"Someone read Vatican documents and all I got was this lousy floor tile"
The National Post reports that Michella Frosch of Vancouver's Gloria Management Inc. has been granted a 15-year license from papal authorities to make reproductions of artifacts found in the Vatican library.

The license—which Frosch fought for seven years to obtain—gives her the sole permission to produce replicas of the collection, tour them in exhibitions, and sell related products. In return, royalties will be paid to maintain the huge library, which is the size of six football fields.

According to The Post, the collection is mostly off-limits to the public. Some materials are on display in Vatican museums, but only 2,000 scholars a year are actually allowed into the library itself. None of the artifacts have ever left Rome. The library dates back formally to the mid-1400s, but many manuscripts were collected by Popes long before that. Library holdings include the original handwritten version of Dante's Inferno, sculptures, and the two earliest maps of the New World.

The exhibition of the replicas is planned for a tour of North America, South America, and Europe, tentatively beginning in Toronto next summer. Frosch has several Vatican library products in mind including chocolates, pens, scarves, and ceramic floor tiles.

Check back in 2005 for Lutheran homosexuality decision
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) put off a fiery issue yesterday by voting to "study" the possibility of blessing same-sex unions and ordaining gay clergy.

The decision followed intense debates at this week's Indianapolis biennial meeting. According to The Washington Post, gay activists in the denomination are expressing frustration with the 899-115 vote to "spend ...

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