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Valtorta

 

 
''Poem of the Man-God"

 books by Maria Valtorta

 

 Listen to what St. Margaret Mary says:

"The greatest adversary of Jesus is Satan." Jesus warned me to be on guard and said my greatest defense was obedience. `Don't believe easily,' He said, `in every inspiration, and don't be too sure of it. Satan is furiously bent on deceiving you. So don't do anything without the approval of those who are guiding you. As long as you have the sanction of obedience, he can never delude you. He is completely powerless over those who obey.'

 


 


PLEASE DO NOT READ THESE BOOKS OR BELIEVE ANYONE THAT SAYS THAT
THEY HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY POPE PIUS XII FOR THIS IS NOT TRUE.
THESE BOOKS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED BY ANY POPE NO MATTER WHAT THEIR
CLAIM MAY BE. 

 

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. states:

"Maria Valtorta's multi-volume life of Jesus flirts with heresy and exhibits bad taste. Its claims to authenticity have been rejected by Rome..."Poem" purports to fill in the details of Jesus' life left blank by the four Gospels. Such narratives have been produced since the second century A.D.  Some were written by gnostic heretics. Some by New Agers and occultists. And some were produced by pious Christians who made up stories about Jesus to edify readers and listeners...Valtorta claimed that she was the 'secretary' of Jesus and Mary, and was setting down the divinely inspired truth about Jesus' life. The Church has rejected this claim..."

 
''CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH"  PARAGRAPH 67 STATES:

 
'''THROUGHOUT THE AGES,THERE HAVE BEEN SO-CALLED "PRIVATE" REVELATIONS, SOME OF WHICH HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH.  THEY DO NOT BELONG, HOWEVER, TO THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH.  IT IS NOT THEIR ROLE TO IMPROVE OR COMPLETE CHRIST'S DEFINITIVE REVELATION, BUT TO HELP LIVE MORE FULLY BY IT IN A CERTAIN PERIOD OF HISTORY.  GUIDED BY THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH, THE ''SENSUS FIDELIUM'' KNOWS HOW TO DISCERN AND WELCOME IN THESE REVELATIONS CONSTITUTES IN AUTHENTIC CALL OF CHRIST OR HIS SAINTS TO THE CHURCH.'''

'''CHRISTIAN FAITH CANNOT ACCEPT "REVELATIONS" THAT CLAIM TO SURPASS OR CORRECT THE REVELATION OF WHICH CHRIST IS THE FULFILLMENT, AS IS THE CASE IN CERTAIN NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS AND ALSO IN CERYAIN RECENT SECTS WHICH BASE THEMSELVES ON SUCH "REVELATIONS."

  


 Catholic Planet

In my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, the claim that the messages of Maria Valtorta (who also wrote The Poem of the Man-God) are private revelation is a false claim. A list of reasons and examples follows.

 


 

'''Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?

An Evaluation of the messages of Maria Valtorta and her Poem of the man-God '''

http://www.catholicplanet.com/apparitions/false10.htm

 


  
'''Critique: Poem of the Man-God'''

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/critique.htm

 


 ''Poem of the man-God''

Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL  EWTN


In 1959 when the "Poem" was put on the Index of Forbidden Books, it was described as "a badly fictionalized life of Christ" (L'Osservatore Romano, quoted by Cardinal Ratzinger in a letter to Cardinal Siri, 31 January 1985). Catholics were warned that it was not to be considered as revealed by God, and in fact, under the rules of the Index, no one, not even a priest, could read the volumes without a serious reason (e.g. to refute its errors) and the permission of the bishop or religious superior. Despite Roman judgements against the work its promoters have continued on their merry way, publishing and promoting it without interruption.

In 1966 when the Index was abolished many thought this meant the works listed on it could be read. Cardinal Ratzinger addressed this issue with respect to the "Poem of the Man-God," in the aforementioned Letter saying,

"After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, people were reminded again in 'LOsservatore Romano' (June 15, 1966) that, as was published in the 'Acta Apostolicae Sedis' (1966), the Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution. A decision against distributing and recommending a work, which has not beeen condemned lightly, may be reversed, but only after profound changes that neutralize the harm which such a publication could bring forth among the ordinary faithful."

In 1993 Bishop Boland of Birmingham, AL wrote the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about "Poem" on behalf of an inquirer. Cardinal Ratzinger responded by letter, which the bishop then quoted in his response to the person, who shared it with us. The response noted that because of continuing interest in the books the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had requested the Italian Bishops Conference to ask the publisher (who as I noted never in the past has complied with Roman decisions) to have a disclaimer printed in the volumes that "clearly indicated from the very first page that the 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in it are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus. They cannot be considered supernatural in origin." Whether this has been done I don't know.

So, quite apart from any supposed value that these writings have for helping the faith of Catholics is the promotion of the tendency to self-judgement in areas already judged by the hierarchical authority of the Church. Since the duty of submission to the Magisterium is part of the divine constitution of the Church and necessary for salvation, whereas, private revelations (even authentic ones, which this is not) cannot oblige in faith, it should be an easy call what the loyal Catholic should do. Is it forbidden? In the strict canonical sense (legal prohibition and sanctions for violating), no. Is it grossly imprudent to read things which the Church has discouraged in the strongest terms? Yes. Is it a bad use of time when there are writings of the Magisterium, of the saints and the Catechism that are not being read? Absolutely.

But people claim that never have they understood Scripture as when they have read "Poem." Understood in a certain way, as explained by Maria Valtorta! But this way the Church has said is not according to its mind. Catholics do well to follow the Holy See in this.

  


    

 
'''IS "THE POEM OF THE MAN-GOD" SIMPLY A BAD NOVEL?''' 

 
Maria Valtorta's multi-volume life of Jesus flirts with heresy and
exhibits bad taste. Its claim to authenticity have been rejected by Rome. 
 
by Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. EWTN
 
"The Poem of the Man-God" is a five-volume "narrative" of the life of
Jesus written in the 1940s by a sickly Italian woman named Maria Valtorta. "Poem" purports to fill in the details of Jesus' life left blank by the four Gospels. Such narratives have been produced since the second century A.D. Some were written by gnostic heretics. Some by New Agers and occultists. And some were produced by pious Christians who made up stories about Jesus to edify their readers and listeners.
 
The four Gospels do not give a biography of Jesus--or of anyone else in
His life. Their purpose is evangelical and theological--to proclaim the
Good News that human beings need for their salvation. Thus, for centuries, the "hidden life" of Jesus has been the subject for speculation.
 
"The Poem of the Man-God" is in this tradition of apocryphal literature on New Testament themes. Valtorta claimed that she was the "secretary" of Jesus and Mary, and was setting down the divinely inspired truth about Jesus' life. The Church has rejected this claim. Nevertheless, "Poem" has become quite popular, particularly among Catholics as well.
 
Remarkably, the book has grown in popularity in part because its champions claim that high Church officials--including one Pope--endorsed it. They haven't. In fact, "Poem" was included on the Index of Forbidden books until the abolition of the Index in the 1960s. No less an authority than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reiterates the Church's rejection of the claims made for "The Poem of the Man-God."
 
How did "The Poem of the Man-God" come to be, and how has the notion become widely accepted that it contains important religious truth?
 
Maria Valtorta, author of "Poem," was born in 1897 into a sadly
dysfunctional family, where she suffered emotional abuse at the hands of a despotic mother. When she was 23, she was attacked and beaten by a mugger. She was never completely well after that.  From 1933 on, she was unable to leave her bed.
 
Maria began to receive "dictations" on Good Friday, 1943. In 1947, she
handed over 10,000 handwritten pages to her spiritual director, Father
Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M.  Father Migliorini typed them and Father
Corrado Berti, O.S.M. bound them. Fr. Berti, brought them to Father later Cardinal Augustin Bea, S.J., spiritual director to Pope Pius XII.
 
Did Pope Pius read the whole manuscript or parts? If only part, which
part?  Advertisements by the Canadian Central distributors for Valtorta
(CEDIVAL) quote Father Bea: "I have read in typed manuscripts many of the books written by Maria Valtorta . . . As far as exegesis is concerned, I did not find any errors in the parts which I examined." Notice, he read
only parts of the books. Which were they?
 
On Feb. 26, 1948, Fathers Migliorini, Berti and A. Cecchin enjoyed a
private audience with Pope Pius XII, as listed in L'Osservatore Romano's daily announcement of audiences. Standing in St. Peter's Square after the audience, Father Berti wrote down Pope Pius' words as he remembered them.  These words were "not" printed in L'Osservatore Romano, but Father Berti remembered the Pope saying:
 
"Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its
origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. One hears of many visions and revelations. I will not say they are all authentic; but there are some of which it could be said that they are."
 
CEDIVAL calls this a "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur," where "he took upon himself to pass the first official judgment on these writings." CEDIVAL glues this inside the cover, though the publisher does not print an imprimatur. The reason: it has none!
 
Confident of papal approval, Father Berti brought the books to the Vatican press.  However, in 1949, two commissioners of the Holy Office, Msgr. Giovanni Pepe and Father Berruti, O.P., condemned the "Poem," ordering Berti to hand over every copy and sign an agreement not to publish it. Father Berti returned the manuscripts to Valtorta and handed over only his typed versions.
 
Despite his signed promise, in 1952 Father Berti went to publisher
Emiliano Pisani.  Though aware of the Holy Office's opposition, Pisani
printed the first volume in 1956, and a new volume each year through 1959.
 
When volume four appeared, the Holy Office examined the "Poem" and
condemned it, recommending that it be placed on the Index of Forbidden Books Dec. 16, 1959. Pope John XXIII signed the decree and ordered it published. L'Osservatore Romano, on Jan.  6, 1960, printed the condemnation with an accompanying front-page article, "A Badly
Fictionalized Life of Jesus," to explain it.
 
The article complained that the "Poem" broke Canon Law. "Though they treat exclusively of religious issues, these volumes do not have an
"imprimatur," which is required by Canon 1385, sect. 1, n. 2."
 
Second, the long speeches of Jesus and Mary starkly contrast with the
evangelists, who portray Jesus as "humble, reserved; His discourses are
lean, incisive." Valtorta's fictionalized history makes Jesus sound "like
a chatterbox, always ready to proclaim Himself the Messiah and the Son of God," or teach theology in modern terms. The Blessed Mother speaks like a "propagandist" for modern Marian theology.
 
Third, "some passages are rather risque," like the "immodest" dance before Pilate (vol.  5, p. 73). There are "many historical, geographical and other blunders." For instance, Jesus uses screwdrivers (Vol. 1, pp. 195, 223), centuries before screws existed.
 
There are theological errors, as when "Jesus says" (vol. 1, p. 30) that
Eve's temptation consisted in arousing her flesh, as the serpent
sensuously "caressed" her. While she "began the sin by herself," she
"accomplished it with her companion." Sun Myung Moon and Maria Valtorta may claim the first sin was sexual, but Scripture does not.
 
Vol. 1, p. 7, oddly claims, "Mary can be called the 'second-born' of the
Father . . ." Her explanation limits the meaning, avoiding evidence of an
authentic heresy; but it does not take away the basic impression that she wants to construct a new mariology, which simply goes beyond the limits of propriety." "Another strange and imprecise statement" made of Mary (vol. 4, p. 240) is that she will "be second to Peter with regard to
ecclesiastical hierarchy. . . " Our Lady surpasses St. Peter's holiness,
but she is not in the hierarchy, let alone second to St. Peter.
 
Further, Valtorta did not claim to write a novel, but called herself a
"secretary" of Jesus and Mary, so, "in all parts on reads the words 'Jesus says. . .' or 'Mary says . . .'" The Church takes this claim to revelation
very seriously, since it has the God-given duty to discern what is or is
not truly from the Holy Spirit. In Valtorta's case, the Church decided
against Divine inspiration.
 
Finally, "Poem" is condemned for reasons of disobedience. Competent Church authority had prohibited the printing of Valtorta's work.
 
Pope John's approval of the condemnation of the "Poem of the Man-God" should have ended the issue, but it did not. The publishers printed a second edition of 10 volumes, which the Church condemned in another front-page article in L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 1, 1961. This second Italian edition was later translated into German, French, Spanish and English.
 
CEDIVAL asserts that a "modernist clan in the Church" . . .
"surreptitiously attempted to seize the manuscripts and destroy them,"
claiming "firsthand documentation on this." These "enemies" included Msgr. Pepe and Father Berruti, the Holy Office censors.
 
I asked the head of CEDIVAL, Prof. Leo Brodeur, for evidence that Msgr.
Pepe and Father Berruti held any modernist heresies, but he had none. He assumed they were modernists because the "Poem" claims "to help the Church fight against the terrible heresy of modernism." If the "Poem's enemies are modernists, Msgr. Pepe and Father Berruti must be modernists, too.
 
Such assertions are unacceptable. Accusations of modernism or any other heresy without proof is slander.
 
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, present head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the same office that condemned the
"Poem"), informed Cardinal Siri in 1985 of the "Poem's condemnation:
 
After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, they were reminded again in L'Osservatore Romano (June 15, 1966) that "The Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution."
 
More recently (April 17, 1993, Prot. N. 144/58i), he wrote:
 
"The 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in the work, "The Poem of the
Man-God," are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in
her own way the life of Jesus.  They cannot be considered supernatural in origin."
 
The best that can be said for "The Poem of the Man-God" is that it is a
bad novel. This was summed up in the L'Osservatore Romano headline, which called the book "A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus."
 
At worst, "Poem's" impact is more serious. Though many people claim that "Poem" helps their faith or their return to reading Scripture, they are still being disobedient to the Church's decisions regarding the reading of "Poem." How can such disregard for Church authority and wisdom be a help in renewing the Church in these difficult times?
 
When Catholics insist on reading "Poem," despite Church condemnation, I make these requests: First, read three hours of Scripture for every one hour spent in the "Poem." The Church guarantees that the Bible is God's Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Church has judged the "Poem" to be a poorly done human work. Second, read solid Catholic theology books in addition to Scripture. G.K. Chesterton, Frank Sheed, Archbishop Sheen's "Life of Christ" and many other works are excellent starts. Third, maintain a strong prayer life, drawing closer to Christ Jesus, Our Lord, at Mass and at eucharistic adoration, and to our Blessed Mother Mary, especially in the Rosary.
 
If sheep insist on bad pasturage, at least let them take antidotes.
 
This article appeared in February 1994 edition of "New Covenant"

  


Maria Valtorta
Question to EWTN from D. Maanum on 02-05-2002:
 
Please advise what is the status of Maria Valtorta's private meditations? I heard they were once on the list of condemned books, but that was lifted. Can a Catholic read them for inspiration and what are the Churches rules on private meditations? Thank you. 
Answer by EWTN's Bill Bilton on 02-05-2002:
The works of Maria Valtorta have been condemned by the Church after a careful and serious investigation and study that found their contents to be harmful to faithful Catholics. On December 16, 1959, the Congregation of the Holy Office ordered the 4-volume work entitled "The Poem of the Man-God" placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. Pope John XXIII approved the decree and directed that the condemnation be published. The decree was then promulgated by the Holy Office on January 5, 1960. The Vatican's newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano", on the following day, published an article summarizing the investigations of the cardinals of the Holy Office who were responsible for protecting the faithful in matters of faith and morals. It should be noted that none of Maria Valtorta's works have been approved by the Church. 

On June 14, 1966, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith abrogated the Index of Forbidden Books. Although the Index was abolished in 1966, the censure and prohibition of books already on the Index still retain their validity as to the moral law which totally forbids the dilution of faith and morals. 

The publishers who have re-printed Maria Valtorta's works have been deceiving the Catholic faithful in printing and distributing these condemned works to a devout, but unsuspecting Catholic faithful. They have done so despite the efforts of the highest Church authorities to warn the faithful that the moral authority represented by the condemnation on the Index of Forbidden Books remains even today, and that the works of Maria Valtorta should be avoided by sincere and conscientious Catholics. 

We would like to sincerely urge you to consider the fact that the works of Maria Valtorta have been condemned by the Church as unreliable and spiritually harmful accounts of the life of Jesus and His Mother. Catholics wanting to know more about both should spend their time reading the Gospels or a good life of Christ. 

 


     
'''The Poem of The man - God'''

 After reading "Apparitions and Mystics True or False" you ask about "The Poem of The Man - God". Using the same criteria stated in the book, this is our report including the report of the Church.

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

In the Poem we will consider the most extreme example of APING GOD that can be produced. In order to understand this aping of God, we must first see who this seer is aping.

Anne Catherine Emmerich was born on the feast of the Birth of Mary in 1774 and died in 1824. From the earliest moments of her life she began to see visions of the entire history of the world from creation to the end of the world. She especially saw the entire life of Christ and Mary. In the later part of her life a man came, who she called "the pilgrim", and began writing down all that her visions. She could not read or write. After her death "the pilgrim" compiled them into four large volumes on the Life of Christ, another volume on the life of Mary, and two volumes on Catherine's life.

In order to put His signature on these writings, God performed through Catherine miracles almost everyday of her life. She carried the marks of Christ on her body [the stigmata] most of her life. She could read the souls of those who visited her. She could distinguish true and false relics. Cures were a common daily occurrence. After her death, investigations were made into some of her claims that seemed impossible. For instance, Catherine claimed to have seen the house John built for Mary in Ephesus. She described the house in every detail, even to the measurements and location.

Interesting to note (and we mention this often, since we have a special devotion to the True Crucifixion) is the description of the crucifixion of Christ by Emmerich, which is the exact same as Therese Neumann. Read her account of the death of Christ and compare it to the Poem:

"Jesus was now stretched on the cross by the executioners. He had lain Himself upon it; but they pushed Him lower down into the hollow places, rudely drew His right hand to the hole for the nail in the right arm of the cross and tied His wrist fast. One knelt on His sacred breast and held the closing HAND flat; another placed the long, thick nail, which had been filed to a sharp point, upon the PALM OF HIS SACRED HAND, and struck furious blows with the iron hammer.

"A sweet, clear, spasmodic cry of anguish broke from the Lord's lips, and His blood spurted out upon the arms of the executioners. The muscles and ligaments of THE HAND had been torn by the THREE-EDGED NAIL, driven into the narrow hole.

"After nailing Our Lord's right hand, the crucifiers found that His left, which also was fastened to the cross-piece, did not reach to the hole made for the nail, for they had bored a good two inches from the finger tips. They consequently unbound Jesus' arm from the cross, wound cords around it and, with their feet supported firmly against the cross, pulled it forward until the hand reached the hole. Now, kneeling on the arm and breast of the Lord, they fastened the arm again on the beam, and hammered the second nail through the left HAND."

Remember, God does not contradict Himself, and His true seers will not contradict each other.


In 1891, sixty-seven years after her death, Fathers Poullin and Yung went to Ephesus to check her claims. In exactly the spot south of Ephesus up in the mountains, the priests found the ruins of the house. The local people called the ruins "Panaya Kapulu", the House of the Holy Virgin. Today it has been completely restored and has become a major shrine. Since Catherine Emmerich, Pope Leo XIII, St. Pius X and Pius XII have endorsed this shrine.

The evidence in favor of Catherine Emmerich is overwhelming: miracles, stigmata, prophecy that came to pass, fidelity to the doctrine of the Faith, heroic obedience to her superiors, humility, suffering, and above all, a faith in her Church above her visions.

God brought her into the world at a time of the French Revolution and the age of reason over faith, an age where the Bible was being attached by evolutionists, and the "new" theologians were calling the Scriptures only fables..

We am not ignorant of the differences between Emmerich and Mary Agreda. However, these differences are understandable, since each saw visions and interpreted them in her own way. Mary Agreda's life of the Blessed Virgin was from a Spiritual point of view [like John], and Emmerich's life of Christ and Mary was from a physical viewpoint [like Luke].

There is also the problem of two different languages and different translators. However, the differences are minor and have no meaning in faith and morals. This is not the case with the "Poem".

Aping

"The Poem of the Man-God" has exactly the same objective as Catherine Emmerich's "The Life of Christ" except that instead of four large volumes it is fifteen large volumes. Every reason for the one work is found in the other work. The layouts of the two works are the same. But one thing is very, very different. Everything in "The Poem of the Man-God" contradicts "The Life of Christ". Both cannot be from God. One has to be inspired by Satan in order to diffuse and confuse the other.

