I Need Help with Poem of the Man-God


#1

If anybody can help me with this difficult issue it would be much appreciated. I am no theologian and this is the only place I thought to turn.

A group I know in my diocese is promoting a work called the “Poem of the Man-God.” I researched and read parts of it, discovering it was placed in the Index, condemned by the CDF, (Ratzinger himself did it.) However, the group I am dealing with, continues to promote this work. They claim, in a short summary because I do not have the time to quote everything right now, though I will if people respond and ask for quotation, they claim that the Bishops of today have failed to realize that the Poem is divine revelation. They claim it is an error to say that “private revelations” do not need to be believed, but the Poem is supposed to be public, it should be believed. Also, they would claim the Poem to be of “post Apolstolic revelation.”

I need help.


#2

[quote=Atanatar]If anybody can help me with this difficult issue it would be much appreciated. I am no theologian and this is the only place I thought to turn.

A group I know in my diocese is promoting a work called the “Poem of the Man-God.” I researched and read parts of it, discovering it was placed in the Index, condemned by the CDF, (Ratzinger himself did it.) However, the group I am dealing with, continues to promote this work. They claim, in a short summary because I do not have the time to quote everything right now, though I will if people respond and ask for quotation, they claim that the Bishops of today have failed to realize that the Poem is divine revelation. They claim it is an error to say that “private revelations” do not need to be believed, but the Poem is supposed to be public, it should be believed. Also, they would claim the Poem to be of “post Apolstolic revelation.”

I need help.
[/quote]

I think that first you should read the article by Fr. Mitch Pacwa located on EWTN’s document library

ewtn.com/library/SCRIPTUR/VALTORTA.TXT

Second it would be profittable to read the Catholic Answers section on Proving Inspiration found here:

catholic.com/library/Proving_Inspiration.asp

and use negative deduction to prove to them that the poem does not fulfill the requirements for revelation. I would also cite Trent in its canons concerning revelation.


#3

[quote=Atanatar]If anybody can help me with this difficult issue it would be much appreciated. I am no theologian and this is the only place I thought to turn.

A group I know in my diocese is promoting a work called the “Poem of the Man-God.” I researched and read parts of it, discovering it was placed in the Index, condemned by the CDF, (Ratzinger himself did it.) However, the group I am dealing with, continues to promote this work. They claim, in a short summary because I do not have the time to quote everything right now, though I will if people respond and ask for quotation, they claim that the Bishops of today have failed to realize that the Poem is divine revelation. They claim it is an error to say that “private revelations” do not need to be believed, but the Poem is supposed to be public, it should be believed. Also, they would claim the Poem to be of “post Apolstolic revelation.”

I need help.
[/quote]

How are you “dealing” with this? Anybody who claims to have a private divine revelation in conflict with Catholic doctrine is off the edge of the earth.

You know that.

If you are part of this group: LEAVE.


#4

[quote=Atanatar]If anybody can help me with this difficult issue it would be much appreciated. I am no theologian and this is the only place I thought to turn.

A group I know in my diocese is promoting a work called the “Poem of the Man-God.” I researched and read parts of it, discovering it was placed in the Index, condemned by the CDF, (Ratzinger himself did it.) However, the group I am dealing with, continues to promote this work. They claim, in a short summary because I do not have the time to quote everything right now, though I will if people respond and ask for quotation, they claim that the Bishops of today have failed to realize that the Poem is divine revelation. They claim it is an error to say that “private revelations” do not need to be believed, but the Poem is supposed to be public, it should be believed. Also, they would claim the Poem to be of “post Apolstolic revelation.”

I need help.
[/quote]

There is no such thing as “Post-apostolic Revelation” The idea of such is Heresy. At best it would be Private Revelation that has been rejected by the Church.


#5

[quote=Atanatar] they claim that the Bishops of today have failed to realize that the Poem is divine revelation. They claim it is an error to say that “private revelations” do not need to be believed, but the Poem is supposed to be public, it should be believed. Also, they would claim the Poem to be of “post Apolstolic revelation.”

