Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath to SundayOctober 17, 2006
I came across an interesting blog posting at xcg–a blog that deals with the “theology, churches, and culture that grew out of Herbert W. Armstrong’s Worldwide Church of God”. In a post entitled “Bacchiochi’s Gregorian Controversy” some interesting data is given regarding the veracity of some of Bacchiochi’s claims about his doctoral study & subsequent book: From Sabbath to Sunday. Now I’m not interested in getting into an arguement about the veracity of Bacchiocchi’s research itself, rather I’m interested in the claims he makes about his education, books, and research. A letter sent by the Secretary General of the Pontifical Gregorian University to the Most Reverend James A. Murray, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan; is quoted as saying:
Dr. Bacchiocchi did indeed graduate with a doctoral degree from the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and was the first non-Catholic to do so. However, other claims he makes do not match those in our records. Those include:
1. He did not receive a summa from the Gregorian as he maintains.
2. He did not receive the Pope’s Gold Medal (this is presented each year in a public ceremony to only a handful of students who have achieved the highest quality of work in their dissertations).
3. He was not allowed to publish his dissertation in whole. Due to extensive problems with the text, he was only allowed to publish one chapter of his work and this only after extensive revision. The publication of one chapter signifies the minimum requirement to receive the doctoral degree at the Gregorian. His publicity and web site indicate that the whole dissertation has been published in book form with surrounding claims about its quality as a Gregorian publication. He has also used the official signature of the Gregorian University Press on the cover page of a book published by Biblical Perspectives.
4. At one time an imprimatur was claimed by Dr. Bacchiocchi, though we understand he later said this had been rescinded. As you know, this does not happen, nor does the Church find a need to give an imprimatur to non-Catholics who write on a variety of topics.
If this is in fact correct, then it seems that Bacchiocci has a problem.