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 “A Generalized Sexual Obsession”
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. The purpose of this summary is to provide a shorter article for those who want it. This article is also available in Spanish.
Anselmo says that Valtorta’s work has been condemned by the Church. He doesn’t qualify how and in what way. The truth is that the first edition of her work was put on the Index after Pius XII died who had previously ordered it to be published in front of three eyewitnesses, the second edition was eventually approved by the Holy Office for publication according to the testimony of Fr. Berti, this work has received imprimaturs and official endorsements from multiple bishops, and the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith has in recent times given permission to the publisher to publish it and the faithful to read it. The original placement of the first edition of her work on the Index is now outdated because the latest pronouncement by the Holy Office (a.k.a. CDF) is that the publication of the newer editions is allowed, thus effectively nullifying any moral binding force of the original placement of the first edition of the work on the now suppressed Index. See the full refutation for further details.
Anselmo says, “Valtorta claims the original sin was the sexual act performed by our first parents.” That is an oversimplification. She actually wrote that – like many Doctors and Fathers of the Church affirmed – that the first sin (original sin) was a complex one involving pride, disobedience, gluttony, and finally lust. St. Thomas Aquinas maintained that there were “many deformities in the sin of our first parents, viz., pride, disobedience, gluttony, and so forth.” (“fuerunt plures deformitates”, Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 82, Art. 2, ad. 1; English Translation: New York, Benziger Brothers, 1947. Vol. I, p. 957). Both St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas in fact held that the material element of Original Sin (peccatum originale materialiter) included to some degree the aspect of concupiscence (Summa Theologica I-II, Q. 82, Art. 3). Anselmo simply stating, “Valtorta claims the original sin was the sexual act performed by our first parents” is misleading and inaccurate (and in fact, a falsehood) because she does not merely say that the original sin consisted in that, but rather that the original sin involved pride, disobedience, diffidence, doubt, rebellion, spiritual concupiscence and lastly carnal concupiscence.
Anselmo wrote, “Church doctrine on original sin does not teach that it involved the sexual act.” This statement of Anselmo’s shows his ignorance and incompetency in this theological area. World-renowned Mariologist and Consultor to the Holy Office, Fr. Gabriel Roschini, O.S.M., wrote about this in his 395-page Mariological study of Valtorta’s writings when he demonstrated that Church doctrine on original sin teaches that it very likely did involve a sexual act in the latter stages and he quoted Scripture, nine Church Fathers, nine canonized saints, and over a dozen other esteemed theologians to support this.
Anselmo wrote, “She claims that at first Adam and Eve did not know how to engender children by means of the sexual union.” That statement is untrue and this affirmation of Anselmo is actually based on his own presumption and misinterpretation of the text. What Valtorta actually wrote is perfectly consistent with Scripture and the teaching of the Church.
Anselmo makes a number of subjective, unsubstantiated accusations about Valtorta’s work that are contradicted by many very learned and balanced theologians who have expressed a contrary opinion to the ones Anselmo posits.
Anselmo affirms that Jesus and Mary “were not and could not be tempted to do evil.” This contradicts not only Church teaching but multiple instances of Scripture, “For we have not a high priest, who cannot have compassion on our infirmities: but one tempted in all things like as we are, without sin.” (Hebrews 4:15) Jesus could not be tempted by His passions (internal factors), which were perfectly ordered to His soul and reason because in Christ there always was order and harmony between the flesh and the spirit. However, Jesus could still be tempted by external factors (the devil and the wicked) which Scripture itself even explicitly affirms in many places in many different books of Scripture. Anselmo fails to distinguish between temptation and consent and its effects and fails to distinguish between external and internal temptations. Theologians who know how to do correct theology and who are honest and thorough always make sure to make proper distinctions in their writing.
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.
My article goes into further detail demonstrating the above and not only refutes Anselmo’s article as a whole, but exposes his false claims and arguments, his theological errors, his methodological flaws, his unsubstantiated, sweeping, generalizing statements, and brings to light indications of a bias, lack of proper scholarliness, and lack of objectivity.
Click here for the full refutation of his article: A Complete Refutation of Anselmo's Flawed Anti-Valtorta Article Entitled “A Generalized Sexual Obsession”.