MISSIONARIES OF THE HOLY TRINITY

MORATORIUM UPDATE

July-December 2003

The following interview was prompted by the questions of respectable persons devoted to Luisa Piccarreta's cause. The Most Reverend Archbishop Carmelo Cassati handwrote the responses contained in the interview. Rev. J. Iannuzzi presented the questions. The purpose of this interview was to provide a response to the true nature of the Vatican's position concerning Luisa's cause today, and of the status of the present day Moratorium that Archbishop Carmelo Cassati himself wrote and published in 1998. This interview is not intended to disparage any parties that may have contributed to Luisa's demise** through what the archbishop refers to as "poor and exaggerated explanations" of Luisa's writings in recent years. It is noteworthy that the Archbishop specifically consented to the release of this interview.

Written Interview with The Most Reverend, Mons Carmelo Cassati, S.E.R.

Archbishop Emeritus of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie

August 21, 2003

THE WRITINGS OF LUISA REMOVED FROM THE VATICAN

Q. 1  It is my understanding that a few years ago you had sent 4 priests and a layman to the Vatican to photocopy the original manuscripts of Luisa Piccarreta, specifying that they bring them from the Vatican directly to the Archdiocesan Curia of Trani. In your judgment, your Excellency, how were these photocopied or photographed manuscripts brought also to the Americas?

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"After the diocesan process for the Cause of Luisa's Piccarreta's Beatification was opened, I had asked the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith if I could have Luisa's 'Diary' (36 volumes), which was an indispensable means for obtaining the judgment of theologians concerning its orthodoxy.

The Congregation granted permission to the Archdiocese to photocopy the 'Diary,' and placed at our disposal a room next to the Archives in order that we might photocopy the work.

I sent only two priests1 who were residing in Corato and were incardinated into the Archdiocese of Trani, to fulfill this task. It was these who, without informing me, their Bishop, called on some of their friends from America2 who brought along with them their necessary machines (a photocopier and a camera) and there, in the Vatican, they proceeded to make photocopies and take photographs. When their business was finished, they returned to the Americas with all of the duplicated volumes, while the two priests returned to Corato with a photocopy of Luisa's 'Diary' for the Archdiocesan Archives.

It is noteworthy that while they were carrying out their business in Rome, every one of them had photographs taken, which they compiled together in an album. Eventually these photographs wound up in the hands of the Archdiocese of Trani, which, upon observing them, had then and there realized that the aforementioned persons from America had been in the Vatican.

To this misconduct I vigorously protested, and demanded that the 36 volumes that they had reproduced and carried off to America be returned at once. Since nearly all of these individuals were furnished with a 'photocopy' of the 'Diary' (36 volumes), and one of them had a bookstore business3 and diffused the 'Diary' in America from volumes I to 20 (a portion of volume 20), I prohibited the printing of the Diary from volumes 20 (the portion of Vol. 20) to volume 36.

It is noteworthy that the first 20 volumes of the 'Diary' had already been disseminated because they were in circulation even before the prohibition of the Holy See (of 1938). However, only the Holy See had possession of the contents of volumes 20 (a portion of it) to 36, and now, after the photocopies were brought to the Trani, the Archdiocese of Trani had them as well. I am uncertain now as to whether or not the aforementioned parties in America have (since I had left office) more or less obeyed my request." 4

UNAUTHORIZED PUBLIC INSTRUCTORS

Observation  In a recent encounter with the actual Archbishop of Trani, H.E., Mons Giovanni Battista Pichierri and his Vicar General, I asked if the Archdiocese of Trani and its postulation had authorized any individual, group or institute to "publicly instruct" the faithful on the writings or doctrines of Luisa or to "hold conferences." The response from the Vicar General in the presence of the Archbishop was that the Archdiocese of Trani had not authorized any lay person, individual, group or institute "to hold public conferences" or "to publicly instruct the faithful on the writings or doctrines of Luisa"; and if such permission were granted, it may have come from the local bishop and not by the Archdiocese of Trani.