These two writings are so opposite to each other that the title is very appropriate. Christ is God made man [God-Man]; not man made God [Man-God]. Man-God is heresy.

The Seer

Maria Valtoria was born on March 14, 1897 [123 years after Catherine Emmerich]. She and her mother did not get along. Her mother spoiled two marriage attempts by Maria, and in Maria's own description was oppressive and irreligious. Maria did not do well in school [failing in mathematics], but was a gifted writer. She started her writings the year her mother died in 1943 and continued them everyday until her death in 1961. In eighteen years she wrote fifteen thousand pages--15,000.

No miracles happened during her life. No heroic virtue can be found. No unusual sanctity has been observed. No signature of God can be found.

Idle Conversation

The first, most glaring thing we noticed in reading "The Poem of the Man-God" is the conversation of Christ and Mary. When you read the Bible, you can not help but notice that every single word of Christ has great meaning for the salvation of souls. Never did He speak a single word of "idle conversation". In fact, Scripture and Doctrine call "idle conversation" a sin of omission and sloth. Father Mirch Pacwa, S.J.said the books make Jesus and Mary sound like chatterboxes.

We were unable to find anything that was worthy of quoting. Several of our friends that we use to test books found that they could not even hold their concentration on them for over five minutes.

Contradictions

Every page contradicts the works of Emmerich, and in some cases the meaning of the Bible, itself. Over ten seers have given the date of Mary's birth as September 8th. But Maria gives a date of August 24th. None of the day to day life of Christ's childhood resemble anything like that of Catherine. The impression one receives in these writings is that Christ does not know anything, since He is always asking questions about people's lives, or their reasons for doing things. This is a Nestorian and Arian heresy. Although Jesus was totally man, with the intellect of man, He also always had the infused knowledge of Christ [His Divinity]. He does not call the publican down out of the tree by name without a divine knowledge.

The Christ of the "Poem" also fails to correct the sins of His followers in many cases. This is a sin for us, why not for Him? To admonish the sinner?

The "Poem" also states that Christ was nailed in the wrist on one hand and in the hand on the other. This does not agree with Emmerich or Neumann as we pointed out. God does not contradict God in anything.

Sense of God

This is not very scientific, but worth a comment. Whenever we read the Bible, the lives of the saints, or true messages from Heaven, we feel the power of the words as if grace pours out of them. There are no such feelings in reading "The Poem of the Man-God".

Fruits

The Poem of the Man-God is not worthy of comment if it were not for the fact that one of the largest Catholic Book Chains, The Daughters of St. Paul, "Pauline Books" chose to take out the works of Catherine Emmerich and put in its place this abortion of the word of God. We wonder why they had to remove the word "Catholic" from the name of their book stores. No, we do not wonder. We know!

Blunders

The use of "screwdrivers" (Book 1 pp. 195, 223) is the blunder of blinders for a book said to be dictated by Jesus and Mary. Screws were not even invented at the time of Christ.

Theological Errors

Book 1 pp. 7 claims Mary can be called the second-born of the Father. Christ was not born. He was begotten from all eternity. There is a big difference. Mary was conceived in the mind of the Father from all eternity, but She was born in the normal manner. She cannot be called the second-born. Page 30 claims Eve’s temptation consisted in arousing her sexual desires as the serpent sensuously caressed her. Eve’s sin was not sexual. It was pride leading to editing the commandments of God, and then to disobedience. Concupiscence is the result, not the cause. Valtorta calls Mary second to Peter with regards to ecclesiastical hierarchy in Book 4, pp. 240. The hierarchy of the Church are servants of Jesus and Mary. Mary could never be a servant, and therefore, could never be in the hierarchy.

Condemned By Rome

Father Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M. typed Valtorta’s hand written manuscripts. Father Corrado Berti brought then to Father Augustin Bea, spiritual director of Pope Pius XII, and later Cardinal. Father Bea said that he did not find any errors in the parts that he read. From this Father Berti went out into the world claiming that Pope Pius XII gave "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur". How much truth is there to this? First, a "nihil obstat" is required before any Imprimatur. Second, an Imprimatur must be in writing. Third, an Imprimatur must be re-issued for every language used. And fourth, in less then a year, 1949, Rome condemned the books, and ordered Father Berti to give up very copy he had and to sign an agreement not to publish. In spite of his signed promise, Father Berti published the books.

Again on December 16, 1959 the books were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books signed by Pope John XXII. Losservatore Romano printed the condemnation on January 6, 1960 with the heading, "A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus".

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in answer to questions, again reminded the world that the "Poem" has always been condemned. He went on to say in 1985:

"After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, they were reminded again in L’Osservatore Romano (June 15, 1966) that ‘The Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution."

In 1993 Cardinal Ratzinger said the books cannot be considered supernatural in origin. He said that the best that could be said of them is that they were a badly fictionalized life of Jesus.

Caritas of Birmingham, the American promoters of "The Poem" wrote a pleading letter to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 1992 [more on that later]. Cardinal Ratzinger felt that the bishop of Birmingham, Alabama should answer the letter, and in 1993 Bishop Raymond J. Boland restated that they cannot be considered supernatural in origin."

Rome condemned the books in 1949, 1959, 1960,1985, twice in 1993. What more do people want?

Index of Forbidden Books

Before we look into the publisher of the "Poem", something must be said about the "Index" and the fact that it was dissolved. In the Catholic Directory published by the Daughters of Saint Paul, it states that although the index has been dissolved it is not necessary that a book be listed in the Index to be forbidden. In goes on to list twelve classes of publications that are forbidden by general law.

Class #5 states: "Books on visions and other supernatural phenomena published without approval." In Class #6 "Books that attack Catholic dogma or the hierarchy or defend errors condemned by the Holy See." Class #11 states, "Books propagation false indulgences." Class #12 lists, "Printed images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the angels, saints, or other servants of God."

It must be noted that the Index was not done away with because it is no longer needed. It was forced to dissolve because of the invention of the computer, and the change from thousands of books to millions of books. There was and is no way Rome can keep up with the proliferation of Religious material today.

It must also be stated that the decree of December 29, 1966 by Pope Paul VI (abrogating Cannons 1399 and 2318) only applies to private revelation that has not yet received a declaration of the Church.

The same applies to the decree of Pope Urban VIII. Pope Urban stated "if it proves to be false". How is it proved to be false unless we believe that the Church has the power to bind and loose? If we do not believe the Church can condemn and it be binding, how can it be proved to be false? But just before the new year of 1997 Rome made it very clear:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,

November 1996

Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:
The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that --- after the relevant censures were lifted --- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.
In should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: "the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement".
Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and , in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

CARITAS OF BIRMINGHAM

Caritas is a community. It is also the publisher of the "Poem" and is located right next to Mother Angelica’s EWTN radio and television broadcasting stations. They also have a information center in Medjugorje called "Caritas’. Since there also is an arm of the Vatican called "Caritas" used to give food and relief to areas in need, many think that Caritas is part of the Vatican. It is not. It was founded by a millionaire, who went to Medjugorje and came back to found a community of believers and to promote the "Poem". He has his own airplane and makes trips to Medjugorje at his slightest whim. The community prays in the field everyday, in spite of the fact that a Church is right across the street. This is because one of the seers of Medjugorje has a vision on that spot. It seems the "spot" is more holy than the Body and Blood of Christ in the Church across the street. According to one of our researchers, who was at one time high up in the New Age Movement, Caritas is reaping in New Age theology. She spent a great deal of time with them, and has a report to be printed soon. Terry Colafrancesco of Caritas wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 1002. We have a copy of this letter. The reason we have a copy is that he published the letter.

In his letter he claims to be a community in the making and to have a mailing list of over 100,000 people in the USA alone not counting 65 foreign countries. "Our work", he writes, "is the implementation of Our Lady’s plan given in Medjugorje." After five condemnations of the "Poem", he states his reason for writing is the "gray area", since "I am a close, personal friend of Marije Pavlovic, one of the visionaries in Medjugorje, and there is no question that she spoke to Our Lady and asked Her if one could read the Poem of the Man God. Our Lady answered that it was acceptable to read. Marija’s statement cannot be ignored."

In other words, there is a gray area because the Church condemned a book that "Our Lady" recommends. How could the Cardinal, responsible for the protection of the faith of the entire world go against the wishes of Our Lady? Or another way of putting it is, "Let us put our faith in private revelation and not in the teaching authority of the Church".

Cardinal Ratzinger did not think the letter worthy of a personal response, since Caritas was under the theological jurisdiction of the Bishop of Birmingham. It is Bishop Boland’s responsibility to see to it that his children keep the faith and obey the Church. However, his letter of response was so ambiguous and stupid that it caused more confusion than help. He left Caritas the impression that if they did not claim any supernatural influence in the "Poem" it could be sold as simply the imagination of the writer, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Church. This is fine, if you overlook that fact that the book states on every page, "Jesus said = Jesus told me - Mary said - Mary told me that, etc." Even if these references were removed, everyone knows private revelation is claimed. They continue to publish the books as they were written.

    


  '''CRITIQUE OF BOOKS'''

Borrowing some highlights from Brother James [see end of chapter], let us look at some of the writings of Valtorta. The poem refers to a baby as an "it" on page 23 of book #1, and an angel as an "it" on page 38. On page 40 Mary asks her mother if it would be right of be a sinner out of love for God, so that God could forgive you. No comment needed. On page 85 Mary claims to have consecrated Herself to virginity. One consecrates oneself to God, one vows virginity. We do not think Mary would make such a theological mistake. On page 89, it is claimed that Adam and Eve had an infinite gift of grace. Only God is infinite in anything positive, and even in the negative (infinitely bad), the negative is controlled by God. On Page 358 Jesus claims that He asks the Father not to lead Him into temptation, as if God could sin.

On page 128 Mary claimed that Joseph "never erred" meaning never sinned. Only Mary is without original or actual sin. To give those who never read the "Poem" an idea of the stupidity, let us quote one passage on page 166:

"The Child was about to fall asleep. He seemed a little restless, as if He had teething trouble, or some other minor pain of childhood."

Mary sings: "All the sparkling angels - that in Heaven be. Form a wreath around You, innocent Child - enraptured by Your face. But You’re crying for Your Mummy - Mummy, Mummy, Mum. The sky will soon be red - and dawn will soon be back, and Mummy had no rest - to ensure You do not cry ---"

On pages 196, 197, 201, 202, 204, and 209 it is claimed that Jesus learned from Joseph and Mary. And on pages 309. 310, and 311 He even asks to be taught things. God does not learn from anyone as He states on page 216 of the same book. This contradiction is not as important as the bottom line of the entire set of books. The man made god, as the title indicates, has one primary demonic purpose, to show Christ as an ignorant "mere human" being as Nestorian believed and was condemned for believing in the Council of Ephesus.

As we have said, we wouldn’t have even wasted a report on this false mystic if it were not for the sudden publicity she received from the other false mystics. If you would like to read a good review, write to Brother James and ask for "CRITIQUE: POEM OF THE MAN-GOD" by Brother James, Saints Peter and Paul Church, 650 Filbert Street, San Francisco, CA 94133, Send a small donation for costs [$3 to $5]. Or pick up an old copy of "New Covenant" and read "Simply a Bad Novel?" by Father Mitch Pacwa

  


   '''A letter was written regarding these books in 2004 to Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio.  This is his response.'''


"Regarding your inquiry, I can inform you that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has communicated the following about "The Poem of the Man-God" by Maria Valtorta: the "visions" and "dictations" referred to in her work cannot be deemed of supernatural origin, but must be considered simply literary forms of which the author has made use to narrate, in her own way, the life of Christ."

 


*'''The Holy See's ambassador to the United States is His Excellency Gabriele Montalvo.'''


[Catholics wishing to be heard in this matter should write him directly at:]


His Excellency Gabriele Montalvo

Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

Embassy of The Holy See
 
3339 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20008

202-333-7121

fax 202-337-4036

The correct address for Archbishop Montalvo is: "The Most Rev. Gabriele Montalvo." The correct salutation is "Your Excellency;" and the complimentary close is "Asking the Your Excellency's blessing, I am, Yours respectfully, (Name)."

 


 

His Emminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in (April 17, 1993, Prot. N 144/58i),:

"The 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in the work, "The Poem of the Man-God," are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus.  They annot be considered supernatural in orgin."

  


 On May 13, 2005 Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop William J. Levada to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  He was named a Cardinal on February 22, 2006, and received the "red hat" on March 24, 2006 from Pope Benedict XVI.

 


 
'''Poem of the Man-God: Fact of Fiction?'''

(Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Sandra Miesel)

 

1-Video Tape) - Retail Price:
 
$19.95

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Throughout the ages, there have been so called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history.” It continues, “Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment…”Fr. Pacwa puts to the test in light of the Catechism and magisterial teachings a series of volumes that were supposedly the result of private revelation – Maria Valtorta’s “Poem of the Man God.”
 
 

 

Recommended Resources (book):

"A Still Small Voice" by
 
Fr. Benedict Groeschel

 

From Medjugorje to the New Age Fr. Groeschel gives a comprehensive and practical guide on reported revelations which proves highly useful in efforts to distinguish the real from the unreal.

 


 

 

'''For thoses that think that because the "Poem of the man-God" has an Imprimatur that the church has approved the books, this is not true, please read this article.'''

 

'''"Imprimi Potest,"
 
'''"Nihil Obstat,"
 
'''& "Imprimatur"

 

The Church, given teaching authority by Christ and as the conduit for fullness of Truth on this earth, has the obligation to preserve Her sheep from deviations from the Truth and to to guarantee them the "objective possibility of professing the true faith without error" (Catechism, No. 890). Because of this, the Bishops will look at books published by Catholics on Catholic matters in their dioceses, giving them their "okay" if nothing therein is found to be contrary to the Faith (relevant Canon Law: "Title IV: The Means of Social Communication," ¶ 822-832)

The procedure works like this: when a Catholic writes a book on faith, morals, theology, liturgy, books on prayer, editions of Sacred Scripture, etc., he will submit his manuscript to his diocese's Censor. If the Censor finds no problem with it, he will give it his stamp, which reads "Nihil Obstat," or "nothing stands in the way." He then sends it to the Bishop for his review. If the Bishop finds nothing objectionable, he gives the book his "Imprimatur" which means, "let it be printed."

If the Catholic writing the book is a member of a religious order, the manuscript is first sent to his religious superior before it is sent to the Censor and Bishop. If the religious superior finds no impediment to publication, he will give the book his stamp of "Imprimi Potest," which means "it can be printed."

Nowadays, after the Imprimatur, you might see these words:
The "Nihil Obstat" and "Imprimatur" are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur agree with the content, opinions or statements expressed.
 
'''[[Please know that the presence of an Imprimatur does not mean that a book is an official text of the Church. It doesn't make the book the equivalent of an encyclical, say. It's not the approval of the work by the Pope or a dogmatic Council, and it's not a stamp of infallibility. It doesn't even mean that everything in the book is accurate, only that there is nothing in it that contradicts Catholic dogma. But, while occasionally a book sneaks through and its Imprimatur later recalled, this procedure is an important way for Catholics to increase their chances of staying error-free with regard to doctrine. Sadly, because of the triumph of modernsists and liberals in the human aspect of the Church since the Second Vatican Council, books which could well contain a watered-down theology, a warped view of History, etc. now do receive the "Imprimatur."]]'''

Bottom line: When buying books on religious and spiritual matters, seek out those books written before Vatican II and which have the "Imprimatur," or those books which are known to be written by solidly orthodox traditional Catholics. Otherwise, be wary and take the book with a grain of salt. And, always, if you come across a book that says horrific things about the Church, Her teachings, or Her history, read the traditional Catholic point of view and dig up objective resources. There's a lot of lying going on out there, folks.

  


  


If you would like to buy a 1 hour video with Fr. Pacwa & Johnnette Benkovic discussing the "Poem of the man-God" ( I bought one) check out the web site to order one to learn more at:

'''Women of Grace'''

http://www.womenofgrace.com/

Shop on Line

Categries on the left side: DVD & Videos, Page 3

 

 


  ''Originally published in CATHOLIC INTERNATIONAL''


'''Maria Valtorta'''

by Sandra Miesel

 

Did God or a demon speed her pen? The writings of Italian mystic Maria Valtorta continue to rouse furious debate more than 40 years after her death. Her supporters insist that her principal work, the five-volume The Poem of the Man-God (1956-59), is a "flawless" expansion of the gospels that records heaven-sent visions and direct dictation from Jesus Christ. But in 1959, the Poem became the second-to-last publication placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.

Valtorta was born to Lombard parents on March 14, 1897. Her father was a non-commissioned army officer. Her publisher describes her mother as "callous," despotic," and extremely severe. Valtorta's mother willfully curtailed her education and terminated two promising courtships.

After taking private vows in 1931, Valtorta aspired to be a "victim soul" and became permanently bedridden two years later because of a heart condition and an old back injury. Her spiritual director was Fr. Romauld Migliorini, a member of the Servants of Mary. Valtorta was a tertiary in the same order which has never ceased to promote her writings and reputation for holiness.

Valtorta is supposed to have offered God the sacrifice of her intelligence in 1949. She gradually ceased writing as mental aberrations increased over the next decade. (Repetitious use of words can be noticed in her last batch of revelations.) By the time of her death in 1961, she had reached what Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., a psychology expert, describes as "a state similar to catatonic schizophrenia." Illness would suffice to explain her decline without looking for diabolic causes, as some have attempted.

The Poem is a Life of Christ in which scenes based on Valtorta's visions are interspersed with commentary directly attributed to Jesus and Mary. Valtorta could remember--and later clarify--what she said she saw in visions but not the dictation she recorded. The latter process resembles automatic writing. Both kinds of experiences were recorded in random order between 1943 and 1947, generating 10,000 handwritten pages. The dates episodes of the Poem were typed and arranged in Gospel chronology by Fr. Migliorini, who refrained from editing inconsistencies.

Sometime after April of 1947, a bound copy of this manuscript was sent to Pope Pius XII via the papal confessor. The Pope received Fr. Migliorini and two other Servites in a special audience on February 26, 1948. His polite murmurs about the Poem reportedly included the phrase "publish this work as it is" which the Servites afterwards remembered and interpreted as a "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur" This alleged oral imprimatur is the only one the publishers of the Poem have ever received --or sought.

Although a pope could in theory grant such an imprimatur and even do it orally, no one has produced a modern instance of this. Surely, so meticulous a man as Pius XII would have made his intentions perfectly clear and not left his words to be construed after the fact by interested parties.

It is impossible to determine how much of the Poem Pius XII actually read. But given his crushing burdens leading the postwar Church and the many crises he had to face while the Iron Curtain thundered down, how much time could the pope possibly have devoted to reading and evaluating thousands of pages of manuscript? The job is flatly impossible in the time available.

After a harsh rejection at the Vatican press, the Poem was released by Italian publisher Emilio Pisani. On December 16, 1959 the Poem was condemned by the Holy Office, then headed by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani. Osservatore Romano printed this decree on January 6, 1960 accompanied by a hostile unsigned review of the Poem entitled "A Life of Jesus Badly Novelized."

Valtorta's defenders try to blame this and subsequent censures on a secret "Modernist clan" within the Holy Office. They offer no evidence of how "Modernists" could operate undetected by the strictly orthodox Ottaviani nor why Modernist and other anti-Catholic books continued to appear on the Index, 1948-60.

Moreover, as Ottaviani's successor Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has declared, the 1966 abolition of The Index of Forbidden Books in no way sanitizes previously banned works, including the Poem. In 1994, Ratzinger's office issued another statement through the apostolic nuncio in Canada reiterating its judgment that Valtorta's works are simply fiction: "These writings cannot be recognized as being of supernatural origin." (The Poem's English edition has been distributed from Canada since 1986 by Editions Paulines of Sherbrooke, Quebec.)

Valtorta's supporters remain adamant. Denying the normal delegation of responsibility within the Church, they will accept nothing less than a personal decision by Pope John Paul II--which he will always be too busy to make.

More than a decade ago, the Medjugorje movement has become entangled in the Valtorta controversy because pilgrimages to the Bosnia site were major vectors for disseminating the Poem. Two of the seers--one of whom is writing her own "inspired" Life of Mary-- have been queried on Our Lady's views of the work and reported a positive response. This reflects an ominous contemporary trend among followers of apparitions to treat mystics as the ultimate arbiters of Catholic belief and practice.

