Do we prevent somebody being hurt by superstition or faith by rejecting and challenging those things? 

Is it mistaken to support organised religion in membership or donations?

If people do good because they are human, not because God prompts them then is it right to risk giving God any credit when they alone own their good?

 


BELIEF IN PADRE PIO IS COUNTER-INTUITIVE FOR HE IS ASSOCIATED WITH TOO MANY MIRACLES

St Padre Pio was an Italian Franciscan who said he got the visible stigmata in 1918 after having pains in his hands and feet and side on and off since 1915. Jesus was supposedly nailed hands and feet to a cross and got stabbed in the side. He was canonised as a saint. The huge popularity he won was down to his letting outrageous miracle stories surround him. His wonders are not like those of Jesus but seem to be about self-glory. Instead of curing lepers all the time he liked appearing to people even when he was alive!

Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age page 28 reveals that even some believers in Pio's stigmata and integrity were complaining about the circle of people around him including the Capuchin friars he lived with daring to encourage superstitious belief in his powers and even using force to make people believe and tell fairytales about him. Indeed public order problems did arise because of the differences between the gullible believers and the unbelievers and the saner believers. Pio himself was asked by Monsignor Rossi about his power to be in two places at the one time and to heal people etc (page 102, Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age). Pio replied that these were not proven and that he was glad he still had his reason after all the nonsense that took place. Clearly he was unsure if his prayers really healed people but as for the bilocations they were nonsense.

St Padre Pio has done too many miracles that remind one of showing off and conjuring tricks for comfort. There have been countless reports about the miracle perfume, appearing in dreams, Pio being in two places at the one time and healings. He was supposed to have the power to read minds but there would be no market for fortune tellers without similar claims. Such miracles are an insult to Pio if he really wanted, as he said, to hide his miracle powers and avoid appearing special. They also insult God’s dignity. God will only do a miracle as a sign for he cannot do a miracle just to fix errors for he doesn’t make any errors. He is almighty and in control. So God will only do miracles when the forces are in motion for the verification of the miracle by science and the Church. Too many showy miracles are taken to be a sign of suspicion of satanic agency among true Christians. Theologians say Jesus in the gospels only did practical miracles such as healing and avoided showing off and doing absurd miracles. But Pio has been the locum of more miracles than Jesus ever was and most of them are outrageous and that is suspicious.

Catholic doctrine says, "God has supposedly arranged nature as it is. He does not make mistakes but he occasionally does miracles to give evidence of his presence and to direct people to religious and spiritual truth." So a miracle will only take place in the context of evidence and for the sake of being evidence. What if Pio did a few well-substantiated miracles and the other alleged or suspected miracles are not as convincing or are just hearsay? The miracles cannot both command evidence and not command them. The unconvincing ones actually refute the convincing ones. It is just like how in court you can have terrific evidence for something and something happens that undermines it all.

The magazine La Settimana Incom Illustrata after claimed that Pio predicted that Roncalli would become Pope. Angelo Roncalli became Pope John XXIII in 1958 the year before the magazine published the alleged prophecy. Unfortunately the prophecy comes after the event. There is no evidence that it was made before the event or even that Pio really made the prophecy (page 263, Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age). The claim that Roncalli secretly visited Pio in 1956 and didn't let the cat out of the bag until Pope Pius XII died in 1958 is pure invention. John XXIII went to the trouble of declaring that in writing (page 278, Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age).

Jesus warned about signs and wonders that could deceive even the elect - if this does not refer to miracles with inadequate proof then his warning was meaningless.

Pio supposedly got the stigmata on 20 September 1918 while praying in the morning. He told nobody about this until the middle of the following month. He opened up to Father Benedetto. It seems he didn't even tell his spiritual directors (page 21, Padre Pio: Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age).

