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Author Topic: Padre Pio - alternative view  (Read 2233 times) Average Rating: 0
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cyro
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« on: July 14, 2011, 07:12:49 PM »

Not to offend anybody, just different approach.

"From humble beginnings in the town of Pietrelcina, Italy, Francesco Forgione (1887–1968) went on to become Italy’s most venerated saint of the twenty-first century, known popularly as Padre (“Father”) Pio (“Pious”). His tomb draws more pilgrims than Lourdes or any other Catholic shrine. Yet the full, true story of this purported miracle worker’s rise to sainthood has long needed to be told, and Sergio Luzzatto tells it in his Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age. (First published in 2007, this is a new English translation.) As the book’s subtitle suggests, Luzzatto details Pio’s fascist (he was reportedly an admirer of Mussolini) and other connections, although in this review I concentrate on the allegedly paranormal aspects of Pio’s life.

Pio is best known for his stigmata—the supposedly supernaturally received wounds resembling the wounds of Jesus—which he first exhibited in the autumn of 1918 when the trauma of World War I caused many to hope for supernatural intervention. Suddenly, at a Capuchin monastery in southern Italy, an alter Christus (living figure of Christ) was manifest. While praying before the chapel’s crucifix, the newly ordained priest was suddenly, he claimed, inflicted with the stigmata—bleeding so profusely, he alleged, that he feared he would bleed to death.

In fact, notwithstanding the claims in uncritical biographies, Pio’s stigmata devolved—from bleeding wounds that could easily have been self-inflicted (like those of many fake stigmatists before and after, as I described in my 2001 book Real-Life X-Files) to merely discolored skin that appeared to have been irritated by the application of a caustic substance. Indeed, a bottle of carbolic acid was once discovered in the friar’s cell, and Luzzatto cites letters from Padre Pio in which Pio requests that carbolic acid, and at another time a caustic alkaloid, be secretly delivered to him. Eventually Pio began wearing fingerless gloves, supposedly to cover his stigmata out of pious humility; however, to me, the practice seems instead a shrewd move to eliminate the need to continually self-inflict wounds.

Nor were the fake stigmata the friar’s only deception. Years before, Pio had written numerous letters to his spiritual directors describing his mystical experiences; however, it is now known that he copied these words verbatim from the writings of stigmatic Gemma Galgani (1878–1903) without acknowledging they were hers. And that is not all: Pio attempted to divert suspicion from his plagiarism by asking for help in procuring copies of Galgani’s books—saying he would very much like to read them!

As to miracles attributed to Pio, the report of a Vatican emissary in 1919 cited the wildest claims then circulating among an uneducated populace. The emissary characterized as fantasy the story of a church bell that fragmented when Pio’s confreres were wronged by a superior. Likewise, it was not true that Pio instantly cured a man of a limp; nor had he caused a deaf-mute girl to regain her speech. He also did not heal a hunchback so the man could walk away “at least partly made straight.” Not a single one of Padre Pio’s miracles was genuine, the investigator determined.

Nevertheless, Padre Pio’s reputation grew unabated, and ultimately “miracles” would be found to serve as the basis for his canonization. A once-hostile Vatican had eventually become conciliatory toward him and responsive to popular 
demand—this despite evidence that suggested sexual misconduct on behalf of the adored padre and the private opinion of Pope John XXIII (recorded in his daybook) that “P.P. has shown himself to be a straw idol.”

By the time of his death in 1968, Pio’s stigmata had disappeared, but that was effectively remedied in death. Although there was no need to cover his hands and feet—and indeed Capuchin rule forbids the wearing of socks—Pio’s “father guardian,” Father Carmelo of San Giovanni in Galdo, worried that the absence of stigmata might cause a faulty rush to judgment. Carmelo therefore had Padre Pio’s hands and feet covered, as if the covering still concealed his allegedly holy gift. And so the deception continued.