"There is nothing of my own in this work," insisted Valtorta. (I: p. 57) She claimed to be Christ's own secretary, his "Little John," chosen to expand what the Apostle St. John and other evangelists wrote. As Jesus himself explains, the New Testament needs to be supplemented (I: p. 432) because of the evangelists' "unbreakable Jewish frame of mind". Their "flowery and pompous" Hebrew style kept them from writing everything that God wished. (V: p. 947)

The heterodoxy and objective falsity of these statements should have sufficed to discredit the Poem. Not only do the Gospels suffice for our salvation, their language is simple and concrete. At least three of them were composed in Greek, one by an ethnic Greek. Nevertheless, Jesus denounces future critics of the Poem who dare to search for mistakes "in this work of divine bounty." (V: p. 751-52)

The Poem also presumes to "correct" the received text of Scripture. Valtorta's reading of John 2:4 adds a novel "still" to Christ's remark concerning the wine at Cana: thereby making it a comment on their own relationship: "Woman, what is there still between me and you?" (I: pp. 283-84) But her reading has no basis in the Vulgate or in any translation into a modern vernacular from the original Greek. The Poem tries to place itself about the Bible and "Little John" beyond criticism.

Despite claims of originating entirely in heaven, the Poem somehow incorporates legendary material from the Apocrypha (including The Acts of St. Paul and Thecla), The Golden Legend, The Meditations of Pseudo-Bonaventure, the revelations of St. Birgitta, bits of Patristics, and classroom memories. Valtorta is at odds with Mary of Agreda and Anne Catherine Emmerich in chronology, familial relationships, and details of key events such as the Passion and Assumption. For instance, Mary lives and dies in Jerusalem, not Ephesus.

What Valtorta knows about first century Palestine and Jerusalem seems to come from maps and study aids commonly bound in Bibles. Her visuals recall soft, gilt-touched Italian holy cards and her metaphors are monotonously limited to flowers and jewels, with the occasional animal reference. She is amazingly ignorant of local conditions and Jewish customs. Her houses resemble Italian farmhouses with fireplaces, porches, and kitchen gardens. The rich enjoy jasmine pergolas and hedged gardens closed with iron gates. The countryside holds apple orchards (which are always in bloom whatever the season), fields of rye, stands of cactus and agave. People frequently eat apples and drink fresh milk, even honey-water, but wine is scarcely seen. The screwdriver and the iron horseshoe are in use. But none of the above was known in ancient Palestine.

Valtorta acknowledges her confusion about the layout of the Temple, but still erroneously pictures it as having multiple gilded domes, angel-headed capitals, and a choir of maidens. Not only does Jesus have a bar mitzvah, a ceremony which did not yet exist, everything described is false, even to the name of the Bible book he reads as a "test." The name Jehovah, unknown in antiquity, is freely used for God although to speak the Divine Name was a punishable offense among Jews.

Throughout the Poem, Valtorta prefers her visions to the information that historians, archaeologists. and Scripture scholars have uncovered.

But Valtorta's anachronisms are not nearly as objectionable as her distorted characterizations of Jesus and Mary. They are, of course, fair-haired, blue-eyed, and alabaster-skinned quite unlike the swarthy Jews around them. Because a pale complexion signifies holiness, Mary Magdalene and John are also fair while Judas is dark.

Our Lord is a ranting, hypersensitive Mama's boy whose stripped body "looks like a delicate lady." (V: p. 564) (His last word on the Cross is, in fact, "Mother." (V: 620) Jesus must exercise supreme will power to restrain his aversion toward sinful mankind: "My first contacts with the world had sickened and depressed me." (I: p. 432) He would rather touch a corpse than an impure person. "I feel such disgust for lewdness that it upsets me." (I p. 695-96) "... He never laughs." (I: p.282) (italics hers) He also demonstrates his sublime purity to a prostitute by trampling a "lascivious" caterpillar underfoot. (IV: p.785)

Mastering these sensitive feelings, Jesus is ready to provide fresh Paschal blood by breaking off his "magnificent, wholesome, pure virility. (V: p. 390) Openly proclaiming his Divinity and Messiahship, Christ baptizes his Apostles with kisses and preaches every doctrine in the catechism to followers who are already called "Christians," despite Biblical testimony to the contrary.

Mary, whom Jesus calls "the Second-Born of the Father," (I:7) and "second to Peter with regard to ecclesiastical hierarchy" (IV: 240) preens over her unique exemption from "the torture of generating." (I: 115). After the Crucifixion, she rages in morbid hysteria with incestuous overtones (V: 630-59). The grieving Virgin proclaims her hatred of men, who are likened to wolves, snakes, and hyenas. "Man disgusts and frightens me." (V: p. 640) Yet in the next day's dictation Jesus praises the Sorrowful Mother's forbearance and forgiveness (V: 670), evidence that Valtorta really could not recall what she had written.

The Poem titillates with several invented subplots of "delicate" maidens barely escaping the Fate Worse Than Death. Its tasteless moments include Herod trying to tempt captive Jesus with his lascivious African dancing girls who "touch Christ lightly with their nude bodies." (V: p. 562) Despite the homoerotic flavor of Christ s frequent kisses, cuddles, and caresses off his disciples, Valtorta has an almost Gnostic loathing of sexuality. She claims that unfallen humanity would have reproduced asexually. The Primal Sin was Eve s perverse dalliance with the serpent followed by intercourse with Adam. (I: p. 83) Now sexual satisfaction is " bread made with ashes and excrement." (I: p. 665) Jesus absurdly claims that animals mate soberly, only for the sake of offspring. (I: p. 30) Can the Man-God be unfamiliar with male dogs?

But Valtorta s worst fault is her savage anti-Semitism, both religious and racial, that weaves through the entire Poem. Contrasted with Roman soldiers, Valtorta's swarthy, stinking, big-nosed cowards are stereotypes straight out of The Eternal Jew. Jewish corpses are "so many snakes the less." (V: p. 623) The Blessed Virgin rages that Rome was right to fear this "tribe of killers." (V: p. 642). One fictitious Jewish character converts because "the cult of Israel has become Satanism." (V: p. 673) The confrontation between Pilate and the Sanhedrin delegation is an embarrassing exercise in vulgar comedy with Pilate sniffing a flower to ward off the stench of Jews. (V: pp. 557 ff)

Most distressing of all, Valtorta makes Jews Deicides. Aside from Christ s followers, "the whole Jewish people gathering in Jerusalem wanted his death." (V: p. 293). The whole city pours out to jeer at Jesus. The Roman soldiers try to minimize his sufferings, but executioners with the "clear Jewish profile" (V: p. 563) scourge the Savior and nail him up . Christ's plea "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," is directed at the squabbling thieves, not to his thousands of Jewish persecutors." Therefore, the Risen Christ explains, God has withdrawn from Jewish rites and Judaism is "dead forever." Her rituals are nothing but :gestures that any historian could mime on the stage and amphitheater. (V: p. 831) She scorns Jerusalem as the site where the synagogue received the libel of repudiation from God for its many horrible crimes. (V: p. 869) To have written such things while fires blazed in Auchwitz is sheer obscenity. Valtorta is a one-woman argument for Nostrae aetate, the Vatican II decree that condemned the notion of collective Jewish guilt. These are only a small sample of Valtorta's many and pervasive errors. "Childishness, fantasy, false history and exegesis" make the Poem exactly what an unnamed writer cited by Cardinal Ratzinger said it was: " a monument to pseudo-religiosity." *** The popularity of this deeply evil book says that Catholics can't read what's in front of their eyes if the work has been presented to them as "holy."

 


   
Refer also to
The SSPX's Fr. Kevin Robinson's Promotion of Maria Valtorta and her "Poem of the man-God" - An Exercise in Misguidement, Deception and Cover-up

 http://jloughnan.tripod.com/robins_valtorta.htm

 


 Check Out

See "Annals Australasia's Un-official Home Page


What's New? at Sean Ó Lachtnáin's Home Page
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Maria Valtorta's

"Poem Of The Man-God"

 

Compiled by F. John Loughnan

 

1. Maria Valtorta's "POEM OF THE MAN-GOD"

    "Poem Of The Man-God" Critique By Brother James, S.D.B
    Some ten to fifteen years ago I acquired a forty-eight page document, critical of "Poem", written by a Salesian Brother who was then stationed in San Francisco. The last two paragraphs comprise the comments of his proof-reader, and of Bro. James, S.D.B. himself:

    Proofreader for this critique: 'If I had not promised to proof read this for you, I would have stopped reading . I do not know if I can contain my last meal. Very disturbing! Dangerously blasphemous material. Scary that many persons will believe this. Valtorta's Jesus is homosexual!'

    Bro. James: "I will critique Volume V when it is available. Poem of the Man-God is so demonic that without a special Grace from our Lord Jesus, we would be trapped in seemingly harmless statements by Valtorta's Jesus, but they enclose lies and heresy, contrary to Teachings of our One, Holy, Catholic Church. 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against Me: My Church!'" 1
  1. Unity Publishing commented on some of Brother James' observations:
    Aping
    "The poem refers to a baby as an 'it' on page 23 of book #1, and an angel as an 'it' on page 38. On page 40 Mary asks her mother if it would be right of be a sinner out of love for God, so that God could forgive you. No comment needed. On page 85 Mary claims to have consecrated Herself to virginity. One consecrates oneself to God, one vows virginity. We do not think Mary would make such a theological mistake. On page 89, it is claimed that Adam and Eve had an infinite gift of grace. Only God is infinite in anything positive, and even in the negative (infinitely bad), the negative is controlled by God. On Page 358 Jesus claims that He asks the Father not to lead Him into temptation, as if God could sin.

    On page 128 Mary claimed that Joseph 'never erred' meaning never sinned. Only Mary is without original or actual sin. To give those who never read the 'Poem' an idea of the stupidity, let us quote one passage on page 166:

    'The Child was about to fall asleep. He seemed a little restless, as if He had teething trouble, or some other minor pain of childhood.'
    Mary sings: 'All the sparkling angels - that in Heaven be. Form a wreath around You, innocent Child - enraptured by Your face. But You’re crying for Your Mummy - Mummy, Mummy, Mum. The sky will soon be red - and dawn will soon be back, and Mummy had no rest - to ensure You do not cry ---'

    On pages 196, 197, 201, 202, 204, and 209 it is claimed that Jesus learned from Joseph and Mary. And on pages 309. 310, and 311 He even asks to be taught things. God does not learn from anyone as He states on page 216 of the same book. This contradiction is not as important as the bottom line of the entire set of books. The man made god, as the title indicates, has one primary demonic purpose, to show Christ as an ignorant 'mere human' being as Nestorian believed and was condemned for believing in the Council of Ephesus." 2
  2. Placed On the Index
    "Poem Of The Man-God" was put on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1959 3, being described in L'Osservatore Romano as "a badly fictionalized life of Christ". Furthermore, "Catholics were warned that it was not to be considered as revealed by God, and in fact, under the rules of the Index, no one, not even a priest, could read the volumes without a serious reason (e.g. to refute its errors) and the permission of the bishop or religious superior." (cf. Appendix I).

    Colin B. Donovan, STL (EWTN's resident theologian) points out Cardinal Ratzinger's admonition that the Index (and the warning against "Poem Of The Man-God") retains its moral force and that, in 1993, the same Congregation required the printing of a disclaimer on any future editions to the effect that:

    "clearly indicated from the very first page that the 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in it are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus. They cannot be considered supernatural in origin."
  3. Communique On Private Revelation
    In 1996, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a communique on private revelation (Appendix II below). Specifically directed in respect of the alleged "seer" Vassula Ryden, it contains principles which are applicable to all "private revelations" and, in particular, to "Poem Of The Man-God" AND to Medjugorje:

    "With regard to the spreading of texts of presumed personal revelations, the Congregation makes it clear that:

    1. The interpretation by some people of a decision approved by Paul VI on October 14, 1966, and promulgated on November 15 of the same year, by virtue of which writings and messages coming from presumed revelations might be freely spread within the Church is absolutely not valid. This decision actually referred to the 'Abolition of the Index of Banned Books,' and said that - once relative censures were lifted - the moral obligation in any case not to spread or read those writings which endangered faith and morals still remained.

    2. A reminder, therefore, that for the diffusion of texts of presumed private revelations, the norm of the Code in force, Canon 823, para 1, which gives pastors the right 'to demand that the writings of the faithful which touch faith or morals be submitted to their own judgment before publication', remains valid. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]

    "3. Presumed supernatural revelations and writings which regard them are in the first instance subject to the judgment of the diocesan bishop and, in particular cases, to that of the episcopal conference and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith." [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
  4. "Seers" Claim The BVM OK'd "Poem"
    In response to the question: "What can you tell me about the book Poem of the Man-God? Has it been condemned by the Church?", the following answer was given:

    "Poem of the Man-God, a multi-volume work of prose written by Maria Valtorta, purports to be a factual account of the life of Christ as revealed by Jesus himself. Interest in the work grew after one of the alleged seers from Medjugorje claimed that the Virgin Mary okayed the reading of the book
    The history of the book leads one to question the credibility of this claim. In 1960 The Poem Of The Man-God, then a four-volume set, was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, summarized the findings of the Holy Office in an article titled 'A Life of Jesus Badly Fictionalized.'  When the publishers tried to get around this condemnation the next year by publishing a new ten-volume set, the work again was condemned in the Vatican paper which called it 'a mountain of childishness, of fantasies, and of historical and exegetical falsehoods, diluted in a subtly sensual atmosphere.' 

    In correspondence with "Catholic Answers", the current Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, pointed out that, although the Index was abolished in 1965, it still retains its moral force, and faithful Catholics should heed the reservations and cautions expressed in it." 4

    The following statement was undoubtedly intended to be seen in a good and positive light, but instead, it is an example of the type of deception employed by the "seers", and of the nature of this so-called "gospa":

    "Medjugorje visionary, Vicka Ivankovic, in an interview with an American attorney on Jan. 27, 1988 said: "Our Lady said if a person wants to know Jesus, he should read THE POEM OF THE MAN-GOD by Maria Valtorta. That book is the truth." 5
  5. Critique By Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
    Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. states:

    "Maria Valtorta's multi-volume life of Jesus flirts with heresy and exhibits bad taste. Its claims to authenticity have been rejected by Rome..."Poem" purports to fill in the details of Jesus' life left blank by the four Gospels. Such narratives have been produced since the second century A.D.  Some were written by gnostic heretics. Some by New Agers and occultists. And some were produced by pious Christians who made up stories about Jesus to edify readers and listeners...Valtorta claimed that she was the 'secretary' of Jesus and Mary, and was setting down the divinely inspired truth about Jesus' life. The Church has rejected this claim..." 6
    He points to the disobedience and subterfuge of Fr. Berti and that of the ultimate publisher. Then he castigates

    ..."the long speeches of Jesus and Mary"..."Jesus sounds 'like a chatterbox...'...Some of the passages are rather risque,' like the 'immodest' dance before Pilate (Vol. 5, p.73). There are many historical, geographical and other blunders. 'For instance, Jesus uses screwdrivers (Vol. 1, pp.195, 223), centuries before screws existed.'  There are theological errors, as when 'Jesus says' (Vol. 1, p.30) that Eve's temptation consisted in arousing her flesh, as the serpent sensuously 'caressed' her. While she 'began to sin by herself,' she 'accomplished it with her companion.' Sun Myung Moon and Maria Valtorta may claim the first sin was sexual, but Scripture does not."

    "Vol. 1, p.7, oddly claims, 'Mary can be called the 'second-born' of the Father...', [and] Vol. 4, p.240) Mary will 'be second to Peter with regard to ecclesiastical hierarchy...' Our Lady surpasses St Peter's holiness, but she is not in the hierarchy, let alone second to St Peter."

    "Finally, 'Poem' is condemned for reasons of disobedience. Competent Church authority had prohibited the printing of Valtorta's work...Though many people claim that 'Poem' helps their faith or their return to reading Scripture, they are still being disobedient to the Church's decisions regarding reading 'Poem'. How can such disregard for Church authority and wisdom be a help in renewing the Church in these difficult times?" 7
  6. The Maria Valtorta Readers' Group
    Doubtless unaware of the Church's good reasons for placing the work on the Index, the Australian promoter of "Poem of the Man-God" on behalf of "The Maria Valtorta Readers' Group" at Sylvan, Victoria includes these endorsements for the "Poem":
    "This is a wonderful, compact, complete, easily usable and transportable format. The very day I received it, I made good use of it, going through the five volumes for Christmas sermon material." Father K.R., Vic.

    "I've always believed in the Truth of every word of The Poem..." Rose Mary Rhodes, Carlingford. NSW. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
    Recently one of his brochures was distributed at a Parish Church in the Archdiocese of Melbourne advertising

    "Praying The Rosary - With Maria Valtorta",
    Sunday xrd xxxxxxxx 2000,
    with David Murray, from the Maria Valtorta Readers' Group,
    St xxxxxxxx Community Centre ...,
    11.30am to 4.30pm"
    The brochure goes on to say:
    "...And through these writings, we can gain wonderful insights into the lives of Jesus and Mary, as they were revealed to the 20th century mystic writer Maria Valtorta, and reproduced in that masterly epic...These record more than 700 visions and dictations, which began before the birth of Mary...", and

    "On 26 February 1948, Pope Pius XII said: 'Publish the work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Those who read will understand...'"
    Not only was the brochure made available, but the event was publicized in the official Parish Bulletin! As I had to attend the baptism of my grand-daughter at another Church in the Archdiocese I was unable to attend the event. However, I did arrive at the venue at near 5:00pm to be told that the "retreat" was now finished. Imagine my surprise, however, to learn that "Holy Pictures" of the Medjugorje "gospa" were "For Sale" in the foyer Piety Stall in the church in which my grand-daughter was to be baptized! Little wonder, perhaps, for a veritable "army" of clerics from the Archdiocese have been willing chaplains for the Pilgrimages advertised in the Archdiocesan paper, "Kairos" - notwithstanding requests from the successor of the Apostles in the Mostar diocese, and Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome that pilgrimages not be organised.

    In fact, Bishop Peric's statement of July 21, 1998 in relation to "Private Visits To Unauthentic Apparitions" is attached in its entirety below as "Appendix III". 8

    Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.'s response to the "Pius XII allegation" was:

    "On Feb. 26, 1948, Fathers Migliorini, Berti and A. Cecchin enjoyed a private audience with Pope Pius XII, as listed in L'Osservatore Romano's daily announcement of audiences. Standing in St. Peter's Square after the audience, Father Berti wrote down Pope Pius' words as he remembered them. These words were 'not' printed in L'Osservatore Romano, but Father Berti remembered the Pope saying:

    'Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. One hears of many visions and revelations. I will not say they are all authentic; but there are some of which it could be said that they are.'
    CEDIVAL calls this a 'Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur,' where "he took upon himself to pass the first official judgment on these writings." CEDIVAL glues this inside the cover, though the publisher does not print an imprimatur. The reason: it has none!

    Confident of papal approval, Father Berti brought the books to the Vatican press. However, in 1949, two commissioners of the Holy Office, Msgr. Giovanni Pepe and Father Berruti, O.P., condemned the 'Poem,' ordering Berti to hand over every copy and sign an agreement not to publish it. Father Berti returned the manuscripts to Valtorta and handed over only his typed versions.

      Despite his signed promise, in 1952 Father Berti went to publisher Emiliano Pisani. Though aware of the Holy Office's opposition, Pisani printed the first volume in 1956, and a new volume each year through 1959.

    When volume four appeared, the Holy Office examined the 'Poem' and condemned it, recommending that it be placed on the Index of Forbidden Books Dec. 16, 1959. Pope John XXIII signed the decree and ordered it published. L'Osservatore Romano, on Jan. 6, 1960, printed the condemnation with an accompanying front-page article, 'A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus,' to explain it. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]

      The article complained that the 'Poem' broke Canon Law. 'Though they treat exclusively of religious issues, these volumes do not have an "imprimatur," which is required by Canon 1385, sect. 1, n. 2.'...