Pio by silence gave consent to his aggrandizement

Padre Pio has caused a lot of trouble. During his life, many totally reliable people and even the Church said they knew he was a hard-faced weirdo. He never repudiated the aura of sainthood he was invested with. He encouraged it and cultivated his popularity by building hospitals and screaming in his cell at night and claiming to have been attacked by Satan. He never said his claimed stigmata and miracles and his ability to be in two places at the one time should be forgotten about. A truly self-effacing saint would. Thus Pio was saying that a person could be condemned by everybody and by those in authority and who should be considered in a position of knowing and still be a misunderstood saint. This attitude has poisoned the Catholic chalice and promoted religious personality cults in the Church.

Pio lowered the standard. Today we have frauds like Christina Gallagher of Achill who mimic Pio and who have been thoroughly exposed by the media and by people in authority. Even her bishop didn't recognise her as a true visionary. Despite all the scandal, many of her followers stand by her and continue to give her loads of money to keep her in her opulent lifestyle which of course they pretend didn't exist. She continues to deceive and her faithful continue to kid themselves. Her followers typically cite the case of Pio who was condemned by Church authorities and proclaimed a fraud as evidence of how crafty Satan is and how he sets it up so that truly holy mystics like Pio and Gallagher will look like hypocrites and charlatans when they are in fact genuine prophets of God. The result is that millions are being led astray by frauds like Gallagher. Pio cast the die and lowered the standard and the result is that vulnerable people are being lied to and severed from their life savings. If that is not a bad fruit then what is? Pio's work was not from God.

In relation to Pio, we can definitely agree that if a person is not part of the solution then they are part of the problem. He is no help or inspiration in a world riddled with religious frauds.

Pio's Alleged Miracles

The hypocrisy of believing those who cleared Pio and of believing the twelve apostles who give no evidence of telling the exact same story about the resurrection and who were never tried in court is obvious – another of the endless bad fruits that come from belief in miracles for Pio would have wanted people to think that his miracles pointed to the main doctrines of Christianity which are that Jesus died for sins and rose again. If there was a supernatural being doing the miracles through Pio then this being was the Devil for the miracles were never intended to create a saint – it just happened that Pio ended up on the canonisation decree.

Miracles like this will one day destroy the faith for reason will triumph in the end.

The Duchess of St. Albans wrote, "Magic of a Mystic Stories of Padre Pio". A girl, Gemma di Giorg, born without pupils began to see when she was on the train to San Giovanni. Her grandmother was with her. They were going to Pio. Believers falsely allege that when Pio met them he healed the girl. The girl still had no pupils so we can safely assume that this was no miracle but a fluke of nature.

Miracles are said to call you to submit to a body of doctrine supposedly revealed by God. Many cults boast that miracles back them up meaning that the spreading of belief in miracles is really about trying to enslave you to other peoples’ opinions. Any religion can use miracles to get followers so the esteem people like Pio have is desperately misplaced and dangerous. Pretend your mother is in a poor country where women have bad medical care. Do you want her to die rather than have an abortion to save her life? You will if you respect the likes of Padre Pio having who sought to bring the world under the spell of the pope. Pio often declared that his miracles and good deeds were motivated to bringing people to obey the pope and the Church in all their teaching for what they say is God’s will. This means that to accept Pio you can’t be a cafeteria Catholic like most of Pio’s devotees are so he has failed to change them and that is a bad fruit especially since Catholics vow at their baptism and confirmation to accept without reserve the will of God as spoken through the Church.

There is actual and potential. As regards being a good person, potential is more important than actual for you won’t act good unless you have the potential to be good. Catholics like to encourage people to believe in miracles on account of the actual good fruits that follow the events. But it is the potential that matters the most so miracles that have bad implications are simply evil sorceries or frauds.