Q. 2  Although the Archdiocese of Trani asked for a list of all the nanes of the speakers that are to talk at the tentative conference in an American diocese where the local bishop has permitted it, what guarantee might the faithful have of immunity from doctrinal error on the part of those invited speakers who attempt to explain a doctrine on whose content the Church has not yet "pronounced itself?"

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"One has no guarantee."

Q. 3  Until the Church (the Vatican) has reviewed and approved Luisa's 36 volumes5, does it follow that public conferences on Luisa are not conferences on Church teaching, but on "speculative theology," to which Catholics are not obliged to adhere?

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"There is no obligation for the faithful to adhere to the teachings presented at this conference."6

UNQUALIFIED INSTRUCTORS OF LUISA'S WORK

Observation  A little while ago, the Vicar General Sabino Giannotti of the Archdiocese of Trani in a letter addressed to me affirmed: "Unfortunately, it is not easy to discern what it is the Lord wants to teach us through his saints (Luisa)"7. In light of my exchanged letters and conversations with the Most Reverend Giovanni Battista Pichierri and his Vicar, it is clearly evident that Luisa's writings do not yet possess any official or normative interpretation by the Church.

Q. 4  Until Luisa's writings and doctrines are presented to the Vatican in a formal and approved theological casuistry, and so long as the Archdiocese of Trani is unable to 'discern what it is the Lord wants to teach us through Luisa,' the faithful, it would seem, may find themselves exposed to unauthorized, personal interpretations of Luisa's writings at public conferences, even if they are "permitted" by the local authority.8 On your advice, is there a danger in holding this conference and its presentations?

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"There is a danger" (emphasis added).

Observation  H.E., Archbishop Giovanni Battista Pichierri wrote to my superior in March 2003, affirming, "I received Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi and... offered him the enjoyment of my paternal blessing. Fr. Jannuzzi can continue his doctoral research on the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta"; and again the Vicar of Trani Mons Sabino Giannotti wrote to me and my professors at the Pontifical University of Rome in Jan 2002, assuring them, "it was a pleasure to meet with Fr. Iannuzzi, to have the opportunity to clarify certain questions that had been raised in recent months, and to hear of the progress that he had been making toward his studies in Rome (on Luisa)... There are no objections" to Fr. Jannuzzi 's doctoral scientific research of the writings of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta. I am presently completing this thesis specifically dedicated to Luisa's writings and doctrines with the enjoyed approval of the professors of the pontifical university, to present Luisa's writings to the Church in a formal and approved theological casuistry.

A consultant to the Vatican informed me that 'what it is the Lord wants to teach us through Luisa,' involves various stages, two of which merit particular attention.

1)     The need for a theological review or thesis on Luisa works that is accepted by the Vatican (note: the Archdiocese of Trani has affirmed in a recent letter that its postulation for her cause occupies itself "with Luisa's virtues, not her writings," that is, not the theological presentation or orthodoxy of Luisa's writings).9

2)     The recognition of the heroic nature of Luisa's virtues and the approval of her works. Until the Archdiocese of Trani and, above all the Vatican, do not recognize the heroic nature of Luisa's virtues and approve her works, the faithful will find themselves exposed to personal interpretations with respect to both.'10

Q. 5  You spoke of conferences held in various countries, of doctrinal errors, of the improper method of the United States promoters who interpret Luisa's works "literally" (ad litteram) and who present her writings to the public. Do your care to elaborate on this point?

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

A) "I once wrote a brief letter11 to be presented 'to whom it may concern,' in which I name certain individuals, recognized by the Archdiocese of Trani, who could, at one time, hold conferences on Luisa. I had done so to assure said persons to avoid belonging to a group, with which not all were enthusiastic.12 With time I withdrew this support of mine, because I was displeased. I came to realize that they were very often promoting Luisa, propagating her 'doctrine' in North America, in Central America and outside of continental America, without prudently awaiting the judgment of the theologians of the Church (emphasis added).13 I had to protect the faithful from their 'poor and exaggerated explanations,' which brought harm to the Catholic Faith." 14

B) "Because Luisa's writings are difficult, one ought to examine them in their proper context. One should never interpret them ad litteram (literally). The following danger can present itself: 'In the name of the FIAT of the DIVINE WILL, one may fail to give importance to the Magisterium of the Church and to her constituted authorities.' In appearance one professes to be obedient, but in reality he does whatever he pleases (emphasis added)."

