In his latest newsletter: ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER No. 167 “The Achievements of the Cross – Part 2” Bacchiocchi lets us know that there has (at last been a response) to his request for the Pontifical Gregorian University to respond to what he has deemed false allegations.
“Those who have read my 50 pages response to the false allegations made against me by the General Secretary of the Pontifical Gregorian University, (Click Here to view) will be pleased to learn that finally I did receive an official and gracious letter dated February 23, 2007, from Gianfranco Ghirlanda, the Rector (President) of the Pontifical Gregorian University.
The letter is written in a cordial, irenic tone. In a masterful way, Rector Ghirlanda apologizes for some of the incorrect statements made by the General Secretary of the Gregoriana in a letter dated June 11, 2004, but on the other hand he defends the accuracy of some other statements.
Regarding the false allegation that I never received summa cum laude and the Pope’s Gold Medal, Rector Ghirlanda explains that the General Secretary meant that I did not receive these awards for the doctoral degree. He writes: “In her letter to Bishop Murray (of Kalamazoo), Dr. Bergami does not say that you never received a summa cum laude or a gold medal of Pope Paul VI, in as much as the letter was limited to the doctorate as its immediate object.” He goes on admitting that “In fact, you received the summa cum laude for the Licentiate, having earned the overall grade of 9.6, and for that distinction you received the gold medal with the figure of Pope Paul VI.”
I appreciate Rector Ghirlanda’s attempts to limit the statements of the General Secretary, Dr. Barbara Bergami, to the doctoral degree, but this is not the way her statements have been understood by the thousand of websites that defame me for falsely claiming to have received summa cum laude and a gold medal of Pope Paul VI.
Dr. Bergami simply wrote: “He did not receive summa from the Gregorian as he maintains.” This broad statement without qualification, suggests that my academic performance was not very good. This is confirmed by the “priest investigator” who wrote: “He never received a summa cum laude. . . . Also, FYI, his grades were not very good here.” Obviously this allegation is false, since I received 9.4 for the Baccaloreatus which qualified me for the magna cum laude and a silver medal, 9.6 for the Licentia which qualified me for the summa cum laude and a gold medal, and 9.2 for the doctoratus which qualified me for the magna cum laude.
The reason I failed to explain that I received the summa cum laude and the gold medal for the Licentia, is twofold. First, the Licentia is an essential part of the doctoral program. It represents the completion of all the doctoral class work and the defence of an abridged version of the doctoral dissertation. This gives seminarians the license or authorization to teach in Catholic seminaries. Second, very few people in the English-speaking world, would understand the distinction between the Licentia and the Doctoratus. The fact is that I received the academic distinctions of magna or summa cum laude for all the three phases of the doctoral program.
Regarding the publication of my dissertation, Rector Ghirlanda apologizes for the inaccurate statement contained in Dr. Bergami’s letter to Bishop Murray of Kalamazoo. He writes: “With regard to the publication of the doctoral thesis, I do wish to correct what is stated in the letter to Bishop Murray (‘He was not allowed to publish his dissertation in whole). Both the Director of the thesis, Prof. Vincenzo Monachino, and the second reader, Prof. Martinez-Fazio, certified that the thesis could be published, without being submitted to a second review, in part (Chapters IV, V, or VII) or in its entirety, indicating at the same time a series of obligatory corrections in their written judgement. . . . I apologize for this mistake, in the name of the University” (bold in the original).This apology is very important for me, because it puts to rest the false allegation I was allowed to publish only one chapter of my dissertation because “the dissertation had too many problems.” The fact is that I was allowed to publish both the abridged and unabridged versions of my dissertation because there was no need to submit for a “second review.”
Due to time constraints, I will limit myself to above few comments. I plan to prepare a fuller response and to post the scanned letter of Rector Ghirlanda at my website. Interested readers will soon find the full dialogue and documentation at my website.
I would like to express my gratitude to Rector Ghirlanda for taking time to examine my response and rectify some of the false allegations. Though some allegations still remain unresolved, in the spirit of Christian forgiveness I consider the case closed.
It seems that errors and misjudgements were made on both sides. At the very least, Bacchiocchi’s quest for self promotion led him to stretch the truth regarding his gold medal.
For those readers unaware, Bacchiocchi was recently diagnosed with colon cancer. He has more recently been diagnosed with liver cancer. I’d like to wish him and his family well in this battle.