    Pope John's approval of the condemnation of the 'Poem of the Man-God' should have ended the issue, but it did not. The publishers printed a second edition of 10 volumes, which the Church condemned in another front-page article in L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 1, 1961. This second Italian edition was later translated into German, French, Spanish and English." 9
  7. Finally, on the subject of "Poem Of The Man-God", Unity Publishing produced these criticisms
    "The Poem of the Man-God" has exactly the same objective as Catherine Emmerich's "The Life of Christ" except that instead of four large volumes it is fifteen large volumes. Every reason for the one work is found in the other work. The layouts of the two works are the same. But one thing is very, very different. Everything in "The Poem of the Man-God" contradicts "The Life of Christ". Both cannot be from God. One has to be inspired by Satan in order to diffuse and confuse the other.

    These two writings are so opposite to each other that the title is very appropriate. Christ is God made man [God-Man]; not man made God [Man-God]. Man-God is heresy.

    The Seer
    Maria Valtoria was born on March 14, 1897 [123 years after Catherine Emmerich]. She and her mother did not get along. Her mother spoiled two marriage attempts by Maria, and in Maria's own description was oppressive and irreligious. Maria did not do well in school [failing in mathematics], but was a gifted writer. She started her writings the year her mother died in 1943 and continued them everyday until her death in 1961. In eighteen years she wrote fifteen thousand pages--15,000.

    No miracles happened during her life. No heroic virtue can be found. No unusual sanctity has been observed. No signature of God can be found.

    Idle Conversation
    The first, most glaring thing we noticed in reading "The Poem of the Man-God" is the conversation of Christ and Mary. When you read the Bible, you can not help but notice that every single word of Christ has great meaning for the salvation of souls. Never did He speak a single word of "idle conversation". In fact, Scripture and Doctrine call "idle conversation" a sin of omission and sloth. Father Mirch Pacwa, S.J.said the books make Jesus and Mary sound like chatterboxes.

    We were unable to find anything that was worthy of quoting. Several of our friends that we use to test books found that they could not even hold their concentration on them for over five minutes.

    Contradictions
    Every page contradicts the works of Emmerich, and in some cases the meaning of the Bible, itself. Over ten seers have given the date of Mary's birth as September 8th. But Maria gives a date of August 24th. None of the day to day life of Christ's childhood resemble anything like that of Catherine. The impression one receives in these writings is that Christ does not know anything, since He is always asking questions about people's lives, or their reasons for doing things. This is a Nestorian and Arian heresy. Although Jesus was totally man, with the intellect of man, He also always had the infused knowledge of Christ [His Divinity]. He does not call the publican down out of the tree by name without a divine knowledge.

    The Christ of the "Poem" also fails to correct the sins of His followers in many cases. This is a sin for us, why not for Him? To admonish the sinner?

    The "Poem" also states that Christ was nailed in the wrist on one hand and in the hand on the other. This does not agree with Emmerich or Neumann as we pointed out. God does not contradict God in anything.

    Sense of God
    This is not very scientific, but worth a comment. Whenever we read the Bible, the lives of the saints, or true messages from Heaven, we feel the power of the words as if grace pours out of them. There are no such feelings in reading "The Poem of the Man-God".

    The Poem of the Man-God is not worthy of comment if it were not for the fact that one of the largest Catholic Book Chains, The Daughters of St. Paul, "Pauline Books" chose to take out the works of Catherine Emmerich and put in its place this abortion of the word of God. We wonder why they had to remove the word "Catholic" from the name of their book stores. No, we do not wonder. We know!

    Blunders
    The use of "screwdrivers" (Book 1 pp. 195, 223) is the blunder of blunders for a book said to be dictated by Jesus and Mary. Screws were not even invented at the time of Christ.

    Theological Errors
    Book 1 pp. 7 claims Mary can be called the second-born of the Father. Christ was not born. He was begotten from all eternity. There is a big difference. Mary was conceived in the mind of the Father from all eternity, but She was born in the normal manner. She cannot be called the second-born. Page 30 claims Eve’s temptation consisted in arousing her sexual desires as the serpent sensuously caressed her. Eve’s sin was not sexual. It was pride leading to editing the commandments of God, and then to disobedience. Concupiscence is the result, not the cause. Valtorta calls Mary second to Peter with regards to ecclesiastical hierarchy in Book 4, pp. 240. The hierarchy of the Church are servants of Jesus and Mary. Mary could never be a servant, and therefore, could never be in the hierarchy.

    Condemned By Rome
    Father Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M. typed Valtorta’s hand written manuscripts. Father Corrado Berti brought then to Father Augustin Bea, spiritual director of Pope Pius XII, and later Cardinal. Father Bea said that he did not find any errors in the parts that he read. From this Father Berti went out into the world claiming that Pope Pius XII gave "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur". How much truth is there to this? First, a "nihil obstat" is required before any Imprimatur. Second, an Imprimatur must be in writing. Third, an Imprimatur must be re-issued for every language used. And fourth, in less then a year, 1949, Rome condemned the books, and ordered Father Berti to give up every copy he had and to sign an agreement not to publish. In spite of his signed promise, Father Berti published the books.

    Again on December 16, 1959 the books were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books signed by Pope John XXII. L'Osservatore Romano printed the condemnation on January 6, 1960 with the heading, "A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus".

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in answer to questions, again reminded the world that the "Poem" has always been condemned. He went on to say in 1985:

    "After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, they were reminded again in L’Osservatore Romano (June 15, 1966) that ‘The Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution."
    In 1993 Cardinal Ratzinger said the books cannot be considered supernatural in origin. He said that the best that could be said of them is that they were a badly fictionalized life of Jesus.

    Caritas of Birmingham, the American promoters of "The Poem" wrote a pleading letter to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 1992 [more on that later]. Cardinal Ratzinger felt that the bishop of Birmingham, Alabama should answer the letter, and in 1993 Bishop Raymond J. Boland restated that they cannot be considered supernatural in origin."

    Rome condemned the books in 1949, 1959, 1960,1985, twice in 1993. What more do people want?

    Index of Forbidden Books
    Before we look into the publisher of the "Poem", something must be said about the "Index" and the fact that it was dissolved. In the Catholic Directory published by the Daughters of Saint Paul, it states that although the index has been dissolved it is not necessary that a book be listed in the Index to be forbidden. In goes on to list twelve classes of publications that are forbidden by general law.

    Class #5 states: "Books on visions and other supernatural phenomena published without approval." In Class #6 "Books that attack Catholic dogma or the hierarchy or defend errors condemned by the Holy See." Class #11 states, "Books propagating false indulgences." Class #12 lists, "Printed images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the angels, saints, or other servants of God."

    It must be noted that the Index was not done away with because it is no longer needed. It was forced to dissolve because of the invention of the computer, and the change from thousands of books to millions of books. There was and is no way Rome can keep up with the proliferation of Religious material today.

    It must also be stated that the decree of December 29, 1966 by Pope Paul VI (abrogating Canons 1399 and 2318) only applies to private revelation that has not yet received a declaration of the Church.

    The same applies to the decree of Pope Urban VIII. Pope Urban stated "if it proves to be false". How is it proved to be false unless we believe that the Church has the power to bind and loose? If we do not believe the Church can condemn and it be binding, how can it be proved to be false? But just before the new year of 1997 Rome made it very clear:

    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    November 1996
    II. Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:

    1. The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that --- after the relevant censures were lifted --- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals. 2. It should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: "the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement". 3. Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and , in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
    CARITAS OF BIRMINGHAM
    Caritas is a community. It is also the publisher of the "Poem" and is located right next to Mother Angelica’s EWTN radio and television broadcasting stations. They also have an information center in Medjugorje called "Caritas". Since there also is an arm of the Vatican called "Caritas" used to give food and relief to areas in need, many think that Caritas is part of the Vatican. It is not. It was founded by a millionaire, who went to Medjugorje and came back to found a community of believers and to promote the "Poem". He has his own airplane and makes trips to Medjugorje at his slightest whim. The community prays in the field everyday, in spite of the fact that a Church is right across the street. This is because one of the seers of Medjugorje has a vision on that spot. It seems the "spot" is more holy than the Body and Blood of Christ in the Church across the street. According to one of our researchers, who was at one time high up in the New Age Movement, "Caritas" is reaping in New Age theology. She spent a great deal of time with them, and has a report to be printed soon. Terry Colafrancesco of "Caritas" wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 2000. We have a copy of this letter. The reason we have a copy is that he published the letter.

    In his letter he claims to be a community in the making and to have a mailing list of over 100,000 people in the USA alone not counting 65 foreign countries. "Our work", he writes, "is the implementation of Our Lady’s plan given in Medjugorje." After five condemnations of the "Poem", he states his reason for writing is the "gray area", since "I am a close, personal friend of Marije Pavlovic, one of the visionaries in Medjugorje, and there is no question that she spoke to Our Lady and asked Her if one could read the Poem of the Man God. Our Lady answered that it was acceptable to read. Marija’s statement cannot be ignored."

    In other words, there is a gray area because the Church condemned a book that "Our Lady" recommends. How could the Cardinal, responsible for the protection of the faith of the entire world go against the wishes of Our Lady? Or another way of putting it is, "Let us put our faith in private revelation and not in the teaching authority of the Church".

    Cardinal Ratzinger did not think the letter worthy of a personal response, since "Caritas" was under the theological jurisdiction of the Bishop of Birmingham. It is Bishop Boland’s responsibility to see to it that his children keep the faith and obey the Church. However, his letter of response was so ambiguous and stupid that it caused more confusion than help. He left "Caritas" the impression that if they did not claim any supernatural influence in the "Poem" it could be sold as simply the imagination of the writer, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Church. This is fine, if you overlook that fact that the book states on every page, "Jesus said = Jesus told me - Mary said - Mary told me that, etc." Even if these references were removed, everyone knows private revelation is claimed. They continue to publish the books as they were written. 10

  


  

Does Blessed Mother Recommend A Book Church Placed on Index?

 

(Reprinted from the Wanderer Newspaper)


      One of the hottest-selling books in Catholic stores today is Maria Valtorta's multivolume Poem of the Man-God, a book placed on the Church's Index of Forbidden Books in 1961, and condemned as recently as 1985 by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
      "It's one of our biggest-selling books," Terry Colafrancesco told The Wanderer.
      Colafrancesco, director of Caritas of Birmingham, a major promoter of Medjugorje messages, tours, and books, is only one of many distributors of the book in the United States, and says he has sold 5,000 to 10,000 copies of the multivolume set in the past year.
      "It's so hard to get good spiritual direction in the Church today, because of the crisis," he said. "These books give tremendous insights into Scripture . . . It is like a pastor reading the Gospel, and then explaining it. People find the spiritual direction they need that they aren't getting in church."
      But Cardinal Ratzinger, former and current Apostolic Nuncio Archbishops Pio Laghi and Agostino Cacciavillan, and a host of other ecclesiastics take a contrary stand. In their view, the book is condemned and dangerous.
      Cardinal Ratzinger, in a letter dated Jan. 31st, 1985, written in response to the request of Genoa's Giuseppe Cardinal Siri on the book's status, recalled L'Osservatore Romano's judgment that it was "a badly fictionalized life of Jesus."
      The Cardinal-Prefect added: "After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, people were reminded again in L'Osservatore Romano (June 15th, 1966) that, as was published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1966), the Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution. A decision against distributing and recommending a work, which had not been condemned lightly, may be reversed, but only after profound changes that neutralize the harm which such a publication could bring forth among the ordinary faithful."
      The book has been described as a "second-rate soap opera," a bawdy, at times, obscene life of Jesus, who is depicted as a wise man who utters such word as, "Smell flowers; do not pick them," while He approves of stepping on caterpillars because they have a "lascivious sensuality."
Moreover, He is a Savior unsure of who He is, looking to His disciples - whom He loves to kiss on their lips - for leadership.

Mental Sickness

      Printed in four (or ten) volumes, Poem of the Man-God is not a poem, but poorly written prose, filled with imagined conversations between Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Apostles that can be, most charitably, described as banal.
      As L 'Osservatore Romano declared, the work belongs in the "category of mental sickness," and that it is a "heap of pseudo- irreligiosity," "a mountain of childishness, of fantasies, and of historical and exegetical falsehoods, diluted in a subtly sensual atmosphere".
      But the book is selling like hotcakes, because it is part of the Medjugorje phenomenon, promoted among Medjugorje enthusiasts as endorsed by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.
According to Colafrancesco, many Catholics are reading the book as a source for meditation when they make visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
      He said interest in the book was "sparked" when Marija Pavlovic, one of the Medjugorje seers, asked the Virgin Mary - at the request of a seminarian friend - if it was okay to read the book.
      In Colafrancesco's recollection, Mary said, "One could read it."
      "If you consider that every word the Virgin Mary says has meaning, then you know what a strong statement that was," he said.
      Colafrancesco is aware of the documentation circulating around the world which affirms that the book is still condemned, and the prohibition against Catholics reading it is in force, but disregards it.
      He insists that under Canon Law, Catholics have the right to read the book, and that Cardinal Ratzinger "is taking advice from people who want Satan to destroy the Church.
"What's happening to these books is terribly unjust," he said.

The Growing Controversy

      The Poem of the Man-God received a major boost during a broadcast interview on Mother Angelica's EWTN cable network, which aired an interview with Medjugorje seer Marija Pavlovic conducted by retired New Orleans Archbishop Philip Hannan, an enthusiastic propagandist for the Medjugorje messages.
      Hannan, in fact, in a recent fundraising letter sent to members of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, cited his program's promotion of the Medjugorje messages as a key reason why Catholics should support public station WLAE.
      On March 4th, on the Archbishop's Focus program, a viewer from Milwaukee asked Marija, on the air, "What exactly did our Lady say regarding the Poem of the Man-God?'
Marija responded that our Lady told her, "You can read it," and expressed an immediate afterthought.
      "I have heard now that there are problems with this," she said," looking nervously over to Archbishop Hannan, who simply accepted the outrageous claim that our Lady would contradict the judgment of the Holy See, and changed the subject.
      The Wanderer attempted to contact Archbishop Hannan to ask him about the apparent conflict between the Vatican and the Blessed Mother on what books Catholics should read, but he was not available for comment.
      His secretary of 20-plus years, Emily Kulchyski, who works with the Archbishop at the television station, WLAE-32, doing research for him and typing his commentaries, did talk, however.
      Kulchyski is now reading the fifth volume of the Poem, and believes Valtorta's work "is absolutely fantastic, completely engrossing, and totally edifying." She admits that it led her "to read Scripture in a new light," and dismissed the notion the book should not be read because it was on the Index.
      "There is no Index anymore," said the Archbishop's secretary, "and besides the Virgin told us that, 'It is good reading'."
      Kulchyski also explained why the Archbishop could not respond to Pavlovic's answer. "I think he felt he was not prepared to answer the question that night," she told The Wanderer.
Curiously, however, she added in the next breath, "We had received numerous questions from people around the country who had heard that Marija was going to be on his program, and who wanted him (the Archbishop) to ask the seer that question. But he felt it would not be appropriate to ask the question because that was not what most people wanted to hear from the seer."

Seven Reasons Not To Read It

      While the Archbishop's secretary and thousands of other Catholics continue reading Poem of the Man-God, and encourage others to do likewise, there are 7 reasons the Holy Office (consultors were Fr. Augustin Bea, S.J., and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.) condemned the book:
      1.) The book contains a fraudulent imprimatur, allegedly bestowed by Pope Pius XII, and has no legitimate imprimatur, which it must have.
      2.) The Jesus and Mary are in stark contrast to the Gospels. "Jesus speaks the maximum like a chatterbox, always ready to proclaim Himself the Messiah and the Son of God, or to share lessons in theology with the same terms used by a modern professor . . . (and) the Most Holy Virgin speaks as abundantly as a modern propagandist."
      3.) "Some passages are rather risque and record some descriptions and some scenes like modern novels . . . the reading of such passages as those quoted, only with difficulty could be finished without danger of spiritual damage.
      4.) There are "many historical, geographical, and other blunders.
      5.) There are numerous theological errors in the book, beginning with what "Jesus says about Eve's sin."
      6.) "The work would have merited a condemnation . . . if nothing else, for reasons of irreverence."
      7.) The authoress claims revelation, and the Church decided it was not revelation.

What Catholics Read

      There are hundreds of examples justifying the condemnation of this Poem, but three examples are sufficient to illustrate how Jesus and Mary talk, offered with the caveat that this is blasphemous material.
      After the 18-line description of the scourging of Jesus before His crucifixion, Valtorta's Jesus "says":
      "They would not believe that I was the Messiah, but did not want to kill me, in case I were . . . The world, after an incubation of perverted ideas, explodes now and again in such displays of perversion. Like a huge pregnant woman, the crowd, after nourishing its monster in its womb with doctrines of wild beasts, gives birth to it so it may devour" (vol. V, p. 569).
      After the crucifixion, and Jesus is taken down from the cross. Mary says, "Leave Him in my lap. If I succeed in warming Him up, He will rise sooner.
      A few lines later, she reveals, "As far as I, His Mother, am concerned, He is nothing but a big boy who is tired and sleeping . . . Prepare the way for His return. I am sending you. I, whom Maternity makes the Priestess of the Rite. Go. I said that I do not want it. Do not think that I will let you put it on Him. It will be easier for Him to rise if He is free from those funeral useless bandages" (vol. V, p. 634).
      After Jesus "revealed" to Valtorta how He rose from the dead, He explained how the marks were made on the Shroud of Turin:
      "My kidneys, almost crushed by the scourges, were no longer able to work. Like those of people burned by fire, they were unable to filter, and urea accumulated and spread in my blood, in my body, bringing about the sufferings of uraemic intoxification and the reagent that oozed out of my corpse and fixed the impression on the cloth . . . anyone suffering from uremia, will realize what suffering the uremic toxins cause me" (vol. V, p. 669).
      In Valtorta's fantasy, the Apostle Peter is continually rebuked by Jesus, and repeatedly warned not to judge people.
In one passage, Jesus exclaims to Peter, "You are an awful bore. You are worse than a boy."
      In other passages, Peter is rebuked, "Peter, Peter, you are a big old baby," and is called "a snake." With the other Apostles, he is compared to "pubescent girls."
In one particularly violent passage. Jesus calls to Peter, "Come here, you usurper and corrupter," and accuses him, saying, "You have corrupted my Mother."

Final Notice

      The current Apostolic Nuncio and his predecessor have received numerous requests from both laity and clergy on the prohibition on Poem of the Man-God, and in one recent response, Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan observed that "faithful Catholics would still heed the reservation and caution expressed" in the Index of Forbidden Books dated Jan. 5th, 1960.
      Still, the question remains: Why is such a book still "selling like hotcakes" in Catholic bookstores?

by Paul Likoudis

 

 

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Catholic Planet

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Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An Evaluation of the messages of Maria Valtorta and her Poem of the Man-God

http://www.catholicplanet.com/apparitions/false10.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 
''Poem of the Man-God"

 books by Maria Valtorta

 

 Listen to what St. Margaret Mary says:

"The greatest adversary of Jesus is Satan." Jesus warned me to be on guard and said my greatest defense was obedience. `Don't believe easily,' He said, `in every inspiration, and don't be too sure of it. Satan is furiously bent on deceiving you. So don't do anything without the approval of those who are guiding you. As long as you have the sanction of obedience, he can never delude you. He is completely powerless over those who obey.'

 


 


PLEASE DO NOT READ THESE BOOKS OR BELIEVE ANYONE THAT SAYS THAT
THEY HAVE BEEN APPROVED BY POPE PIUS XII FOR THIS IS NOT TRUE.
THESE BOOKS HAVE NOT BEEN APPROVED BY ANY POPE NO MATTER WHAT THEIR
CLAIM MAY BE. 

 

Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. states:

"Maria Valtorta's multi-volume life of Jesus flirts with heresy and exhibits bad taste. Its claims to authenticity have been rejected by Rome..."Poem" purports to fill in the details of Jesus' life left blank by the four Gospels. Such narratives have been produced since the second century A.D.  Some were written by gnostic heretics. Some by New Agers and occultists. And some were produced by pious Christians who made up stories about Jesus to edify readers and listeners...Valtorta claimed that she was the 'secretary' of Jesus and Mary, and was setting down the divinely inspired truth about Jesus' life. The Church has rejected this claim..."

