ENDTIME ISSUES NEWSLETTER  No. 160

“Bacchiocchi Responds to False Allegations - Part 2”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.

Retired Professor of Church History and Theology

Andrews University

 

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             The unusual volume of messages of encouragement received from readers of the last newsletter No. 159, made me forcefully aware of the valuable support structure a community of faith can provide in trying times. Surprisingly, even some of my detractors reassured me that they are praying for us at this time, when we are facing the challenge to refute  the false allegations made by officers of the Pontifical Gregorian University regarding my academic awards and the publication of my abridged and unabridged dissertation by the Gregorian Press.

 

             Since my wife was eager to read your messages of encouragements, I pasted them together and printed them for her to enjoy. It is reassuring for us to know that many fellow believers in different parts of the world are praying for us.  Thank you for your encouraging messages which mean a lot to us. They give us confidence to trust in God for protection, wisdom, and guidance.

 

             In responding to false accusations, it is easy to allow feelings of anger manifest themselves in a vindictive writing style. Thus, I am praying for divine wisdom and grace in preparing this response in a forgiving spirit. My goal is not to prove the absolute accuracy of my claims in order to seek financial compensation for the academic and moral defamation I have suffered, but simply to put to rest all the false accusations. 

 

             The easiest way to stop the ongoing defamation campaign against my academic achievements and moral integrity, is for officers of the Pontifical Gregorian University to issue a retraction and an apology. Legal action will only be considered as a last resort. It is with this in mind, that I submit the second part of my response to the false allegations. I warn you that sections of this response are tedious, because I have to deal with technical questions.  Please bear with me this time. A detailed response is needed to silence the gossip and the countless allegations floating in cyberspace. Eventually this two parts response will be edited and made into a formal document that will be sent to both the Pontifical Gregorian University and Bishop James Murray of Kalamazoo.

 

THE ORIGIN OF THE “GREGORIAN CONTROVERSY”

 

             Several readers have expressed surprise that the Pontifical Gregorian University waited so long to attack my moral integrity and academic credibility. The fact is that this defamatory campaign began in subtle ways about 25 years ago. Briefly stated, this is the story.

 

             As my dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday began circulating in different parts of the world, a few Catholic Church leaders found it difficult to accept the fact that I, a non-Catholic, would be allowed to enter, study, and write a dissertation published with the Catholic imprimatur. They were particularly distressed over my thesis that Sundaykeeping is a post-apostolic phenomenon, influenced by political, social, pagan-religious factors.

 

             In the early 1980’s I started receiving inquiring letters from Catholic leaders in such dominant Catholic countries like Argentina, Brazil, Puerto Rico, Mexico, asking me who directed my dissertation, how did I receive the imprimatur—approval, who published the dissertation, etc. It became evident to me that an investigation was in progress. Some Catholic newspapers even posted the page of the imprimatur, raising questions about my credibility.  See, for example, the picture of El Piloto, published in Puerto Rico. 

 

             Eventually the complaints must have been brought to the attention of Pedro Arrupe, S. J., The Superior General of the Jesuit order. Since Prof. Vincenzo Monachino, S. J., was responsible for supervising my dissertation, approving it, and arranging for the issuing of the imprimatur, he must have been called by Arrupe to explain what he did. I do not have any proof of such meeting, but I have reasons to believe that such meeting took place.

 

             My reasons are based on the sudden change of attitude of Prof. Monachino toward me.  From 1975 to about 1980 we had enjoyed a most cordial relationships. I visited him regularly every time I went to Rome. I always brought him a small gift from America as a token expression of gratitude for his helpfulness to me. I even try to arrange for the English translation and publication of his doctoral dissertation on St. Ambrose in the USA. I still have in my possessions several of his letters regarding this project.

 

             The situation changed suddenly in the early 1980’s. One day I called the receptionist of the Gregoriana, asking to connect me to Prof. Monachino. He tried but Prof. Monachino told him that he could not talk with me anymore. I asked the receptionist to find out the reason or if we could arrange for a meeting to discuss the problem, but again the answer was that no reason could be given and no meeting could take place.  It became evident to me that Prof. Monachino had been instructed by his superior, Pedro Arrupe, S. J., to have no more contacts with me.

 

             At the same time, Catholic bookstores, including the bookshop of the Gregoriana, asked me to arrange for taking back all the unsold copies of From Sabbath to Sunday.  Until then, several Catholic bookstores in Rome were constantly ordering copies of the book that my godly mother would deliver to them in person.  Then suddenly, all the orders stopped and I was asked to take back the unsold copies.

 

             Catholic Institutions that attempted to order From Sabbath to Sunday from the Gregorian University bookshop, were told that the book was sold out and no longer available. Eventually, some of these institutions like Notre Dame University, found my website and ordered copies directly from me for their classes.

 

             These earlier attempts to diminish and restrict the impact of my investigation on the change from Sabbath to Sunday, were a prelude to the false allegations against me made a little over two years ago by Dr. Barbara Bergami, the General Secretary of the Pontifical Gregorian University and by a priest who helped in the investigation of my academic records. I hope that this brief background of the “Gregorian Controversy,” helps to place the new allegations in perspective.

 

A BRIEF REPORT ON THE AUSTRALIAN LECTURE TOUR

 

Sydney:  November 17 to 20, 2006

 

             From November 17 to December 4, 2006 I was privileged to share my ministry in Australia for the sixth time. This time I spoke at two rallies and two workers’ meeting. The first rally was held in Sydney at the Parramatta SDA Church, which is one of the largest church in Sydney. The senior pastor, Rein Muhlberg, is a well-read man who keeps abreast with Adventist scholarship. It was a real pleasure to dialogue with him because he is fully cognisant of the doctrinal issues our church faces today.

 

             On Sabbath, November 18,  the Parramatta SDA church was full and a close circuit was set up in the youth auditorium to accommodate the overflow. When Pastor Rein Muhlberg asked for a show of hands to identify visitors from the various churches, we learned that members had come from a dozen of churches. Some told me that they had travelled 3 to 4 hours to attend the meetings.  The reception and the response was truly marvellous.

 

             Australians have the reputation for being more theological oriented.  They appreciate listening to a Bible teacher who opens their mind to the deeper meaning and experience of biblical teachings. Their keen interest was manifested in the perceptive questions they asked on Sabbath afternoon after my lecture “The Sabbath Under Crossfire,” where I deal with the latest Sabbath/Sunday developments.  An even clearer gage of the interest was the eagerness of many to purchase my publications and recordings after the close of the Sabbath.

 

             On Monday morning, November 20, I spoke for three hours at the Workers’ Meeting of the Greater Sydney Conference, held at the same Parramatta SDA Church. About 80 pastors and local elders attended the meeting.  I delivered two powerpoint lectures.  The first entitled “From Sabbath to Sunday: How It Came About?” and the second on “The Mark and Number of the Beast.”  I anticipated some debate, especially after the second lecture, but it never materialized. In fact, most of the pastors told me that they had long accepted the change proposed by our Adventist Church from the numeric to the symbolic interpretation of the number 666. The world church was informed about the proposed change in the Sabbath School Lesson of June 1-7, 2002.

 

             Australian Adventist pastors are open to changes that ultimately strengthen our prophetic and doctrinal interpretations.  An indication of this openness is the new REVELATION SEMINAR, which is being sponsored by the South Pacific Division. The Seminar is currently being prepared by Prof. Jon Paulien from Andrews University Theological Seminary and Prof. Graeme Bradford, retired professor from Avondale College.  This coming year a selected number of pastors will test the seminar, before being made available sometime later to the church at large.

 

Brisbane: November 24-27, 2006

 

             From Sydney I flew to Brisbane to speak first at the three days SABBATH CONFERENCE (November 24-26), and then on Monday, November 27, at the Workers’ Meeting.  I flew to Brisbane greatly distressed over the loss of both my Italian and American passports. The loss occurred at the Sydney domestic airport while walking to the counter of the Virginia Blue airlines. When I looked inside the external pocket of my garment bag for the small billfold with my two passports, I was shocked to discover that my billfold was no longer there. Somebody may have snatched the billfold since I had left the pocket of my garment bag unzipped and the billfold looked like a wallet.

