The “Gospel of Judas” novel hoax

The “Gospel of Judas” novel hoax

Perhaps you saw the headlines last week that said the Vatican was endorsing a new novel called “The Gospel of Judas According to Benhamin Iscariot” that openly disputes Jesus’s divinity and the various Gospel accounts of miraculous acts by the Lord.

This is all baloney.

Take it from a guy who was there, Fr. Paul Mankowski, SJ, a faculty member of the Pontifical Biblical Institute, who gives his firsthand account at Catholic World News. In fact, all that happened was that the rector of the institute allowed author Jeffrey Archer and his collaborator, Fr. Frank Moloney, a former institute faculty member, use of the building’s main lecture hall for a press conference. This was an exercise in monumentally poor judgment. Fr. Mankowski presented a list of item debunking various news reports:

  • The Pope did not “bless” the Archer-Moloney novel.

  • The Pontifical Biblical Institute provided the bottled water at the speaker’s rostrum for the Archer-Moloney press conference. Its scholars had nothing whatever to do with the book’s content.

  • The Archer-Moloney novel was not “published with Vatican approval.”

  • No biblical scholar, including my former colleague Father Frank Moloney, believes Father Frank Moloney to be “the world’s greatest living biblical scholar.”

  • Father Moloney is not “one of the Pope’s top theological advisers.”

  • The International Theological Commission, of which Father Moloney was a member, enjoys the same level of teaching authority as the Philatelic Office of the Holy See — that’s to say: zero.

  • The teaching of the dogmatic constitution Dei Verbum (doc) §11 has not been abrogated.

Archer and Moloney’s antics were no different than Don King’s attempt to use the papal general audience as a public relations ploy to give greater weight and visibility to himself. And the silly mainstream media allows itself to be led merrily along. I just wish local dioceses would take the opportunity to counter such misinformation lest the faithful get further led astray.

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