and Exposing the Methodological and Theological Errors of Anselmo de la Cruz:
A Summary of the Refutation of Anselmo's Flawed Anti-Valtorta Article
Entitled “Errors against the Faith in the Work of Maria Valtorta”
Theological Errors and Incompetency, Methodological Flaws, Distortions and Misrepresentations, Lack of Objectivity, and Ignorance on the Subject
He is Writing About: How Anselmo de la Cruz’s Anti-Valtorta Article Lacks Substance and Credibility and Stands Completely Refuted
By Stephen Austin, January 2016Please Note: This present article is just a succinct summary/overview of the full refutation of Anselmo's article. The full refutation can be viewed here. This article is also available in Spanish. The purpose of this summary is to provide a shorter article for those who want it. Even though this article is shorter, I still provide a Table of Contents so that you can jump to whatever refutation topic you want to view:
Anselmo wrote, “The author assures us that divine Revelation continues and that she is the one who continues it.” This is a falsehood and Anselmo fails to provide any quotations that demonstrate she ever claimed her revelations were anything other than a private revelation. Valtorta never affirms her work is a canonical book or part of Public Revelation. In fact, in one of her dictations, she explicitly states that her work is not nor should be considered a canonical book (The Notebooks: 1945-1950. January 28, 1947. pp. 336-337). Rather, it is a private revelation in the same line of other authentic mystics of historical scenes such as Venerable Mary of Agreda, Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich, St. Bridget of Sweden, Therese Neumann, etc. In fact, world-renowned Mariologist and pre-Vatican II Consultor to the Holy Office, Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M., called her one of the eighteen greatest female mystics of all time in the preface of his 395-page Mariological study of her writings.
Anselmo affirms a falsehood regarding Maria’s nickname (discussed in the full refutation). Anselmo affirms a falsehood that Valtorta espouses dogmatic evolution. Not only does he fail to provide any reference or quote to objectively and validly prove this, but this claim contradicts the already established studies of many orthodox theologians far more learned than Anselmo who have affirmed the contrary.
Anselmo writes, “It is against Church teaching to assert that Revelation may continue through other ‘prophets’ or be explained differently from what has already been defined dogmatically.” The above statement is true. Luckily for Valtorta supporters, they need not worry that Valtorta’s writings assert a continuation of Public Revelation or explain things differently than defined dogmas because none of her writings do. Therefore, the above concern doesn’t apply to Valtorta’s writings anymore than to the imprimatured Mystical City of God and Anselmo has yet to validly and objectively demonstrate how Valtorta’s writings affirm they are a continuation of Public Revelation or teach anything differently than defined dogmas. Because Anselmo (and no other Valtorta critic) has been able to (and can’t), that may be the reason why he often fails to provide any direct quotations or volume and page number references for his claims and why he distorts, misinterprets, and misrepresents the few quotations that he actually does use in his articles.
Anselmo makes several arguments with premises and a conclusion. In all of these cases, his concluding sentence does not follow from the premises. In one instance, Anselmo employs the dishonest tactic of false dilemma (a.k.a. the fallacy of the false alternative). This, and all of these false arguments, are refuted in the full refutation.
Anselmo writes, “Thus, not only are we given the impression that something is missing from Revelation and is rectified by Valtorta’s revelation, but also that this announcement comes from the mouth of Christ himself.”
Actually, what Anselmo wrote above is a falsehood. Valtorta never affirmed that Public Revelation isn’t what God intended or is imperfect. For something to be “missing from Revelation” would imply that Public Revelation is incomplete or imperfect. Her writings do not affirm or “give the impression” of that. Rather, her writings affirm and give the impression that Public Revelation is as God intended it to be (including the canonized Gospels), and that due to natural causes and supernatural Will, God intended the canonized Gospels to be as short and “bare-bones” (if you will) as they were/are, but that, in His unparalleled generosity, God is revealing in a non-canonical private revelation additional details. I encourage humble, honest, open-minded Catholics to thank God rather than fall into a pharisaical, close-minded, ill-disposed mindset, which disposes one to not want to be “confused with the facts” or properly research things and reject one of God’s greatest gifts to our generation.
