropic organizations, Jewish congress-members and influential Jewish leaders to contact the Israeli Prime Minister's office and emphasize the importance of cementing the relationship between the Catholic Church and the Israeli state. The Israelis resumed negotiations.[3]

Another instance where the Foundation's intervention in Church-Israeli State affairs was important was after the election of a new Greek Orthodox Patriarch of Jerusalem, Theophilus III. The newly elected Patriarch was unable to discharge his duties when the Israel Government delayed recognition, Pave the Way Foundation, acting "in the interest of inter-religious harmony and positive, improved relations," made representations to the Prime Minister of Israel and the King of Jordan, urging them to give the problem their attention. Theophilus III acknowledged the role of Krupp's intervention in helping move the Patriarchate's affairs forward.[13][14]

Pave the Way's 2008 Internal Revenue Service reports state that Krupp and his wife were the organization's only two employees, with Gary Krupp earning $112,500, and his wife $35,000. Pave the Way is largely funded by around twenty members of the board of directors. During 2008 income amounted to $470,000. Travel was the second highest expenditure after the wages paid to the Krupp's."[15]

Praise for Pius XII related activities[edit]

Pave the Way’s historical work regarding Pope Pius XII has been recognized for serving the common good by Archbishop Fernando Filoni, Substitute Vatican Secretary of State.[16] One of Pave the Way Foundation’s most important projects was helping the Vatican digitize and post its Actes et Documents collection of World War II documents on the Internet so that scholars from all over the world could review them.[17] PTWF has also posted other documents, interview videos, and contemporary reports on its web page, making primary sources available at no cost to researchers from around the world.[18]

In September 2008, PTWF sponsored an international conference on Pope Pius XII in Rome. Eighty participants, including Jewish and Christian clergy, historians, journalists, and authors – took part. Pope Benedict XVI addressed the group and paid tribute to "the tireless pastoral and humanitarian work of Pius XII, Pastor Angelicus."[19] The New York Times reported that "several historians called to ask him to cancel his three-day conference in Rome, which ultimately drew many Vatican-friendly scholars but few with independent credentials". One Catholic historian, Paul O’Shea, tried to warn Krupp that proponents of canonization might be trying to use him. He urged Mr. Krupp to wait for the Vatican to open its files, and for scholars to complete their work, before reaching conclusions.[20] O'Shea was in turn subjected to a "blistering attack" in his absence by one of the conference participants.[21]

Rabbi Eric Silver of Temple Beth David in Cheshire, Connecticut, who took part in the event, said: “We studied the documents in the Vatican’s archives and had eye-witness interviews, and what we learned was truly world-shaking. There is nobody who did more to rescue Jews than Pius.” [22] Later, many of the presentations and numerous documents were compiled in book format.[23]

Pope Benedict XVI has offered his thanks "to the Pave the Way Foundation for its ongoing activity in promoting relationships and dialogue between religions, as witnesses of peace, charity and reconciliation."[19] Rabbi Carlos C. Huerta, Chaplain (Major) United States Military Academy at West Point said of PTWF: "without organizations like yours our world would be far worse than it is and religious intolerance would be so rampant. I only pray that G-d gives you the strength to continue this important work."[16] H.E. Ambassador Alon Pinkas, former Consul General to New York for the State of Israel, has called Gary Krupp “a committed individual with a kind heart [who] has utilized his unique position within the Catholic Church and commitment to his own heritage, Judaism, as a springboard for dialogue between the two faiths.”[16] Ambassador Oded Ben-Hur-Israeli Ambassador to the Holy See Rome called Krupp "a soldier of peace."[16]

Criticism of Pius XII related activities[edit]

The methodology of Pave the Way Foundation relating to the historical record of Pope Pius XII has been subject to harsh criticism from scholars and long-established Jewish organizations. Professor Dwork, Rose Professor of Holocaust History and Director of the Strassler Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies at Clark University, said Mr. Krupp’s research was “amateurish, worse than amateurish — risible.” and that "He may be well-meaning, but his lack of experience in international affairs and historical research makes Mr. Krupp highly vulnerable to being manipulated by factions inside the Vatican[20] John T. Pawlikowski, Catholic priest and founding member of the board of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, and a professor of social ethics at the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, said the Vatican was “discrediting itself by associating itself with this kind of questionable scholarship.”[20] Eric Greenberg, director of Interfaith Policy at the New York-based Anti-Defamation League asserted "Whether he [Gary Krupp] understands it or not, he is waging a campaign of misinformation...He's been given out-of-context documents and is coming to overblown conclusions about Pius XII's personal involvement and that is a disservice to historians and to the historical truth."[15] Rabbi Joseph Potasnik of the New York Board of Rabbis, who was once a supporter, resigned from the board of directors of Pave the Way and commented "Many of us are very troubled by the stance Mr. Krupp has taken...Thus far there's only been a superficial examination (of Pius XII). Given the seriousness of the subject, we need to be much more deliberate and have as much historical factual information."[15] Pave the Ways claims of finding new documents that exonerate Pius XII are by disputed John Pawlikowski, professor of ethics at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, who argues that Krupp's evidence has already been studied by experts and that "We know that Pius did some things that were good, but they tended to come rather late, they were mostly behind the scenes and were relatively minor gestures." The Anti-Defamation League asked Holocaust historian Paul O'Shea to examine other material published by Pave the Way and ADL concluded that "materials presented by Pave the Way Foundation are part of a campaign of misinformation by some Pius apologists who use selective church documents and issue unsubstantiated conclusions about Pius XII.[24] O'Shea commented on the claims made by Pave the Way "To use the Campagna files to suggest that Pope Pius XII was active in attempting to rescue Jews is to demand something that historical record cannot sustain,"[25]