 
''CATECHISM OF THE CATHOLIC CHURCH"  PARAGRAPH 67 STATES:

 
'''THROUGHOUT THE AGES,THERE HAVE BEEN SO-CALLED "PRIVATE" REVELATIONS, SOME OF WHICH HAVE BEEN RECOGNIZED BY THE AUTHORITY OF THE CHURCH.  THEY DO NOT BELONG, HOWEVER, TO THE DEPOSIT OF FAITH.  IT IS NOT THEIR ROLE TO IMPROVE OR COMPLETE CHRIST'S DEFINITIVE REVELATION, BUT TO HELP LIVE MORE FULLY BY IT IN A CERTAIN PERIOD OF HISTORY.  GUIDED BY THE MAGISTERIUM OF THE CHURCH, THE ''SENSUS FIDELIUM'' KNOWS HOW TO DISCERN AND WELCOME IN THESE REVELATIONS CONSTITUTES IN AUTHENTIC CALL OF CHRIST OR HIS SAINTS TO THE CHURCH.'''

'''CHRISTIAN FAITH CANNOT ACCEPT "REVELATIONS" THAT CLAIM TO SURPASS OR CORRECT THE REVELATION OF WHICH CHRIST IS THE FULFILLMENT, AS IS THE CASE IN CERTAIN NON-CHRISTIAN RELIGIONS AND ALSO IN CERYAIN RECENT SECTS WHICH BASE THEMSELVES ON SUCH "REVELATIONS."

  


 Catholic Planet

In my humble and pious opinion as a faithful Roman Catholic theologian, the claim that the messages of Maria Valtorta (who also wrote The Poem of the Man-God) are private revelation is a false claim. A list of reasons and examples follows.

 


 

'''Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?

An Evaluation of the messages of Maria Valtorta and her Poem of the man-God '''

http://www.catholicplanet.com/apparitions/false10.htm

 


  
'''Critique: Poem of the Man-God'''

http://jloughnan.tripod.com/critique.htm

 


 ''Poem of the man-God''

Answered by Colin B. Donovan, STL  EWTN


In 1959 when the "Poem" was put on the Index of Forbidden Books, it was described as "a badly fictionalized life of Christ" (L'Osservatore Romano, quoted by Cardinal Ratzinger in a letter to Cardinal Siri, 31 January 1985). Catholics were warned that it was not to be considered as revealed by God, and in fact, under the rules of the Index, no one, not even a priest, could read the volumes without a serious reason (e.g. to refute its errors) and the permission of the bishop or religious superior. Despite Roman judgements against the work its promoters have continued on their merry way, publishing and promoting it without interruption.

In 1966 when the Index was abolished many thought this meant the works listed on it could be read. Cardinal Ratzinger addressed this issue with respect to the "Poem of the Man-God," in the aforementioned Letter saying,

"After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, people were reminded again in 'LOsservatore Romano' (June 15, 1966) that, as was published in the 'Acta Apostolicae Sedis' (1966), the Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution. A decision against distributing and recommending a work, which has not beeen condemned lightly, may be reversed, but only after profound changes that neutralize the harm which such a publication could bring forth among the ordinary faithful."

In 1993 Bishop Boland of Birmingham, AL wrote the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith about "Poem" on behalf of an inquirer. Cardinal Ratzinger responded by letter, which the bishop then quoted in his response to the person, who shared it with us. The response noted that because of continuing interest in the books the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith had requested the Italian Bishops Conference to ask the publisher (who as I noted never in the past has complied with Roman decisions) to have a disclaimer printed in the volumes that "clearly indicated from the very first page that the 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in it are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus. They cannot be considered supernatural in origin." Whether this has been done I don't know.

So, quite apart from any supposed value that these writings have for helping the faith of Catholics is the promotion of the tendency to self-judgement in areas already judged by the hierarchical authority of the Church. Since the duty of submission to the Magisterium is part of the divine constitution of the Church and necessary for salvation, whereas, private revelations (even authentic ones, which this is not) cannot oblige in faith, it should be an easy call what the loyal Catholic should do. Is it forbidden? In the strict canonical sense (legal prohibition and sanctions for violating), no. Is it grossly imprudent to read things which the Church has discouraged in the strongest terms? Yes. Is it a bad use of time when there are writings of the Magisterium, of the saints and the Catechism that are not being read? Absolutely.

But people claim that never have they understood Scripture as when they have read "Poem." Understood in a certain way, as explained by Maria Valtorta! But this way the Church has said is not according to its mind. Catholics do well to follow the Holy See in this.

  


    

 
'''IS "THE POEM OF THE MAN-GOD" SIMPLY A BAD NOVEL?''' 

 
Maria Valtorta's multi-volume life of Jesus flirts with heresy and
exhibits bad taste. Its claim to authenticity have been rejected by Rome. 
 
by Father Mitch Pacwa, S.J. EWTN
 
"The Poem of the Man-God" is a five-volume "narrative" of the life of
Jesus written in the 1940s by a sickly Italian woman named Maria Valtorta. "Poem" purports to fill in the details of Jesus' life left blank by the four Gospels. Such narratives have been produced since the second century A.D. Some were written by gnostic heretics. Some by New Agers and occultists. And some were produced by pious Christians who made up stories about Jesus to edify their readers and listeners.
 
The four Gospels do not give a biography of Jesus--or of anyone else in
His life. Their purpose is evangelical and theological--to proclaim the
Good News that human beings need for their salvation. Thus, for centuries, the "hidden life" of Jesus has been the subject for speculation.
 
"The Poem of the Man-God" is in this tradition of apocryphal literature on New Testament themes. Valtorta claimed that she was the "secretary" of Jesus and Mary, and was setting down the divinely inspired truth about Jesus' life. The Church has rejected this claim. Nevertheless, "Poem" has become quite popular, particularly among Catholics as well.
 
Remarkably, the book has grown in popularity in part because its champions claim that high Church officials--including one Pope--endorsed it. They haven't. In fact, "Poem" was included on the Index of Forbidden books until the abolition of the Index in the 1960s. No less an authority than Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, reiterates the Church's rejection of the claims made for "The Poem of the Man-God."
 
How did "The Poem of the Man-God" come to be, and how has the notion become widely accepted that it contains important religious truth?
 
Maria Valtorta, author of "Poem," was born in 1897 into a sadly
dysfunctional family, where she suffered emotional abuse at the hands of a despotic mother. When she was 23, she was attacked and beaten by a mugger. She was never completely well after that.  From 1933 on, she was unable to leave her bed.
 
Maria began to receive "dictations" on Good Friday, 1943. In 1947, she
handed over 10,000 handwritten pages to her spiritual director, Father
Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M.  Father Migliorini typed them and Father
Corrado Berti, O.S.M. bound them. Fr. Berti, brought them to Father later Cardinal Augustin Bea, S.J., spiritual director to Pope Pius XII.
 
Did Pope Pius read the whole manuscript or parts? If only part, which
part?  Advertisements by the Canadian Central distributors for Valtorta
(CEDIVAL) quote Father Bea: "I have read in typed manuscripts many of the books written by Maria Valtorta . . . As far as exegesis is concerned, I did not find any errors in the parts which I examined." Notice, he read
only parts of the books. Which were they?
 
On Feb. 26, 1948, Fathers Migliorini, Berti and A. Cecchin enjoyed a
private audience with Pope Pius XII, as listed in L'Osservatore Romano's daily announcement of audiences. Standing in St. Peter's Square after the audience, Father Berti wrote down Pope Pius' words as he remembered them.  These words were "not" printed in L'Osservatore Romano, but Father Berti remembered the Pope saying:
 
"Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its
origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. One hears of many visions and revelations. I will not say they are all authentic; but there are some of which it could be said that they are."
 
CEDIVAL calls this a "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur," where "he took upon himself to pass the first official judgment on these writings." CEDIVAL glues this inside the cover, though the publisher does not print an imprimatur. The reason: it has none!
 
Confident of papal approval, Father Berti brought the books to the Vatican press.  However, in 1949, two commissioners of the Holy Office, Msgr. Giovanni Pepe and Father Berruti, O.P., condemned the "Poem," ordering Berti to hand over every copy and sign an agreement not to publish it. Father Berti returned the manuscripts to Valtorta and handed over only his typed versions.
 
Despite his signed promise, in 1952 Father Berti went to publisher
Emiliano Pisani.  Though aware of the Holy Office's opposition, Pisani
printed the first volume in 1956, and a new volume each year through 1959.
 
When volume four appeared, the Holy Office examined the "Poem" and
condemned it, recommending that it be placed on the Index of Forbidden Books Dec. 16, 1959. Pope John XXIII signed the decree and ordered it published. L'Osservatore Romano, on Jan.  6, 1960, printed the condemnation with an accompanying front-page article, "A Badly
Fictionalized Life of Jesus," to explain it.
 
The article complained that the "Poem" broke Canon Law. "Though they treat exclusively of religious issues, these volumes do not have an
"imprimatur," which is required by Canon 1385, sect. 1, n. 2."
 
Second, the long speeches of Jesus and Mary starkly contrast with the
evangelists, who portray Jesus as "humble, reserved; His discourses are
lean, incisive." Valtorta's fictionalized history makes Jesus sound "like
a chatterbox, always ready to proclaim Himself the Messiah and the Son of God," or teach theology in modern terms. The Blessed Mother speaks like a "propagandist" for modern Marian theology.
 
Third, "some passages are rather risque," like the "immodest" dance before Pilate (vol.  5, p. 73). There are "many historical, geographical and other blunders." For instance, Jesus uses screwdrivers (Vol. 1, pp. 195, 223), centuries before screws existed.
 
There are theological errors, as when "Jesus says" (vol. 1, p. 30) that
Eve's temptation consisted in arousing her flesh, as the serpent
sensuously "caressed" her. While she "began the sin by herself," she
"accomplished it with her companion." Sun Myung Moon and Maria Valtorta may claim the first sin was sexual, but Scripture does not.
 
Vol. 1, p. 7, oddly claims, "Mary can be called the 'second-born' of the
Father . . ." Her explanation limits the meaning, avoiding evidence of an
authentic heresy; but it does not take away the basic impression that she wants to construct a new mariology, which simply goes beyond the limits of propriety." "Another strange and imprecise statement" made of Mary (vol. 4, p. 240) is that she will "be second to Peter with regard to
ecclesiastical hierarchy. . . " Our Lady surpasses St. Peter's holiness,
but she is not in the hierarchy, let alone second to St. Peter.
 
Further, Valtorta did not claim to write a novel, but called herself a
"secretary" of Jesus and Mary, so, "in all parts on reads the words 'Jesus says. . .' or 'Mary says . . .'" The Church takes this claim to revelation
very seriously, since it has the God-given duty to discern what is or is
not truly from the Holy Spirit. In Valtorta's case, the Church decided
against Divine inspiration.
 
Finally, "Poem" is condemned for reasons of disobedience. Competent Church authority had prohibited the printing of Valtorta's work.
 
Pope John's approval of the condemnation of the "Poem of the Man-God" should have ended the issue, but it did not. The publishers printed a second edition of 10 volumes, which the Church condemned in another front-page article in L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 1, 1961. This second Italian edition was later translated into German, French, Spanish and English.
 
CEDIVAL asserts that a "modernist clan in the Church" . . .
"surreptitiously attempted to seize the manuscripts and destroy them,"
claiming "firsthand documentation on this." These "enemies" included Msgr. Pepe and Father Berruti, the Holy Office censors.
 
I asked the head of CEDIVAL, Prof. Leo Brodeur, for evidence that Msgr.
Pepe and Father Berruti held any modernist heresies, but he had none. He assumed they were modernists because the "Poem" claims "to help the Church fight against the terrible heresy of modernism." If the "Poem's enemies are modernists, Msgr. Pepe and Father Berruti must be modernists, too.
 
Such assertions are unacceptable. Accusations of modernism or any other heresy without proof is slander.
 
Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, present head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (formerly the same office that condemned the
"Poem"), informed Cardinal Siri in 1985 of the "Poem's condemnation:
 
After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, they were reminded again in L'Osservatore Romano (June 15, 1966) that "The Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution."
 
More recently (April 17, 1993, Prot. N. 144/58i), he wrote:
 
"The 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in the work, "The Poem of the
Man-God," are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in
her own way the life of Jesus.  They cannot be considered supernatural in origin."
 
The best that can be said for "The Poem of the Man-God" is that it is a
bad novel. This was summed up in the L'Osservatore Romano headline, which called the book "A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus."
 
At worst, "Poem's" impact is more serious. Though many people claim that "Poem" helps their faith or their return to reading Scripture, they are still being disobedient to the Church's decisions regarding the reading of "Poem." How can such disregard for Church authority and wisdom be a help in renewing the Church in these difficult times?
 
When Catholics insist on reading "Poem," despite Church condemnation, I make these requests: First, read three hours of Scripture for every one hour spent in the "Poem." The Church guarantees that the Bible is God's Word, inspired by the Holy Spirit. The Church has judged the "Poem" to be a poorly done human work. Second, read solid Catholic theology books in addition to Scripture. G.K. Chesterton, Frank Sheed, Archbishop Sheen's "Life of Christ" and many other works are excellent starts. Third, maintain a strong prayer life, drawing closer to Christ Jesus, Our Lord, at Mass and at eucharistic adoration, and to our Blessed Mother Mary, especially in the Rosary.
 
If sheep insist on bad pasturage, at least let them take antidotes.
 
This article appeared in February 1994 edition of "New Covenant"

  


Maria Valtorta
Question to EWTN from D. Maanum on 02-05-2002:
 
Please advise what is the status of Maria Valtorta's private meditations? I heard they were once on the list of condemned books, but that was lifted. Can a Catholic read them for inspiration and what are the Churches rules on private meditations? Thank you. 
Answer by EWTN's Bill Bilton on 02-05-2002:
The works of Maria Valtorta have been condemned by the Church after a careful and serious investigation and study that found their contents to be harmful to faithful Catholics. On December 16, 1959, the Congregation of the Holy Office ordered the 4-volume work entitled "The Poem of the Man-God" placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. Pope John XXIII approved the decree and directed that the condemnation be published. The decree was then promulgated by the Holy Office on January 5, 1960. The Vatican's newspaper "L'Osservatore Romano", on the following day, published an article summarizing the investigations of the cardinals of the Holy Office who were responsible for protecting the faithful in matters of faith and morals. It should be noted that none of Maria Valtorta's works have been approved by the Church. 

On June 14, 1966, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith abrogated the Index of Forbidden Books. Although the Index was abolished in 1966, the censure and prohibition of books already on the Index still retain their validity as to the moral law which totally forbids the dilution of faith and morals. 

The publishers who have re-printed Maria Valtorta's works have been deceiving the Catholic faithful in printing and distributing these condemned works to a devout, but unsuspecting Catholic faithful. They have done so despite the efforts of the highest Church authorities to warn the faithful that the moral authority represented by the condemnation on the Index of Forbidden Books remains even today, and that the works of Maria Valtorta should be avoided by sincere and conscientious Catholics. 

We would like to sincerely urge you to consider the fact that the works of Maria Valtorta have been condemned by the Church as unreliable and spiritually harmful accounts of the life of Jesus and His Mother. Catholics wanting to know more about both should spend their time reading the Gospels or a good life of Christ. 

 


     
'''The Poem of The man - God'''

 After reading "Apparitions and Mystics True or False" you ask about "The Poem of The Man - God". Using the same criteria stated in the book, this is our report including the report of the Church.

Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich

In the Poem we will consider the most extreme example of APING GOD that can be produced. In order to understand this aping of God, we must first see who this seer is aping.

Anne Catherine Emmerich was born on the feast of the Birth of Mary in 1774 and died in 1824. From the earliest moments of her life she began to see visions of the entire history of the world from creation to the end of the world. She especially saw the entire life of Christ and Mary. In the later part of her life a man came, who she called "the pilgrim", and began writing down all that her visions. She could not read or write. After her death "the pilgrim" compiled them into four large volumes on the Life of Christ, another volume on the life of Mary, and two volumes on Catherine's life.

In order to put His signature on these writings, God performed through Catherine miracles almost everyday of her life. She carried the marks of Christ on her body [the stigmata] most of her life. She could read the souls of those who visited her. She could distinguish true and false relics. Cures were a common daily occurrence. After her death, investigations were made into some of her claims that seemed impossible. For instance, Catherine claimed to have seen the house John built for Mary in Ephesus. She described the house in every detail, even to the measurements and location.

Interesting to note (and we mention this often, since we have a special devotion to the True Crucifixion) is the description of the crucifixion of Christ by Emmerich, which is the exact same as Therese Neumann. Read her account of the death of Christ and compare it to the Poem:

"Jesus was now stretched on the cross by the executioners. He had lain Himself upon it; but they pushed Him lower down into the hollow places, rudely drew His right hand to the hole for the nail in the right arm of the cross and tied His wrist fast. One knelt on His sacred breast and held the closing HAND flat; another placed the long, thick nail, which had been filed to a sharp point, upon the PALM OF HIS SACRED HAND, and struck furious blows with the iron hammer.

"A sweet, clear, spasmodic cry of anguish broke from the Lord's lips, and His blood spurted out upon the arms of the executioners. The muscles and ligaments of THE HAND had been torn by the THREE-EDGED NAIL, driven into the narrow hole.

"After nailing Our Lord's right hand, the crucifiers found that His left, which also was fastened to the cross-piece, did not reach to the hole made for the nail, for they had bored a good two inches from the finger tips. They consequently unbound Jesus' arm from the cross, wound cords around it and, with their feet supported firmly against the cross, pulled it forward until the hand reached the hole. Now, kneeling on the arm and breast of the Lord, they fastened the arm again on the beam, and hammered the second nail through the left HAND."

Remember, God does not contradict Himself, and His true seers will not contradict each other.


In 1891, sixty-seven years after her death, Fathers Poullin and Yung went to Ephesus to check her claims. In exactly the spot south of Ephesus up in the mountains, the priests found the ruins of the house. The local people called the ruins "Panaya Kapulu", the House of the Holy Virgin. Today it has been completely restored and has become a major shrine. Since Catherine Emmerich, Pope Leo XIII, St. Pius X and Pius XII have endorsed this shrine.

The evidence in favor of Catherine Emmerich is overwhelming: miracles, stigmata, prophecy that came to pass, fidelity to the doctrine of the Faith, heroic obedience to her superiors, humility, suffering, and above all, a faith in her Church above her visions.

God brought her into the world at a time of the French Revolution and the age of reason over faith, an age where the Bible was being attached by evolutionists, and the "new" theologians were calling the Scriptures only fables..

We am not ignorant of the differences between Emmerich and Mary Agreda. However, these differences are understandable, since each saw visions and interpreted them in her own way. Mary Agreda's life of the Blessed Virgin was from a Spiritual point of view [like John], and Emmerich's life of Christ and Mary was from a physical viewpoint [like Luke].

There is also the problem of two different languages and different translators. However, the differences are minor and have no meaning in faith and morals. This is not the case with the "Poem".

Aping

"The Poem of the Man-God" has exactly the same objective as Catherine Emmerich's "The Life of Christ" except that instead of four large volumes it is fifteen large volumes. Every reason for the one work is found in the other work. The layouts of the two works are the same. But one thing is very, very different. Everything in "The Poem of the Man-God" contradicts "The Life of Christ". Both cannot be from God. One has to be inspired by Satan in order to diffuse and confuse the other.

These two writings are so opposite to each other that the title is very appropriate. Christ is God made man [God-Man]; not man made God [Man-God]. Man-God is heresy.

The Seer

Maria Valtoria was born on March 14, 1897 [123 years after Catherine Emmerich]. She and her mother did not get along. Her mother spoiled two marriage attempts by Maria, and in Maria's own description was oppressive and irreligious. Maria did not do well in school [failing in mathematics], but was a gifted writer. She started her writings the year her mother died in 1943 and continued them everyday until her death in 1961. In eighteen years she wrote fifteen thousand pages--15,000.

No miracles happened during her life. No heroic virtue can be found. No unusual sanctity has been observed. No signature of God can be found.

Idle Conversation

The first, most glaring thing we noticed in reading "The Poem of the Man-God" is the conversation of Christ and Mary. When you read the Bible, you can not help but notice that every single word of Christ has great meaning for the salvation of souls. Never did He speak a single word of "idle conversation". In fact, Scripture and Doctrine call "idle conversation" a sin of omission and sloth. Father Mirch Pacwa, S.J.said the books make Jesus and Mary sound like chatterboxes.