So, in short, if, in reading Valtorta’s writings, Anselmo was “given the impression that something is missing from Revelation and is rectified by Valtorta’s revelation,” then it is his misinterpretation of her writings and he is reading things into her writings that are not there. Such incorrect reading into things is typical for those who are trying to look for faults and who either (1) lack critical reading skills or (2) lack honesty.
To try to demonstrate his false thesis, in Anselmo’s quote of an excerpt from the last chapter of Valtorta’s work, he cut-and-pasted the original quote and omitted significant relevant parts. I want to bring to my reader’s attention to the fact that several of the parts Anselmo omitted in his quote (which I show in my full refutation) are among the most essential parts of this original excerpt for understanding the topic Anselmo was discussing. In fact, these omitted parts are a direct affront to Anselmo’s erroneous thesis and show why Anselmo’s thesis/argument lacks credibility and substance. In other words, if I was Anselmo, and I wanted to mislead my readers by omitting relevant parts of a quotation to try to twist the quotation to say something I want it to say to try to make it agree with my own subjective erroneous interpretation, I couldn’t have done a better job than Anselmo did. However, I prefer to be thorough and honest in my argumentation and in my quoting of texts under review and I would assume that my readers would expect the same level of honesty, thoroughness, and integrity.
Anselmo writes, “It is true that someone can claim to be enlightened by God and assure us that she is speaking to Christ himself and that these are revealed things. What is inadmissible is for heresies and extravagant things to be accepted by persons learned in religious matters and, I repeat, by priests who should know Church teaching.” It would be inadmissible for heresies to be accepted by theologians and priests. Thankfully, this is not an issue with Valtorta’s writings since Anselmo and other Valtorta critics have yet to validly and objectively demonstrate a single valid objective heresy or error against faith or morals in them. As a matter of fact, the truth is that the article by Anselmo entitled “Errors against the Faith in the Work of Maria Valtorta” presents so many irregularities that it is difficult to understand how it can be accepted in Catholic milieus, including traditionalist ones. Because of the theological errors and methodological flaws it contains – and other adjoining negative aspects – I do not understand how it could be accepted by traditional Catholic media outlets, such as Tradition in Action.
Anselmo’s argument about the footnotes in the Spanish edition tries to discredit Valtorta’s arguments via the fallacy of the false alternative. This is thoroughly refuted and analyzed in my full refutation.
1. A short excerpt from Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D. (Doctor of Sacred Theology) on this objection
2. A short excerpt from an article which discusses this objection
3. Most importantly, an excerpt from Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M. (world-renowned Mariologist), who wrote in detail about this concept in his 395-page Mariological study of Valtorta’s writings
Dr. Mark Miravalle, S.T.D., responds (notice how, among other things, he refutes Anselmo’s claim that the Church never gave her this title or prerogative):1
Yet a further objection of alleged doctrinal error is the reference found in The Poem that Mary is a "second-born of the Father" after Jesus, the Father's first born. Far from constituting doctrinal error, this mariological position was first posited by the Eastern Church author, John the Geometer, in the tenth century. This remains an acceptable mariological concept proximate to the Franciscan school of Mariology, is complementary to the eternal predestination of Mary with Jesus in the Incarnation, and is referred to by Blessed Pius IX in the papal statement defining the Immaculate Conception, Ineffabilis Deus.An article relates:2
