JCL Thesis: The Current Juridic and Moral Value of the Index of Forbidden Books (with Maria Valtorta Case Study)
Fr. Anthony Pillari published a JCL thesis for the Faculty of Canon Law of St. Paul University entitled “The Current Juridic and Moral Value of the Index of Forbidden Books”. This thesis gives the history of the Index of Forbidden Books, explains the current juridic and moral status of the Index of Forbidden Books after its abrogation by Pope Paul VI in 1966, and includes a case study analyzing and explaining the canonical status of the major work of Maria Valtorta. The Maria Valtorta case study demonstrates that when a person chooses to read, publish, or promote Maria Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God (now entitled The Gospel as Revealed to Me), there is no violation of ecclesiastical law. It also analyzes the relevant letters of Cardinal Ratzinger, Bishop Tettamanzi, Bishop Kindukulam, and Bishop Danylak, and shows that a Catholic may express belief in the supernatural origin of Valtorta’s work and promote it as such without being in violation of ecclesiastical law or being guilty of any form of disobedience. Fr. Pillari’s thesis also details the admiration that three beatified persons have publicly expressed concerning Valtorta’s work (including Blessed Allegra’s belief in its supernatural origin) and that their beatification invites Catholics to respect and share their opinion concerning Valtorta’s work, even in some ways above the private opinions of Church officials who have not been raised to the level of beatification. Of special significance in this thesis is the inclusion of a signed testimonial letter of Fr. Leo Maasburg, National Director of the Pontifical Mission Societies in Austria and a close associate of Mother Teresa of Calcutta (canonized in 2016). Fr. Maasburg’s testimonial relates that Mother Teresa carried Maria Valtorta’s The Poem of the Man-God with her in her travels, read this work, and recommended him to also read it.
The above JCL thesis can be download in PDF format here.