A Response to Father John Flader on Maria Valtorta
By a Father Kevin Robinson
Dear Fr. Flader,
Please accept another point of view regarding the Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta.
1. As to the Vatican mistake of placing the first edition on the Index, this was corrected when the second edition was presented to the Holy Office in 1962. Then Pope Paul placed the whole set into his seminarians library.
Pope Benedict has allowed the work to be published according to Bishop Roman Danylak, who gave the English edition his full imprimatur. From his website:
In 1947, Fr. Migliorini, OSM, together with Valtorta's future theological censor, Fr. Conrad Berti, OSM, his confrere in the Servites of Mary, succeeded in having the first complete Italian typescript of The Poem of the Man-God submitted to the then reigning Pope Pius XII, for his evaluation. After personally reading the Work and acquainting himself with Valtorta's Visions and Dictations, Pius XII granted a special audience to both Fathers Migliorini and Berti and their Prior, Father Andrew M. Cecchin, OSM, on February 26, 1948. At that audience, he directed them to publish the Work without omitting anything, not even the explicit assertions reporting "Visions" and "Dictations":
Publish this work as it is. There is no need to give an opinion on its origin, whether it be extraordinary or not: whoever reads it will understand.
[These days] we hear of so many visions and revelations. I am not saying that all of them would be true, but there can be some of them that are authentic.
Because of its obvious importance as an endorsement of the authenticity of Valtorta's Work by the Supreme Head of the Church, recent critics of the Poem now attempt to impugn this Papal audience as a "fabrication" of its promotional literature. The fact that the Pope did grant this audience, however, is historically documented. Indeed, no less a personage than Edouard Cardinal Gagnon, writing to the Maria Valtorta Research Center from the Vatican on October 31, 1987, referred to Pope Pius XII's action as: "the kind of official Imprimatur granted before witnesses by the Holy Father in 1948."
As a result of this "Official Imprimatur" of the Supreme Authority of the Church, Fr. Conrad Berti and Valtorta's publisher, Emilio Pisani, felt authorized to bring out the first Italian edition of her Poem of the Man-God in four volumes from 1956-1959. However this was done as an anonymous work at Valtorta's request, and without the theological annotations of later editions to clarify ambiguous passages. It was perhaps for these reasons that in 1959, the Holy Office, apparently ignorant of the Official Imprimatur granted earlier by Pius XII, thus invalidly placed the Poem on the former Index of Forbidden Books. This was in effect to overturn the hierarchical structure of the Church, while at the same time violating Canon Law which outlaws any such reversal of a decision of the Supreme Head of the Church by a subsidiary Vatican Congregation, or even by appeal to an Ecumenical Council.
This censure was perhaps due also to the Holy Office's ignorance of the favorable impressions made by Valtorta's Poem on Cardinal Joseph Pizzardo, Secretary of the Sacred Congregation of the Holy Office, and expressed by him in a spirit of affection and of friendship to Father Conrad Berti. However, the Cardinal Secretary's favorable views were apparently never communicated to his subordinates or their successors in the Holy Office.
Archbishop George Pearce said that he could not imagine anybody with an open mind who read Valtorta, who did not think that Valtorta's work was inspired by God.
His carefully nuanced statement does not literally say that Catholics are required to believe Valtorta's work is of Divine origin, but he strongly suggests that it must be of supernatural origin.
This is quite a significant statement by one of the successors of the Apostles, in full communion with the Roman Catholic Church. Catholics believe bishops have the charism of teaching authority.
Msgr. Michelini had locutions from Jesus Who said: "In a regenerated Church, Valtorta will have wide acclaim."
2. The objections of fact or history are totally mistaken.
Here you have research showing the most amazing accuracy in her 4,000 page Masterpiece:
That Maria Valtorta’s revelations are literally packed with strikingly accurate descriptions of first century Palestine reveals that what she saw was the very life and ministry of our Lord. This would mean that The Poem is not the product of mere pious imagination as seems at least partly true with other revelations of biblical persons and times.