[…] It is important to note that the Church recognizes the Blessed Virgin as the most perfect creature in all creation, above all the angels and saints combined. Following this, it is correct to say that the greatest of created beings is second only to the Creator, even though the difference between the Creator and the created is infinite. The statement in question should not be problematic, and in fact has been articulated in similar forms by many Marian saints (St. Louis De Montfort, St. Alphonsus De Ligouri, St. Maximilian Kolbe, to name a few, calling Mary the "quasi-incarnation of the Holy Spirit", the possessor of all the power of God, closer to divinity than humanity, etc.).Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M., was a world-renowned Mariologist, decorated professor and founder of the Marianum Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Rome in 1950 under Pope Pius XII, professor at the Lateran Pontifical University, and a Consultant to the Holy Office and the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints. Fr. Roschini’s last book, which he considered was his greatest, was entitled The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta. In it, he comments on this statement about Our Lady referred to in the Poem:3
Mary “Second-Born of the Father”
In God’s mind and heart, Mary was the first of all pure creatures of the universe. Of all the persons and things God would create, Mary was the first one He thought of. Mary is the One Whom He first loved from all eternity. In this sense we may call Mary, as Maria Valtorta does, “Second-born of the Father”, and also the “Firstborn” of all creatures. The Blessed Virgin is the “Second-born of the Father”, if She is considered in relation to Christ Her Son; She is the “Firstborn” of all creatures, if we consider Her in relation to all other pure creatures. [Footnote: The expression pure creature refers to any creature except the humanity of Jesus. Christ, superior to His Mother Mary, is not a pure creature, since He is at once Creator and creature. As God, He is the Creator; as man, He is a creature.]
While the Blessed Virgin is second to Christ, She is the first of all other beings, that is, the first of all pure creatures.
1. Mary, Second to Christ in being contemplated by the Eternal One and in pleasing Him;
2. Mary, Second to Christ perfection-wise;
3. Mary, Second to Christ in redeeming the world;
4. Mary, Second to Christ in experiencing the Resurrection;
5. Mary, Second to Christ because of God’s eternal love for Her.
Mary, Second to Christ in Being Contemplated by the Eternal One and in Pleasing Him
The only Son of the eternal Father, the Word, is called “Firstborn”. This does not imply that the Father would have had other sons with a divine nature. The Word is caIIed “Firstborn” because “all things were made by Him” and in Him (John 1:3; Douay). The Father has reestablished all things in Christ His Son (Eph. 1:10), since He saw everything in Him, the eternal Word and future Christ. . . That is why Christ is also the first of all created persons and things: all have been subordinated to His glory.
Immediately after Christ, before any other created person or thing, comes Mary, His Mother. It is therefore legitimate to call Her the “second-born of the Father”, as Maria Valtorta did.
I don’t know about you, but I put much more stock in the objective analysis of a world-renowned Mariologist and pre-Vatican II Consultor of the Holy Office who worked closely with Pope Pius XII, is highly regarded by multiple popes and many theologians, who has written over 790 articles and miscellaneous writings, and 130 books, 66 of which were over 200 pages long (most of which are about Mariology), and who backs up what he says with facts and a full theological development… I put much more stock in such a theologian than Anselmo, who shows throughout his articles, time and time again, deficient theology, logical fallacies, distortions, misrepresentation of her work, sweeping generalizations tantamount to academic falsehood, easily refuted subjective impressions that cannot be a basis for rejecting her work or advising against it and which are contradicted by those of greater learning and authority, and an obvious unjustified bias against the Poem.
In my refutation, not only do I show how Anselmo’s interpretation is faulty, but I show how a heretical Protestant website erroneously interpreted Colossians 1:19 in such a way as to try to “prove” how the Scripture passage espouses universal salvationism and I show how Anselmo is using the same logic and reasoning and failure of distinction as the heretical website is using, thus more clearly demonstrating and exposing to my readers Anselmo’s method for what it is.