We were unable to find anything that was worthy of quoting. Several of our friends that we use to test books found that they could not even hold their concentration on them for over five minutes.

Contradictions

Every page contradicts the works of Emmerich, and in some cases the meaning of the Bible, itself. Over ten seers have given the date of Mary's birth as September 8th. But Maria gives a date of August 24th. None of the day to day life of Christ's childhood resemble anything like that of Catherine. The impression one receives in these writings is that Christ does not know anything, since He is always asking questions about people's lives, or their reasons for doing things. This is a Nestorian and Arian heresy. Although Jesus was totally man, with the intellect of man, He also always had the infused knowledge of Christ [His Divinity]. He does not call the publican down out of the tree by name without a divine knowledge.

The Christ of the "Poem" also fails to correct the sins of His followers in many cases. This is a sin for us, why not for Him? To admonish the sinner?

The "Poem" also states that Christ was nailed in the wrist on one hand and in the hand on the other. This does not agree with Emmerich or Neumann as we pointed out. God does not contradict God in anything.

Sense of God

This is not very scientific, but worth a comment. Whenever we read the Bible, the lives of the saints, or true messages from Heaven, we feel the power of the words as if grace pours out of them. There are no such feelings in reading "The Poem of the Man-God".

Fruits

The Poem of the Man-God is not worthy of comment if it were not for the fact that one of the largest Catholic Book Chains, The Daughters of St. Paul, "Pauline Books" chose to take out the works of Catherine Emmerich and put in its place this abortion of the word of God. We wonder why they had to remove the word "Catholic" from the name of their book stores. No, we do not wonder. We know!

Blunders

The use of "screwdrivers" (Book 1 pp. 195, 223) is the blunder of blinders for a book said to be dictated by Jesus and Mary. Screws were not even invented at the time of Christ.

Theological Errors

Book 1 pp. 7 claims Mary can be called the second-born of the Father. Christ was not born. He was begotten from all eternity. There is a big difference. Mary was conceived in the mind of the Father from all eternity, but She was born in the normal manner. She cannot be called the second-born. Page 30 claims Eve’s temptation consisted in arousing her sexual desires as the serpent sensuously caressed her. Eve’s sin was not sexual. It was pride leading to editing the commandments of God, and then to disobedience. Concupiscence is the result, not the cause. Valtorta calls Mary second to Peter with regards to ecclesiastical hierarchy in Book 4, pp. 240. The hierarchy of the Church are servants of Jesus and Mary. Mary could never be a servant, and therefore, could never be in the hierarchy.

Condemned By Rome

Father Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M. typed Valtorta’s hand written manuscripts. Father Corrado Berti brought then to Father Augustin Bea, spiritual director of Pope Pius XII, and later Cardinal. Father Bea said that he did not find any errors in the parts that he read. From this Father Berti went out into the world claiming that Pope Pius XII gave "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur". How much truth is there to this? First, a "nihil obstat" is required before any Imprimatur. Second, an Imprimatur must be in writing. Third, an Imprimatur must be re-issued for every language used. And fourth, in less then a year, 1949, Rome condemned the books, and ordered Father Berti to give up very copy he had and to sign an agreement not to publish. In spite of his signed promise, Father Berti published the books.

Again on December 16, 1959 the books were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books signed by Pope John XXII. Losservatore Romano printed the condemnation on January 6, 1960 with the heading, "A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus".

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in answer to questions, again reminded the world that the "Poem" has always been condemned. He went on to say in 1985:

"After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, they were reminded again in L’Osservatore Romano (June 15, 1966) that ‘The Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution."

In 1993 Cardinal Ratzinger said the books cannot be considered supernatural in origin. He said that the best that could be said of them is that they were a badly fictionalized life of Jesus.

Caritas of Birmingham, the American promoters of "The Poem" wrote a pleading letter to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 1992 [more on that later]. Cardinal Ratzinger felt that the bishop of Birmingham, Alabama should answer the letter, and in 1993 Bishop Raymond J. Boland restated that they cannot be considered supernatural in origin."

Rome condemned the books in 1949, 1959, 1960,1985, twice in 1993. What more do people want?

Index of Forbidden Books

Before we look into the publisher of the "Poem", something must be said about the "Index" and the fact that it was dissolved. In the Catholic Directory published by the Daughters of Saint Paul, it states that although the index has been dissolved it is not necessary that a book be listed in the Index to be forbidden. In goes on to list twelve classes of publications that are forbidden by general law.

Class #5 states: "Books on visions and other supernatural phenomena published without approval." In Class #6 "Books that attack Catholic dogma or the hierarchy or defend errors condemned by the Holy See." Class #11 states, "Books propagation false indulgences." Class #12 lists, "Printed images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the angels, saints, or other servants of God."

It must be noted that the Index was not done away with because it is no longer needed. It was forced to dissolve because of the invention of the computer, and the change from thousands of books to millions of books. There was and is no way Rome can keep up with the proliferation of Religious material today.

It must also be stated that the decree of December 29, 1966 by Pope Paul VI (abrogating Cannons 1399 and 2318) only applies to private revelation that has not yet received a declaration of the Church.

The same applies to the decree of Pope Urban VIII. Pope Urban stated "if it proves to be false". How is it proved to be false unless we believe that the Church has the power to bind and loose? If we do not believe the Church can condemn and it be binding, how can it be proved to be false? But just before the new year of 1997 Rome made it very clear:

The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith,

November 1996

Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:
The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that --- after the relevant censures were lifted --- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals.
In should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: "the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement".
Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and , in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.

CARITAS OF BIRMINGHAM

Caritas is a community. It is also the publisher of the "Poem" and is located right next to Mother Angelica’s EWTN radio and television broadcasting stations. They also have a information center in Medjugorje called "Caritas’. Since there also is an arm of the Vatican called "Caritas" used to give food and relief to areas in need, many think that Caritas is part of the Vatican. It is not. It was founded by a millionaire, who went to Medjugorje and came back to found a community of believers and to promote the "Poem". He has his own airplane and makes trips to Medjugorje at his slightest whim. The community prays in the field everyday, in spite of the fact that a Church is right across the street. This is because one of the seers of Medjugorje has a vision on that spot. It seems the "spot" is more holy than the Body and Blood of Christ in the Church across the street. According to one of our researchers, who was at one time high up in the New Age Movement, Caritas is reaping in New Age theology. She spent a great deal of time with them, and has a report to be printed soon. Terry Colafrancesco of Caritas wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 1002. We have a copy of this letter. The reason we have a copy is that he published the letter.

In his letter he claims to be a community in the making and to have a mailing list of over 100,000 people in the USA alone not counting 65 foreign countries. "Our work", he writes, "is the implementation of Our Lady’s plan given in Medjugorje." After five condemnations of the "Poem", he states his reason for writing is the "gray area", since "I am a close, personal friend of Marije Pavlovic, one of the visionaries in Medjugorje, and there is no question that she spoke to Our Lady and asked Her if one could read the Poem of the Man God. Our Lady answered that it was acceptable to read. Marija’s statement cannot be ignored."

In other words, there is a gray area because the Church condemned a book that "Our Lady" recommends. How could the Cardinal, responsible for the protection of the faith of the entire world go against the wishes of Our Lady? Or another way of putting it is, "Let us put our faith in private revelation and not in the teaching authority of the Church".

Cardinal Ratzinger did not think the letter worthy of a personal response, since Caritas was under the theological jurisdiction of the Bishop of Birmingham. It is Bishop Boland’s responsibility to see to it that his children keep the faith and obey the Church. However, his letter of response was so ambiguous and stupid that it caused more confusion than help. He left Caritas the impression that if they did not claim any supernatural influence in the "Poem" it could be sold as simply the imagination of the writer, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Church. This is fine, if you overlook that fact that the book states on every page, "Jesus said = Jesus told me - Mary said - Mary told me that, etc." Even if these references were removed, everyone knows private revelation is claimed. They continue to publish the books as they were written.

    


  '''CRITIQUE OF BOOKS'''

Borrowing some highlights from Brother James [see end of chapter], let us look at some of the writings of Valtorta. The poem refers to a baby as an "it" on page 23 of book #1, and an angel as an "it" on page 38. On page 40 Mary asks her mother if it would be right of be a sinner out of love for God, so that God could forgive you. No comment needed. On page 85 Mary claims to have consecrated Herself to virginity. One consecrates oneself to God, one vows virginity. We do not think Mary would make such a theological mistake. On page 89, it is claimed that Adam and Eve had an infinite gift of grace. Only God is infinite in anything positive, and even in the negative (infinitely bad), the negative is controlled by God. On Page 358 Jesus claims that He asks the Father not to lead Him into temptation, as if God could sin.

On page 128 Mary claimed that Joseph "never erred" meaning never sinned. Only Mary is without original or actual sin. To give those who never read the "Poem" an idea of the stupidity, let us quote one passage on page 166:

"The Child was about to fall asleep. He seemed a little restless, as if He had teething trouble, or some other minor pain of childhood."

Mary sings: "All the sparkling angels - that in Heaven be. Form a wreath around You, innocent Child - enraptured by Your face. But You’re crying for Your Mummy - Mummy, Mummy, Mum. The sky will soon be red - and dawn will soon be back, and Mummy had no rest - to ensure You do not cry ---"

On pages 196, 197, 201, 202, 204, and 209 it is claimed that Jesus learned from Joseph and Mary. And on pages 309. 310, and 311 He even asks to be taught things. God does not learn from anyone as He states on page 216 of the same book. This contradiction is not as important as the bottom line of the entire set of books. The man made god, as the title indicates, has one primary demonic purpose, to show Christ as an ignorant "mere human" being as Nestorian believed and was condemned for believing in the Council of Ephesus.

As we have said, we wouldn’t have even wasted a report on this false mystic if it were not for the sudden publicity she received from the other false mystics. If you would like to read a good review, write to Brother James and ask for "CRITIQUE: POEM OF THE MAN-GOD" by Brother James, Saints Peter and Paul Church, 650 Filbert Street, San Francisco, CA 94133, Send a small donation for costs [$3 to $5]. Or pick up an old copy of "New Covenant" and read "Simply a Bad Novel?" by Father Mitch Pacwa

  


   '''A letter was written regarding these books in 2004 to Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo, Apostolic Nuncio.  This is his response.'''


"Regarding your inquiry, I can inform you that the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has communicated the following about "The Poem of the Man-God" by Maria Valtorta: the "visions" and "dictations" referred to in her work cannot be deemed of supernatural origin, but must be considered simply literary forms of which the author has made use to narrate, in her own way, the life of Christ."

 


*'''The Holy See's ambassador to the United States is His Excellency Gabriele Montalvo.'''


[Catholics wishing to be heard in this matter should write him directly at:]


His Excellency Gabriele Montalvo

Apostolic Nuncio to the United States

Embassy of The Holy See
 
3339 Massachusetts Ave., NW

Washington, DC 20008

202-333-7121

fax 202-337-4036

The correct address for Archbishop Montalvo is: "The Most Rev. Gabriele Montalvo." The correct salutation is "Your Excellency;" and the complimentary close is "Asking the Your Excellency's blessing, I am, Yours respectfully, (Name)."

 


 

His Emminence Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger wrote in (April 17, 1993, Prot. N 144/58i),:

"The 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in the work, "The Poem of the Man-God," are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus.  They annot be considered supernatural in orgin."

  


 On May 13, 2005 Pope Benedict XVI named Archbishop William J. Levada to be Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.  He was named a Cardinal on February 22, 2006, and received the "red hat" on March 24, 2006 from Pope Benedict XVI.

 


 
'''Poem of the Man-God: Fact of Fiction?'''

(Fr. Mitch Pacwa, Sandra Miesel)

 

1-Video Tape) - Retail Price:
 
$19.95

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states that “Throughout the ages, there have been so called ‘private’ revelations, some of which have been recognized by the authority of the Church. They do not belong, however, to the deposit of faith. It is not their role to improve or complete Christ’s definitive Revelation, but to help live more fully by it in a certain period of history.” It continues, “Christian faith cannot accept “revelations” that claim to surpass or correct the Revelation of which Christ is the fulfillment…”Fr. Pacwa puts to the test in light of the Catechism and magisterial teachings a series of volumes that were supposedly the result of private revelation – Maria Valtorta’s “Poem of the Man God.”
 
 

 

Recommended Resources (book):

"A Still Small Voice" by
 
Fr. Benedict Groeschel

 

From Medjugorje to the New Age Fr. Groeschel gives a comprehensive and practical guide on reported revelations which proves highly useful in efforts to distinguish the real from the unreal.

 


 

 

'''For thoses that think that because the "Poem of the man-God" has an Imprimatur that the church has approved the books, this is not true, please read this article.'''

 

'''"Imprimi Potest,"
 
'''"Nihil Obstat,"
 
'''& "Imprimatur"

 

The Church, given teaching authority by Christ and as the conduit for fullness of Truth on this earth, has the obligation to preserve Her sheep from deviations from the Truth and to to guarantee them the "objective possibility of professing the true faith without error" (Catechism, No. 890). Because of this, the Bishops will look at books published by Catholics on Catholic matters in their dioceses, giving them their "okay" if nothing therein is found to be contrary to the Faith (relevant Canon Law: "Title IV: The Means of Social Communication," ¶ 822-832)

The procedure works like this: when a Catholic writes a book on faith, morals, theology, liturgy, books on prayer, editions of Sacred Scripture, etc., he will submit his manuscript to his diocese's Censor. If the Censor finds no problem with it, he will give it his stamp, which reads "Nihil Obstat," or "nothing stands in the way." He then sends it to the Bishop for his review. If the Bishop finds nothing objectionable, he gives the book his "Imprimatur" which means, "let it be printed."

If the Catholic writing the book is a member of a religious order, the manuscript is first sent to his religious superior before it is sent to the Censor and Bishop. If the religious superior finds no impediment to publication, he will give the book his stamp of "Imprimi Potest," which means "it can be printed."

Nowadays, after the Imprimatur, you might see these words:
The "Nihil Obstat" and "Imprimatur" are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur agree with the content, opinions or statements expressed.
 
'''[[Please know that the presence of an Imprimatur does not mean that a book is an official text of the Church. It doesn't make the book the equivalent of an encyclical, say. It's not the approval of the work by the Pope or a dogmatic Council, and it's not a stamp of infallibility. It doesn't even mean that everything in the book is accurate, only that there is nothing in it that contradicts Catholic dogma. But, while occasionally a book sneaks through and its Imprimatur later recalled, this procedure is an important way for Catholics to increase their chances of staying error-free with regard to doctrine. Sadly, because of the triumph of modernsists and liberals in the human aspect of the Church since the Second Vatican Council, books which could well contain a watered-down theology, a warped view of History, etc. now do receive the "Imprimatur."]]'''

Bottom line: When buying books on religious and spiritual matters, seek out those books written before Vatican II and which have the "Imprimatur," or those books which are known to be written by solidly orthodox traditional Catholics. Otherwise, be wary and take the book with a grain of salt. And, always, if you come across a book that says horrific things about the Church, Her teachings, or Her history, read the traditional Catholic point of view and dig up objective resources. There's a lot of lying going on out there, folks.

  


  


If you would like to buy a 1 hour video with Fr. Pacwa & Johnnette Benkovic discussing the "Poem of the man-God" ( I bought one) check out the web site to order one to learn more at:

'''Women of Grace'''

http://www.womenofgrace.com/

Shop on Line

Categries on the left side: DVD & Videos, Page 3

 

 


  ''Originally published in CATHOLIC INTERNATIONAL''


'''Maria Valtorta'''

by Sandra Miesel

 

Did God or a demon speed her pen? The writings of Italian mystic Maria Valtorta continue to rouse furious debate more than 40 years after her death. Her supporters insist that her principal work, the five-volume The Poem of the Man-God (1956-59), is a "flawless" expansion of the gospels that records heaven-sent visions and direct dictation from Jesus Christ. But in 1959, the Poem became the second-to-last publication placed on the Index of Forbidden Books.

Valtorta was born to Lombard parents on March 14, 1897. Her father was a non-commissioned army officer. Her publisher describes her mother as "callous," despotic," and extremely severe. Valtorta's mother willfully curtailed her education and terminated two promising courtships.

After taking private vows in 1931, Valtorta aspired to be a "victim soul" and became permanently bedridden two years later because of a heart condition and an old back injury. Her spiritual director was Fr. Romauld Migliorini, a member of the Servants of Mary. Valtorta was a tertiary in the same order which has never ceased to promote her writings and reputation for holiness.

Valtorta is supposed to have offered God the sacrifice of her intelligence in 1949. She gradually ceased writing as mental aberrations increased over the next decade. (Repetitious use of words can be noticed in her last batch of revelations.) By the time of her death in 1961, she had reached what Fr. Benedict Groeschel, C.F.R., a psychology expert, describes as "a state similar to catatonic schizophrenia." Illness would suffice to explain her decline without looking for diabolic causes, as some have attempted.

The Poem is a Life of Christ in which scenes based on Valtorta's visions are interspersed with commentary directly attributed to Jesus and Mary. Valtorta could remember--and later clarify--what she said she saw in visions but not the dictation she recorded. The latter process resembles automatic writing. Both kinds of experiences were recorded in random order between 1943 and 1947, generating 10,000 handwritten pages. The dates episodes of the Poem were typed and arranged in Gospel chronology by Fr. Migliorini, who refrained from editing inconsistencies.

Sometime after April of 1947, a bound copy of this manuscript was sent to Pope Pius XII via the papal confessor. The Pope received Fr. Migliorini and two other Servites in a special audience on February 26, 1948. His polite murmurs about the Poem reportedly included the phrase "publish this work as it is" which the Servites afterwards remembered and interpreted as a "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur" This alleged oral imprimatur is the only one the publishers of the Poem have ever received --or sought.

Although a pope could in theory grant such an imprimatur and even do it orally, no one has produced a modern instance of this. Surely, so meticulous a man as Pius XII would have made his intentions perfectly clear and not left his words to be construed after the fact by interested parties.

It is impossible to determine how much of the Poem Pius XII actually read. But given his crushing burdens leading the postwar Church and the many crises he had to face while the Iron Curtain thundered down, how much time could the pope possibly have devoted to reading and evaluating thousands of pages of manuscript? The job is flatly impossible in the time available.

After a harsh rejection at the Vatican press, the Poem was released by Italian publisher Emilio Pisani. On December 16, 1959 the Poem was condemned by the Holy Office, then headed by Cardinal Alfredo Ottaviani. Osservatore Romano printed this decree on January 6, 1960 accompanied by a hostile unsigned review of the Poem entitled "A Life of Jesus Badly Novelized."

Valtorta's defenders try to blame this and subsequent censures on a secret "Modernist clan" within the Holy Office. They offer no evidence of how "Modernists" could operate undetected by the strictly orthodox Ottaviani nor why Modernist and other anti-Catholic books continued to appear on the Index, 1948-60.

Moreover, as Ottaviani's successor Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger has declared, the 1966 abolition of The Index of Forbidden Books in no way sanitizes previously banned works, including the Poem. In 1994, Ratzinger's office issued another statement through the apostolic nuncio in Canada reiterating its judgment that Valtorta's works are simply fiction: "These writings cannot be recognized as being of supernatural origin." (The Poem's English edition has been distributed from Canada since 1986 by Editions Paulines of Sherbrooke, Quebec.)

Valtorta's supporters remain adamant. Denying the normal delegation of responsibility within the Church, they will accept nothing less than a personal decision by Pope John Paul II--which he will always be too busy to make.

More than a decade ago, the Medjugorje movement has become entangled in the Valtorta controversy because pilgrimages to the Bosnia site were major vectors for disseminating the Poem. Two of the seers--one of whom is writing her own "inspired" Life of Mary-- have been queried on Our Lady's views of the work and reported a positive response. This reflects an ominous contemporary trend among followers of apparitions to treat mystics as the ultimate arbiters of Catholic belief and practice.