Over thirty percent or79 (all entries marked with * and **) of the 255 geographical sites in Palestine mentioned in the Poem were not listed in the 1939 International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) Atlas. 62 (all **) of these 79 were not even listed in the 184 page Macmillan Bible Atlas (MBA) published in 1968. Where did Maria Valtorta get all these names? For a first century eye-witness to include so many obscure and unknown names would, of course, be expected. And most surprising is that these names, obscure and unknown in the 1940’s, are being proven authentic. 52 of these 62 have no biblical reference whatever and 17 of these with no biblical reference have been either indirectly confirmed as authentic by recent "ancient external sources" found in the Macmillan Bible Atlas (1968) or actually listed in the HarperCollins Atlas of the Bible (1989). This makes a total of 29 confirmations since the 1939 ISBE atlas listing. Also among those 62 sites are mentioned the ruins of 6 ancient Palestinian cities some corresponding to the modern consensus on location. In addition, Valtorta’s precise descriptions of the natural topography of Palestine from numerous locations and the information about the outside pagan world of that day, including people, places, customs, Greek and Roman mythology, related in the conversations of that day, are strikingly correct. Along with this material you will find refutation to the foolish charges by enemies of this work that apples were not grown in Palestine and that Maria Valtorta could not have seen screw drivers on Joseph’s bench!
Screwdrivers - MV sees what she believes to be screwdrivers among Joseph’s tools. I,195,223; IV,119. [The Pythagorean philosopher Archytas of Tarentum (5th century BC) is the alleged inventor of the screw. Screws came into common use around the 1st century BC. These were the wooden screws that were used in wine presses, olive oil presses and for pressing clothes.
3. As to reports (also in the unsigned Vatican newapaper of 1960), about doctrinal or moral abberations in the POEM, recall that 2 years later the Holy Office allowed the work to be published, St. Padre Pio recommended it, and countless souls both learned and simple who have read it affirm the perfect doctrinal and moral purity of the Work. It is a major corrective to Modernistic Scripture "scholarship", and a way for priests especially to correct deviations in their formation.
As to Mary's words at the scene of Calvary, read the context and you will the expressive sorrowful love which uses metaphor and hyperbole to show her great love. It is both beautiful and fitting.
Please let the faithful know of the riches of this work. I have read it four times and nothing so helps with both the spiritual life and the sacred ministry.
God bless you in your work for His Love.
Yours sincerely in Christ,
Rev. Fr. Kevin Robinson
St. Ignatius Retreat House
209 Tackora Trail
Ridgefield CT 06877 USA
Tel 1(203) 431 0201
The written testimony of Archbishop George Pearce indicates that an open mind will find Maria's work inspired by the Holy Spirit. The written testimony of Bishop Roman Danylak, S.T.L., J.U.D., confirms Pius XII's directive that it is good pasturage for the faithful. As bishops multiply in their endorsement of Maria's writings, it is clear that faith in her writings is more of divine rather than simply human origin. Archbishop Soosa Pakiam M. of Trivandrum, India, granted an Imprimatur for the Malayalam translation of POEM OF THE MAN-GOD in 1992. Archbishop Alfonso Carinci, Secretary of the Vatican Curia's Congregation for the Sacred Rites, endorsed Maria's Life of Jesus in 1946. That is 5 successors of the Apostles, including a Pope, that have endorsed Maria Valtorta's work with their charism of Magisterial teaching authority. "Guided by the Magisterium of the Church, the sensus fidelium knows how to discern and welcome in these revelations whatever constitutes an authentic call of Christ or His saints to the Church." Catechism of the Catholic Church #67, Revised 1997.
St John of the Cross, a Doctor of the Church, said to distrust all "private revelation", but like light coming through a window, it will have the good effect, God desires, even if you mistrust it. Jesus said to Maria: "You know more than the Great John (the Apostle). O My worshipping crucified one, this is what I wanted to give you by virtue of your long suffering: perfect, complete knowledge of Us, as Saints and Doctors (of the Church) did not possess it." Although Maria's writings are prophetic revelation, there are no "new" doctrines different from the tradition of the Roman Catholic Church. On several pages, Jesus appeals for the unity of all Christians under the pope. Maria's writings, properly used, can be a spur to ecumenical unity. The term "private revelation" is a non-scriptural term. The Bible only speaks of true or false prophecy.
St John of the Cross' advice is superceded by Pope Pius XII who privately (no cardinal as witness) said: "Publish this work (Il Poema dell'Uomo-Dio) as it is; there is no need to say whether it is of supernatural origin, who reads it will understand." Feb. 26, 1948. Pius XII's cautious approval of the work fits in with Jesus' plan, Who told Maria that He wanted the work to spread like leaven throughout the Church, and that He did not want an open & noisy diffusion of it at that time even to the point of concealing her name as the author while she was alive.
file:///C:/Documents and Settings/Owner/My Documents/My Pictures/tombstoneMariaValtorta.JPG
Crypt of the Basilica of Our Lady's Assumption in Florence. The servant of God will one day be canonized.
|Crypt of the Basilica of Our Lady's Assumption in Florence. The servant of God will one day be canonized.|