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Position of the Church
In order to discover the Catholic Church's true position on "The Poem of the Man-God" (also known as "The Gospel as Revealed to Me" in the latest edition), it is necessary to begin at the highest authority in Rome, and work our way down to lesser authorities. Thus, we shall proceed in the following manner, in order of authority;

  1. The Pope
  2. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith (Holy Office)
  3. Other notable statements (L'Osservatore Romano)


1. The Pope
The pope is the highest authority in the Catholic Church, having universal jurisdiction by virtue of his office as Vicar of Christ. He "has full, supreme, and universal power over the whole Church, a power which he can always exercise unhindered." (Catechism, 882). What is more, his authority is especially suited for matters of private revelation, fitting squarely under the umbrella of "faith and morals". As Pope Leo X stated; "When it is a question of prophetic revelations, the Pope is the sole judge!"  There is no man on earth who is singularly protected by the Holy Spirit as is the pope. Bishops, Cardinals, and Curial offices, no matter how authoritative they may be, do not hold the keys to the Kingdom. When it comes to matters of faith and morals, only the pope is protected from teaching error by the Holy Spirit, above every bishop and cardinal in the world combined (not even an Ecumenical Council is valid unless the pope recognizes it as such).

Catechism of the Catholic Church, 883
"The college or body of bishops has no authority unless united with the Roman Pontiff, Peter's successor, as its head."

First Vatican Council, Session IV, Chp. IV, p.IX
"If anyone says that the Roman Pontiff has merely an office of supervision and guidance, and not the full and supreme power of jurisdiction over the whole Church, and this not only in matters of faith and morals, but also in those which concern the discipline and government of the Church dispersed throughout the whole world; or that he has only the principal part, but not the absolute fullness, of this supreme power; or that this power of his is not ordinary and immediate both over all and each of the Churches and over all and each of the pastors and faithful: let him be anathema."

With that said, let us now examine exclusively the actions of the popes on this matter, apart from the Holy Office;

[1948] Pope Pius XII: Granted permission to "publish the work as is". This is by far the most explicit and unambiguous statement coming from a pope on this matter. This statement is, in fact, monumental. It far outweighs anything that lesser authorities in the Church have said on the matter. In fact, even if all the bishops and priests in the entire world rose up and condemned the Poem with one voice, it would still not compare to a single word of the pope. This is how much authority this statement by has. And not surprisingly, it is also the most avidly attacked by critics, who continually attempt to minimize its credibility, notwithstanding the three church officials who testified as witnesses. In the United States, only two eye witnesses are necessary to convict someone of murder. Yet critics demand even greater proof by rejecting the testimony of three. We might then ask, if three eye witnesses are not enough for critics, then what is? Five? Eight? How many eye witnesses must there be to appease critics? Evidently, no number would suffice.

[1959] Pope John XXIII: The decree placing the Poem on the Index passes the desk of the pope. This action is more ambiguous than the one previously noted for three reasons; 1) Pope John XXIII never read the Poem. He merely signed the decree that passed his desk by the Holy Office; a mere formality, devoid of weighed reflection (whereas Pius XII spent a year reviewing the Poem), 2) the same Cardinal responsible for obtaining the signature of John XXIII, was also responsible for the condemnation of Saint Faustina's diary (also listed on the Index), and ban Padre Pio. 3) As noted below, this action provoked an immediate response by his successor, Pope Paul VI.

[1966] Pope Paul VI: Just a few years after the Poem was placed on the Index, Pope Paul VI suppresses the Index, and abolishes Canon 1385 (This law required all private revelations to first have an imprimatur before publishing. This was the legal precedent used to ban the Poem, according to the letter in L'Osservatore Romano). This action is very compelling, especially considering its timing. Did pope Pope Paul VI abolish the Index because the Poem was on it? We cannot say for certain. Whatever the case may be, it was evident that the Index was an utter failure at this point, and thus needed to be suppressed.