"There is nothing of my own in this work," insisted Valtorta. (I: p. 57) She claimed to be Christ's own secretary, his "Little John," chosen to expand what the Apostle St. John and other evangelists wrote. As Jesus himself explains, the New Testament needs to be supplemented (I: p. 432) because of the evangelists' "unbreakable Jewish frame of mind". Their "flowery and pompous" Hebrew style kept them from writing everything that God wished. (V: p. 947)

The heterodoxy and objective falsity of these statements should have sufficed to discredit the Poem. Not only do the Gospels suffice for our salvation, their language is simple and concrete. At least three of them were composed in Greek, one by an ethnic Greek. Nevertheless, Jesus denounces future critics of the Poem who dare to search for mistakes "in this work of divine bounty." (V: p. 751-52)

The Poem also presumes to "correct" the received text of Scripture. Valtorta's reading of John 2:4 adds a novel "still" to Christ's remark concerning the wine at Cana: thereby making it a comment on their own relationship: "Woman, what is there still between me and you?" (I: pp. 283-84) But her reading has no basis in the Vulgate or in any translation into a modern vernacular from the original Greek. The Poem tries to place itself about the Bible and "Little John" beyond criticism.

Despite claims of originating entirely in heaven, the Poem somehow incorporates legendary material from the Apocrypha (including The Acts of St. Paul and Thecla), The Golden Legend, The Meditations of Pseudo-Bonaventure, the revelations of St. Birgitta, bits of Patristics, and classroom memories. Valtorta is at odds with Mary of Agreda and Anne Catherine Emmerich in chronology, familial relationships, and details of key events such as the Passion and Assumption. For instance, Mary lives and dies in Jerusalem, not Ephesus.

What Valtorta knows about first century Palestine and Jerusalem seems to come from maps and study aids commonly bound in Bibles. Her visuals recall soft, gilt-touched Italian holy cards and her metaphors are monotonously limited to flowers and jewels, with the occasional animal reference. She is amazingly ignorant of local conditions and Jewish customs. Her houses resemble Italian farmhouses with fireplaces, porches, and kitchen gardens. The rich enjoy jasmine pergolas and hedged gardens closed with iron gates. The countryside holds apple orchards (which are always in bloom whatever the season), fields of rye, stands of cactus and agave. People frequently eat apples and drink fresh milk, even honey-water, but wine is scarcely seen. The screwdriver and the iron horseshoe are in use. But none of the above was known in ancient Palestine.

Valtorta acknowledges her confusion about the layout of the Temple, but still erroneously pictures it as having multiple gilded domes, angel-headed capitals, and a choir of maidens. Not only does Jesus have a bar mitzvah, a ceremony which did not yet exist, everything described is false, even to the name of the Bible book he reads as a "test." The name Jehovah, unknown in antiquity, is freely used for God although to speak the Divine Name was a punishable offense among Jews.

Throughout the Poem, Valtorta prefers her visions to the information that historians, archaeologists. and Scripture scholars have uncovered.

But Valtorta's anachronisms are not nearly as objectionable as her distorted characterizations of Jesus and Mary. They are, of course, fair-haired, blue-eyed, and alabaster-skinned quite unlike the swarthy Jews around them. Because a pale complexion signifies holiness, Mary Magdalene and John are also fair while Judas is dark.

Our Lord is a ranting, hypersensitive Mama's boy whose stripped body "looks like a delicate lady." (V: p. 564) (His last word on the Cross is, in fact, "Mother." (V: 620) Jesus must exercise supreme will power to restrain his aversion toward sinful mankind: "My first contacts with the world had sickened and depressed me." (I: p. 432) He would rather touch a corpse than an impure person. "I feel such disgust for lewdness that it upsets me." (I p. 695-96) "... He never laughs." (I: p.282) (italics hers) He also demonstrates his sublime purity to a prostitute by trampling a "lascivious" caterpillar underfoot. (IV: p.785)

Mastering these sensitive feelings, Jesus is ready to provide fresh Paschal blood by breaking off his "magnificent, wholesome, pure virility. (V: p. 390) Openly proclaiming his Divinity and Messiahship, Christ baptizes his Apostles with kisses and preaches every doctrine in the catechism to followers who are already called "Christians," despite Biblical testimony to the contrary.

Mary, whom Jesus calls "the Second-Born of the Father," (I:7) and "second to Peter with regard to ecclesiastical hierarchy" (IV: 240) preens over her unique exemption from "the torture of generating." (I: 115). After the Crucifixion, she rages in morbid hysteria with incestuous overtones (V: 630-59). The grieving Virgin proclaims her hatred of men, who are likened to wolves, snakes, and hyenas. "Man disgusts and frightens me." (V: p. 640) Yet in the next day's dictation Jesus praises the Sorrowful Mother's forbearance and forgiveness (V: 670), evidence that Valtorta really could not recall what she had written.

The Poem titillates with several invented subplots of "delicate" maidens barely escaping the Fate Worse Than Death. Its tasteless moments include Herod trying to tempt captive Jesus with his lascivious African dancing girls who "touch Christ lightly with their nude bodies." (V: p. 562) Despite the homoerotic flavor of Christ s frequent kisses, cuddles, and caresses off his disciples, Valtorta has an almost Gnostic loathing of sexuality. She claims that unfallen humanity would have reproduced asexually. The Primal Sin was Eve s perverse dalliance with the serpent followed by intercourse with Adam. (I: p. 83) Now sexual satisfaction is " bread made with ashes and excrement." (I: p. 665) Jesus absurdly claims that animals mate soberly, only for the sake of offspring. (I: p. 30) Can the Man-God be unfamiliar with male dogs?

But Valtorta s worst fault is her savage anti-Semitism, both religious and racial, that weaves through the entire Poem. Contrasted with Roman soldiers, Valtorta's swarthy, stinking, big-nosed cowards are stereotypes straight out of The Eternal Jew. Jewish corpses are "so many snakes the less." (V: p. 623) The Blessed Virgin rages that Rome was right to fear this "tribe of killers." (V: p. 642). One fictitious Jewish character converts because "the cult of Israel has become Satanism." (V: p. 673) The confrontation between Pilate and the Sanhedrin delegation is an embarrassing exercise in vulgar comedy with Pilate sniffing a flower to ward off the stench of Jews. (V: pp. 557 ff)

Most distressing of all, Valtorta makes Jews Deicides. Aside from Christ s followers, "the whole Jewish people gathering in Jerusalem wanted his death." (V: p. 293). The whole city pours out to jeer at Jesus. The Roman soldiers try to minimize his sufferings, but executioners with the "clear Jewish profile" (V: p. 563) scourge the Savior and nail him up . Christ's plea "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do," is directed at the squabbling thieves, not to his thousands of Jewish persecutors." Therefore, the Risen Christ explains, God has withdrawn from Jewish rites and Judaism is "dead forever." Her rituals are nothing but :gestures that any historian could mime on the stage and amphitheater. (V: p. 831) She scorns Jerusalem as the site where the synagogue received the libel of repudiation from God for its many horrible crimes. (V: p. 869) To have written such things while fires blazed in Auchwitz is sheer obscenity. Valtorta is a one-woman argument for Nostrae aetate, the Vatican II decree that condemned the notion of collective Jewish guilt. These are only a small sample of Valtorta's many and pervasive errors. "Childishness, fantasy, false history and exegesis" make the Poem exactly what an unnamed writer cited by Cardinal Ratzinger said it was: " a monument to pseudo-religiosity." *** The popularity of this deeply evil book says that Catholics can't read what's in front of their eyes if the work has been presented to them as "holy."

 


   
Refer also to
The SSPX's Fr. Kevin Robinson's Promotion of Maria Valtorta and her "Poem of the man-God" - An Exercise in Misguidement, Deception and Cover-up

 http://jloughnan.tripod.com/robins_valtorta.htm

 


 Check Out

See "Annals Australasia's Un-official Home Page


What's New? at Sean Ó Lachtnáin's Home Page
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Maria Valtorta's

"Poem Of The Man-God"

 

Compiled by F. John Loughnan

 

1. Maria Valtorta's "POEM OF THE MAN-GOD"

    "Poem Of The Man-God" Critique By Brother James, S.D.B
    Some ten to fifteen years ago I acquired a forty-eight page document, critical of "Poem", written by a Salesian Brother who was then stationed in San Francisco. The last two paragraphs comprise the comments of his proof-reader, and of Bro. James, S.D.B. himself:

    Proofreader for this critique: 'If I had not promised to proof read this for you, I would have stopped reading . I do not know if I can contain my last meal. Very disturbing! Dangerously blasphemous material. Scary that many persons will believe this. Valtorta's Jesus is homosexual!'

    Bro. James: "I will critique Volume V when it is available. Poem of the Man-God is so demonic that without a special Grace from our Lord Jesus, we would be trapped in seemingly harmless statements by Valtorta's Jesus, but they enclose lies and heresy, contrary to Teachings of our One, Holy, Catholic Church. 'The gates of hell shall not prevail against Me: My Church!'" 1
  1. Unity Publishing commented on some of Brother James' observations:
    Aping
    "The poem refers to a baby as an 'it' on page 23 of book #1, and an angel as an 'it' on page 38. On page 40 Mary asks her mother if it would be right of be a sinner out of love for God, so that God could forgive you. No comment needed. On page 85 Mary claims to have consecrated Herself to virginity. One consecrates oneself to God, one vows virginity. We do not think Mary would make such a theological mistake. On page 89, it is claimed that Adam and Eve had an infinite gift of grace. Only God is infinite in anything positive, and even in the negative (infinitely bad), the negative is controlled by God. On Page 358 Jesus claims that He asks the Father not to lead Him into temptation, as if God could sin.

    On page 128 Mary claimed that Joseph 'never erred' meaning never sinned. Only Mary is without original or actual sin. To give those who never read the 'Poem' an idea of the stupidity, let us quote one passage on page 166:

    'The Child was about to fall asleep. He seemed a little restless, as if He had teething trouble, or some other minor pain of childhood.'
    Mary sings: 'All the sparkling angels - that in Heaven be. Form a wreath around You, innocent Child - enraptured by Your face. But You’re crying for Your Mummy - Mummy, Mummy, Mum. The sky will soon be red - and dawn will soon be back, and Mummy had no rest - to ensure You do not cry ---'

    On pages 196, 197, 201, 202, 204, and 209 it is claimed that Jesus learned from Joseph and Mary. And on pages 309. 310, and 311 He even asks to be taught things. God does not learn from anyone as He states on page 216 of the same book. This contradiction is not as important as the bottom line of the entire set of books. The man made god, as the title indicates, has one primary demonic purpose, to show Christ as an ignorant 'mere human' being as Nestorian believed and was condemned for believing in the Council of Ephesus." 2
  2. Placed On the Index
    "Poem Of The Man-God" was put on the Index of Forbidden Books in 1959 3, being described in L'Osservatore Romano as "a badly fictionalized life of Christ". Furthermore, "Catholics were warned that it was not to be considered as revealed by God, and in fact, under the rules of the Index, no one, not even a priest, could read the volumes without a serious reason (e.g. to refute its errors) and the permission of the bishop or religious superior." (cf. Appendix I).

    Colin B. Donovan, STL (EWTN's resident theologian) points out Cardinal Ratzinger's admonition that the Index (and the warning against "Poem Of The Man-God") retains its moral force and that, in 1993, the same Congregation required the printing of a disclaimer on any future editions to the effect that:

    "clearly indicated from the very first page that the 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in it are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus. They cannot be considered supernatural in origin."
  3. Communique On Private Revelation
    In 1996, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a communique on private revelation (Appendix II below). Specifically directed in respect of the alleged "seer" Vassula Ryden, it contains principles which are applicable to all "private revelations" and, in particular, to "Poem Of The Man-God" AND to Medjugorje:

    "With regard to the spreading of texts of presumed personal revelations, the Congregation makes it clear that:

    1. The interpretation by some people of a decision approved by Paul VI on October 14, 1966, and promulgated on November 15 of the same year, by virtue of which writings and messages coming from presumed revelations might be freely spread within the Church is absolutely not valid. This decision actually referred to the 'Abolition of the Index of Banned Books,' and said that - once relative censures were lifted - the moral obligation in any case not to spread or read those writings which endangered faith and morals still remained.

    2. A reminder, therefore, that for the diffusion of texts of presumed private revelations, the norm of the Code in force, Canon 823, para 1, which gives pastors the right 'to demand that the writings of the faithful which touch faith or morals be submitted to their own judgment before publication', remains valid. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]

    "3. Presumed supernatural revelations and writings which regard them are in the first instance subject to the judgment of the diocesan bishop and, in particular cases, to that of the episcopal conference and the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith." [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
  4. "Seers" Claim The BVM OK'd "Poem"
    In response to the question: "What can you tell me about the book Poem of the Man-God? Has it been condemned by the Church?", the following answer was given:

    "Poem of the Man-God, a multi-volume work of prose written by Maria Valtorta, purports to be a factual account of the life of Christ as revealed by Jesus himself. Interest in the work grew after one of the alleged seers from Medjugorje claimed that the Virgin Mary okayed the reading of the book
    The history of the book leads one to question the credibility of this claim. In 1960 The Poem Of The Man-God, then a four-volume set, was placed on the Index of Forbidden Books. The official Vatican newspaper, L'Osservatore Romano, summarized the findings of the Holy Office in an article titled 'A Life of Jesus Badly Fictionalized.'  When the publishers tried to get around this condemnation the next year by publishing a new ten-volume set, the work again was condemned in the Vatican paper which called it 'a mountain of childishness, of fantasies, and of historical and exegetical falsehoods, diluted in a subtly sensual atmosphere.' 

    In correspondence with "Catholic Answers", the current Apostolic Nuncio, Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan, pointed out that, although the Index was abolished in 1965, it still retains its moral force, and faithful Catholics should heed the reservations and cautions expressed in it." 4

    The following statement was undoubtedly intended to be seen in a good and positive light, but instead, it is an example of the type of deception employed by the "seers", and of the nature of this so-called "gospa":

    "Medjugorje visionary, Vicka Ivankovic, in an interview with an American attorney on Jan. 27, 1988 said: "Our Lady said if a person wants to know Jesus, he should read THE POEM OF THE MAN-GOD by Maria Valtorta. That book is the truth." 5
  5. Critique By Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.
    Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J. states:

    "Maria Valtorta's multi-volume life of Jesus flirts with heresy and exhibits bad taste. Its claims to authenticity have been rejected by Rome..."Poem" purports to fill in the details of Jesus' life left blank by the four Gospels. Such narratives have been produced since the second century A.D.  Some were written by gnostic heretics. Some by New Agers and occultists. And some were produced by pious Christians who made up stories about Jesus to edify readers and listeners...Valtorta claimed that she was the 'secretary' of Jesus and Mary, and was setting down the divinely inspired truth about Jesus' life. The Church has rejected this claim..." 6
    He points to the disobedience and subterfuge of Fr. Berti and that of the ultimate publisher. Then he castigates

    ..."the long speeches of Jesus and Mary"..."Jesus sounds 'like a chatterbox...'...Some of the passages are rather risque,' like the 'immodest' dance before Pilate (Vol. 5, p.73). There are many historical, geographical and other blunders. 'For instance, Jesus uses screwdrivers (Vol. 1, pp.195, 223), centuries before screws existed.'  There are theological errors, as when 'Jesus says' (Vol. 1, p.30) that Eve's temptation consisted in arousing her flesh, as the serpent sensuously 'caressed' her. While she 'began to sin by herself,' she 'accomplished it with her companion.' Sun Myung Moon and Maria Valtorta may claim the first sin was sexual, but Scripture does not."

    "Vol. 1, p.7, oddly claims, 'Mary can be called the 'second-born' of the Father...', [and] Vol. 4, p.240) Mary will 'be second to Peter with regard to ecclesiastical hierarchy...' Our Lady surpasses St Peter's holiness, but she is not in the hierarchy, let alone second to St Peter."

    "Finally, 'Poem' is condemned for reasons of disobedience. Competent Church authority had prohibited the printing of Valtorta's work...Though many people claim that 'Poem' helps their faith or their return to reading Scripture, they are still being disobedient to the Church's decisions regarding reading 'Poem'. How can such disregard for Church authority and wisdom be a help in renewing the Church in these difficult times?" 7
  6. The Maria Valtorta Readers' Group
    Doubtless unaware of the Church's good reasons for placing the work on the Index, the Australian promoter of "Poem of the Man-God" on behalf of "The Maria Valtorta Readers' Group" at Sylvan, Victoria includes these endorsements for the "Poem":
    "This is a wonderful, compact, complete, easily usable and transportable format. The very day I received it, I made good use of it, going through the five volumes for Christmas sermon material." Father K.R., Vic.

    "I've always believed in the Truth of every word of The Poem..." Rose Mary Rhodes, Carlingford. NSW. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]
    Recently one of his brochures was distributed at a Parish Church in the Archdiocese of Melbourne advertising

    "Praying The Rosary - With Maria Valtorta",
    Sunday xrd xxxxxxxx 2000,
    with David Murray, from the Maria Valtorta Readers' Group,
    St xxxxxxxx Community Centre ...,
    11.30am to 4.30pm"
    The brochure goes on to say:
    "...And through these writings, we can gain wonderful insights into the lives of Jesus and Mary, as they were revealed to the 20th century mystic writer Maria Valtorta, and reproduced in that masterly epic...These record more than 700 visions and dictations, which began before the birth of Mary...", and

    "On 26 February 1948, Pope Pius XII said: 'Publish the work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Those who read will understand...'"
    Not only was the brochure made available, but the event was publicized in the official Parish Bulletin! As I had to attend the baptism of my grand-daughter at another Church in the Archdiocese I was unable to attend the event. However, I did arrive at the venue at near 5:00pm to be told that the "retreat" was now finished. Imagine my surprise, however, to learn that "Holy Pictures" of the Medjugorje "gospa" were "For Sale" in the foyer Piety Stall in the church in which my grand-daughter was to be baptized! Little wonder, perhaps, for a veritable "army" of clerics from the Archdiocese have been willing chaplains for the Pilgrimages advertised in the Archdiocesan paper, "Kairos" - notwithstanding requests from the successor of the Apostles in the Mostar diocese, and Cardinal Ratzinger in Rome that pilgrimages not be organised.

    In fact, Bishop Peric's statement of July 21, 1998 in relation to "Private Visits To Unauthentic Apparitions" is attached in its entirety below as "Appendix III". 8

    Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.'s response to the "Pius XII allegation" was:

    "On Feb. 26, 1948, Fathers Migliorini, Berti and A. Cecchin enjoyed a private audience with Pope Pius XII, as listed in L'Osservatore Romano's daily announcement of audiences. Standing in St. Peter's Square after the audience, Father Berti wrote down Pope Pius' words as he remembered them. These words were 'not' printed in L'Osservatore Romano, but Father Berti remembered the Pope saying:

    'Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion about its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not. Who reads it, will understand. One hears of many visions and revelations. I will not say they are all authentic; but there are some of which it could be said that they are.'
    CEDIVAL calls this a 'Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur,' where "he took upon himself to pass the first official judgment on these writings." CEDIVAL glues this inside the cover, though the publisher does not print an imprimatur. The reason: it has none!

    Confident of papal approval, Father Berti brought the books to the Vatican press. However, in 1949, two commissioners of the Holy Office, Msgr. Giovanni Pepe and Father Berruti, O.P., condemned the 'Poem,' ordering Berti to hand over every copy and sign an agreement not to publish it. Father Berti returned the manuscripts to Valtorta and handed over only his typed versions.

      Despite his signed promise, in 1952 Father Berti went to publisher Emiliano Pisani. Though aware of the Holy Office's opposition, Pisani printed the first volume in 1956, and a new volume each year through 1959.

    When volume four appeared, the Holy Office examined the 'Poem' and condemned it, recommending that it be placed on the Index of Forbidden Books Dec. 16, 1959. Pope John XXIII signed the decree and ordered it published. L'Osservatore Romano, on Jan. 6, 1960, printed the condemnation with an accompanying front-page article, 'A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus,' to explain it. [Emphasis added by F.J.L.]

      The article complained that the 'Poem' broke Canon Law. 'Though they treat exclusively of religious issues, these volumes do not have an "imprimatur," which is required by Canon 1385, sect. 1, n. 2.'...