 

             For the next 5 hours it was a nightmare experience for me.  I retraced my steps, checked with the police and security people, went twice to the lost and found office, visited the immigration office and travelled even the corporate office of United Airline to find out if they would allow me to fly back to the USA without passport. Regretfully, they informed me that the new security measures do not allow any passenger to fly to the USA without a passport.  My search for my passports proved to be in vain.  No one had seen them. Common sense told me to leave my email address in all offices I visited, in case the passports would show up. This proved to be a blessing a few hours later, as you will soon learn.

 

             I flew to Brisbane 5 hours later emotionally drained. I prayed that the Lord would help me not only to find my passports, but also to clear my mind and renew within me a positive spirit to minister to the people.  At 10:00 p. m. that night when I checked my email for the last time before going to bed, my heart skipped a beat when I opened the message of Katharyna Kobzan, a  police officer at Marrickville Police Station in Sydney. She nformed me that a Sydney airport police officer was handed in my two passports which had been placed in the safe of the police station for me to pick up. What a relief! I said aloud: THANK YOU GOD! Now I was ready for a good night of rest to regain my strength for the SABBATH CONFERENCE scheduled to begin the next evening.

 

             The conference was held at the Brisbane Adventist College auditorium, which is modern, spacious, but without air-conditioning.  When on Sabbath and Sunday the temperature reached over 90 degrees fahrenheit, I experience one of the most “sweating” event of my life. Though I was speaking without jacket and a tie, my short sleeves shirt was thoroughly wet. Surprisingly, it almost seemed that I was the only one who was sweating so much. Perhaps I am too passionate in my speaking. The other pastors seem to be dry and so the over 500  members attending the conference.  They did not seem to complain. In fact, in spite of the oppressive heat, hardly a person left during the meetings. Apparently Australians seem to be able to cope with the heat better than we Americans do, possible because air-conditioning is not readily available everywhere as in the USA.

 

             The SABBATH CONFERENCE was a success in several ways. First, in terms of participation.  About half of the over 500 persons attending were non-SDA Sabbathkeepers belonging to dozen of different churches and groups. Several of their pastors participated in a panel discussion. On Sunday morning Pastor Bill Bradford of the United Church of God, delivered an informative final lecture on the struggles his church has faced in holding fast to the Sabbath, when their mother church abandoned it.

 

             Second, the conference was a success in term of fellowship.  This was the first time that so many different seventh-day Sabbathkeeping churches and groups worshipped and fellowshipped together.  In my farewell comments I urged to plan for similar events that encourage a greater interaction among the various seventh-day Sabbathkeeping churches and groups.

 

             Third, the conference was a success in terms of learning and inspiration.  Though I was asked to speak most of the time, we learned a lot about how the Sabbath is understood and experience by fellow Sabbatarians. The panel led by five Sabbatarian pastors, discussed some of the challenges their members face today.  We were inspired by the testimony of those who chose to stand for the Sabbath at the time when their mother church, the Worldwide Church of God, gave up the Sabbath.

 

             On my part I wish to thank both the various Sabbatarian churches for inviting me in the first place, (especially Mr. Craig White who coordinated the conference in a masterful way), as well as the South Queensland Conference for co-sponsoring the event and providing the venue for the conference.   I firmly believe that our Adventist Church should be a rallying place for all people, especially for those who share the same commitment to honor the Savior on His Holy Sabbath Day.

 

             On Monday, November 27, I spoke at the Workers’ Meeting of the South Queensland Conference. Since some of the pastors live several hundreds of miles from the Conference office, only about 20 of them could attend the meeting. To allow more time for questions, this time I decided to deliver only the powerpoint lecture on “The Mark and Number of the Beast.”

 

             Like in Sydney, the response was very positive. Several pastors expressed their appreciation for the new insights into this central prophecy of Revelation, which is so relevant to our times. Practically all the pastors ordered the complete set of my 18 books and 7 DVD/CD albums.  I will fondly remember the warm reception and response I received in Australia from our Adventist pastors, members, and friends of other faiths. I look forward to a another opportunity to share my ministry “down under.”  It is a long trip requiring 20 hours of flying from Andrews University, but it is worthwhile. It is a real blessing to minister to our Australian fellow believers and Christian friends.

 

SABBATH CONFERENCE IN KNOXVILLE, TENNESSEE

 

             The Sabbath Conference held in Brisbane reminds me of a similar invitation I just received from Bruce Horne, Ph. D., a Professor of English Literature in Knoxville, Tennessee. On behalf of his church board, he invited me to speak at his Seventh Day Christian Assembly one weekend in 2007.  In a phone conversation I asked him if his members would consider rallying together with our Adventist congregation of the Knoxville First SDA Church. After consulting with his board,  he reassured me that the proposal was warmly received.

 

             I discussed the proposal with Pastor Dale Wolfe of our Knoxville First SDA Church. He was and is very supportive of the idea. His sanctuary can seat about 500 persons and we expect it to be packed for the Sabbath Conference scheduled for April 20-21, 2007.

 

             Prof. Horne wrote to me: “Our church wants to invite Sabbatarian groups as far away as Cincinnati, Lexington, Kingsport, and Nashville.  The truth is, we may have a crowd far too large for Knoxville First SDA Church.  I pray we may have a crowd of 1,000 or more for your visit!”

 

             What a privilege to fellowship and worship with fellow sabbatarians who may never have been in an Adventist church before! May our Adventist churches become a rallying place, not only for sabbatarians, but for all people who seek to worship God according to His revealed will.

 

UPDATE REPORT ON CRACKING THE DA VINCI CODE

 

             The release of the DVD Album Cracking the Da Vinci Code, is generating considerable interest and enthusiastic responses from viewers in different parts of the world. At the last two weekend seminars, I have shown part of the DVD lecture Cracking the Da Vinci Code, before my afternoon presentation. The response was most encouraging.  Many members queued up to purchase the album after the close of the Sabbath.

 

             Three things you will appreciate about the newly released  DVD album on Cracking the Da Vinci Code:

            

             1) You will appreciate the clarity of the lecture which is delivered with the help of 140 appealing slides in the setting of an impressive virtual studio. The slides are professionally designed to vividly illustrate the concepts discussed.

 

             2) You will appreciate the compelling refutation of Dan Brown’s blatant attacks against the fundamental beliefs of the Christian faith. To avoid confusing the viewer with technical scholarly arguments, I have focused on the major false claims of The Da Vinci Code, showing how they are totally devoid of biblical and historical support.

 

             3)  You will appreciate most of all the insights into the prophetic significance of Dan Brown’s neo-pagan false worship of the “sacred feminine” with ritual sex.  You will see how this false worship is part of the endtime showdown between the true and false worship of God, portrayed dramatically especially in the book of Revelation.

 

             To facilitate the sharing of the Cracking the Da Vinci Code to friends and neighbors, many have requested for a special discount on quantity orders of 10 albums or more. In response to these requests, we decided to offer until November 30, 2006, the DVD album Cracking the Da Vinci Code at an unprecedented introductory offer:

 

ONE DVD ALBUM for $35.00 instead of regular price of $100.00.

            This represents 65% discount.

THREE DVD ALBUMS for $50.00 instead of $300.00.

            This represents about 80% discount.

TEN DVD ALBUMS for $100.00 instead of $1000.00.

            This represents 90% discount.

 

The quoted prices include the AIRMAIL expenses to any overseas destination. You can order the DVD albums on CRACKING THE DA VINCI CODE  in four different ways:

 

            (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/DaVinci/

            (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

            (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.  

   

            (4) Regular Mail: By mailing your check to BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

FREE CD/DVD ALBUM OF PROF. GRAEME BRADFORD

           

            Several pastors have reported to me that after showing to their congregation Prof. Bradford’s live DVD lecture on Ellen White, most members were very eager to purchase a copy of the book MORE THAN A PROPHET at the special offer of $5.00 per copy, instead of the regular price of $25.00.