In 2002, the late friar was canonized Saint Pio of Pietrelcina—not for the stigmata he was so famous for but for his healings that were, with due illogic, assumed miraculous because they were said to be inexplicable. And when his remains were exhumed for display forty years after his death, those hoping his body would be found incorrupt (a supposed sign of sanctity; see my Relics of the Christ, University Press of Kentucky, 2007), or that it would still exhibit the stigmata, were disappointed. The embalmed corpse had deteriorated sufficiently that it required a silicon mask—complete with bushy eyebrows and beard—fashioned by a London wax museum. Of the supposedly supernatural wounds there was not a trace."
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« Reply #1 on: July 14, 2011, 08:23:53 PM »

Not sure why this wasn't sourced, but since I am being neighborly, it is book review you can find around. Here is one place:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/padre_pio_scandals_of_a_saint

The book reviewed is:



http://www.amazon.com/Padre-Pio-Miracles-Politics-Secular/dp/0805089055
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2011, 12:02:44 AM »

Not sure why this wasn't sourced, but since I am being neighborly, it is book review you can find around. Here is one place:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/padre_pio_scandals_of_a_saint

The book reviewed is:



http://www.amazon.com/Padre-Pio-Miracles-Politics-Secular/dp/0805089055
Ah, yes, Skeptical Inquirer. I notice no mention was made of Padre Pio's reported ability to bilocate.
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2011, 12:29:17 AM »

The Vatican takes a very strict view of the process of canonization.  I'm sure that Padre Pio and all his miracles were subject to some very scrupulous investigations. Their are actually people on the cause of a saints canonization who attempt to disprove that any miracles or sanctity has occurred with the deceased person and they are very, very determined to find evidence against those things.   I would trust the Vatican over a skeptics magazine.
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2011, 12:30:50 AM »

Their are actually people on the cause of a saints canonization who attempt to disprove that any miracles or sanctity has occurred with the deceased person and they are very, very determined to find evidence against those things.

That would be the Devil's Advocate, if I recall correctly. (The person's actual title.)

Although it seems Pope JPII abolished the office, allowing canonizations to get through a lot quicker. So maybe Padre Pio was not scrutinized as carefully as earlier saints. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil's_advocate
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 12:33:17 AM by bogdan » Logged
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2011, 12:37:06 AM »

I would trust the Vatican over a skeptics magazine.

Being a Roman Catholic, I would hope so.  I personally don't trust either.
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2011, 12:51:57 AM »

Their are actually people on the cause of a saints canonization who attempt to disprove that any miracles or sanctity has occurred with the deceased person and they are very, very determined to find evidence against those things.

That would be the Devil's Advocate, if I recall correctly. (The person's actual title.)

Although it seems Pope JPII abolished the office, allowing canonizations to get through a lot quicker. So maybe Padre Pio was not scrutinized as carefully as earlier saints. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Devil's_advocate

Yeah I heard that JP II put his mark on the canonization process too.  However I thought I heard somewhere that the current Pope restored some of the old canonization process in the past few years?  I was wondering if the Devil's advocate position was restored, but maybe not. 

My grandmother was a big devotee of Padre Pio (Principally because our family came from the same region of Italy as his monastery).  She had a postcard with is image on it sent by a relative which was on display in her house years before he became well known in the U.S. (Outside of the Italian community).  My uncle and his sons used to make fun of it every time they came over (Saying "Who's that, Castro").   After her death I was able to take the postcard home with me, but it was unfortunately crushed up in my suitcase.  I have to work on somehow restoring it to its pristine condition.
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Men may dislike truth, men may find truth offensive and inconvenient, men may persecute the truth, subvert it, try by law to suppress it. But to maintain that men have the final power over truth is blasphemy, and the last delusion. Truth lives forever, men do not.
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« Reply #7 on: July 15, 2011, 02:39:44 AM »

Not sure why this wasn't sourced, but since I am being neighborly, it is book review you can find around. Here is one place:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/padre_pio_scandals_of_a_saint

The book reviewed is:



http://www.amazon.com/Padre-Pio-Miracles-Politics-Secular/dp/0805089055
Ah, yes, Skeptical Inquirer. I notice no mention was made of Padre Pio's reported ability to bilocate.

I'm really sorry for not giving source. Yes, indeed, it was from Skeptic Inquire. They are biased to religion, I admit. Anyway bilocation is nothing special, studying comparative religion, I know it appears also in other religion. The same as incorruptibility. Those are corps of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilova, Buddhist monk, who died in 1927.