Miracles are intended to be a cause of faith according to Church doctrine. Any character, and Pio claimed to be one, who experiences them all the time has a substitute for the virtue of faith. The Church always said that apparitions should be short and sweet to prevent that happening and yet people like Pio have been canonised. The reason the Church says that God gives us sufficient evidence but not too much is so that we will have genuine charity and be sure that we do good because it is good. If you know the faith is true you can’t be sure of your motives for we never know ourselves very well at the best of times. And if you know there is a Hell it is impossible to do good with a totally selfless attitude. We conclude then that the canonisations of stigmatists who had constant visions and miracles, Padre Pio, Gemma Galgani, Francis of Assisi, Maria Maddalena de Pazzi, Mary Frances of the Five Wounds, Margaret Mary Alacoque, Veronica Guiliani, Rita of Cascia, Teresa of Avila, Catherine of Genoa and Catherine of Siena are null and void. These saints have destroyed the faith. Faith is the main and essential good fruit so any other good fruit cannot compensate for its disappearance. Interestingly, what we have just read means that Jesus was from the Devil if he did such prolific miracle working for he destroyed the faith of the apostles and gave them knowledge instead. The apostles with the knowledge that their faith and their motives were destroyed were evil men who hid their vice as well as some “holy” fake stigmatists did.

Pio and the Perfumes

The blood from Pio's allegedly miraculous wounds was perfumed - the smell should have been rancid if he really had the long-term wounds he said he had. He must have used eau-de-cologne for the allegedly miraculous fragrance.

Incredibly the Who is Padre Pio? booklet claims that Pio occasionally exuded the smell of tobacco! And it adds that the smell was faint at times and strong at other times. Pio claimed he didn't smoke. And that proves to believers that the tobacco smell was a miracle. How persuasive! How scientific!

Pio did nothing to hide the smell though his followers boast about how humble he was and hated attention and was even ashamed of his stigmata. They might say Pio could not disguise the smell for it was a miracle but that is too hard to believe. God would not pull off such mundane stunts. When saints have an aroma (you will understand why I do not designate the smell of tobacco as an aroma!) it is regarded as a special miracle marking out a man as so holy that even his body smells nice even though he has not been using scent. Pio had no problem then with this tobacco substitute for an “I am holy and humble” tattoo on the forehead.

One thing is for sure when a person has a nice smell that is supposedly a miracle you can be sure that it is not. No sensible God would do such a mundane and easily duplicated miracle. Those who believe in this miracle are making the same mistake as those who say that the miracles of super-psychics are real though there are professional magicians who can do exactly the same things by trickery. Their prejudice and selectiveness is disturbing and Pio, like many others, is to blame for that. He and they didn’t think much of their all-wise God.

Pio and his Demonic Visitors

Pio claimed that he was attacked often at night by demons in his cell and they fought. Demons would harm him more discreetly than that. A man who declares that unverifiable miracles happen is not to be trusted. There was nobody there to verify the attacks and who saw them happening.

Pio was reportedly beaten by demons at night time. When demons gave him bruises why couldn’t they give him the stigmata? Why did they make so much noise that others near Pio’s cell heard them? Why were they so keen to make him look like a target of evil spirits? They would only do that if he was one of their followers. It was all just a performance if demons were involved at all. Or perhaps Pio was the performer!

Demons would not come up from Hell to kick the door and shake Pio’s bed when he could do that himself. Nobody can prove that Pio was not doing these poltergeist stunts himself for he was alone in the room. No God would let miracles happen that one could create oneself for if he would do that then we should believe in miracle-workers who accomplish feats that any magician can do easily. Pio was not the miracle man he had people thinking he was.

It is interesting that Pio who acted so determined to hide his stigmata did not gag himself to stop shouting at the demons and screaming so that nobody would know what was going on. He was conniving and manipulative. The fact that suspicion regarding the source of the wounds hangs over him shows that the faithful are dallying with demons for risks like that should not be taken for God says he comes first.

In 1964, Pio shouted out in his cell one evening at 10pm. The monks ran to his aid and found him in his cell with a gash on his head claiming that it was inflicted during a battle with Satan who had been trying to scrape his eyes out. Pio admitted that Satan could inflict wounds. Interesting. And there is no doubt that Jesus who said that you have to hide your prayers and good works in the Sermon on the Mount would not think much of a man who had to tell people that the Devil was to blame for his head wound for that is the same as saying, “I am such an important person in the Church and such a good man that the Devil himself came up from Hell to knock me about”. Satan would die with embarrassment if Pio had been going about with no eyes for it would be practically advertising Pio as a man of God. Satan was slandered. It was either a poltergeist that caused the wounds not Satan or Pio did it himself.