 

            To make it possible for every Adventist family to benefit from Prof. Bradford’s timely book MORE THAN A PROPHET, I decided to offer  until December 31, 2006, one FREE CD/DVD album of Prof. Bradford, with any order of 2 or more copies of the book MORE THAN A PROPHET.  The regular price of the CD/DVD album is $100.00, but you will receive this album free with your order of 2 or more copies of the book.  The reason for this offer is the conviction that when your church members and friends view Prof. Bradford’s DVD lecture, they will be eager to purchase a copy of his book. For more details and order information, click here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BradfordOffer/offer.htm  If you have problems to order the book on line, feel free to call us at (269) 471-2915.

 

            More than a Prophet is the fruit of twenty years of Prof. Bradford’s painstaking research on the prophetic ministry of Ellen White. It is a long-overdue book that clears the air of prevailing misconceptions about Ellen White which have caused thousands of Adventists to leave church. It has been encouraging to receive messages from former Adventists who after reading More than a Prophet, express the desire to come back to the church.

 

            A dozen of Conferences have already donated a copy of More than a Prophet to each of their workers.  For example, the Texas Conference ordered 200 copies. Other conferences have ordered fewer copies because of their smaller number of workers.  Overseas conferences like the South African Union, ordered 300 copies. Your personal effort to promote this timely book in your church is greatly appreciated.

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS AT THE END OF THE NEWSLETTERS

 

          A detailed description of the special offers on goods and services is provided at the end of this newsletter. Here is a brief listing of the announcements that are expanded at the end of this newsletter.

 

1. CALENDAR OF FORTHCOMING WEEKEND SEMINARS for the month of December 2006. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

2. DR. BACCHIOCCHI’S  DVD ALBUM ON THE MARK AND NUMBER OF THE BEAST. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

3.  DR. BACCHIOCCHI’S HOLIDAY PACKAGE OF ALL HIS  RECORDINGS. The package consists of 6 albums (including the latest on Cracking the Da Vinci Code), which are offered for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $700.00. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

4. DR. BACCHIOCCHI’S HOLIDAY PACKAGE OF ALL HIS BOOKS. The package consists of 18 books (including the latest on More than a Prophet), which are offered for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $455.00. Several books in the package make a perfect Holiday Gift. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

5. PROF. JON PAULIEN PUBLICATIONS IN ONE CD ALBUM.  The album contains more than a dozen of books and scores of articles written during the past 20 years of research. See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

6. TAGNET SPECIAL NEW WEB HOSTING OFFER for Adventist churches and members. TAGnet provides an incredible number of webhosting services to our churches and members. This newsletter comes to you through their gracious and efficient service. For detail information, visit their website at http://www.netadventist.org or   http://home.tagnet.org/ You may also call their office 800 - 9TAGNET. They are ready and eager to help you.

 

7. SPECIAL OFFER ON HITACHI PROJECTORS: HITACHI has offered an additional discount to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. For examples, the special offer for the new 2500 LUMENS PROJECTOR CP-X260 IS ONLY $1195.00, instead of the previous SDA price of $2595.00.  See the details at the end of this newsletter or call me at 269-471-2915

 

8. SPECIAL OFFER ON NEWLY RELEASED TOSHIBA LAPTOP TECRA A8 with dual processor and finger-print security.  See details at the end.

 

9. REMOTE PRESENTER: Special offer on the smallest and most powerful REMOTE  powerpoint presenter by Honeywell.  See the details at the end of this newsletter.

 

10. BED & BREAKFAST FACILITIES IN LONDON, ENGLAND

If your travel plans call for a stop in London, you will be pleased to learn about a most gracious Adventist couple that offer the best accommodation and breakfast I have ever enjoyed. It has become my home away from home when in London.  See details at: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Promotions/BED&BREAKFAST.htm

 

“Bacchiocchi Responds to False Allegations - Part 2”

Samuele Bacchiocchi, Ph. D.

Retired Professor of Church History and Theology

Andrews University

 

             In the last newsletter No. 159, I submitted a lengthy response to two major false allegations made against me by Dr. Barbara Bergami, the General Secretary of the Pontifical Gregorian University and by a priest who helped in the investigation of my academic records. As you recall, the first allegation denies the validity of my claim that I earned the summa cum laude distinction at the Gregoriana.   The second false accusation denies the truthfulness of my claim that I received a gold medal donated by Pope Paul VI for earning the academic distinction of summa cum laude. 

 

             To refute these two false allegations I submitted ample and compelling documentation in my last newsletter. The documentation includes pictures of the Licentia diploma with the wording of summa cum laude, the gold medal donated by Pope Paul VI for earning  summa cum laude, the Grade Booklet that shows my grades and the academic distinction of summa cum laude, and the annual Academic Report published by the  Pontifical Gregorian University, which lists the students who earned academic distinction. An asterisk identifies the few who received the papal medals. The pictures of these documents, posted and discussed at my website http://biblicalperspectives.com/Gregoriana/, show beyond the shadow of doubt that my claims about earning the summa cum laude  and receiving the papal gold medal are totally correct and the denial of such claims by officers of the Gregoriana is completely false.

 

             In this newsletter I am responding to the remaining two false allegations, namely, that I was allowed to publish only one chapter of my dissertation “due to extensive problems with the text,” and that no imprimatur –approval  was ever granted for my abridged or unabridged dissertation,  because the Catholic Church does not give an imprimatur  to non-Catholics.

 

             The sequential order of the four false allegations reveal a certain logic. The first two allegations attempt to discredit my academic performance at the Gregoriana.  This paves the way for the last two allegations which attempt to discredit the scholarship of my dissertation by denying that it was ever published in whole by the Gregorian Press and that no imprimatur was ever granted for its publications. 

 

             Simply stated, the four false allegations, first they attempt to destroy my moral integrity by accusing me of having made false statements about my academic awards, then they proceed to attack the scholarly credibility of my dissertation. The ultimate goal is to discredit the methodology and conclusions of my dissertation regarding the role of the Church of Rome in changing the Sabbath to Sunday.

 

             The task of responding to these false allegations is tedious, because I am submitting and discussing numerous documents. I beg my readers to be patient with me one more time. Several revealing documents are still in my possession.  I will post their pictures and discuss their probative value.

 

             Let me begin responding to the allegation regarding the publication of the abridged and unabridged versions of my dissertation.

 

BACCHIOCCHI WAS ALLOWED TO PUBLISH ONLY ONE CHAPTER OF HIS DISSERTATION DUE TO EXTENSIVE TEXT PROBLEMS

 

             In her letter to Bishop James Murray of Kalamazoo, Dr. Barbara Bergami, General Secretary of the Pontifical Gregorian University,  states: “ 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.”

 

             On a similar vein, the priest who helped to conduct the investigation wrote to Stephen Korsman, (the South African Medical Doctor who called for an investigation of my claims),  as follows: “He was allowed to publish a small part of the dissertation. This is obligatory in order to receive the title ‘Doctor’ from the Gregorian and the awarded degree.  He was never allowed to publish the whole dissertation.  In fact, the partial publication signifies that the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole. . . . The obligatory corrections were enormous.  In fact, there are many questions the director has about bibliographic sources, ambiguous references, etc. (Sort of the same issues that now face Dan Brown from Theologians).” Comparing me with Dan Brown is absurd, because Dan Brown fabricated documents, while I examine them

 

Bacchiocchi Responds to False Allegations Regarding the Publication of the Abridged and Unabridged Version of his Dissertation

 

             The allegation that “due to extensive problems with the text, he was only allowed to publish one chapter of his work and this only after extensive revision,” is completely false. No restriction was ever placed upon me by my advisor, Prof. Vincenzo Monachino, S. J., nor by P. Angelo Damboriena, S. J., the Director of the Universita Gregoriana Editrice—Gregorian University Press.  They never instructed me on how much of the dissertation I could publish or which obligatory changes were to be made. This will be proven shortly when I post the letter from P. Angelo Damboriena, S. J.

 

             The Limitation of Time.  The only two limitations I faced in preparing the abridged version of my dissertation were time and money. The limitation of time was due to my full time teaching schedule at Andrews University while I was preparing the 144 pages Tesina—abridged dissertation for publication by the Gregorian University Press. Note that I defended my dissertation on June 14, 1974 and the Gregorian University Press published my Tesina exactly one year later, on June 1975.  The reason I submitted only an abridged version of my dissertation at the Gregorian University Press within a year from my defence, is simply because I was eager to receive  as soon as possible the diploma of my doctoratus. The diploma determined both my academic status and salary level at Andrews University.