Fr. Kevin Robinson, FSSPX, wrote:4
With Valtorta, as with the canonical Scriptures, there are difficulties that are easily resolved by distinction from Thomistic philosophy such as: general vs. specific, strictly vs. broadly, properly vs. allegorically, in fieri vs. in facto esse, ad esse vs. ad melior esse, simpliciter vs. quodammodo. These distinctions are usually not needed for the simple faithful as the context gives them the truth without danger.In addition to that quoted passage failing to demonstrate any heresy in her writings, it is be noted that there are very many passages in The Poem of the Man-God and in specific dictations Valtorta received that are published in her other writings where Our Lord explicitly denounces the heresy of universal salvation.
(1) Anselmo took the actual word Valtorta wrote (“La compì”) which should be correctly translated as “completed” and then rebranded this as “consummated” and then ascribed attributes to this word that Valtorta never attributed it with. Thus, he misled his readers into thinking Valtorta wrote that Our Lady “consummated” Redemption whereas Valtorta actually merely wrote that Our Lady “completed” Redemption. This lack of precision of Anselmo makes the reader lose the distinction of temporality and accidentiality (vs. substance) afforded by the term Valtorta actually wrote and meant.
(2) Anselmo tries to make his readers believe that Valtorta said that Our Lady “accomplished” Redemption instead of Our Lord, but Valtorta’s writings clearly indicate that they both accomplished Redemption together: Our Lord accomplished Redemption by Divine Necessity and Our Lady helped accomplish Redemption as the New Eve by the Divine Pleasure (for He wanted to make her Co-Redemptrix).
The full development of the details of this objection and its refutation is given in my full refutation.
Anselmo introduces the topic for his next article (for which I provide its own thorough refutation) by affirming that what Valtorta wrote about the temptations Our Lady endured on Holy Saturday is a blasphemy. Nothing of what Valtorta wrote was blasphemous at all or contrary to faith and morals and my refutation of his second article demonstrates this.
Anselmo writes an unsubstantiated falsehood when he writes, “Valtorta also affirms that, throughout their lives, both Our Lord Jesus Christ and the Blessed Virgin suffered terrible sexual temptations, which they had to overcome through hard struggle.” Nowhere in Valtorta’s text does she write or indicate that Jesus had a “hard struggle” against any temptations to impurity! The contrary is true and her writings actually show and demonstrate how Jesus gave a witness to a heroic chastity and innocence in which Christ was perfect in His will and inclinations and wasn’t affected or moved in any unholy way. She shows how temptations were like a rain drop against a granite wall. It splattered on the granite without causing any harm.
Valtorta never said that Our Lady suffered a triple concupiscence (something Anselmo claimed). Rather, Valtorta’s writings affirm that she had immunity to the impulse of concupiscence and had immunity to the shadow of actual sin, and she describes that Our Lady cancelled the triple concupiscence of the first Eve in this fashion:
By deeply humiliating herself, she defeated pride. She overcame the avarice of the First Parents by giving up her Son for the Redemption. She defeated gluttony, both of knowledge and of enjoyment, by agreeing to know only what God wanted her to know, without asking herself or Him more than what she was told, by believing unquestionably, and by denying herself every sensual pleasure. She defeated lust by depriving herself of all satisfactions, even of holy ones, and by helping to redeem the world as Co-Redemptrix by suffering and sacrifice to cancel the ruin Eve had brought to the world for the sake of pleasure.
In order to read from a reputable and honest theologian who employed correct methodology in analyzing her work, in my full refutation, I quote what Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M., wrote about this very thing. Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M. was a world-renowned Mariologist, decorated professor and founder of the Marianum Pontifical Faculty of Theology in Rome in 1950 under Pope Pius XII, professor at the Lateran Pontifical University, and a Consultant to the Holy Office and the Sacred Congregation for the Causes of Saints. He did a thorough Mariological study of Valtorta’s writings which he published in his 395-page book The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta. Two of the sections in Fr. Roschini’s book are entitled, “Immunity to the Impulse of Concupiscence” and “Immunity to the Shadow of Actual Sin”, which I quote from in the full refutation. I also quote what he wrote about how Our Lady, the New Eve, cut off the branch of pride, the branch of greed, the branch of gluttony, and the branch of lust which the first Eve had committed with the original sin: “the many deformities in the sin of our first parent, viz. pride, disobedience, gluttony, and so forth” (Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 82, Art. 2, ad. 1). Unlike Anselmo, who is so quick to judge, make presumptions, and calumniate with poor theology, undefined terms, and faulty subjective interpretations, Fr. Roschini accurately expounds what Valtorta actually wrote about the nature and details of these topics.