I need help.
[/quote]

The help you ask for is not the help needed. Stick to the basics and remember that the Church alone defines what is authorized private revelation, and the public revelation ended with the canon of Sacred Scripture. Your group has not authority in this matter. Making up a name like “post Apostolic revelation” does not give this work any weight.

If this book is problematic (and it is) then your “group” is down right dangerous.


#6

[quote=Atanatar]A group I know in my diocese
[/quote]

Perhaps they shouldn’t be in any diocese if they choose to dismiss Church authority

[quote=Atanatar]they claim that the Bishops of today have failed to realize that the Poem is divine revelation.
[/quote]

It’s a good thing that the Holy Spirit has inspired these wonderful people to make judgements on faith and morals. Too bad he couldn’t have done that for our Church leaders, eh.


#7

From the Catechism:

There will be no further Revelation

66 "The Christian economy, therefore, since it is the new and definitive Covenant, will never pass away; and no new public revelation is to be expected before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ."28 Yet even if Revelation is already complete, it has not been made completely explicit; it remains for Christian faith gradually to grasp its full significance over the course of the centuries.

67 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 whatever constitutes an 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 certain recent sects which base themselves on such “revelations”.

scborromeo.org/ccc/p1s1c2a1.htm#66

From Dei Verbum:

The Christian dispensation, therefore, as the new and definitive covenant, will never pass away and we now await no further new public revelation before the glorious manifestation of our Lord Jesus Christ (see 1 Tim. 6:14 and Tit. 2:13).

vatican.va/archive/hist_councils/ii_vatican_council/documents/vat-ii_const_19651118_dei-verbum_en.html%between%


#8

From: This Rock, March 1994, Quick Questions:
(source: catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9403qq.asp )

Q: What can you tell me about the book Poem of the Man-God? Has it been condemned by the Church?

A: 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.


#9

[quote=JimG]From: This Rock, March 1994, Quick Questions:
(source: catholic.com/thisrock/1994/9403qq.asp )

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.

[/quote]

Unfortunately, those who put writings on the index are not infallible and have made some bad errors in the past.
If they had been able to point out specific errors in the work, then they may have had some credibility. But they just make ad hominem attacks, so to speak, and they expect everyone to accept those attacks as solid evidence against the work. It seems they don’t like the Poem of the Man-God because it is too Catholic and many have converted because of it.

One wonders why the introductions to the the Gospels in the New American Bible are NOT put on the index, when everyone knows they contradict the POPE’S teachings on determining authorship of the books of the bible AND they violate the teachings of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, when it had authority from the Pope and thus was infallible on those decisions.
Those introductions are allowed to stand by certain bishops and theologians because they seem to discredit the Catholic faith.

I have learned from many years of investigations that ONLY the Popes and those few bishops in union with the Poped don’t teach error and can be trusted.
Theologians and scripture scholars, such as the ones who put the Poem on the index are the source of all heresies in Christianity and have never been infallible. They are totally untrustworthy. Only the Popes have never taught heresy and have been totally trustworthy in their teachings for all Christians.


#10

Someone left a copy of this book in the adoration chapel, and I have to confess that I did read parts of it. I could only concur with L’Osservatore Romano that it is a piece of bad historical fiction. See this article for a fuller discussion of the book.


#11

[quote=JimG]Someone left a copy of this book in the adoration chapel, and I have to confess that I did read parts of it. I could only concur with L’Osservatore Romano that it is a piece of bad historical fiction. See this article for a fuller discussion of the book.
[/quote]

I love Father Pacwa, but there are some errors in this piece he wrote.
First he said “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.”