 

             My original plan was to fulfil my last requirement of the Doctoratus by submitting the whole dissertation for publication at the Gregorian University Press. It would have been more practical to publish the whole dissertation from the outset. But I soon discover that this was an impossible task to accomplish in one year while teaching full time new classes I never taught before. Furthermore, my original 528 pages Italian dissertation needed to be translated into English and edited.  This was a time consuming project that could not be completed during my first year of teaching at Andrews University. 

 

             In view of the time limitations, I decided to translate and prepare for publication those sections of my dissertation which contain the major findings of my research, namely, the role of anti-Judaism in leading many Christians to abandon the Sabbath and the role of the Church of Rome in influencing many Christians to adopt the Dies Solis—Sunday.

 

             Contrary to the allegations, what I prepared for publication  was not only “a single chapter,” or “a small part of the dissertation,” but a major portion of 144 pages of what later became the 372 pages English version From Sabbath to Sunday. I am partly responsible for the confusion on this matter, because in some places I wrote that my Tesina  consisted of chapter 5 of my Italian dissertation and in other places of chapter 7 of its English edition. Technically, both statements are correct, because what originally was chapter 5 of my Italian dissertation “Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday,” later became chapter 7 of the English version From Sabbath to Sunday.

 

             What is incorrect is the scope of the published chapter. Unintentionally, I have failed to explain that the Tesina entitled Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, expands into 144 pages, the 23 pages of chapter 7 “Anti-Judaism an the Origin of Sunday” found in From Sabbath to Sunday (pp. 213-235 ). The expanded version includes sections from two other chapters where I deal with the role played by the Jerusalem Church and the Church of Rome on the origin of Sunday. The reason for submitting an expanded version was the desire to offer to English readers a good overview of the whole dissertation, in case the latter could never be published because of time or financial limitations.

 

             Financial Limitations. The second reason for submitting to the Gregorian University Press an abridged version of my dissertation, was the financial limitations.  In other words, the reason was not the “extensive problems with the text,” or the enormous “obligatory corrections,” but the cost of publishing the whole dissertation. The Gregorian University Press does not publish abridged or unabridged dissertation free of charge. The author or the institution that he represents, must pay for the printing cost.

 

             The cost of printing 1100 copies of Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, was about $3000.00, plus $500.00 to airfreight the books to the USA. The estimated cost of publishing 1100 copies of the whole 372 pages From Sabbath to Sunday would have been about $7000.00, plus $900.00 for the airfreight to the Andrews University Press.

 

             As you can imagine, $7900.00 was more money than I could afford after my first year of teaching. At that time I had not developed a system for promoting and distributing my books.  I was totally dependent upon Andrews University Press to purchase and distribute my abridged and later unabridged dissertation.  Its Director, Dr. James J. C. Cox, was not prepared to invest $7900.00 to buy 1100 copies of my unabridged version, which was later published under the title From Sabbath to Sunday.  He did finance with some apprehension the publishing of 1100 copies of Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, wandering if such a scholarly study would sell well.  It was this stark financial reality—not the obligatory “enormous corrections”— that convinced me to prepare an abridged version of my dissertation.

 

             “Extensive Problems with the Text.”  Dr. Barbara Bergami claims that “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 same allegation is repeated even more emphatically by the “Priest Investigator” who wrote:  “He was never allowed to publish the whole dissertation.  In fact, the partial publication signifies that the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole. . . . The obligatory corrections were enormous.  In fact, there are many questions the director has about bibliographic sources, ambiguous references, etc. (Sort of the same issues that now face Dan Brown from Theologians).”

 

             Were there such “extensive problems with the text” and enormous “obligatory corrections” that restricted me to submit only one chapter of my dissertation?  The answer is “NO!” As shown above, I was allowed to submit to the Pontifical Gregorian Press, not one but several chapters for a total of 144 pages. As explained earlier, it was only the limitations of time and money that prevented me from submitting the whole dissertation.

            

             Contrary to the allegations, the partial publication of my dissertation, does NOT “signify that the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole.” The falsity of this allegation is clearly proven by the PREFACE to the whole dissertation written by Prof. Vincenzo Monachino himself on June 27, 1977.  Keep in mind that before directing my dissertation, Prof. Monachino spent two years supervising the doctoral dissertation of Corrado Mosna, Storia della Domenica dalle Origini fino agli Inizi del V Secolo—A History of Sunday from its Origin until the Beginning of the Fifth Century. This dissertation was published in 1969, a few years before mine.  This means that Prof. Monachino was well familiar with the biblical and patristic texts, having directed Mosna’s dissertation a few years before mine.

 

             The Probative Value of the PREFACE. In the PREFACE, Prof. Monachino writes: “The new work of Dr. Samuele Bacchiocchi is to be welcomed. He takes up again the study of this suggestive theme and, by analyzing critically the various factors—theological, social, political, pagan-religious—which have somehow influenced the adoption of Sunday as a day of Christian worship, he makes an effort to provide a complete picture of the origin and progressive configuration of Sunday until the fourth century. It is a work that recommends itself because of its rich content, the rigorous scientific method, and the vast horizon with which it has been conceived and executed.  This is indicative of the author’s singular ability to encompass various fields in order to capture those aspects and elements related to the theme under investigation.

 

             “We gladly mention the thesis that Bacchiocchi defends regarding the birth-place of Sunday worship: for him this arose most probably not in the primitive Church of Jerusalem, well-known for its profound attachment to Jewish religious traditions, but rather in the Church of Rome. The abandonment of the Sabbath and the adoption of Sunday as the Lord’s Day, are the result of an interplay of Christian, Jewish, and pagan-religious factors”  (pp. 7-8).

 

             Does the wording of the PREFACE support the allegation that  “the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole”? Absolutely NOT! On the contrary, Prof. Monachino praises the study for “its rich content, the rigorous scientific method, and the vast horizon with which it has been conceived and executed.”

 

             A Letter from the Director of the Gregorian University Press. Further proof  for the scholarly quality of the dissertation is provided by a an official letter to be posted and discussed shortly. The letter was sent to me by Angelo Damboriena, S. J., the Director of the Gregorian University Press. Incidentally, I learned that the Gregorian University Press that printed books in the basement of the administration building, no longer exists. The printing press was closed down about 20 years ago, presumably because of its limited production.

 

             In his letter, Damboriena informs me that both he and Prof. Monachino supported the inclusion of From Sabbath to Sunday in the scientific series known as Analecta Gregoriana. Unfortunately, the proposal was not accepted by the editorial board because “it is not possible to include is such series a study that has already been published with personal copyright.”

 

             My plan was to submit the manuscript to the editorial board of Analecta Gregoriana  before its publication. But when I arrived in Rome in June 1977 to do the final editing and help in proof-reading the galleys, I was informed that the board would not meet until October, because most of its members were away during the Summer recess. This left me with two choices. I could either postpone the publication of the dissertation for four months until the next meeting of the editorial board, or authorize the Gregorian University Press to proceed with its publication. I opted for the second choice, since I had flown to Rome planning to spend a month, doing any final editing required by Prof. Monachino  and assisting in the proof reading of the galleys. I still hoped that the editorian board might consider including  From Sabbath to Sunday  in the Analecta Gregoriana.

 

             Incidentally, I negotiated a personal copyright for both the abridged and unabridged versions of the dissertation, in order to be able to reprint the books in the USA. The cost of printing was cheaper at the Gregorian Press, but I soon learned that  shipping books to the USA was laborious and very expensive.  This is why I negotiated a personal copyright.

 

             The Corrections of the Dissertation. Were there corrections to be made to the dissertation?  The answer is “YES!” I made the corrections in accordance to the instructions I had received.  I still have in my possession the Italian dissertation with all the marginal corrections requested by Prof. Monachino. For the sake of clarity he also printed out the list of corrections.  In preparing the English edition of the abridged and unabridged versions of my dissertation, I spent several months, translating and editing the text in accordance to the correction requested.

