(The Adulterous Woman by Giorgio Abkhasi)
* * *
Disobedience within obedience
(the note by Emilio Pisani)
John the Evangelist tells us: «… the scribes and the Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery, and placing her in the midst they said to him, “Teacher, this woman was caught in the very act of committing adultery. Now in the law Moses commanded us to stone such women. Now what do you say?” They said this to test him, so that they might have some charge to bring against him.» (John, 8:1-6)
What a test for Jesus! If he hadn't agreed to stone her, he would have been seen as disrespectful of the Law... On the other hand, if He had allowed to stone her, he would have been seen to disprove that He was merciful... With justice, Jesus reiterates the Law and at the same time, saves the woman from her death sentence: “He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.”
A sense of justice must have guided Father Berti when the Holy Office, Ecclesiastical supreme authority after the Pope, ordered him, who was a priest and a member of a religious Order, to hand over the whole original manuscript of Maria Valtorta's Work, still unpublished at the time, together with the typed copies, which he should have withdrawn from circulation.
Father Berti obeyed for a sense of duty, but he disobeyed for a sense of justice. He didn't refuse to go to the appointment at the Holy Office's Palace, but he attended without the autograph notebooks, declaring that he didn't possess them, therefore, implying that he couldn't dispose of someone else's possessions (during the night, dressed in civilian clothes, he had caught a train to Viareggio and had returned them to their rightful owner). With regard to the typed copies, he handed over those he could gather from people who held a few copies, apologising for their incompleteness.
Maria Valtorta's Work was saved from oblivion (just like the adulterous woman from stoning), thanks to the father's disobedience, which had been enlightened by righteous obedience. (translation from Italian by Barbara Lambelet)