The Holy Office rejected this claim. There is no teaching of the Church that rejected this claim. The Holy Office has been wrong many times before. The Church is never wrong in her teachings.
He wrote,
" 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."
Pope John XXIII once ordered St. Padre Pio not to say mass publically for a number of years. Later on he admitted he had been misled.
Popes are infallible when then teach for the whole Church. Not in administrative matters. In these cases they are often misled.
Think of Pope John Paul II who desired more than anything to appoint holy orthodox priests to become bishops. But in the early years of his pontificate he was totally misled by some advisors and he appointed the opposite, dissident, disobedient bishops.
Father Pacwa, in his article constantly makes the claim that “The Church” condems the work. The members of the Holy Office can only speak for themselves. While it was in effect, we must obey the index. Since it is no longer in effect, we should obey it if the reasons for putting the Poem on the index were sufficient. But so far they have found nothing in it that contradicts Church teaching, but it certainly does enlighten Church teaching. Try reading it.
On the other hand for a number of years Pope Pius X made the Holy Office’s TEACHINGS mandatory, in two official letters. These were the teachings of the Pontifical Biblical Commission. It is MANDATORY that these teachings be held by all Catholics. These teachings hold fast to apostolic and historical tradition and reaffirm that the four Gospels in the bible were authentic, that is they were written authors assigned to them, that is, Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. The introductions to the New American Bible, on these authors violates and contradicts MANDATORY CHURCH TEACHING. Especially the introduction to John’s Gospel, in which it denies that John wrote that Gospel.
Why are these introductions NOT removed? Why does Father Pacwa not bring up the fact that these introductions contradict Church teachings. These introductions are far more wide spread than the Poem of the Man-God. These introductions contradict historical tradition, contradict scientific methods for deteming authorship and contradict the MANDATORY decisions of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, which by orders of the Pope, ALL Catholics must agree to. They also contradict the teaching of Pope Pius XII in Proventissimus Deus, in which he makes it clear that in determing the books of the bible we must go by the witness of history, external evidence. He said we must reject internal evidence as almost useless. Thus these introductions contradict Church teachings twice, once for the Pontifical Biblical Commission and once against the Pope’s encyclical.
What teaching of the Church does the Poem of the Man-God contradict? NONE. Then why is it on the index??
Because it increases the faith of Catholics who read it.
Why are the introductions to the Gospels in the New American Bible NOT removed? Because they decrease the faith of Catholics who read them.

 I repeat again.  ONLY when the  Popes teach are they  infallible and only those few bishops who teach in union with the Pope's are infallible.  The administrative decisions of theologians have always had errors, from those who condemned the writing of Copernicus, Galileo, etc. 

The introductions of the Gospels of the New American bible contradict CHURCH TEACHINGS. Why are they not removed??

The Poem of the Man-God contradicts NO CHURCH TEACHING. It is NOT on any index today.
When it was placed on the index it was not because it contradicted any Church teaching. Thus it never had any moral force for placing it on the index.


#12

Here are some testamonies:

Fr. Dreyfus, of the French Biblical and Archeological School, Jerusalem (1986)
"I was greatly impressed on finding in Maria Valtorta’s work the names of at least six or seven towns, which are absent from the Old and New Testaments. These names are known but to a few specialists, and through non-biblical sources… …] Now, how could she have known these names, if not through the revelations she claims that she had?"
John Haffert, author, (1995)
"I have the 10 volumes of The Poem of the Men-God in Italian and French. It is the most wonderful work I have ever read and I consider it a blessing of God. I’m in my seventies. And in my entire life, among all the books I’ve read, The Poem of the Man-God is the one that has done me the most good in my spiritual life."
Msgr. Ugo Lattanzi, dean of the Faculty of Theology of the Lateran Pontifical University, adviser to the Holy Office (1951)
“The author could not have written such an abundant amount of material without being under the influence of a supernatural power.”

Here are many more testamonies:
valtorta.org/the_poem_of_the_man_god_reviews_and_critiques.asp


#13

CRITIQUE: “POEM OF THE MAN-GOD”

MEDJUGORJE’S GOSPEL

Maria Valtorta, 1897-1961
Volumes I, II, III, and IV

**A CRITICAL ANALYSIS OF THE FOUR VOLUMES
Written c.1988 by Brother James, S.D.B.
Salesian of Saint John Bosco
Saints Peter and Paul Church
650 Filbert Street, San Francisco, California. 94133.

