WWPD? What Would Pio Do?

For this feast of St. Padre Pio, Diane over at Te Deum laudamus! reflects on how he dealt with persecution and hardship in the middle of his own vocation:

We know that St. Pio suffered greatly at the hands of Church authorities.  Such things should not come as a surprise to any priest or religious.  Such tests from God should almost be expected in one’s life time.  Pearls are created by friction; gold is tested in fire.
This is a compilation of things I have had on Padre Pio in other posts over the years.  I hope it is helpful in some way.

First, let us look at what happened to Padre Pio:

As his spiritual influence increased, so did the voices of his detractors. Accusations against Padre Pio poured in to the Holy Office (today the Congregation for the Doctrine of Faith). By June 1922, restrictions were placed on the public’s access to Padre Pio. His daily Mass time varied each day, without announcement to diminish the crowds, and he was ordered not to answer correspondence from people seeking spiritual direction. It was also rumored that plans were being developed to transfer Padre Pio. However, both local and Church authorities were afraid of public riots and decided that a more remote and isolated place than San Giovanni Rotondo could not be found.

Despite the restrictions and controversies, Padre Pio’s ministry continued. From 1924 – 1931various statements were made by the Holy See that denied the supernaturality of Padre Pio’s phenomena. On June 9, 1931, the Feast of Corpus Christi, Padre Pio was ordered by the Holy See to desist from all activities except the celebration of the Mass, which was to be in private.By early 1933, Pope Pius XI ordered the Holy See to reverse its ban on Padre Pio’s public celebration of Mass, saying, “I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed.”In the book Padre Pio: The True Story by Bernard Ruffin, he recounts that after Vespers on June 11, 1931, Padre Raffaele summoned Pio to the friary parlor to read the decree received, without comment:

“Padre Pio is to be stripped of all faculties of his priestly ministry except the faculty to celebrate the Holy Mass, which he may continue to do provided it is done in private, within the walls of the friary, in the inner chapel, and not publicy in church”.

The saint’s response:

“God’s will be done,”…then he covered his eyes with his hands, lowered his head, and murmured, “The will of the authorities is the will of God.”

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3 responses to “WWPD? What Would Pio Do?”

  1. I remember reading in one biography of St. Pio that he was actually physically attacked by demons at night. Demons would pummel him and also appear as naked women in lascivious poses. Someone then asked him how many demons there were, and he said, “if we could see them they would block out the light of the sun.”

    Pretty chilling stuff. It reminded me of those Gustave Dore illustrations of Paradise Lost.

  2. This was a great article; I’ve copied the clincher below:

    Normally God teaches us through the circumstances of our daily lives. Especially those most painful circumstances called other people. That’s where we tend to be less than docile. Openness then to God’s teaching us especially through all whom He places into our lives. It is great, great wisdom to be so disposed as to be ready to learn from and I mean it, everyone from the youngest child to the oldest speaking to religious golden or diamond jubilarian .

    I just don’t like or appreciate public tantrums. Christ would never act like Father Pavone. He should practice what he preaches, literally. Turn the other cheek, Father Pavone and listen to your superior or at least take it off camera. Please.

  3. If only all the dissenting priests and bishops would follow this saints example. No more dissent on Church issues. Support and teach Humane Vitae and Theology of the Body. Funny how bishops seem to act rapidly if money is involved, but not if dissent which can lead the flock away from the Church is rampant. There will never be woman priests firmly established once and for all time by Pope John Paul II, so stop this in its tracks. The Church will never change its teaching on marriage is only between one man and one woman…settled an over. The Church will always teach that abortion is a grave evil and supporting it in any way including voting for those who keep it legal is settled teaching. Priest and Bishops need to stop hinting that this is not the case. Souls are in danger which I believe Christ would say is a far higher priority than money.

    Bishop Sheen was also chastised over the issue of finances with Cardinal Spellman as they engaged in a bitter feud largely over the dispersal of Society funds. The struggle led to a private audience before Pius XII, who sided with Sheen. In a rage, Spellman terminated Sheen’s television series, made him a local outcast, and drove him from the Archdiocese. In 1966, Sheen became the Bishop of Rochester. Of course Cardinal Spellman also had a dispute with Eleanor Roosevelt over federally funded education at parochial schools, even accusing her of anti-Catholicism.

    Its funny what arguments over money do to all men, including priests and bishops. Now we have the money battle between Father Frank and Bishop Zurek at a time when 4,000 babies a day are being killed and PFL in a road warrior trying to stop this holocaust. It will be impacted by this battle over money. Stop it now. How about getting priorities right in this critical time.

    Sent out our letters today in support of Father Frank with over 17,000 signatures including many priests. Also sent with it our pledge for $250,000 right now if Father Frank is restored at PFL with another $250,000 in the first six months after this happens. We might also have an announcement coming on a matching donation but not yet complete. The letter went to the USCCB and to the Vatican as well as the Bishop Zurek and several local Bishops in the areas where the signatures were collected. We will continue to gain more signatures and forward them over the next few weeks.

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