 

             When finally I submitted to Prof. Monachino the corrected versions, first of the abridged and later of the unabridged English dissertation, he approved both of them within few days without requesting substantive changes.  In fact, I made the last few changes while sitting at a desk inside the Pontifical Gregorian Press, that was located in the basement of the main administration building. While proof-reading the galleys printed with an old linotype, I did any last minute correction suggested by Prof. Monachino. Almost every other day he came down to the Press to check on how the project was proceeding.

 

               I volunteered to help the proof reader by double checking the galleys for any possible mistake that may have escaped his scrutiny, especially since English was his second language. For the publication of both the abridged and unabridged English version of my dissertation, I spent almost the whole month of June 1975 and later of July 1977, in the basement of the Gregoriana, helping with the proof-reading.  In the process I became accepted almost as a member of their crew by Brother Bartolotti, the Director, and Luciano, the foreman. We had a most pleasant time together.

 

             Did the Gregorian University Press Refuse to Publish the Whole Dissertation? Both Dr. Barbara Bergami and the “priest investigator” categorically deny that the Gregorian University Press ever published the whole dissertation because there were extensive problems with the text.  Dr. Bergami emphatically states: “He was not allowed to publish his dissertation in whole.”  The same categorical statement is made by the “priest investigator: “He was never allowed to publish the whole dissertation.”

 

             The best way for me to respond to this allegation is to briefly report on the process that led me to submit to the Gregorian University Press the whole manuscript for publication. It all started with the surprising demand for the abridged version of my dissertation Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday  (pp. 144) that was published by the Gregorian University Press in June 1975 for me to obtain the title and the diploma of Doctor of Church History.

 

             When the first 1100 copies reached Andrews University Press, they sold like hot cakes. Within a few months we asked the Gregorian Press to reprint 5000 copies and shipped them to the Andrews University Press. The surprising demand for Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday, persuaded me to proceed with the translation, correction and compression of the whole Italian dissertation.

 

             The Preparation of the English Manuscript. It took me about two years to complete the project, partly because I was teaching full time.  In a letter dated March 13, 1977, I informed Prof. Monachino that I was preparing the English manuscript, “keeping in mind your valid observations.”  Specifically, I wrote: “I have eliminated the lengthy quotations as well as the needless repetitions. Some themes have been expanded after reading The
Theology of Jewish Christianity
by Cardinal Jean Danielou, S. J. . . . Overall I believe that my thesis of a Roman origin of the weekly Sunday and annual Easter Sunday is emerging with greater clarity in this revision that I am preparing.”

 

             In the same letter I informed Prof. Monachino that the manuscript should ready to be sent to Gregorian University Press by the end of June 1977. Then I added: “I would be greatly honored if the volume included even a short Preface from your pen.   I am attaching a copy of your general evaluation of the dissertation that you may wish to use with some modifications.”

 

             In his reply dated April 4, 1977, Prof. Monachino wrote: “Since you are coming to Rome to arrange for the publication of your complete study, though in an abbreviated version, at that time we will discuss the Preface, which I am glad to do.  You did well to mail me the general evaluation I gave to your study.  This will serve me as guideline, though I will add other ideas.

 

             “I heartily congratulate you for the great success of the abridged version of your dissertation that was published for you to receive the title and the diploma of Doctor of Church History.  Undoubtedly the new volume that you are preparing will have even a greater success, because  it is a more complete study. Let me know in advance when you arrive in Rome, because I would regret to be out of town.”

 

             The first thing I did when I arrived in Rome on June 29, 1977, was  to visit Prof. Monachino. I presented to him a copy of the manuscript that the Gregorian University Press was already typesetting. I asked him to make any final corrections he deemed necessary.  I would enter those corrections during the following three weeks while working in the basement proof-reading the galleys supplied to me daily by the Press.  At that time he handed to me the Preface written in Italian so that I could translate into English.

 

             The Question of the Imprimatur. At this meeting I asked Prof. Monachino two important questions.  The first regarding the imprimatur and the second about the possible inclusion of my dissertation in the scientific series known as Analecta Gregoriana. Regarding the imprimatur, I asked Prof. Monachino if the whole manuscript should be submitted to the Rector of the Gregoriana and the Vicariate of Rome for their approval—imprimatur, as we did for the abridged version Anti-Judaism and the Origin of Sunday.  He replied that it was not necessary, because both offices had already approved a major portion of the dissertation published two years earlier. The Gregorian University Press could readily use the same imprimatur’s certificate which they already  had  in their possession.

 

             Prof. Monachino’s reasoning was that no new imprimatur was needed since the new manuscript only expanded what had already been published two years earlier.  Moreover, both he and Prof. Luis Marinez-Fazio had examined the whole  dissertation, as members of the examining commission.  In fact, at the top of the imprimatur page, both names are given as the official examiners of the whole dissertation. The text reads:

 

Vidimus and approbamus ad normam Statutorum Universitatis

(We have seen it and approved it in accordance with the norms of the Statutes of the University)

 

             Romae, ex Pontificia Universitate Gregoriana

             die 25 iunii 1974  (June 25, 1974)

 

                                    R. P. Vincenzo Monachino, S. J.

                                    R. P. Luis Martinez-Fazio, S. J.

 

             Note that the date of June 25, 1974, is not the date of the issuing of the imprimatur on June 17, 1975 by the office of the Archbishop of Rome, but the date following the defence of my dissertation.  The oral defence took place on June 14, 1974, and the certificate of approval was issued to me 11 days later, June 25, 1974.  By virtue of this certificate I could proceed to prepare for publication a portion or the whole dissertation, in order to receive the title and diploma of Doctor of Church History.

 

             On the basis of these considerations, Prof. Monachino instructed Angelo Damboriena, S. J., the Director of the Gregorian University Press to use the imprimatur’s certificate already in their possession for publishing From Sabbath to Sunday.  It is important to remember that this book was published not by an outside press, but by the Gregorian University Press.  I did not supply the imprimatur’s certificate.  The Press had it already in its possession. If the Director had a problem in using again the imprimatur’s certificate issued two years earlier for the abridged version of the dissertation, he would have discussed the matter with Prof. Monachino and he could have chosen to leave it out from the new publication. The fact that this did not happen, shows that both men had no problem in using the same imprimatur for both publications.

 

             The Question of the Inclusion of From Sabbath to Sunday in the Analecta Gregoriana’s  Series. The second question I discussed with Prof. Monachino upon my arrival in Rome on June 29, 1977, was the possible inclusion of From Sabbath to Sunday in the scientific series Analecta Gregoriana. Prof. Monachino told me that such a decision could only be taken by the editorial board which unfortunately would not meet again until October, that is, after the end of the Summer recession.  On his part he would recommend the volume for inclusion, but he feared that there might be a problem because they do not consider for inclusion in the Analecta Gregoriana a volume already published. And this is exactly what happened.

 

             In a letter dated October 22, 1977, Angelo Damboriena, S. J., the Director of the Gregorian University Press, wrote:   “I was unable to reply earlier because the professors who had decide on your request did not return to Rome until after the beginning of October.

 

             “I regret to inform you that your request was not favorably received, as personally and P.  Monachino had wished.  The Board of Analecta Gregoriana maintains that it is not possible to include in such series a study which has already been published with personal copyright. This decision does not imply a negative evaluation of the scientific merits of the study or of other aspects.  Rather, they lament the lack of sufficient information or interest, before the publication of the book.  No one is to be blamed for this. 

 

             “The decision taken simply reflects the general policy followed by editors of scientific series and has always been adhered to by Analecta Gregoriana. On the other hand, this decision precludes any possible new initiative by the [Gregorian] Press because it has not been asked to publish your book again.The last sentence suggests that since the Gregorian University Press published the book only the first time and was not asked to reprint it (it was reprinted in the USA), this precludes any further initiative on their  part to explore other possibilities of inserting the book in other series. 

 

             This letter is significant for two reasons. First, because it shows that both Prof. Monachino and Angelo Damboriena supported the inclusion of From Sabbath to Sunday  in the scientific series of the Analecta Gregoriana. This proves that they had no reservations about its scholarly quality and scientific value of the dissertation. This fact compelling refutes the allegation that “the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole.”