With a few added comments from
Fr. Mitch Pacwa, S.J.,[1] Rick Salbato of Unity Publishing,[2] and F. John Loughnan.[3]

Apart from red and blue hilighting, emphasis is as in the original
obtained by F. John Loughnan about 10-15 years ago.
This copy compiled Feb. 20, 2001.**

jloughnan.tripod.com/critique.htm


#14

I picked up a copy of the book when I learned that the aparition at Medjugorje endorsed it. I put it down when I got to the part that stated Eve’s original sin was having sex with the serpent. Now I don’t trust the aparition.

It seems like many of these “private revelations” encourage disloyalty to Church teaching among the revelations’ enthusiasts. No one need look any further than dcdurel’s postings on this thread to see what I mean. In an interview with one of the now adult seers from Medjugorje, he was asked that if the Church determined if the aparition was a demonic deception, who would he believe: the Church or the aparition. He said that he and the other seers would not believe the Church. It is this type of rebellion agianst the Church that I did not want to get caught up in by being taken in by others’ private revelations.

I found it quite telling that dcdurel would claim that only popes teach infallibly when it comes to endorsing the Poem of the Man-God, and therefore bishops should not be heeded, but then failed to realize that then-Cardinal Ratzinger, himself, was the one who banned the book in the first place. Dcdurel might say that at the time Cardinal Ratzinger was just a bishop who was among the many bishops not teaching “in union with the Pope.”

Would dcdurel be convinced if now-Pope Benedict XVI reaffirmed his decision? My guess is that dcdurel would find a way to rationalize away any such reaffirmation. This would be consistent with someone who would actually argue that “the administrative decisions of theologians have always had errors, from those who condemned the writing of Copernicus, Galileo, etc.” For his information, Copernicus was not rejected, but upheld by then-Church scientists, not theologians, over Galileo given that Copernicus’s evidence for geocentrism was stronger than Galileo’s evidence for heliocentrism at the time. Besides that, Galileo was arrested not for his theories, but for disobeying the Pope’s request to withhold public promulgation of his teachings until he could produce further evidence for his theories. Dcdurel seems to have an aversion for factual argumentation.

Since Pope Benedict XVI has not recanted his decision, then I am morally bound to stand by him and reject the Poem of the Man-God as nothing more than a satanic lie designed to split the laity from its shepherds.

One final note: since I stopped placing my faith in aparitions and private revelations, and instead placed my faith in the sacraments, the bible and the magisterium, my love for Christ has and continues to grow daily.

Mike


#15

I have thrown away “Poem” - I bought it on sale at a bookstore years ago without knowing the controversy surrounding it.
If this group persists - the problem should be discussed with the priest or the bishop.

It is not true that Mary allegedly “approved” this book at Medjugorje.
When the question was posed by one of the visionaries, she allegedly responded “you may read it”.

Of course…all of us “may” read many things - including books on the index - as long as we understand what represents true catholic teaching and what does not.
I “may” read the Poem if I want to for various reasons - as long as I understand it does not represent Divine Revelatuion or true Catholic teaching.

So the alleged response “you may read it” falls short of a supposed “approval” IMHO


#16

I have read a book called How to Change Your Husband that quotes heavily from that book. It was written by “A Friend of Medjugorie”. It was a little bizarre, but I was inclined to give it
some credence, although little red flags kept coming up in my
head. Supposedly, the Blessed Mother makes comments about marriage and how a wife should behave toward her husband. It is quite convincing in some ways. It just seemed a little “over the top”. I have heard some negative things about Medjugorie, and
people do act strangely when you question it. I’m beginning to see some problems.


#17

I have read some of this work though not all of it, and I don’t have an opinion as to its validity one way or another.

I just want to share this with you all bardstown.com/~brchrys/Imprmatur.htm

Does anyone know if the Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur said to be given by Bishop Roman Danylak is valid, or a hoax?

Someone whose opinion I value says it is real, others I have talked to who condemn the work, ignore it and only talk about it having been on the Index before it was abolished.

Does anyone have legitimate information on this (with sources), as opposed to opinions?