MORATORIUM ON PUBLIC CONFERENCES AND ON PROPAGANDA

Observation  In 1998, you published the moratorium, in which you prohibit all public conferences and propaganda on Luisa, and that is still in force today. The present moratorium states:

Unfortunately, when dealing with things concerning our faith, enthuasm is not enough. Reflection is also necessary. Perhaps, without realizing it, we are hurting the very same Cause of Beatification of Luisa... Poor or exaggerated explanations of her writings have already scandalized some faithful, who then attribute the error to the Servant of God. To insist much on conferences and propaganda on Luisa can be dangerous for the Cause because, before the Church pronounces itself in her regard, a true "cult" to Luisa could develop, and this would 'in no way' be in harmony with the tradition of the Church (emphasis added).

Q. 6  Concerning public devotion to Luisa, the Church's traditional practice in the process for Beatification is ordered to protecting the faithful from all breaches of faith that may be brought on by erroneous, "poor and exaggerated explanations", to safeguard and to advance the cause. What was the reason that caused you to promulgate the moratorium on conferences on Luisa and on her propaganda?

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"Please refer to my last response, Q. 5a and b."

Q. 7  On the merit of your many years of experience acquired in your office of Archbishop of Trani, and of your vast knowledge of the many activities concerning public and private devotion to Luisa, do you think that it is prudent today to hold a public conference on Luisa and to print her works, "before the Church pronounces itself in her regard?"

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"It is imprudent" (emphasis added).

Q. 8  In this preliminary period of Luisa's cause, in which the Church has yet neither pronounced itself on her doctrines nor on her virtues, what advice can you offer to the faithful on whether or not it is prudent for them to attend a public conference on Luisa?

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"The faithful must wait with patience" (emphasis added)."15

Observation  You affirmed that "before the Church pronounces itself in her regard," it is not prudent to hold a conference on Luisa. Apropos of this official pronouncement, it is understood that it did not exclude the following:

1)     It did not exclude the approval and diffusion of only two of Luisa's works in Italian only, which you had approved while the moratorium on all conferences was in force. These two Italian works were, The Hours of the Passion and The Queen in the Kingdom.

2)     It does not exclude the developments of the Corato October 2002 meeting on the spirituality of Luisa, to which I was personally invited by the Archbishop of Trani that concerns itself with the advancement of Luisa's cause that you had initiated in 1998.

Moreover, the consultants to the Vatican Congregations informed me that such a "pronouncement" in Luisa's regard, as you put it, would likely require the official Vatican approval of her collected works (editio typica) and the heroic nature of her virtues on the basis of the gathered testimonials (positio).

PUBLIC CONFERENCES ON LUISA

Question  In recent years many have publicly testified to the negative consequences of those persons that have imparted unauthorized public teachings on the writings of Luisa in ways that are, as you put it, "poor and exaggerated": all Catholics were put on alert to such lay instructors whose poor explanations were criticized by American bishops, theologians and prestigious Catholic journals. As you well know, various letters arrived at Vatican Congregations for the Doctrine of the Faith and for the Causes of Saints denouncing the unmonitored teachings in the "public forum" that contained doctrinal errors. Was it perhaps for this reason that you affirmed, to hold public conferences on Luisa today can indeed be dangerous, "because before the Church pronounces itself in her regard, a true 'cult' to Luisa could develop, and this would 'in no way' be in harmony with the tradition of the Church"?

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

(See response, Q. 5a)

Observation  Unlike civil law, Church law is vested with a specific character that goes beyond the nude and crude letter and that gives the law its true, internal meaning and divine logic. This character of Church law is the virtue of Christian obedience that embraces and reveals the "spirit of the law." One of the reasons why Jesus rebuked the Pharisees was on account of their deliberate effort to reduce God's law to the shallow letter, to become complacent in its external observation, and to avoid true commitment to the Spirit of the law. In order to help his listeners fully assimilate the virtue of obedience, Jesus would often instruct them not on what they should simply "do," but on what they must strive to "live."

