Catholic apostolate America Needs Fatima launched a new protest taking aim at famed publisher Simon & Schuster for a fictional tale about The Virgin Mary, Mother of Jesus.
The novella by Colm Toibin, The Testament of Mary, is less Passion of Christ and more like The Last Temptation – depicting Mary as a bitter, rageful, alienated, and cowardly bandit.
According to ANF’s petition, the book depicts Mary flee “the scene of her Son’s death in fear for her own life” and says she never believed his preaching. It sounds “false” to her.
Her caricature also finds “his tone all stilted, and I could not bear to hear him, it was like something grinding and it set my teeth on edge.”
She also describes herself in the book as “‘unhinged’ and bubbling with contempt for her Son’s demented followers, to the extreme that she threatens the Gospel writers with a knife.”
Then at one point, she exclaims about her Son’s Crucifixion “when you say that he redeemed the world, I will say that it was not worth it. It was not worth it.”
Furthermore, she is written as accusing the Apostles and Jesus’s other followers of making him into a god. Wanting them to be stopped, this cheap facsimile of the Blessed Mother declares “or else everything that happened will become a sweet story that will grow poisonous as bright berries that hang low on trees.”
In other words, Jesus’s preaching is poison to the mind in the view of Toibin to which ANF warns “Public blasphemy demands public reparation!”
“The Virgin Mary’s complete knowledge and love of the divinity of her Son Jesus and her foreknowledge of, permission for, and complete approval of His Gospel and Redemptive Sacrifice on Calvary are historical facts,” says ANF in their protest.
“These facts deserve better than the blasphemous, misinformed, psychological wanderings you have published in Mr. Toibin’s book,” they add.
They close with an entreaty to Simon & Schuster. “Simon & Schuster should be ashamed to publish such offensive and hurtful writings and I urge you to recall this book from distribution now and to apologize to Catholics and all people of good will,” says ANF.
Their petition has 150,000 signatures and is still going.
Irish novelist and playwright Colm Toibin is the author of the immigrant tale Brooklyn which garnered him some notoriety when it was adapted into a movie starring Saoirse Ronan.
Openly gay, Toibin often incorporates themes of sexuality into his work including sex scenes both gay and straight. He is also a proponent of gay rights and marriage equality.
The Testament of Mary was first published in 2012 as a sensationalist reflection on the life of Jesus from a warped perspective attributed to her when in the novella’s reality she is an apostate that goes crazy after He is crucified.
What is your reaction to the book and its depictions of Mary and Jesus? Will you be signing or sharing the petition? Answer below.