HOW LUISA PICCARRETA ("LITTLE DAUGHTER OF THE DIVINE WILL") IS BEING SLANDERED
There is some controversy concerning the promotion and/or spiritual practices connected with the Luisa Piccarreta's writings about the Kingdom of the Divine Will. Luisa's Cause for Beatification is now being investigated through the Magisterium of the Church. Unfortunately, her good name is being slandered and her "Cause" being scandalized by numbers of "Catholics" through various means, such as websites and articles in Catholic magazines or other news sources.
The following is the definition of "slander" as stated in the Catechism of the Catholic Church. Of course in the Eyes of the Lord, it applies equally to both living and deceased persons. Even though people in Heaven cannot feel pain, the slander of a deceased saintly person brings harm to the reputation of the Church and diminishes the number of people seeking the intercession of that saint. Therefore many souls are prevented from receiving special Graces through the prayers of those that would have requested that saint's intercession.
Catechism of the Catholic Church
"2487 Every offense committed against justice and truth entails the duty of reparation, even if its author has been forgiven. When it is impossible publicly to make reparation for a wrong, it must be made secretly. If someone who has suffered harm cannot be directly compensated, he must be given moral satisfaction in the name of charity. This duty of reparation also concerns offenses against another's reputation. This reparation, moral and sometimes material, must be evaluated in terms of the extent of the damage inflicted. It obliges in conscience."
There are some very important points to consider here:
Only the Magisterium of the Church has the moral authority to condemn or pronounce a negative judgment on Luisa's writings. And that Pronouncement can only come through The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith which is a Holy Office given the responsibility for these type matters. No individual bishop, (except the Holy Father) priest, religious, or layperson has the authority to forbid you from reading Luisa's writings or practicing the devotions connected with them.
In addition, no one (with the exception of a Pope) has been given the authority to publish negative opinions as to Luisa's holiness or writings BEFORE the Magisterium pronounces it's judgment. Be very careful about accepting any negative "opinions" from anyone who dishonestly claims that authority.
How sad it is to find, especially in priests, those who become jealous of another person's holiness, and therefore become very judgmental towards that person and the "Work" he or she has done or is currently doing for the good of the Church. But ironically, they are not jealous of the great sufferings our Lord requires of those who truly love Him!
Those who seek to harm the reputation of others should be asked: "Where are your wounds? Where are your sufferings? Why should anyone believe the 'opinions' of someone who has suffered far less than those he criticizes?"
Worried about "cults" that could develop to Luisa, only "authorized promoters" have been ordered by Archbishop Cassati (see below) not to further "promote" her writings until the Magisterium's investigation is completed. This is because he believed it may harm Luisa's Cause for Beatification.
Archbishop Cassati who was the Archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Buscegkue (-Nazareth), Italy, but has been retired since November 13, 1999, was responsible for the Cause of Luisa's Beautification. He formed a Diocesan Commission (headquartered in Corato, Italy) which currently is, or already has, performed the initial evaluation, and has as one of it's duties to follow the "COURSE" of the Cause for her Beautification.
It is important to remember that a bishop can only start the process for Beautification. The entire process, which may or may not end in Canonization, most often takes several years and is handled by a number of different Offices or positions within the Church. Involved are a Postulator, Vice-postulator, Relator, The Congregation for the Cause of Saints, a Theological Commission, and being pronounced "Venerable" by the Pope. Then proclaimed "Blessed," and finally (if the Lord Wills) being declared a "Saint." See article: Understanding the Process of Canonization
It should be noted that controversy also followed Padre Pio who was in and out of favor with a number of Popes and bishops who lacked information, and therefore misunderstood how Our Lord was using him for the good of the Church. But he was still declared a Saint in the Church.
Continuing with this subject, the spiritual practice of reading and meditating on "The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ" or promoting it or any other of Luisa's writings is a very important spiritual matter.
The Magisterium, represented by The Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith or some other Committee, many years ago placed Luisa's writings on a "Forbidden Books List," but that list is no longer in effect. However, in recent years that Congregation has not officially continued to condemn any of Luisa's writings. Nor have they forbidden the Church at large from using any spiritual practices connected with them, including their promotion.
This is because that Congregation previously and currently has yet to thoroughly study all of her writings. If to date they did find within Luisa's writings anything contrary to the teachings of the Church, they certainly would not allow her Cause for Beautification to proceed. (It is also important to note that there is no clear evidence that "cults" towards Luisa (even if they do exist), have negatively influenced the Cause for her Beatification).