 I'm not fighting with Catholic beliefs, I'm not an atheist. But for me those "miracles" aren't prof of anything and me, personally I don't believe in them. Read some books in University about such phenomena.
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2011, 08:53:51 AM »

Anyway bilocation is nothing special....
Well, it certainly undermines the materialistic presuppositions of periodicals like Skeptical Inquirer. Wink
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 08:54:13 AM by Jetavan » Logged

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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2011, 09:17:07 AM »

Incorruption can be demonic as well. It'd be interesting to see an exorcism done on that Buddhist monk's body. (That is the first thing that happens to an Orthodox body when found incorrupt. And there have been times where the remains dissolved into dust afterwards.)
« Last Edit: July 15, 2011, 09:18:59 AM by bogdan » Logged
cyro
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2011, 10:47:00 AM »

Anyway bilocation is nothing special....
Well, it certainly undermines the materialistic presuppositions of periodicals like Skeptical Inquirer. Wink

Yes, indeed, if only such phenomena are true which I personally doubt;)

Incorruption can be demonic as well. It'd be interesting to see an exorcism done on that Buddhist monk's body. (That is the first thing that happens to an Orthodox body when found incorrupt. And there have been times where the remains dissolved into dust afterwards.)

Don't forget that it is only culture (and grace, since you are an Orthodox) that give you criteria to juge those things. I know Buddhist use different one;) 
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cyro
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2011, 10:48:53 AM »

Incorruption can be demonic as well. It'd be interesting to see an exorcism done on that Buddhist monk's body. (That is the first thing that happens to an Orthodox body when found incorrupt. And there have been times where the remains dissolved into dust afterwards.)

Anyway thank you for new information. Didn't know about exorcisms, wonder if they are used in RC tradition as well. (?)
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2011, 01:26:45 PM »

Not sure why this wasn't sourced, but since I am being neighborly, it is book review you can find around. Here is one place:

http://www.csicop.org/si/show/padre_pio_scandals_of_a_saint

The book reviewed is:



http://www.amazon.com/Padre-Pio-Miracles-Politics-Secular/dp/0805089055
Ah, yes, Skeptical Inquirer. I notice no mention was made of Padre Pio's reported ability to bilocate.

I'm really sorry for not giving source. Yes, indeed, it was from Skeptic Inquire. They are biased to religion, I admit. Anyway bilocation is nothing special, studying comparative religion, I know it appears also in other religion. The same as incorruptibility. Those are corps of Dashi-Dorzho Itigilova, Buddhist monk, who died in 1927.

 I'm not fighting with Catholic beliefs, I'm not an atheist. But for me those "miracles" aren't prof of anything and me, personally I don't believe in them. Read some books in University about such phenomena.
There is no reason why these bilocations in other religions could not have been caused by God as well.
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2011, 02:40:03 PM »

Incorruptibility is not, in itself,  a sign that one is or is not a saint.  Not all the bodies of recognized saints that have been exhumed have been incorrupt.

The ability to bilocate or lack thereof is, in itself, no indication of sainthood or not.

It is, I believe,  God who makes saints, not men.  Not the Orthodox Church or the Catholic Church or any other church.  If men or a particular church do not recognize a saint as such, or venerate him or her, that does not mean that the person was not a saint.  Not by any stretch of the imagination.

And yes, the RCC does perform exorcisms.  Check out the books of Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican exorcist.

JM
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« Reply #14 on: July 15, 2011, 05:15:38 PM »

There is no reason why these bilocations in other religions could not have been caused by God as well.

Your opinion is surely different than mine, but I respect your point of view. Can't prove you are wrong. When it comes to religion nobody has ability to deny someones belief. There were famous scientific experiment. Some sociologists created a sect. They told people the end of the world is close. When nothnig happend some of them leave, but most tighten their relationships. Purpose of that experiment was to see what happen when their prediction fail. Finally they decided to tell the truth. You know what happened? People remain in this sect, though leaders (scientiests) abandom them. They were converting people for like eight more years. When it comes to religion proofs are just not enough. Have you heard of guy named Derren (not Dan;) Brown? I recommend you to see movie "The Messiah" in which he shows the power of suggestion. He is very close to my opinion on that subject.

And yes, the RCC does perform exorcisms.  Check out the books of Fr. Gabriele Amorth, the Vatican exorcist.

Yes, I know this guy. I mean I'm Polish, 98% of us are Roman Catholics, I know they perform exorcisms (famous case of Anneliese Michel was not that far away from my home town). My question was if they do perform exorcisms over inncorrupt bodies?
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