Thursday, May 1, 2014

Correcting some false narratives about Padre Pio

I have recently come across a number of posts that are setting up false narratives about a great Saint that demand a correction.

First there is a notion out there that Padre Pio offered the Novus Ordo (Ordinary Form) mass.  Generally people like to make reference to a few pictures or a video about Padre Pio offering mass versus populum, ergo he offered the new rite.

Only problem is that he died in 1968, a year before the new rite was promulgated.  Second just because mass is offered versus poplulum doesnt mean it is an ordinary form mass.  People forget, or choose to, that the time from 1965-1969 was an era of liturgical insanity in the church, with experimentation with the liturgy being prominant throughout the church.  This is also true with the Capuchin order which Padre Pio was under obedience to.  Therefore if his superiors ordered him to offer the ancient rite as such he will obey because of his vow before God and man.  The only things that can be said about these pictures and videos is that Padre Pio said the ancient rite versus populum, and that is it.  It doesnt speak to his will to do so, only that it was offered.  We also know that Padre Pio at this time was unable, do to his health to stand at the high alter, hence he is sitting down at a make shift altar.

The other thing to note is the supposed meetings that Padre Pio had with some notable Catholic leaders are often spoken of in ways that are pious yet fictional.

The first is his meeting with a young Fr. Karol Wojtyla (later JPII).

This encounter took place around 1947 or 1948. At that time in post-war Italy, it was possible to have access to Padre Pio, since travel was difficult and great crowds were not besieging the Friary. The young priest spent almost a week in San Giovanni Rotondo during his visit, and was able to attend Padre Pio’s Mass and make his confession to the saint. Apparently, this was not just a casual encounter, and the two spoke together at length during Fr. Wojtyla’s stay. Their conversations gave rise to rumors in later years, after the Polish prelate had been elevated to the Papacy, that Padre Pio had told him he would become Pope. The story persists to the present day, even though on two or three occasions "Papa Wojtyla" denied it.      Recently, new information about this visit has come to light, according to a new book in Italian published by Padre Pio's Friary, Il Papa e Il Frate, written by Stefano Campanella (1).  As reported in this book, the future Pope and future Saint had a very interesting conversation.  During this exchange, Fr. Wojtyla asked Padre Pio which of his wounds caused the greatest suffering. From this kind of personal question, we can see that they must have already talked together for some time and had become at ease with each other. The priest expected Padre Pio to say it was his chest wound, but instead the Padre replied, "It is my shoulder wound, which no one knows about and has never been cured or treated." This is extremely significant, not only because it reveals that Padre Pio bore this wound, but because, as far as is known, the future pope is the only one to whom Padre Pio ever revealed existence of this secret wound. 

The other is that Archbishop Lefevre was condemned by Padre Pio for actions yet to happen.

The meeting which took place after Easter in 1967 lasted two minutes. I was accompanied by Fr. Barbara and a Holy Ghost Brother, Brother Felin. I met Padre Pio in a corridor, on his way to the confessional, being helped by two Capuchins.
I told him in a few words the purpose of my visit: for him to bless the Congregation of the Holy Ghost which was due to hold an extraordinary General my Chapter meeting, like all religious societies, under the heading of aggiornamento (up-dating), meeting which I was afraid would lead to trouble...
Padre Pio kissing Archbishop Lefebvre's ring.
Then Padre Pio cried out. 'Me, bless an archbishop, no, no, it is you who should be blessing me!' And he bowed, to receive the blessing. I blessed him, he kissed my ring and continued on his way to the confessional...

I do hope this clears up some things about Padre Pio that are commonly said in haste.


No comments:

Post a Comment