#18

Bishop Roman Danylak

Titular Bishop of Nyssa

Parrocchia degli Ss. Sergio e Bacco

Piazza della adonna dei Monti, 3 00184 Roma Italia

points out why the the work was placed on the index
M. Pisani published the first volumes of Valtorta’s Life of Christ, the Poem of the Man-God, without the approval of the local bishop. Zealous ecclesiastics brought this to the attention of their superiors. The*** Poem of the Man-God*** was placed on the index of forbidden books, not because of doctrinal errors, but because it was printed without the required nihil obstat and imprimatur.

Then he writes.
“The big issue is this**:** “Is there anything against faith or morals in her writings?” All her critics begrudgingly have acknowledged that there is nothing against faith and morals. The old Index of Forbidden Books has been abolished. Yet allegedly Catholic theologians, priests, Catholic websites, newspapers and even radio programs insist on bringing out old skeletons, the original condemnation of the Congregation for Doctrine of the Faith in 1958. Not only is this bad scholarship**;** it is outright immoral and sinful to continue to level their accusing fingers at this gift of heaven and God’s faithful servant and victim soul, Maria Valtorta.”

My note:
Notice what the bishop says. The Poem was NOT placed on the index because of doctrinal errors, yet critics continue to insinuate that it was. Then they try to associate those works placed on the index because of doctrinal error with the Poem of the Man-God and say this work should not be read because the index still holds a moral implication.
.
Shame, shame. They know good and well it was NOT placed on the index because of doctrinal error, yet they continue to insinuate that it was.

In addition the bishop writes:
Cardinal Ratzinger in private letters has acknowledged that this work is free from errors in doctrine or morals. The Conference of Italian Bishops has acknowledged the same in its correspondence with the current editor, Dr. Emilio Pisani.


#19

dcdural wrote:
**

[size=4]Bishop Roman Danylak

[/size]

Titular Bishop of Nyssa

Parrocchia degli Ss. Sergio e Bacco

Piazza della adonna dei Monti, 3 00184 Roma Italia
etc.

Bishop Roman Danylak promotes ALL sorts of weird alledged (but un-approved) mystical phenomena - such as Maria Valtorta’s “Poem of the man-God”, Julia Kim and Naju, Medjugorge, Garabandal, Sadie Jaramillo, Carol Ameche, etc.

e.g. Sadie Jaramillo see sign.org/index.phtml?p=news&story=1046

Julia Kim/Naju see ourlady.ca/events/ete3flyer.htm

Garabandal see ourlady.ca/about/bishopletr2.htm
where, despite the affirmation of eight (8) local Ordinaries that there is nothing supernatural about Garabandal - and the declatation by the present Bishop of Santander (in which is located Garabandal) that the matter is “terminado” = FINISHED/ TERMINATED! - this Bishop Danylak, who has NO authority to made authorative statements in any bishop’s diocese - interferes, AND pretends to give Imprimaturs which have no worth whatsoever - for only the local bishop possesses the “charism of discernment” over any alleged mystical phenomena in his diocese!

As for “Poem of the man-God” see mary-modelofchurch.net/Fidelity.htm on the matter of “Catholic Insight”

See also Rick Salbato’s article on “Priests That Follow Apparitions” at unitypublishing.com/NewReligiousMovements/AreTheyPriests.html

.

**


#20

Bishop Roman Danylak is a retired Ukranian Rite Bishop of Toronto. He has a strong opinion in favor of Maria Valtorta’s “revelations,” but the arguments he uses are less than convincing. The target of the Bishop’s letter, is the answer of late EWTN Q&A expert, Dr. Bilton, to a question on Maria Valtorta. It reads as follows:

"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.”

See also EWTN FAQ on Poem of the Man-God, as well as Is the Poem of the Man-God Simply a Bad Novel?, by Fr. Mitch Pacwa.

ewtn.com/vexperts/showresult.asp?RecNum=445440&Forums=0&Experts=0&Days=2005&Author=&Keyword=poem+of+the+Man+God&pgnu=1&groupnum=0&record_bookmark=1&ORDER_BY_TXT=ORDER+BY+ReplyDate+DESC&start_at=


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