Practically speaking, it seems evident that the 'spirit of the law' governing the moratorium in force today forbids all conferences on Luisa, and you had affirmed this to me, to several priests and laypersons who, since 1998, inquired on the possibility of conferences. As mentioned earlier, the Church has not "pronounced itself in her regard", which would suggest that a conference on Luisa today may indeed contradict the "spirit of the law" of the moratorium.

Q. 9  Is it then correct to affirm that although a local bishop may grant permission to hold a conference on Luisa in his diocese, that conference may occasion the dangers the moratorium forcefully repels and of which the local bishop may not be aware, namely, the dissemination of the "poor and exaggerated explanations" of Luisa's writings that occurred in recent years?16

Response by Archbishop Carmelo Cassati:

"Please refer to my response, Q. 5b" (reported immediately below):17

"Because Luisa's writings are difficult, one ought to examine them in their proper context. One should never interpret them ad litteram (literally)... One may fail to give importance to the Magisterium of the Church and to her constituted authorities. In appearance one professes to be obedient, but in reality he does whatever he pleases (emphasis added)."

Observation  Your Excellency, there are those who may disagree with your position on the matter of public conferences. They may affirm that since you are an Archbishop Emeritus of Trani, despite your vast knowledge of Luisa's writings and the present dangers to her cause, you cannot prohibit public conferences from a 'juridical' angle. While this may be correct juridically, that is, according to the 'letter of the law,' one cannot help but wonder how they can come to this conclusion after considering the following:

a)     Your position, Archbishop Carmelo Cassati, reflects the Church's "traditional practice" concerning public devotion and not your opinion (as stated in the moratorium). For this reason, it would seem that those who attempt to encourage their bishop and to permit public conferences on Luisa in their diocese, in good or bad faith would ignore the 'spirit of the law' of the moratorium, and the Church's "traditional practice."

b)     Moreover, it would appear that your prohibition on conferences clearly extended beyond your mandate when you affirmed, to have conferences before the Church pronounced itself in Luisa's regard is "in no way in harmony with the tradition of the Church".

c)      Although a local bishop may grant permission to hold a public conference on Luisa "before the Church pronounces itself in her regard," one must consider the possible ramifications: the premature dissemination of her doctrines may generate criticism and letters to the Vatican that expose the very doctrinal errors that were disseminated in talks and contained in books made available to the public at conferences in recent years.

SUSPENDED CAUSE?

Observation  It appears that recent complaints of bishops and theologians to the Vatican on the erroneous presentations of Luisa's writings may have caused the Vatican to prudently suspend her Cause for Beatification at the Vatican level, that is, until the controversy gives way to a cordial and serene atmosphere within which it may be revisited and advance unhampered by public scandal.  In recent weeks, I was informed by a consultant to the Vatican Congregation18  that the Cardinal to the same Congregation19  affirmed that Luisa's Cause was suspended due to the activities of a lay group in the USA.20  I was given this information by the Vatican consultant for several reasons, three of which merit particular attention:

1)          I was entrusted by the Pontifical University of Rome with the task of writing a thesis on Luisa's writings and doctrines.

2)          I was asked by the Archbishop of Trani to review two theological treatises submitted to the same archdiocese at the recent Corato 2002 meeting on Luisa Piccarreta's Spirituality to which I was personally invited.

3)          At the same meeting the same Archbishop asked that I incorporate Luisa's writings into my latest book, The Splendor of Creation, which will be available to the public soon.

Hence my involvement.

I thank you your Excellency Archbishop Carmelo Cassati, for your dedication to the Cause of the Servant of God Luisa Piccarreta.

In Christ,

Fr. Joseph Iannuzzi

Missionaries of the Holy Trinity

Jacksonville, FL

 

** [Webster] demise =  a : death ;   b : a cessation of existence or activity ;  c : a loss of position or status.

1 Their native places and names are reserved.          

2 North and Central America.               

3 The name is reserved.

4 It is reported that several parties have never parted from these reproduced and/or photographed copies of Luisa's 36 volumes.]

