By Davide Bianchini
There are some Medjugorje followers who seem to want to deny any connection between Medjugorje and “The Poem of the Man-God” (by Maria Valtorta), likely due to the fact that it was once included on the Catholic Church’s Index of Forbidden Books.
To anyone who has not studied the history of this b
ook, it may seem justified to harbor such reserve and caution with regard to it. After all, what more compelling sound-byte is there (in an age where sound-bytes govern our culture and media, rather than thorough scholarship) than; “It was on the Index of Forbidden Books. Stay away.”?\
It would not be an exaggeration to say that this “one-liner”–this single sentence alone–has discouraged thousands, if not millions of people, from reading this book. And yet, any serious scholar of Maria Valtorta will agree that it is only a half-truth; one which does not reflect the Church’s true position with regard to this book.
It cannot be denied that the visionaries of Medjugorje have explicitly stated, on numerous occasions, that Our Lady not only permits the reading of this work, but also encourages people to read it if they want to know Jesus (see evidence below).
And yet despite this, some Medjugorje followers continue to refuse to acknowledge the evidence. Well-intentioned though they may be, they nonetheless do a disservice to the apparitions and to Our Lady for their persistent denial of this truth (It should be no surprise that the greatest lies are those mixed with a little truth). Was the Poem listed on the Index of Forbidden books? Yes.
But what we fail to hear, is that it was only the first edition that was placed on the Index, and for reasons of a legal stipulation (Canon 1385), which required all private revelations to have an Imprimatur prior to publishing. What critics also fail to mention, is that in 1966, Pope Paul VI not only suppressed Canon 1385, but also abolished the Index of Forbidden Books altogether.
What is also glossed over, is the fact that the Holy Office later gave the publishers permission to freely distribute the second edition of the book. Nor do we hear about the fact that Pope Pius XII explicitly gave permission for the book to be published and read. It is also never mentioned that Saint Faustina’s diary was also included on the aforementioned Index, as was Alexander Dumas’ “Three Musketeers” and ” Count of Monte Cristo”, or Galileo’s writings on celestial bodies. Nor was it mentioned that the same Cardinal that was responsible for all this, was also the one who banned Padre Pio for exercising his priestly faculties.
All this and much more could be said in defense of this book. But rather than provide a lengthy rebuttal to the many misconceptions surrounding this work (and why the faithful may, in fact, read it in good conscience), it should suffice to refer our readers to a webpage which has already done the work for us; www.maria-valtorta.net. For those who would like to investigate further, we believe that this website provides a good starting point. Here is also a website with links to additional websites of study; www.mariavaltortawebring.com. And finally, we will also provide a link to the publisher’s website, which provides 1,000 free pages of the book online, for those who would like to review the work directly; valtorta.org.
Vicka: “They are true. Yes, yes, true. Authentic, yes. You can read these, they are true.”
(listen to audio recording here)Marija: “You can read it.” (EWTN Interview, March 4, 1992, Archbishop Hannan Focus program)
Vicka: “Yes. The Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta, ten volumes. Our Lady says The Poem of the Man-God is the truth. Our Lady said if a person wants to know Jesus he should read Poem of the Man-God by Maria Valtorta. That book is the truth.” (Interview with Attorney Jan Connell of the Pittsburgh Center for Peace on January 27, 1988, image1, image2)
Marija: “Our Lady says The Poem of the Man-God is the truth.” [cf. R. Laurentin, Dernieres Nouvelles de Medjugorje No 15, OEIL, 1996, p. 19]
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