[1974] Pope Paul VI: After reading the Poem and adding a copy to his seminary library in Milan, Paul VI writes a letter of appreciation to the author of a book about the Poem.

[1994] Pope John Paul II: Beatifies an outspoken supporter of Maria Valtorta, Venerable Fr. Gabrielle Allegra.

[-------] Pope Benedict XVI: pending...

Thus we now know the mind of the Church, by simply knowing the mind of the popes. And we can do so without having to examine any other statements, decrees, or actions of lesser authorities (although for arguments sake, we will do so). This is something that we as laity often have difficulty with. Where there are men, there will always be the potential for human error, politics, and corruption of doctrine. But where there is the pope, there resides a divine promise from Christ Himself, Who in the same breadth assured that not even the gates of hell will prevail against. And if we need proof of this, it suffices to refer to the lives of saints such as Padre Pio and Saint Faustina, both of whom were condemned by the Holy Office, and both of whom were vindicated by popes. And this note has been echoed throughout history on many occasions. When the worlds bishops accepted contraception, it was the pope who stood up as the single voice of truth condemning it. When the bishops of the world tolerated the slave trade, it was the popes who spoke out against it. And the same can be said of the Holocaust, the Spanish Inquisitions, the Crusades, and so on.

It is also worthy to note that, among the thousands of apparitions throughout history, very few have received the attention of a pope. 2 In fact, most alleged apparitions are not investigated beyond the jurisdiction of the local ordinary—if they are ever investigated at all. Fewer still are investigated by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith. Thus, for an alleged apparition to be given direct recognition by a pope is almost unprecedented. All things considered, one may conclude that to grant unequivocal authority to the Holy Office’s temporary inclusion on a suppressed Index, would not be in keeping faithful to the facts of history in light of the teachings of the Church.


2. Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith
Let us assume for arguments sake, that the reader is still not convinced; that everything we have said above is contestable, and thus inconclusive. In this case, we must then turn to the second highest authority in the Church (herein termed the CDF), to discover the definitive position of the Church on the Poem.

Since there have been multiple statements from the CDF through the years, how do we determine which statement is the most definitive? The first an most obvious method, would be to begin with the most recent statements, and work our way backwards in time. Naturally, since the Holy Office has refined its position over the years, it makes sense to defer to more recent statements in order to discover its most current position on the matter.

Thus we shall start with the most recent statement we have from the CDF, a letter written 1992, which it stated the following;

"In the light of the recent recurrence [sic] of interest in the work, the Congregation has come to the conclusion that a further clarification to the "Notes" previously issued is now in order. Thus it has directed a particular request to the Italian Bishops' Conference to contact the publishing house which is concerned with the distribution of the writings in Italy in order to see to it that in any future reissue of the work "it might be clearly indicated from the very first page that the 'visions' and 'dictations' referred to in it are simply the literary forms used by the author to narrate in her own way the life of Jesus. They cannot be considered supernatural in origin." [full text in Appendix II]

The implications of the above statement are monumental. What is veiled behind a negative sounding wording, is actually a complete reversal of the CDF's previous prohibition. Implicit in the above statement is full permission to freely publish, promote, and distribute the Poem, so long as it is not promoted at supernatural in origin. The is a great leap forward from 30 years prior. This means that laity and priests can in good conscience read the Poem, promote the Poem, and distribute the Poem, without the fear of being censored. No longer can critics say; "The CDF forbids you!"

For a complete analysis of the above statement by the Holy Office, please see timeline; [1992]

3. L'Osservatore Romano
L'Osservatore Romano ("The Roman Observer") is the Vatican’s newspaper, which operates as an independent entity within the Vatican. In 1960, it published an anonymous letter next to the official condemnation from the Holy Office. This letter has been often quoted by critics, and so we have devoted an entire section on this website to its examination (see; A Critical Analysis of the Letter of Condemnation)


1. Research by David J. Webster M.Div. 2004 [link] [source]
2. Maria Valtorta and Her Epic Narrative [link]