After reading the analysis and facts laid out in the full refutation, it becomes glaringly clear that the article by Anselmo entitled “Errors against the Faith in the Work of Maria Valtorta” presents so many errors and irregularities that it is difficult to understand how it can be accepted in Catholic milieus, including traditionalist ones. Because of the theological errors and methodological flaws it contains – and other adjoining negative aspects – I do not understand how it could be accepted by traditional Catholic media outlets, such as Tradition in Action.
Either they did not carefully read the writings of Maria Valtorta and fact check Anselmo’s article themselves, or they naively trusted Anselmo as a trustworthy, unbiased, objective analyzer of her work, while at the same time, neglecting to consult the commentaries and theological studies of her writings done by undeniably trustworthy and highly scholarly theologians, such as Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M., who was a Consultor of the Holy Office and who is considered by many to be the greatest Mariologist of the 20th century, who published a 395-page Mariological study of her writings, or Fr. Corrado Berti, O.S.M., professor of dogmatic and sacramental theology of the Pontifical Marianum Theological Faculty in Rome from 1939 onward, and Secretary of that Faculty from 1950 to 1959, who studied her work for decades and provided extensive theological and biblical annotations of her work totaling over 5,675 footnotes.
Anselmo posits the speculation about Maria’s spiritual director and the Spanish translator of her work that they might have been “accomplices in spreading a work that has serious errors in matters of the Faith.” Considering that hundreds of thousands around the world have derived tremendous spiritual benefit from her work and that dozens of highly learned, trustworthy traditional theologians and many bishops have affirmed her work is free from error in faith and morals, truly from God, and that she is a true victim soul, it seems just that his own supposition be applied back to himself: perhaps Anselmo is an accomplice in trying to discredit a true work of God (cf. Acts of the Apostles 5:39). This possibility appears all the more credible or substantiated when we consider that his anti-Valtorta articles contain a number of theological errors, basic methodological flaws, and often contain subjective accusations that are a misrepresentation of the text and qualify as academic dishonesty. Like a modernist, many of the errors in his article are logical fallacies, confusion of principles, and failure to make distinctions. These problems I just mentioned are in addition to his subjective claims that are a clear distortion and misrepresentation of the text. However, in charity, I presume that he is of good will and that his “witch hunt” against Valtorta is merely because of wrong information, lack of research, or perhaps innocent or unintended intellectual blindness or incompetency. I hope this refutation opened your eyes even if organizations like Tradition in Action don’t want to be “confused with the facts”. I encourage humble, honest, open-minded Catholics to recognize and thank God for this gift of this mystic’s writings rather than fall into a pharisaical, close-minded, ill-disposed mindset, which disposes one to not want to be “confused with the facts” or properly research things and reject one of God’s greatest gifts to our generation.
Click here for the full refutation of his article: A Complete Refutation of Anselmo's Flawed Anti-Valtorta Article Entitled “Errors against the Faith in the Work of Maria Valtorta”.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 1 in the Text
2. A Critical Analysis of the Explanatory Letter of Condemnation. Maria-Valtorta.net.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 2 in the Text
3. The Virgin Mary in the Writings of Maria Valtorta. By Fr. Gabriel M. Roschini, O.S.M. Kolbe's Publications Inc. 1989. pp. 62-63. ISBN-13: 9788879870863.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 3 in the Text
4. Apologia Pro Maria Valtorta. By Fr. Kevin Robinson, FSSPX. Updated 2012.
Click Here to Jump Back to Footnote 4 in the Text