 

             Second, the letter acknowledges that the Gregorian University did publish From Sabbath to Sunday the first time and had no problems with its content. Had P. Damboriena and Prof. Monachino believed that “the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole,” they would not have published it in the first place, nor would they have proposed its inclusion in the scientific series of the Analecta Gregoriana.  More important still, Prof. Monachino would not have written a positive PREFACE for the book.

 

              My understanding is that the Gregorian University Press was willing and eager to publish any dissertation that met two conditions: 1) The dissertation must have been approved and received the imprimatur by official Catholic authorities. 2) The author or his institution must be able to pay for the printing and to take delivery of the book. This was the case with most dissertations published by the Gregorian University Press for graduates belonging to various religious orders. If their dissertations have been officially approved (received the imprimatur) and their religious orders were able to pay for the printing, the Gregorian University Press would gladly publish them. 

 

             The conclusion that emerges from the foregoing considerations is that the whole dissertation From Sabbath to Sunday was indeed published by the Gregorian University Press, but not as part of any scientific series. It was published as an independent publication as was the case with most abridged or unabridged dissertations. 

 

             This conclusion is supported by the following facts discussed above:  Prof. Monachino wrote a PREFACE for From Sabbath to Sunday; he checked the manuscript for any last minute corrections; he instructed Angelo Damboriena, S. J., to use for From Sabbath to Sunday, the imprimatur’s certificate already used for the publication of the abridged version of the dissertation; both men supported the inclusion of the volume in the Analecta Gregoriana.  These facts compellingly discredit the contention  that I “ was not allowed to publish his dissertation in whole”  because “the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole.”

 

EVALUATIONS BY CATHOLIC SCHOLARS

 

             An external but equally compelling refutation of the false allegation regarding the poor scholarship of my dissertation, is provided by  hundreds of favorably reviews From Sabbath to Sunday has received. In my office I have a a carton box full of reviews. For the sake of brevity I will mention only a few reviews by Catholic scholars and church leaders.

 

             Prof. John T. Pawlikowshi, OSM, Ph. D., Chairman of the Department of Historical and Religious Studies at the Catholic Theological Union, writes: “It may be that one of the most powerful forms of anti-Judaism today, is the very structure of its liturgy.  Hence From Sabbath to Sunday must be welcomed as a new, soundly researched attempt to open up discussion in this vital area. It is a field that needs our attention.  And one could not find a better starting point for such an exploration than Dr. Bacchiocchi’s latest volume.  I recommend it highly.” 

 

             Surprisingly, Prof. Pawlikowski acknowledges that Sundaykeeping may be a powerful form of anti-Judaism, because historically Sunday was chosen more to show hate and contempt toward the Jews than love for Jesus Christ. The same applies to the change from Passover to Easter Sunday, which took place, to use the wrods of Constantine, “in order to have nothing in common with with the detestable Jewish crowd.” Few Christians are aware of the role anti-Judaism has played in developing Christian beliefs and practices.

 

             Bishop Thomas Krosnicky, S. V. D., DSlit., Executive Director, Bishop’s Committee on Liturgy, National Conference of Catholic Bishops, wrote:  “In From Sabbath too Sunday Dr. Bacchiocchi attempts to ascertain the historical genesis of Sunday observance by a thorough investigation of Jewish, pagan, and early Christian contributory factors.  His findings are significant and deserve one’s careful consideration.”

 

             In a review published in The Catholic Historical Review, W. A Jurgens write: “The scholarship of From Sabbath to Sunday  is not just impeccable, it is truly a marvel.  No patristic stones have been left unturned.  And, when, as in several instances, Dr. Bacchiocchi’s patristic and scriptural interpretations are opposed to traditional interpretation, they are generally quite though-provoking and in all rather persuasive.  I am really most thoroughly impressed by the scope and vision of the work.”

 

             The Story of the French Edition Du Sabbat Au Dimanche. One of the most compelling proof of scholarly appreciation for From Sabbath to Sunday, is the incredible story of the French edition Du Sabbat au Dimanche. A Belgian Benedectine monk, Ferdinand Poswick, O. S. B. et P.  O., who serves as Director of the Center for  Biblical Information at the Abbey of Maredsous in Belgium, ordered a copy of  From Sabbath to Sunday.  He read the book with great interest.  He was impressed by the compelling documents and arguments which indicate the continuity, validity, and value of the Sabbath for the Christian life today. Poswick decided to contact me during his trip to America to attend the Annual Meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature. He never anticipated that we would meet in Dallas at the same meeting.

 

              Poswick shared with me his great desire to translate and publish  From Sabbath to Sunday  into  French, if I would give him permission. He felt that the book could contribute to the recovery of the biblical values of the Sabbath for our tension-filled and restless society. I was delighted to grant him permission, forfeiting any royalties in view of the cost of translation.

 

             The translation was done by another Benedectine monk, Dominique Sebire, who worked for almost two years on this project under Poswick’s supervision.  Together they produced a superb French translation. The French title of the book is Du Sabbat au Dimanche.  Poswick and Sebire did all their work as a labor of love, without receiving a cent of compensation. They even arranged for the first printing to be done in Paris by Lethielleux.  They were inspired by the desire to help Christians rediscover the blessings of the  biblical Sabbath for today. They verbalize their desire in the “Presentation—Introduction,” where they encourage readers to “reexamine afresh” the values of the Sabbath which can bring spiritual enrichment to our Christian life today.

 

             Surprisingly, in the “Introduction,” Poswick admits that Jesus and Paul did not abolish the Sabbath. Alluding to my dissertation, he acknowledges that the change was motivated by the need for Christians to separate from the Jews and to identify themselves with the rhythms and customs of the Romans, at a time when Sabbathkeeping was outlawed in the Roman empire.  Then Poswick makes this daring statement: “Should we not prefer the sincere and truthful celebration of the Sabbath unto God to the pharisaism of a paganized Sunday?” He closes the introduction by urging Christians to “reexamine afresh” the blessings to be found in the celebration of the Sabbath.

 

     

 

             Many more positive evaluations of From Sabbath to Sunday  by Catholic scholars could be submitted. The few sampling of comments submitted, should suffice to discredit the allegation that “the dissertation had too many problems for it to be considered a work that is scholarly and therefore published in whole.” The facts speak for themselves. Both Catholic and Protestant scholars have commended From Sabbath to Sunday  as a scholarly study that deserves serious consideration.

 

BACCHIOCCHI WAS NEVER ISSUED AN IMPRIMATUR FOR HIS ABRIDGED OR UNABRIDGED DISSERTATION

 

             The last and most outrageous allegation is that I did not receive any imprimatur—approval, because the Catholic Church does not issue an imprimatur to a non-Catholic. This explains why at a later date I allegedly said that the imprimatur had been rescinded.

 

             Dr. Bergami states this allegation saying: “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.”  This allegation is expressed even more emphatically by the “priest investigator,” who writes: “It is impossible for a non-Catholic to receive an imprimatur for a book. It was never awarded.  This probably indicates why he said that it was removed at a later date.”

 

             Let me respond to this outrageous allegation by mentioning three important point:

 

             1). I have never stated or even suggested that the imprimatur had been rescinded.

 

             2). Though I am a non-Catholic, the imprimatur was issued for my abridged dissertation, because it is prescribed by the Statutes of the University. 

 

             3). The process to obtain the imprimatur proved to be more problematic than I had anticipated.

 

             Did I Ever Say that the Imprimatur had been Rescinded? Absolutely NOT!  The reason is that I am well aware of the fact that once an imprimatur has been issued, it cannot be rescinded. Dr. Bergami is correct in saying: “This does not happen.”

 

             The only possible reason for me to have said that the imprimatur has been rescinded, was to cover up an alleged false claim that I had made. But I never made such a false claim because I never had anything to cover up. The fact is that the imprimatur was issued to publish my abridged dissertation, not as a favor, but as a requirement in order for me to receive both the title “Doctor” and the diploma.  Whoever fabricated the lie of the rescinding of the imprimatur, reveals his/her malignant intent to defame me. No such thing ever happened.