5 Once the Archdiocese of Trani has put together the critical edition of Luisa's collected works, it will then submit it, that is, all of her writings, to the Vatican for review and approval. Since this has "not" yet been done, the recent propagation of news implying that a work was submitted to the archdiocese last year that resolved all theological problems surrounding Luisa's writings is incorrect. Again, until the Vatican has reviewed and approved the writings of Luisa, any claims affirming their approval are misleading.

6 The moratorium affirms that it is the "tradition of the Church" to prohibit "public" presentations of the private revelations of Luisa "until the Church pronounces itself in her regard." On the other hand, one is at liberty to offer instruction in a "private" forum, that is, in gatherings such as private residencies where prayer groups or cenacles may be formed, or on private grounds with lawful respect for the theologians who will determine the proper way in which Luisa's writings and doctrines are to be explained and interpreted. Any layperson presuming to know more than the Church's authorized theologians, whose expertise and conventional wisdom Archbishop Cassati extols, acts apart from the Church's traditional modes operandi in the discernment of private revelations (I refer you to footnote 13).

7 In the context of this phrase the Vicar was specifically referring to Luisa; I have reported her name in parenthesis.

8 Only those that are permitted or authorized to publicly instruct the faithful on Luisa's "doctrines and writings" may do so "in public" with the blessing of the Church. It is wise that their permission be put in writing. The moratorium affirms the recent scandal of "poor and exaggerated explanations" of Luisa's writings had directly obstructed and obstructs still her Cause for Beatification. The plethora of letters of complaints to the Vatican by US bishops and renown theologians admonish the Catholic faithful to refrain from selfpublished books and public lectures, tapes and CD's that contain error and that do not possess any such permission or authorization.

9 I refer you to footnote 17. To this day, neither the Vatican, nor the Archdiocese of Trani, nor any bishop has ever authorized one to instruct, teach or preach Luisa's writings or doctrines in public. Why? Quite simply, as the present moratorium affirms, the Church has not "pronounced itself in her regard," and to do so at this premature stage would be disrespectful to the Church's modus operandi.,Were anyone to preemptively appoint himself the "authorized public instructor", "teacher", or "representative" of Luisa's writings or doctrines, he disregards what the archbishop refers to below as the "tradition of the Church" (see section on "Moratorium").

10 Only those individuals who are permitted or authorized to preach or teach Luisa's writings and/or doctrines "in public" can legitimately do so. All other individuals are simply permitted  not authorized  to instruct the faithful "in private", as they cannot do so "in public" (emphasis added). [The difference between "permission" and "authorization" may be summed up in the former representing a boy whose father enables him to act while the boy "maintains complete responsibility" for his own actions, and the latter representing a boy whose father "assumes complete responsibility" for the boys actions]. A regards the difference between "public" and "private" instruction, it is spelled out in canon law. Public instruction takes place in a public location or forum (i.e., public instruction can take place in a public square, a conference center, a church hail, a public house of prayer, etc.). Private instruction, on the other hand, can take place "only" within the strict confines of the membership and territory of the private institute (i.e., a private residency, the private property of the institute). Since no layperson has been authorized to preach or teach Luisa's writings or doctrines to the public, all lay instructors are, therefore, obliged to limit their instructions to the confines of the "private" forum only.

11 This letter was written before the "moratorium" was placed on conferences and propaganda.

12 The name of a group of persons I have omitted.

13 Despite the fact that for many years no one had been authorized to teach Luisa's "doctrines" in public, many have done so and, with harmful results. Here one recalls the letters of complaint by bishops and theologians to the Vatican on their teaching errors that have negatively influenced the faithful. More needs to be said here. Some have affirmed that because the errors of these promoters may have been made in good faith, God will use their errors to make his Divine Will known. To this affirmation, I offer the following response. While God can certainly use errors to bring about a good, the Catechism is abundantly clear that the ends do not justify the means. The Church's modus operandi in the discernment of private revelations reveals the proper way by which one ought to go about promoting the private revelations. Unlike the way that was adopted in recent years, that is, the desire to act "without prudently awaiting the judgment of the theologians of the Church" (from the words of Archbishop Carmelo Cassati), the Church advocates obedient submissiveness to her theologians and authorities of the Church, even if that means awaiting the release of Luisa's writings. Archbishop Cassati affirms that promoters of Luisa's doctrines acted preemptively when he states that they acted "without prudently awaiting the judgment of the theologians of the Church." One approach I had encountered in recent years is the following: The promoters presented Church doctrine as subservient to Luisa's doctrine, such that if Church doctrine was found to be lacking or undeveloped in one of its articles, it was then required to give way to the "new knowledge" of Luisa's new doctrine. Hence the great emphasis on the "knowledge" of the Divine Will, which was disseminated indiscriminately among the faithful and which, in turn, distorted their vision of the fundamental importance of Sacred Scripture, the Apostolic Tradition and the Magisterium in divine revelation.

