If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
Padre Pio's Canonisation
Pio was canonised by Pope John Paul II in June 2002. On that day he became St Pio.
Pio was accused of insanity and using women sexually and theft by many theological experts and doctors and even archbishops and bishops. It was only because of the popes who decided to support Pio that these critics came to be ignored.
Now the Church leaves it up to the local bishop to decide if a person claiming special powers from God in his diocese is really in possession of such powers. Yet with Pio the bishops who made serious allegations against him came to be ignored when the Vatican wanted to change its hostile attitude towards Pio.
Pio never should have been canonised. His wounds might have been self-inflicted. He was just the kind of man that wanted to bring people back to the days when unconditional obedience and self-degradation under the heels of bishops and engaging in physical torture was an essential part of being a Christian. That the man hasn’t caused too much evil is down to the fact that believers are weak in faith not down to any good influence from him.
It is a fact that people who pray a lot and who seem to be very holy can still be frauds. Consider the devotion exhibited by traditionalist Catholic sects. They claim to recognise papal authority while taking the rights of the pope on themselves. For example, they claim their priests can forgive sin despite the papal decree that they have no faculty or power to do so. Pio might have prayed a lot to ease the guilt of being a fraud.
The Church has made no declaration on the authenticity of the miracles allegedly surrounding Pio or even his supposed stigmata excepting the two healing miracles that were required for the canonisation. One miracle was the cure of a woman with lung disease and the other was of a Italian boy who was in a coma with meningitis. That medicine is full of anomalies like that and doctor’s despairing predictions are sometimes disproved is conveniently forgotten.
The Church has canonised many saints who reported daily miracles which does not amount to agreeing with the saint that the miracles were true. The Church believes many of these saints erred in their revelations and has no problem with admitting that some of them were mentally ill. The problem I have with this is that you would need to authenticate every miracle reported one by one to be sure that no fraud took place before you would have the right to canonise. Dubious miracles are often the sign of unsaintliness.
The canonisation only means that he is a saint and that he was not wilfully faking the miracles which is not the same as saying the miracles are approved and that Pio might not have imagined things at times. The miracles have included visions of Pio after his death, Pio managing to appear in visions before his death and many others. Given that miracles are supposedly signs for God does not make mistakes and does not do them to fix his blunders, it follows that real miracles will be experienced by knowledgeable reliable people and it will not be hard to authenticate them and they will be authenticated soon for the sooner the better for things that make a difference could be forgotten over time. The miracles of Pio were tricks because the investigation took place too long after their alleged occurrence.
Reason says then that Pio’s miracles which he never denied but encouraged by his silence were tricks. For the Church to make a saint and then not authenticate his miracles as it does do indicates that the canonisation is invalid and biased even fraudulent. Canonisations are done if the candidate for sainthood has been shown to have lived a holy life to a remarkable and unusual degree under intensive and thorough investigation. The Church has canonised many saints and simply dismissed many of the bad things said about them as gossip. Pio was no exception. Why investigate a life at all to make a saint if you are going to ignore the unsavoury elements? Until these are explained and debunked the person cannot proclaimed a saint.
They say saints produce fruits. One of them was Pio's canonisation. It can by no means be considered a valid or sensible canonisation. It is not a good fruit. At best it is neither a bad fruit or a good one. It was a bad fruit. It has led the whole Church astray and made people more unreasonable in their trust in the Catholic Church. Jesus said you can tell fakes when they produce bad fruits. There is no doubt that the alleged good fruits of inspiring prayer groups like Pio has done and getting a hospital built means nothing compared to him becoming another of Rome’s bogus saints thanks to a pope who will one day be one himself and a siren for a barbaric system of doctrine that is provably false. Jesus knew that false prophets like to seem holy and virtuous which was why he said first that wolves come in the guise of lambs and that it is by their fruits that you know the false prophets – there is no doubt that the main way to tell is if their doctrine is pure and verifiable.
The hospital is not admissible as a good fruit because it was built with contributions from a dubious source thanks to his notorious arch-apostle and promoter Brunatto. If the people helped, then the people were the ones who were good. Not Pio. Pio made no sacrifices for it. Pio knew the people were paying because they believed in the stories about his miracles. Is it right to get people to donate money for that reason when the miracles have not been properly investigated by the Church? Pio did not tell them to curb their devotion and wait for the Church’s verdict. His miracles are incompatible with the Catholic doctrine that God will never do any miracle that undermines the authority of the Church for the Church is the authority he has set up. The prayer groups are not admissible as good fruit either because prayer is an activity that refuses to give humanity their full dignity. Prayer treats the God belief as more important than persons. We are to bow before God like a superior when in fact we are just bowing down to a belief created by people. Also, real prayer is just submission to the will of God, saying, “Thy will be done,” and nothing else. It is just the passive acceptance of God’s will so how could praying people really intend to help anybody by prayer? Prayer is a clear instance of faith being put before people even though the way it is done can fool you.
Curiously the Church looks for miracles after a persons death before she will canonise them but no matter how well attested the miracles they do when alive are she doesn’t care as much: “The Church never canonizes any of her children in their lifetime, and even after death she does not accept such manifestations, however well-grounded may be the belief in their supernatural origin, as the sole and principle foundation for her favourable judgement” (page 96, The Physical Phenomena of Mysticism). This is bizarre. You could do a thousand miracles when alive and not get canonised and if you do one or three after you die the Church is satisfied with these few miracles and will proceed with the canonisation if it wishes.
Pio was only made a saint because he was popular and if the Church wants to be popular in these days of horrendous clerical sex-scandals it has to sweeten up the people again.