 

             The Issuing of the Imprimatur is Dictated by the Norms of the University. The allegation that I was never awarded the imprimatur because “it is impossible for a non-Catholic to receive an imprimatur for a book,”  ignores my unique situation.  I was both the first non-Catholic to be admitted at the Gregoriana in 450 years and also the first non-Catholic to receive the imprimatur for a dissertation.  The imprimatur was granted to me not as a favor, but as a requirement of the University.

 

             The official norms for the publication of doctoral dissertations are given in a 16 pages Latin booklet, entitled Normae Officiales ad Disertationes Doctorales Typis Edendas— Official Norms for Publishing Doctoral Dissertations. Half of the booklet is made up of sample pages of imprimatur.

 

             Briefly stated some of the main  Normae Generales— General Norms for publishing the dissertation can be summarized as follows:

 

             After passing all the exams and the defense of the dissertation, a doctoral candidate must publish a part or the whole dissertation in order to receive the diploma.

 

             The dissertation cannot be published unless it has the written approval of two examiners. The statement of approval must reads as follows: “Vidimus et approbamus at normam Statutorum Universitatis—We have seen it and approved it in accordance with the norms of the Statutes of the University.”  The statement must carry the names of the two examiners (with the letters S. J., that is, Societas Jesu) and must be placed behind the title page.

 

             In the same place must be given the date, month, and year of the approval, in accordance with the instructions of the Dean’s Office.

 

             In accordance with the Norm n. 1394, the “imprimatur” must also be shown with the place and time in which it was granted. . . .

 

             A doctoral candidate must deliver 50 copies of the published dissertation at the Academic Dean Office. These copies are sent to seminaries and universities with which the Pontifical Gregorian University has relations.

 

             After the copies have been delivered to the Academic Dean’s Office, the candidate can receive his legitimate diploma.

 

             The list of the norms are followed by six sample pages of the imprimatur,  each representing a different School of the Gregoriana. This is the sample page given for the Facultas Historiae Ecclesiasticae—School of Church History. 

 

             The front and back pages are identical to the pages  of my abridged and unabridged dissertation. 

 

             Note that the page of the imprimatur consists of three approvals.  At the top there is the approval of the two examiners. In the center there is the approval (Imprimi Potest) of the Rector Universitatis—President of the University, and in the lower part of the page, there is the approval of the Vicariate of Rome, which is the Office of the Archbishop. The last approval is generally called imprimatur.

 

             In my page of the  approval of the Vicariate of Rome is given in Italian “Con Approvazione del Vicariato di Roma in data 17 giugno 1975—With the Approval of the Vicariate of Rome, dated June 17, 1975.”  In some dissertations the same approval is given with the Latin word imprimatur, which simply means “It can be printed,” obviously because it has been approved.

 

             Frankly, I do not know why the Vicariate of Rome chose to issue the approval in Italian, rather than in Latin. The language does not make a difference. The important thing is that the page of the imprimatur consists of three approvals: the first from the two examiners who approved the whole dissertation, the second from the Rector of the University, R. P. HervŹ Carrier, S. J. who approved the abridged dissertation, and the third from the Office of the Vicariate of Rome, who issued the final approval for the abridged dissertation. In the light of this compelling documentation, the allegation that I never received the imprimatur  for my dissertation, is baseless and false.

 

             The Story of the Imprimatur. In the light of the above discussion about the imprimatur,  it might be of interest to hear more about the challenges I faced to receive it. After completing the preparation of the abridged version of my dissertation, I decided to explore the possibility of obtaining the imprimatur and of publishing the manuscript in the USA. The dissertation can be published in part or in full in any country as long as it is published by a Catholic Press with the official Catholic imprimatur.

 

             Since Andrews University where I live, is located only 25 miles from Notre Dame University, I decided to explore the possibility of obtaining the imprimatur for the abridged dissertation through Notre Dame and of publishing it through their Ave Maria Press. This would save me an expensive trip to Rome. If it worked out, I would eventually airmail the 50 required copies of the book to the Academic Dean’s Office and thus receive the diploma by mail.  After all this is he procedure followed by priests and monks who serve in different parts of the world.

 

             With this is mind, I went to visit Father John Reedy, Director of the Ave Maria Press, located inside the campus of Notre Dame.  I explained to him that I needed to receive an imprimatur for the manuscript I placed in his hands. If he could help me to obtain the imprimatur, then I would pay the Ave Maria Press for publishing 1000 copies. Eventually 50 copies would be airmailed to the Gregoriana to fulfil my last requirements to receive the doctoral diploma.

 

             Father Reedy was most cordial and eager to help me both to obtain the imprimatur and to publish the partial dissertation, especially since he also had studied for a time at the Gregoriana.  In a few days he read and approved the manuscript, but he informed me that he needed a second approval from Bishop Leo A. Pursley of Fort Wayne, before the imprimatur could be issued and the printing could be done.  We submitted a copy of the manuscript to Bishop Pursley, waiting for his decision.

 

             Eventually Bishop Pursley replied that he could not approve the manuscript , because he could not agree with some parts of its content. Father Reedy was disappointed and felt that the only course of action left was for me to go back to Rome and work out the problem with my adviser, Prof. Vincenzo Monachino. And this is exactly what I did.

 

              Prof. Monachino proved to be most understanding and helpful. He submitted the manuscript to both the Rector of the University as well as to the office of the Archbishop of Rome. Within a week, the imprimatur was granted with the date of June 17, 1975.  The certificate of the imprimatur was delivered in person by Prof. Monachino to Angelo Damboriena, S. J., the Director of the Gregorian University Press. This made it possible for the Press to publish, first the abridged and then later the unabridged versions of the dissertation.

 

             If no imprimatur  had been granted, it would have been impossible for the Gregorian University Press to print it on page 4 of both the partial and full dissertations.  To do so fraudulently, would be an illegal  act subject to prosecution.

 

             Conclusion.   The hundreds of people in cyberspace who are questioning my moral integrity and scholarly credibility, because of the false accusations levelled against me, made by officers of the Pontifical Gregorian University, have compelled me to prepare this lengthy and for some tedious response. It is my fervent hope that the extensive documentation and detailed explanations that I have submitted, will help to clear the air of so much misinformation floating in cyberspace about me.

 

             It is unfortunate that some officers of the Pontifical Gregorian University have attempted to defame me by denying the validity of my claims regarding the academic awards I received from the university and the publication of my partial and full dissertation with the imprimatur by the Gregorian University Press. I have attempted to refute the false allegations by submitting an extensive documentation and detailed explanations.

 

             My next step is to repackage all this information in an official document that will be sent both to the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome and to Bishop Murray of Kalamazoo. I will simply ask them to help me to put an end to the raging controversy about me in cyberspace by issuing a retraction and an apology for their false allegations.  If this happens, I will gladly forgive and forget all the pain they have caused me. If they stonewall by refusing to reply as they have done until now, then legal action may be necessary. Please pray that the Holy Spirit may touch their hearts so that the whole controversy may soon come to a peaceful conclusion.

 

UPCOMING WEEKEND SEMINARS

 

        As a service to our subscribers, I am listing the date and the location of the upcoming seminars for the month of December 2006. I wish to extend my personal, warm invitation to all who are able to attend one of the followings rallies.

 

DECEMBER 8-9: LOS ANGELES: SPANISH-AMERICAN SDA CHURCH

Location: 1815 Bridge Street, Los Angeles, California 90033.  For information call Pastor Guillermo Quiroz at (714) 522-0296

 

DECEMBER 15-16: HAMILTON MOUNTAIN SDA CHURCH

Location: 284 Concession Street, Hamilton, ON L9C 7N7, Canada.  For information call Pastor Wesley Torres at (905) 304-9024.           :          

ANNOUNCEMENTS OF SERVICES AND PRODUCTS

 

SPECIAL OFFER ON THE NEW DVD ALBUM ON THE MARK AND NUMBER OF THE BEAST

 

          The DVD album consists of two disks which contain the live recording recently done at the Andrews University Towers Auditorium.   The marathon lecture lasted over two hours and was delivered with the help of 175 powerpoint slides. The lecture was introduced by Prof. Jon Paulien and Prof. Ranko Stefanovich,  two foremost Adventist experts on the book of Revelation.