    Apropos of the overemphasis on "knowledge", Catholic teaching illustrates that "knowledge" is not the most important ingredient to participate in  "God's Will." The most important ingredient is "desire." I make this truth abundantly clear in the thesis I had prepared for the Archdiocese of Trani last year. In short, the way in which the promotion of Luisa's writings perhaps should have come about may be as follows: 1) inform the faithful that there is a new gift of "living in the Divine Will", and that this gift is available to all; 2) without presuming to know Luisa's "teachings" or "doctrines" before the Church, the instructors obediently comply with the Church's modus operandi and refrain from promoting them in the public forum, thus limiting their efforts to simple presentations of her "writings" (via dissemination) and of her "spirituality" (via teaching to the faithful [note: Luisa's "spirituality" differs from her "doctrines" inasmuch as her spirituality signifies the way "Luisa" herself lived the Divine Will; it is her lifestyle, or the way in which she embodied the doctrines that her writings contain. Recently an Italian priest from Corato received authorization from the Archdiocese of Trani to instruct the faithful on Luisa's "spirituality" and not on her "doctrines." He was moreover asked by the same archdiocese to make an oath to refrain from teaching doctrines that are foreign to the Catholic Faith]); 3) instruct the faithful that their "fiat", or "yes" to God is the most important ingredient to "enter into the Divine Will", and that, in God's time and in obedience to the Church, the "particular knowledge of her doctrines" that the Church will eventually formulate, will come "through the Church" and enable the faithful to enter more deeply into the mystery of "living in the Divine Will."

    To illustrate this point, when Luisa wrote she did so with the understanding that the priests in authority over her and the Catholic doctrine they represented and applied to her writings, were indispensable to their proper interpretation and transmission (empasis added). In a letter to Abbot Combe, Blessed Hannibal wrote:

    "What God works in private in the Church must be submitted to the judgment of those who represent Him. God is jealous of this order he established and wants NO ONE to alter this rule of faith. When people deal with high personalities of the holy Church to make them accept private revelations or works, they must act WITH GREAT HUMILITY AND SUBMISSION TO THE CHURCH'S AUTHORITY"

    It is noteworthy that Blessed Hannibal insisted that God would have no one Church representative or visionary for that matter, ever depart from this rule. This is the way the Divine Will should have been and should always be promoted.

14 Theologians have identified several teaching errors in the public presentations of lay promoters on Luisa, in particular overtones of the heresy of Gnosticism. These presenters have insisted that unless one arrives at the specific knowledge of Luisa's revelations, he or she cannot receive the gift of "living in the Divine Will." Other notable "poor and exaggerated" teachings that precipitated the moratorium include Pelagianism, monothelitism, quietism, the pietistic "superiority" of new saints, etc. (For more information on the common errors to avoid, I again refer you to my thesis).

15 The Archbishop's expression "must wait with patience" reflects his advice that the faithful desist from attending public conferences on Luisa until the Church has "pronounced itself in her regard." At present the Archdiocese of Trani is compiling the documents that may attest to the heroic nature of the Luisa's virtues (posilio), and her collected works (editio lypica), in order to then submit them to the VATICAN for judgment. The Vatican is then free to approve or disapprove of the Archdiocese's findings and/or judgment. Therefore, until the Vatican "pronounces itself in her (Luisa's) regard," one cannot publicly declare her virtues heroic or her collected writings approved. The Archdiocese of Trani has affirmed in a recent letter that before it grants it seal of approval to Luisa's works, it will submit them to the Vatican for review and final judgment. In this period, which Archbishop Carmelo Cassati refers to as one of "patience," the faithful can indeed receive the gift of "Living in the Divine Will" even without explicit knowledge of Luisa Piccarreta's doctrines. And this is good news! This sorely neglected truth is happily brought out in my new release entitle The Splendor of Creation.