    Pope John's approval of the condemnation of the 'Poem of the Man-God' should have ended the issue, but it did not. The publishers printed a second edition of 10 volumes, which the Church condemned in another front-page article in L'Osservatore Romano, Dec. 1, 1961. This second Italian edition was later translated into German, French, Spanish and English." 9
  7. Finally, on the subject of "Poem Of The Man-God", Unity Publishing produced these criticisms
    "The Poem of the Man-God" has exactly the same objective as Catherine Emmerich's "The Life of Christ" except that instead of four large volumes it is fifteen large volumes. Every reason for the one work is found in the other work. The layouts of the two works are the same. But one thing is very, very different. Everything in "The Poem of the Man-God" contradicts "The Life of Christ". Both cannot be from God. One has to be inspired by Satan in order to diffuse and confuse the other.

    These two writings are so opposite to each other that the title is very appropriate. Christ is God made man [God-Man]; not man made God [Man-God]. Man-God is heresy.

    The Seer
    Maria Valtoria was born on March 14, 1897 [123 years after Catherine Emmerich]. She and her mother did not get along. Her mother spoiled two marriage attempts by Maria, and in Maria's own description was oppressive and irreligious. Maria did not do well in school [failing in mathematics], but was a gifted writer. She started her writings the year her mother died in 1943 and continued them everyday until her death in 1961. In eighteen years she wrote fifteen thousand pages--15,000.

    No miracles happened during her life. No heroic virtue can be found. No unusual sanctity has been observed. No signature of God can be found.

    Idle Conversation
    The first, most glaring thing we noticed in reading "The Poem of the Man-God" is the conversation of Christ and Mary. When you read the Bible, you can not help but notice that every single word of Christ has great meaning for the salvation of souls. Never did He speak a single word of "idle conversation". In fact, Scripture and Doctrine call "idle conversation" a sin of omission and sloth. Father Mirch Pacwa, S.J.said the books make Jesus and Mary sound like chatterboxes.

    We were unable to find anything that was worthy of quoting. Several of our friends that we use to test books found that they could not even hold their concentration on them for over five minutes.

    Contradictions
    Every page contradicts the works of Emmerich, and in some cases the meaning of the Bible, itself. Over ten seers have given the date of Mary's birth as September 8th. But Maria gives a date of August 24th. None of the day to day life of Christ's childhood resemble anything like that of Catherine. The impression one receives in these writings is that Christ does not know anything, since He is always asking questions about people's lives, or their reasons for doing things. This is a Nestorian and Arian heresy. Although Jesus was totally man, with the intellect of man, He also always had the infused knowledge of Christ [His Divinity]. He does not call the publican down out of the tree by name without a divine knowledge.

    The Christ of the "Poem" also fails to correct the sins of His followers in many cases. This is a sin for us, why not for Him? To admonish the sinner?

    The "Poem" also states that Christ was nailed in the wrist on one hand and in the hand on the other. This does not agree with Emmerich or Neumann as we pointed out. God does not contradict God in anything.

    Sense of God
    This is not very scientific, but worth a comment. Whenever we read the Bible, the lives of the saints, or true messages from Heaven, we feel the power of the words as if grace pours out of them. There are no such feelings in reading "The Poem of the Man-God".

    The Poem of the Man-God is not worthy of comment if it were not for the fact that one of the largest Catholic Book Chains, The Daughters of St. Paul, "Pauline Books" chose to take out the works of Catherine Emmerich and put in its place this abortion of the word of God. We wonder why they had to remove the word "Catholic" from the name of their book stores. No, we do not wonder. We know!

    Blunders
    The use of "screwdrivers" (Book 1 pp. 195, 223) is the blunder of blunders for a book said to be dictated by Jesus and Mary. Screws were not even invented at the time of Christ.

    Theological Errors
    Book 1 pp. 7 claims Mary can be called the second-born of the Father. Christ was not born. He was begotten from all eternity. There is a big difference. Mary was conceived in the mind of the Father from all eternity, but She was born in the normal manner. She cannot be called the second-born. Page 30 claims Eve’s temptation consisted in arousing her sexual desires as the serpent sensuously caressed her. Eve’s sin was not sexual. It was pride leading to editing the commandments of God, and then to disobedience. Concupiscence is the result, not the cause. Valtorta calls Mary second to Peter with regards to ecclesiastical hierarchy in Book 4, pp. 240. The hierarchy of the Church are servants of Jesus and Mary. Mary could never be a servant, and therefore, could never be in the hierarchy.

    Condemned By Rome
    Father Romuald Migliorini, O.S.M. typed Valtorta’s hand written manuscripts. Father Corrado Berti brought then to Father Augustin Bea, spiritual director of Pope Pius XII, and later Cardinal. Father Bea said that he did not find any errors in the parts that he read. From this Father Berti went out into the world claiming that Pope Pius XII gave "Supreme Pontifical Imprimatur". How much truth is there to this? First, a "nihil obstat" is required before any Imprimatur. Second, an Imprimatur must be in writing. Third, an Imprimatur must be re-issued for every language used. And fourth, in less then a year, 1949, Rome condemned the books, and ordered Father Berti to give up every copy he had and to sign an agreement not to publish. In spite of his signed promise, Father Berti published the books.

    Again on December 16, 1959 the books were placed on the Index of Forbidden Books signed by Pope John XXII. L'Osservatore Romano printed the condemnation on January 6, 1960 with the heading, "A Badly Fictionalized Life of Jesus".

    Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, head of the Sacred Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, in answer to questions, again reminded the world that the "Poem" has always been condemned. He went on to say in 1985:

    "After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, they were reminded again in L’Osservatore Romano (June 15, 1966) that ‘The Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution."
    In 1993 Cardinal Ratzinger said the books cannot be considered supernatural in origin. He said that the best that could be said of them is that they were a badly fictionalized life of Jesus.

    Caritas of Birmingham, the American promoters of "The Poem" wrote a pleading letter to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 1992 [more on that later]. Cardinal Ratzinger felt that the bishop of Birmingham, Alabama should answer the letter, and in 1993 Bishop Raymond J. Boland restated that they cannot be considered supernatural in origin."

    Rome condemned the books in 1949, 1959, 1960,1985, twice in 1993. What more do people want?

    Index of Forbidden Books
    Before we look into the publisher of the "Poem", something must be said about the "Index" and the fact that it was dissolved. In the Catholic Directory published by the Daughters of Saint Paul, it states that although the index has been dissolved it is not necessary that a book be listed in the Index to be forbidden. In goes on to list twelve classes of publications that are forbidden by general law.

    Class #5 states: "Books on visions and other supernatural phenomena published without approval." In Class #6 "Books that attack Catholic dogma or the hierarchy or defend errors condemned by the Holy See." Class #11 states, "Books propagating false indulgences." Class #12 lists, "Printed images of Our Lord, the Blessed Virgin, the angels, saints, or other servants of God."

    It must be noted that the Index was not done away with because it is no longer needed. It was forced to dissolve because of the invention of the computer, and the change from thousands of books to millions of books. There was and is no way Rome can keep up with the proliferation of Religious material today.

    It must also be stated that the decree of December 29, 1966 by Pope Paul VI (abrogating Canons 1399 and 2318) only applies to private revelation that has not yet received a declaration of the Church.

    The same applies to the decree of Pope Urban VIII. Pope Urban stated "if it proves to be false". How is it proved to be false unless we believe that the Church has the power to bind and loose? If we do not believe the Church can condemn and it be binding, how can it be proved to be false? But just before the new year of 1997 Rome made it very clear:

    The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
    November 1996
    II. Regarding the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, the Congregation states:

    1. The Interpretation given by some individuals to a Decision approved by Paul VI on 14 October 1966 and promulgated on 15 November of that year, in virtue of which writings and messages resulting from alleged revelations could be freely circulated in the Church, is absolutely groundless. This decision actually referred to the "abolition of the Index of Forbidden Books" and determined that --- after the relevant censures were lifted --- the moral obligation still remained of not circulating or reading those writings which endanger faith and morals. 2. It should be recalled however that with regard to the circulation of texts of alleged private revelations, canon 623 #1 of the current Code remains in force: "the Pastors of the Church have the … right to demand that writings to be published by the Christian faithful which touch upon faith or morals be submitted to their judgement". 3. Alleged supernatural revelations and writings concerning them are submitted in first instance to the judgement of the diocesan Bishop, and , in particular cases, to the judgement of the Episcopal Conference and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
    CARITAS OF BIRMINGHAM
    Caritas is a community. It is also the publisher of the "Poem" and is located right next to Mother Angelica’s EWTN radio and television broadcasting stations. They also have an information center in Medjugorje called "Caritas". Since there also is an arm of the Vatican called "Caritas" used to give food and relief to areas in need, many think that Caritas is part of the Vatican. It is not. It was founded by a millionaire, who went to Medjugorje and came back to found a community of believers and to promote the "Poem". He has his own airplane and makes trips to Medjugorje at his slightest whim. The community prays in the field everyday, in spite of the fact that a Church is right across the street. This is because one of the seers of Medjugorje has a vision on that spot. It seems the "spot" is more holy than the Body and Blood of Christ in the Church across the street. According to one of our researchers, who was at one time high up in the New Age Movement, "Caritas" is reaping in New Age theology. She spent a great deal of time with them, and has a report to be printed soon. Terry Colafrancesco of "Caritas" wrote to Cardinal Ratzinger on July 21, 2000. We have a copy of this letter. The reason we have a copy is that he published the letter.

    In his letter he claims to be a community in the making and to have a mailing list of over 100,000 people in the USA alone not counting 65 foreign countries. "Our work", he writes, "is the implementation of Our Lady’s plan given in Medjugorje." After five condemnations of the "Poem", he states his reason for writing is the "gray area", since "I am a close, personal friend of Marije Pavlovic, one of the visionaries in Medjugorje, and there is no question that she spoke to Our Lady and asked Her if one could read the Poem of the Man God. Our Lady answered that it was acceptable to read. Marija’s statement cannot be ignored."

    In other words, there is a gray area because the Church condemned a book that "Our Lady" recommends. How could the Cardinal, responsible for the protection of the faith of the entire world go against the wishes of Our Lady? Or another way of putting it is, "Let us put our faith in private revelation and not in the teaching authority of the Church".

    Cardinal Ratzinger did not think the letter worthy of a personal response, since "Caritas" was under the theological jurisdiction of the Bishop of Birmingham. It is Bishop Boland’s responsibility to see to it that his children keep the faith and obey the Church. However, his letter of response was so ambiguous and stupid that it caused more confusion than help. He left "Caritas" the impression that if they did not claim any supernatural influence in the "Poem" it could be sold as simply the imagination of the writer, and therefore outside the jurisdiction of the Church. This is fine, if you overlook that fact that the book states on every page, "Jesus said = Jesus told me - Mary said - Mary told me that, etc." Even if these references were removed, everyone knows private revelation is claimed. They continue to publish the books as they were written. 10

  


  

Does Blessed Mother Recommend A Book Church Placed on Index?

 

(Reprinted from the Wanderer Newspaper)


      One of the hottest-selling books in Catholic stores today is Maria Valtorta's multivolume Poem of the Man-God, a book placed on the Church's Index of Forbidden Books in 1961, and condemned as recently as 1985 by Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger, Prefect of the Vatican's Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith.
      "It's one of our biggest-selling books," Terry Colafrancesco told The Wanderer.
      Colafrancesco, director of Caritas of Birmingham, a major promoter of Medjugorje messages, tours, and books, is only one of many distributors of the book in the United States, and says he has sold 5,000 to 10,000 copies of the multivolume set in the past year.
      "It's so hard to get good spiritual direction in the Church today, because of the crisis," he said. "These books give tremendous insights into Scripture . . . It is like a pastor reading the Gospel, and then explaining it. People find the spiritual direction they need that they aren't getting in church."
      But Cardinal Ratzinger, former and current Apostolic Nuncio Archbishops Pio Laghi and Agostino Cacciavillan, and a host of other ecclesiastics take a contrary stand. In their view, the book is condemned and dangerous.
      Cardinal Ratzinger, in a letter dated Jan. 31st, 1985, written in response to the request of Genoa's Giuseppe Cardinal Siri on the book's status, recalled L'Osservatore Romano's judgment that it was "a badly fictionalized life of Jesus."
      The Cardinal-Prefect added: "After the dissolution of the Index, when some people thought the printing and distribution of the work was permitted, people were reminded again in L'Osservatore Romano (June 15th, 1966) that, as was published in the Acta Apostolicae Sedis (1966), the Index retains its moral force despite its dissolution. A decision against distributing and recommending a work, which had not been condemned lightly, may be reversed, but only after profound changes that neutralize the harm which such a publication could bring forth among the ordinary faithful."
      The book has been described as a "second-rate soap opera," a bawdy, at times, obscene life of Jesus, who is depicted as a wise man who utters such word as, "Smell flowers; do not pick them," while He approves of stepping on caterpillars because they have a "lascivious sensuality."
Moreover, He is a Savior unsure of who He is, looking to His disciples - whom He loves to kiss on their lips - for leadership.

Mental Sickness

      Printed in four (or ten) volumes, Poem of the Man-God is not a poem, but poorly written prose, filled with imagined conversations between Jesus, Mary, Joseph, and the Apostles that can be, most charitably, described as banal.
      As L 'Osservatore Romano declared, the work belongs in the "category of mental sickness," and that it is a "heap of pseudo- irreligiosity," "a mountain of childishness, of fantasies, and of historical and exegetical falsehoods, diluted in a subtly sensual atmosphere".
      But the book is selling like hotcakes, because it is part of the Medjugorje phenomenon, promoted among Medjugorje enthusiasts as endorsed by the Blessed Virgin Mary herself.
According to Colafrancesco, many Catholics are reading the book as a source for meditation when they make visits to the Blessed Sacrament.
      He said interest in the book was "sparked" when Marija Pavlovic, one of the Medjugorje seers, asked the Virgin Mary - at the request of a seminarian friend - if it was okay to read the book.
      In Colafrancesco's recollection, Mary said, "One could read it."
      "If you consider that every word the Virgin Mary says has meaning, then you know what a strong statement that was," he said.
      Colafrancesco is aware of the documentation circulating around the world which affirms that the book is still condemned, and the prohibition against Catholics reading it is in force, but disregards it.
      He insists that under Canon Law, Catholics have the right to read the book, and that Cardinal Ratzinger "is taking advice from people who want Satan to destroy the Church.
"What's happening to these books is terribly unjust," he said.

The Growing Controversy

      The Poem of the Man-God received a major boost during a broadcast interview on Mother Angelica's EWTN cable network, which aired an interview with Medjugorje seer Marija Pavlovic conducted by retired New Orleans Archbishop Philip Hannan, an enthusiastic propagandist for the Medjugorje messages.
      Hannan, in fact, in a recent fundraising letter sent to members of the Archdiocese of New Orleans, cited his program's promotion of the Medjugorje messages as a key reason why Catholics should support public station WLAE.
      On March 4th, on the Archbishop's Focus program, a viewer from Milwaukee asked Marija, on the air, "What exactly did our Lady say regarding the Poem of the Man-God?'
Marija responded that our Lady told her, "You can read it," and expressed an immediate afterthought.
      "I have heard now that there are problems with this," she said," looking nervously over to Archbishop Hannan, who simply accepted the outrageous claim that our Lady would contradict the judgment of the Holy See, and changed the subject.
      The Wanderer attempted to contact Archbishop Hannan to ask him about the apparent conflict between the Vatican and the Blessed Mother on what books Catholics should read, but he was not available for comment.
      His secretary of 20-plus years, Emily Kulchyski, who works with the Archbishop at the television station, WLAE-32, doing research for him and typing his commentaries, did talk, however.
      Kulchyski is now reading the fifth volume of the Poem, and believes Valtorta's work "is absolutely fantastic, completely engrossing, and totally edifying." She admits that it led her "to read Scripture in a new light," and dismissed the notion the book should not be read because it was on the Index.
      "There is no Index anymore," said the Archbishop's secretary, "and besides the Virgin told us that, 'It is good reading'."
      Kulchyski also explained why the Archbishop could not respond to Pavlovic's answer. "I think he felt he was not prepared to answer the question that night," she told The Wanderer.
Curiously, however, she added in the next breath, "We had received numerous questions from people around the country who had heard that Marija was going to be on his program, and who wanted him (the Archbishop) to ask the seer that question. But he felt it would not be appropriate to ask the question because that was not what most people wanted to hear from the seer."

Seven Reasons Not To Read It

      While the Archbishop's secretary and thousands of other Catholics continue reading Poem of the Man-God, and encourage others to do likewise, there are 7 reasons the Holy Office (consultors were Fr. Augustin Bea, S.J., and Fr. Garrigou-Lagrange, O.P.) condemned the book:
      1.) The book contains a fraudulent imprimatur, allegedly bestowed by Pope Pius XII, and has no legitimate imprimatur, which it must have.
      2.) The Jesus and Mary are in stark contrast to the Gospels. "Jesus speaks the maximum like a chatterbox, always ready to proclaim Himself the Messiah and the Son of God, or to share lessons in theology with the same terms used by a modern professor . . . (and) the Most Holy Virgin speaks as abundantly as a modern propagandist."
      3.) "Some passages are rather risque and record some descriptions and some scenes like modern novels . . . the reading of such passages as those quoted, only with difficulty could be finished without danger of spiritual damage.
      4.) There are "many historical, geographical, and other blunders.
      5.) There are numerous theological errors in the book, beginning with what "Jesus says about Eve's sin."
      6.) "The work would have merited a condemnation . . . if nothing else, for reasons of irreverence."
      7.) The authoress claims revelation, and the Church decided it was not revelation.

What Catholics Read

      There are hundreds of examples justifying the condemnation of this Poem, but three examples are sufficient to illustrate how Jesus and Mary talk, offered with the caveat that this is blasphemous material.
      After the 18-line description of the scourging of Jesus before His crucifixion, Valtorta's Jesus "says":
      "They would not believe that I was the Messiah, but did not want to kill me, in case I were . . . The world, after an incubation of perverted ideas, explodes now and again in such displays of perversion. Like a huge pregnant woman, the crowd, after nourishing its monster in its womb with doctrines of wild beasts, gives birth to it so it may devour" (vol. V, p. 569).
      After the crucifixion, and Jesus is taken down from the cross. Mary says, "Leave Him in my lap. If I succeed in warming Him up, He will rise sooner.
      A few lines later, she reveals, "As far as I, His Mother, am concerned, He is nothing but a big boy who is tired and sleeping . . . Prepare the way for His return. I am sending you. I, whom Maternity makes the Priestess of the Rite. Go. I said that I do not want it. Do not think that I will let you put it on Him. It will be easier for Him to rise if He is free from those funeral useless bandages" (vol. V, p. 634).
      After Jesus "revealed" to Valtorta how He rose from the dead, He explained how the marks were made on the Shroud of Turin:
      "My kidneys, almost crushed by the scourges, were no longer able to work. Like those of people burned by fire, they were unable to filter, and urea accumulated and spread in my blood, in my body, bringing about the sufferings of uraemic intoxification and the reagent that oozed out of my corpse and fixed the impression on the cloth . . . anyone suffering from uremia, will realize what suffering the uremic toxins cause me" (vol. V, p. 669).
      In Valtorta's fantasy, the Apostle Peter is continually rebuked by Jesus, and repeatedly warned not to judge people.
In one passage, Jesus exclaims to Peter, "You are an awful bore. You are worse than a boy."
      In other passages, Peter is rebuked, "Peter, Peter, you are a big old baby," and is called "a snake." With the other Apostles, he is compared to "pubescent girls."
In one particularly violent passage. Jesus calls to Peter, "Come here, you usurper and corrupter," and accuses him, saying, "You have corrupted my Mother."

Final Notice

      The current Apostolic Nuncio and his predecessor have received numerous requests from both laity and clergy on the prohibition on Poem of the Man-God, and in one recent response, Archbishop Agostino Cacciavillan observed that "faithful Catholics would still heed the reservation and caution expressed" in the Index of Forbidden Books dated Jan. 5th, 1960.
      Still, the question remains: Why is such a book still "selling like hotcakes" in Catholic bookstores?

by Paul Likoudis

 

 

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 Catholic Truth Publications/TAN Books and Publishers, Inc.
Last edited August 30, 2001

 

 

 


 

 

Catholic Planet

www.catholicplanet.com

Claims of Private Revelation: True or False?
An Evaluation of the messages of Maria Valtorta and her Poem of the Man-God

http://www.catholicplanet.com/apparitions/false10.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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