 

          You will be thrilled by this passionate lecture that will help you understand what the mark and number of the beast are really all about. This prophecy is not about external markings, barcodes, biochips, or pope’s titles, but  rather about the internal control of the mind of every human being. It is a battle over who will people worship in the final showdown: the true God or Satan. This visual presentation will help you to see the role of the Sabbath in the battle over worship in the endtime showdown.

 

          At the end of the second DVD disk, there is a separate powerpoint file with all the 195 slides and accompanying script. This should prove to be a valuable resource for evangelists, pastors, and anyone engaged in sharing the prophetic message of Revelation. They can use some of the stunning pictures for their own presentation.

 

How to Order the DVD Album

 

          The special introductory offer on the DVD Album  on The Mark and Number of the Beast,  is only $50.00, instead of $100.00. The airmailing expenses to any foreign country are included in the special price.  You can order the DVD album in four different ways:

 

        (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/BeastAD/

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $35.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER ON THE 6 ALBUMS CONTAINING ALL OF DR. BACCHIOCCHI’S PUBLICATIONS AND RECORDINGS

 

           In occasion of the release of the new DVD album on Cracking the Da Vinci Code,  I am pleased to offer you the complete package of all my DVD and CD recordings, consisting of 6 Albums, for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $700.00. This is a one-time incredible HOLIDAY offer.

 

          You can see the picture of all the SIX ALBUMS and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this URL address:

http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/holidayoffer.htm

 

          You can order the complete package of 6 DVD and CD Albums for only $150.00,  instead of the regular price of $700.00, in four different ways:

       

        (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/holidayoffer.htm

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $150.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

SPECIAL HOLIDAY OFFER ON THE PACKAGE OF ALL THE 18 BOOKS BY DR. BACCHIOCCHI. 

 

        The package consists of 18 books (including the latest on More than a Prophet  by Graeme Bradford), which are offered for only $150.00, instead of the regular price of $455.00. Several books in the package make a perfect Holiday Gift. For example, you may wish to give The Marriage Covenant to a couple who is facing marital conflicts.  Many couple claim to have been reconciled after reading this book.

 

        You may to give Wine in the Bible to people with drinking problems, It is a powerful book that helps people understand the reasons for the biblical imperative of total abstinence.

 

        You may wish to give Christian Dress and Adornment to people who wear even to church very revealing clothes.  It is a timely book that helps people understand the biblical teachings regarding our outward appearance.

 

        You may wish to give The Christian and Rock Music to people who are obsessed with rock music.  It is a compelling symposium by 7 international scholars who help people understand the mental, physical, and spiritual impact of rock music.

 

        In the package of 18 books you will find ideal books to give to people who need help in various aspects of their lives.  By buying them as a package you pay only $8.00 per book, instead of the regular price of $25.00. Just think how many gifts you can make at a bargain price with the whole package of the 18 books.

 

        You can see the picture of all the 18 books and read a detailed description of them, just by clicking at this URL address:

http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=bookstore&Product_Code=SP-1&Category_Code=specials

 

          You can order the complete package of the 18 books for only $150.00,  instead of the regular price of $455.00, in four different ways:

       

        (1)  Online: By clicking here:http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Store_Code=bookstore&Product_Code=SP-1&Category_Code=specials

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.  Be sure to provide your  postal address, credit card number, and expiration date.     

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check for $150.00 to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990 Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

CD-ROM WITH  PROF. JON PAULIEN BOOKS & ARTICLES

 

          Prof. Jon Paulien is one of the most respected Adventist scholars. Besides serving as the chairman of the New Testament at Andrews University Theological Seminary, he writes and lectures extensively in many parts of the world.

 

          Until now Prof. Paulien books and articles were available only in a printed form, often unavailable at local ABC stores.  In view of my indebtedness to Prof. Paulien’s scholarship, I have offered to help him to place all of his books and articles on a CD disk.  This makes it possible with the ACROBAT global search, to locate immediately what he has written on biblical texts or current topics.

 

          The newly released CD-ROM  contains more than a dozen of books and scores of articles written by Prof. Paulien during the past 20 years of research.  You will find in this collection a priceless resource to enrich your understanding and experience of biblical truths. Prof. Paulien examines fundamental biblical beliefs in a profound and yet popular way.  He is a recognized expert on the book of Revelation. Several of his books will help you to unlock the secrets of Revelation.

 

          The special introductory offer of the newly released CD-ROM ALBUM with all of Prof. Paulien books and articles is only $35.00 instead of the regular price of $50.00. The price includes the airmailing expenses to any overseas destination.

 

          To order the newly released CD ALBUM with all of Prof. Paulien books and articles, simply click here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/PaulienAD/ 

 

          If you have a problem ordering online, email us your order at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date. You can also order by phone, calling us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone.

 

INCREDIBLE NEW OFFERS ON HITACHI PROJECTORS

 

          Lately HITACHI has given an additional discount on their projectors to help especially our churches and schools in developing countries. This is the special offer on the following four models:

 

CP-X250 HIGH RESOLUTION 2000 LUMENS - Only $1095.00

          Previous SDA price for the 2000 lumens was $1900.00.

 

CP-X260 HIGH RESOLUTION 2500 LUMENS - Only $1195.00

          Previous SDA price for the 2500 lumens was $2595.00.

 

CP-X444 HIGH RESOLUTION 3200 LUMENS - Only $1895.00

          Previous SDA price for the 3200 lumens was $3295.00.

 

CP-X1250 HIGH RESOLUTION 4500 LUMENS - Only $3895.00

          Previous SDA price for the 4500 lumens was $4900.00.

 

WARRANTY: The above prices include a 3 years 24/7 replacement warranty that is worth about $285.00.You can order these projectors in four ways:

 

You can order the HITACHI projectors by calling us at (269) 471-2915. We will be able to quote you the latest offer from HITACHI and take your order by phone.

 

NEW TOSHIBA LAPTOP TECRA A8-EZ8312

 

        This is the latest TOSHIBA laptop that was first released on June 27, 2006. These are the specifications: Duo processor 1.66Hz, Memory size 512MB, Monitor size 15.4”, Resolution 1280x800, Hard drive 60GB,  Optical drive CD-RW/DVD-Rom, Wireless, 3-USB ports, Microsoft Office and Microsoft Works software. The special price is $895.00, plus shipping expenses.

 

You can order the TECRA A8-EZ8312 in four ways:

 

        (1)  Online: By clicking here: http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Toshiba/Notebooks.html

 

        (2)  Phone:  By calling us at (269) 471-2915 to give us your credit card number and postal address.

 

        (3)  Email:  By emailing your order to <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>.        

 

        (4) Regular Mail: By mailing a check to  BIBLICAL PERSPECTIVES, 4990  Appian Way, Berrien Springs, Michigan 4990, USA. We guarantee to process your order immediately.

 

THE MOST POWERFUL REMOTE PRESENTER

 

        If you are looking for an outstanding REMOTE for your PowerPoint presentations, you will be pleased to know HONEYWELL has just come out with the smallest and most powerful remote in the market.

 

        The size of the transmitter is smaller than a credit card. You can stick it inside the palm of your hand and nobody can see it. I tested the remote in an open environment, and the radio signal can go up to 400 feet of distance. IT IS INCREDIBLE! The transmitter has three button: forward, backward, and laser.

 

        You can order online the new POWERPOINT  PRESENTER simply by clicking here:  http://www.biblicalperspectives.com/Merchant2/merchant.mvc?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=bookstore&Category_Code=RP

 

        If you have a problem ordering online, simply call us at (269) 471-2915.  We will take your order by phone.

 

        You can also email us your order at <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com>, giving us your address, credit card number, and expiration date.

 

DOES YOUR CHURCH OR SCHOOL NEED A SCREEN?

 

           If your church/school is looking for a screen, the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY, the largest manufacture of screens in the world, has agreed to offer their line of screens to our Adventist churches and schools at a about 30% discount.

 

             The procedure is very simple. Visit the DA-LITE SCREEN COMPANY website at http://www.da-lite.com. You will see hundreds of models of screens with their respective prices. Once you find the screen that you need, give us the model number by phone (269) 471-2915 or email your request <sbacchiocchi@biblicalperspectives.com> We will forward your order immediately to DA-LITE that will ship the screen directly to your address. You will receive the screen at about 30% discount.