It is easy to discern that the "cults" that are by far the most spiritually dangerous to souls and should be challenged at every level, are those whose purpose is to discredit Luisa's writings, for their main goal is to bring "harm" to the Cause for her Beautification and to stop it altogether.
Those with wisdom who have knowledge of the spiritual benefits of meditating on the Passion of Our Lord know that Our Lord would never forbid someone from meditating on His Passion or "promoting" the writings of a holy person on this subject, regardless of possible translation errors. In addition, as mentioned, it may be years before the Magisterium completes it's investigation. And "The Hours of the Passion" are so spiritually beneficial for souls, that to stop these prayers would not be charitable or show a very deep love for the Lord and His Church.
Even Archbishop Carmelo Cassati, who favors the Cause for Luisa's Beautification and started the initial evaluation of her "Cause," did not have the authority to forbid the entire Church from reading, studying, or meditating on "The Hours of the Passion of Our Lord Jesus Christ."
His letter of January 22, 1998 (which is basically requesting prudence) is directed only to "authorized promoters" (carefully selected individuals originally given permission to "promote" and publish her writings). It is important to note that Archbishop Cassati in that letter and in other letters, acknowledges his belief in Luisa's holiness:
"I think it is necessary for all of us to pause for a period of time for reflection, because all of us want what is best for Luisa Piccarreta and that the Cause of Beatification proceed well if it is God's Will to glorify His Servant....I thank you for what you have done in Luisa's name and I bless you."
Confirming the fact that individual bishops when not acting as a body in communion with the Holy Father, have no authority to speak for the entire Church, (even if they initiate a Cause for Beautification) the following is another letter from Archbishop Cassati and it is addressed only to those within his own Diocese.
Most importantly, please note his belief in Luisa's sanctity and The Kingdom of the Divine Will, for he even encourages the study of her writings.
Archbishop Cassati wrote this letter prior to the above letter, for the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the death of Luisa Piccarreta:
Archbishop of Trani-Barletta-Bisceglie
Titular of Nazareth
Trani, January 23, 1997
"Dearest Priests, Consecrated Souls, and Faithful of our Archdiocese,
LUISA PICCARRETA died in Corato on March 4, 1947. It has been 50 years since her death; and while in Corato she continues to be remembered as "Luisa the Saint," in very many parts of the world her name is known because of her writings.
These are composed principally of her "Diaries," which were handwritten by Luisa in obedience to her confessors. In them is seen the continuous preoccupation of wanting to imitate Jesus Christ in the best of ways, placing herself in harmony with the Will of God.
She prayed ardently that the KINGDOM OF THE DIVINE WILL would be established on earth; and, for this to happen, it is necessary for men to begin to know this ardent desire of God, because no one can appreciate a gift without having experienced it.
The DIVINE WILL is the most precious thing that can be imagined, and It is unveiled to us in the measure which God deigns to make It known. St. Paul prayed that we would have a full knowledge of the Divine Will with every wisdom and spiritual intelligence. The just are sanctified in the measure in which they have appreciated and loved It; and Jesus spoke continually of His desire to do the "WILL OF THE FATHER."
Unfortunately, THE DIVINE WILL is the great unknown, notwithstanding the fact that It is spoken so much of in Sacred Scripture. This is because our sins brings us overbearingly to do our own will, turning away from the Divine Will. The Servant of God, Luisa Piccarreta, urges us to immerse ourselves in the Will of God. According to her, God created man in His image and likeness, adding a gift all His: THE GIFT OF HIS MOST ADORABLE WILL, so that man might act and live as a little God capable of conversing with his Creator.
The 50th anniversary of the death of Luisa 'the Saint' might be for all of us the propitious occasion for an attentive study of her writings in order to feel closer to her. We pray, also, for the good outcome of the Cause of her Beatification should it be in the Will of God that his Servant be exalted."
Your Archbishop+ signed
(Mons. Carmelo Cassati)
We may therefore conclude from the above and the limitations placed on the authority of a bishop as concerns the whole Church, that there is nothing wrong with any Catholic speaking highly of the holiness of Luisa and that it is morally correct to do so. In connection with this, we may conclude that there is also nothing wrong with referring others to her writings so they too, like Archbishop Cassati, may have the opportunity (after prayers for discernment, and recognizing the possibility that there may be translation errors) to learn about the highest of spiritual states - living in the Divine Will.
For more spiritual information about the Divine Will, see category: About/Contact
Please pray for Mary to help you and the Holy Spirit to guide you in this extremely important spiritual matter.
Thank you and God bless you,
Vincent T. Bemowski - Website Editor