Archive for the ‘Bacchiocchi’ Category

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Samuele Bacchiocchi Round 4?

March 14, 2007

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.

My previous posts on this issue appear here, here, and here.

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Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath to Sunday-Take 3

December 12, 2006

I have blogged previously on the controversy surrounding Samuele Bacchiocchi’s academic credentials & his use of an imprimatur in his published books, here and here. Bacchiocchi responded to some of the allegations concerning his qualifications in his Endtime Issues newsletter #159 which may be found here. In his recent Endtime Issues newsletter #160 Bacchiocchi responds to the second part of the allegations–his use of an imprimatur.

Stephen Korsman responds to Bacchiocchi’s statement comprehensively here.

To quote Korsman:

So I think it is quite clear – the Imprimatur on the current books printed by Bacchiocchi do not apply to the books it is printed in, and it never applied to his thesis as a whole. It is being used
inappropriately, and he should stop. It is misleading.
The[n] comes the fact that the Imprimatur still is not what he claims it is – approval of the contents by the Catholic Church. The contents are not in agreement with the Catholic faith, and nobody ever thought they were. Bacchiocchi admits it was a lengthy and difficult process, involving a number of favours, to get it. So, assuming it ever existed, it is still not approval from the Catholic Church. As Bacchiocchi admits elsewhere in his part 2, Imprimatur means “It can be printed”.

Based on my reading of the evidence offered by Bacchiocchi, I agree with Korsman’s statement.

Overall, it seems that Bacchiocchi has made a number of poor decisions in his drive for self-promotion, and is now reaping the fruits of such.

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Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath to Sunday–Take 2

November 20, 2006

Some weeks ago I blogged referencing allegations concerning Samuele Bacchiocchi’s academic credentials and the issue of the imprimatur associated with his book Sabbath to Sunday. Bacchiocchi has recently responded to some of the allegations that were originally raised by Dr. Barbara Bergami–the Secretary General of the Pontifical Gregorian University, who apparently mailed a letter, dated 11 June 2004, about Bacchiocchi’s credentials to the Most Reverend James A. Murray, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Kalamazoo, Michigan. Bacchiocchi’s Endtime Issues newsletter #159 addressing some of the issues raised may be found here.

As far as I’m concerned Bacchiocchi’s credentials have been shown to exist and to be what he said they were.

I must say that it is difficult to imagine the Secretary General of the Pontifical Gregorian University lying or deliberately falsifying information. It would seem to me that perhaps the problem has arisen because of the somewhat irregular nature of Bacchiocchi’s credentials–a hand-written certificate instead of the official printed one, missing the medal-giving ceremony, etc. (which he himself freely admits).

Stephen Korsman has blogged comprehensively on Bacchiocchi’s response here. He states:

“I await Bacchiocchi’s follow-up. He’s off to Australia now, and when he gets back, there should be more. I hope to see his explanation of a) the imprimatur, b) the continued use of the imprimatur on an edition for which it was not obtained, c) the use of the name of Gregorian University Press on newer editions in a way that looks official, and d) evidence of the initial publication by them.
On this evidence alone, however, I think it’s a very good time for Gregorian University to either recant or to provide their own documentation. Their argument is strong. But now Bacchiocchi’s argument is also strong – nearly as strong. If the images Bacchiocchi has scanned in and put on his website can be verified, they will certainly need to provide an explanation to back up their claims, if that is their intent. If his images cannot be verified, it’s still a case of his word against theirs. But on both sides, the words are strong.”

Korsman does point out that Bacchiocchi has addressed only one aspect of the concerns regarding his work/qualifications that have been raised. I guess we’ll just have to wait to see Bacchiocchi’s response to the issues surrounding his publication of From Sabbath to Sunday.

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Bacchiocchi’s Sabbath to Sunday

October 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.