16 One here recalls the words of the moratorium: "Conferences and propaganda on Luisa can be dangerous for the Cause because, before the Church pronounces itself in her regard, a true "cult" to Luisa could develop, and this would "in no way" be in harmony with the tradition of the Church" (emphasis added).

17 The Vicar of the Archdiocese of Trani affirmed in a letter dated 9/16/03, that its "process (of Luisa's Cause for Beatification) was conducted on the sanctity of Piccarrela (and not on her writings) on how she exercised the Christian virtues" (article 7). Otherwise put, the work of the Archdiocese does not determine the orthodoxy of Luisa's writings or of her doctrines, but establishes, through her compiled works arid testimonials, the heroic nature of her virtues. The same archdiocese admits that it is "not" the juridical body which determines the authenticity or orthodoxy of Luisa's works. This work is reserved for the VATICAN. For this reason, in the same letter from the archdiocese, it affirms "the archdiocese, authorized by Rome, opened the process for her beatification which has entered into the conclusive phase, and will shortly be handed over to the Congregation of Saints (the VATICAN)" (article 6).

    One here recalls that the Archdiocese's work toward a critical edition of Luisa's works is limited to demonstrating to the Vatican "that there are no statements that can contradict the Magisterium of the Church and falsify the authentic thought of Luisa Piccarreta" (article 8). Since it is the Vatican and not the archdicoese that determines Luisa's authenticity and orthodoxy, one wonders if the Vatican could possibly reject the archdiocese's evaluation of Luisa's works? The answer is, yes it may, but that is something we hope not to expect. The point here is simple: Since the Archdiocese is "not" the theological body that determines the authenticity or orthodoxy of Luisa's writings, the Archdiocese of Trani has, therefore, refrained from delegating personnel to officially present her writings to the Church.

    For this reason, and according to the Church's protocol, rather than receiving authorization from the Archdiocese of Trani to present Luisa's "doctrines" and/or "writings" in public, I have received formal permission to present Luisa's doctrines and writings to the Church and to the faithful, respectively from the Pontifical University of Rome and from my superior.

    In response to the question, "has anyone been authorized by the Archdiocese of Trani to present Luisa's writings, either by preaching or teaching, to the public, ever?" The answer is "no." What then is one to make of the alleged authorized promoters of Luisa's teachings and writings of the past? Here one finds oneself at a loss for words. To this question the only plausable response is that such alleged promoters were mislead either in good or in bad faith. This notwithstanding, the result is the same: The teachings some of these promoters imparted certainly "harmed the faithful," as Archbishop Carmelo Cassati affirms. And this, because the teachings of some were reviewed by theologians and were found to be riddled with protestant theology and/or, at times, heresy. To their heretical teachings or overtones renowned theologians and bishops, in turn, wrote letters of complaint to the Vatican, showing, pointby≠point the theological errors contained in their presentations, books and postings.

18 The name is reserved.

19 Ibidem.

20 First of all I must affirm that the Archdiocese of Trani has assured me in a letter from the Vicar Sabino Giannotti, that it is looking into the nature of this suspension, to verify whether or not the suspension is true or false, formal or informal. Still, the question may arise, "how can the Vatican suspend a cause for beatification to the unawares of the Archdiocese, while allowing the Archdiocese to continue with its work toward the cause?" When a suspension is informal, it does not mean that the cause is closed. Rather, informal suspension allows time for healing and, sometimes, forgiveness in order to clear the air of the present scandals that obstruct the cause.  While the scandals do not in any way demean the heroic nature of the virtues or condemn the writings of the candidate for beatification (for which reason the diocese is allowed to continue with its preliminary work), it creates an atmosphere of controversy within which it is quite difficult to serenely advance the candidate's cause. At this point prayer and patience often prove victorious.



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