In 2011 Pave the way published claims that a new document they had recently uncovered showed that Pius XII had been pressurised by the allies not to make a radio broadcast that would save the lives of Hungarian Jews. Eric J. Greenberg points out that contrary to the claims made by Pave the Way "the 1944 cable is an old, well-known document, and by itself does not make the case for Pope Pius" and that “You can’t distribute or release an out-of-context letter or document and make a global claim for it. This is an example of Pave the Way’s campaign of misinformation that makes a disservice to Catholic and Jewish scholars,”[26] O'Shea, of the Australian Institute of Holocaust and Genocide Studies also asserts that “Pave the Way" are masters at creating a media flurry. They are not trained historians. They believe that by creating a deluge of paper with information that is favorable to their perception of Pius XII, they can create a new reality about the wartime pope,”[26] Gabriel Wilensky asserts that the Pave the Way expert Michael Hesemann presents "findings of documents in a misleading way" by implying that the Catholic Church had always been opposed to the Nazi Party." and evidences this with reference to the Concordat signed by the Vatican and Nazi Germany in 1933[27]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Jerusalem Post "Foundation says documents will show Pius helped Jews" [1]
  2. ^ Comments of Monsignor Riccardo Ruotolo at http://www.unitypublishing.com/Newsletter/PadrePioCrowds.htm
  3. ^ a b c d e f g [2][dead link]
  4. ^ Letter from GE to Gary Krupp dated September 12, 2006 at http://www.ptwf.org/Downloads/General_Electric.pdf
  5. ^ [3][dead link]
  6. ^ [4][dead link]
  7. ^ [5][dead link]
  8. ^ [6][dead link]
  9. ^ a b [7][dead link]
  10. ^ ""Pope calls for more understanding" 1-18-2005, ''USA Today''". Usatoday.com. 2005-01-18. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  11. ^ [8][dead link]
  12. ^ [9][dead link]
  13. ^ [10][dead link]
  14. ^ [11][dead link]
  15. ^ a b c "Jewish retiree creates stir defending Pope Pius", Jerusalem Post, 14 March 2010, Retrieved 21 June 2011 [12]
  16. ^ a b c d [13][dead link]
  17. ^ Jerusalem Post, 02/15/2010
  18. ^ "Welcome to the Pave The Way Foundation website". Ptwf.org. 2005-01-18. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  19. ^ a b "Address at the conclusion of the symposium organized by the "Pave the Way Foundation"". Vatican.va. 2008-09-19. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  20. ^ a b c "Wartime Pope Has a Huge Fan: A Jewish Knight", New York Times, 7 March 2010 [14]
  21. ^ "Campagna: The Camp, the Bishop and the Archives", Paul O’Shea, December 2009, fetched 7 July 2011 [15]
  22. ^ Jewish Ledger, Nov. 2008
  23. ^ "Buying Choices: Pope Pius XII and World War II- The Documented Truth". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2013-01-16. 
  24. ^ "Misinformation Campaign by Pope Pius XII Apologists", January 5, 2010, retrieved 21 June 2011 [16], Paul O'Shea analysis of the material [17]
  25. ^ "Church's Misguided Honor", Rabbi Eric Greenberg and Debórah Dwork, Philadelphia Inquirer, January 5, 2010, retrieved 21 June 2011 [18]
  26. ^ a b "Uncovered World War II-era cable adds to Pius XII debate", Brian Fraga, Our Sunday Visitor Newsweekly, 6 June 2011, Retrieved 21 June 2011 [19]
  27. ^ “Paving the way to disinformation”, Gabriel Wilensky, 17 April 2010, retrieved 21 June 2011 http://www.sixmillioncrucifixions.com/blog/?p=212

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 40°45′09″N 73°59′32″W / 40.752363°N 73.992087°W / 40.752363; -73.992087