Colin B. Donovan
(The following is an exert from the below linked article)
"Before responding to Mr. Donovan's article, this author would like to note from outset his respect for Colin as a competent apologist and theologian, perhaps the brightest EWTN offers. As an apologist, it is his job to "know a little about a lot", in order to provide concise answers to a broad range of inquiries. This author does not claim to be an apologist, but one advantage afforded to me is the luxury of time; to know a lot about one thing only; this topic. And the more I examined Mr. Donovan's arguments, the more I realized the crux of what led Colin to his conclusions, that is; a poor english translation of certain Church documents (more to come on this below). With that said, let us know examine Mr. Donovan's article;"
The read the full text from the above quoted response, please visit the following link;
Response to Colin B. Donovan (full text)
Fr. Benedict Groeschel & Mark Slatter
In his book; "A Still Small Voice", Father Groeschel comments briefly on Maria Valtorta, describing The Poem as a work reflective of "a mind of keen intelligence and genuine literary skill, as well as deep religious devotion." It is encouraging to see that Fr. Groeschel is able to recognize the high literary caliber of The Poem (unlike many critics repeating the anonymous "mountain of childishness" remark). And yet, in the very next paragraph, we read the following;
"Recall that Maria Valtorta is described in the Preface (of "The Poem of the Man-God") as having spent the last decade of her life in a state similar to catatonic schizophrenia"
"...The Preface of the Poem actually reads that she became withdrawn and went into: "psychological isolation", starting in 1956 (note that Maria Valtorta died in 1961). Groeschel’s math is considerably off; that’s 5 years, not 10 ("the last decade"). Fr. Groeschel makes a very generalized reference to the Preface, amplifying the interpretation of the symptoms "psychological isolation" into "a state similar to catatonic schizophrenia", presumably to paint a converse picture to what the author imparted... [SNIP] ... Father Groeschel essentially took the liberty of making a highly exaggerated prognosis from two words in the Preface (just as he inflated the years, by doubling them). ...[SNIP]... It gives the appearance of a series of uncharitable attempts to tarnish the reputation of a Holy person."
To read the complete text of the above quoted response, please see the following website;
Rebuttal to Father Benedict Groeschel (complete text).
We might also point out; it should not be surprising that the elderly become senile during the last few years of their lives. Why Fr. Groeschel felt it necessary to mention her mental deterioration from 1956 until her death in 1961, reveals, if anything, how far people must go to "dig up dirt" on this visionary (which Fr. Mitch Pacwa also resorts to doing). Maria Valtorta wrote the Poem in the 1940's. It wasn't until 1956, in her old age, that she started to show signs mental deterioration. What relevance does this have to something she wrote a decade prior? Furthermore, if physical suffering is the common lot of all aged people before their death, how much more is it for saintly souls, who are more acquainted with suffering than the average layman? If anything, her suffering is a further testiment to her holiness---as it is virtually a prerequisite for all authentic visionaries. In fact, it would be more of a sign of a false visionary if they DID NOT suffer, than if they did, as the more that a person is gifted with visions and supernatural gifts, the more they will suffer in life.
There is another serious error in Fr. Groeschel's book that we would be remiss for not mentioning here. In the footnotes, Fr. Groeschel misquotes Cardinal Ratzinger, and artibutes to him the oft-quoted "moutain of childishness" statement, which of course he never said. As Fr. Groeschel writes; "Although the Index has been abrogated, Cardinal Ratzinger, writing of the Poem in a letter to Cardinal Siri...said the following...", and proceeds to quote the full statement from the anonymous article from L'Osservatore Romano (the independently operated newspaper company located in the Vatican). Given this glaring error in a published book that readers pressume to be trustworthy, as well as those mentioned previously, we cannot regard Fr. Groeschel's book as a reliable source of thorough scholarship.
We also invite our readers to examine the complete text of preface at the following link;
Preface of the Poem of the Man-God.
Fr. Mitch Pacwa
Among the handful of articles circulating on the internet written by critics of the Poem, perhaps the most often quoted is an article written by Fr. Mitch Pacwa, entitled; “Is the Poem of the Man-God simply a Bad Novel?”. In it, Fr. Pacwa posits a series of arguments against the Poem, which, on the surface, appear very compelling. However, upon further research, one readily discovers that these arguments do not stand up to scrutiny.
Since his article has already been sufficiently rebutted, there is little reason to repeat what has already been written. It should suffice to reference the rebuttals (see links above), should the reader be interested in further investigation.
Response to Father Mitch Pacwa [original link]
by; Jonathan A. Baker
Response to Father Mitch Pacwa