I have never written a post on Padre Pio, whom the Vatican II sect has declared a "saint." There is so much conflicting testimony about him ( ranging from claims that he was a staunch Traditionalist, to claims he was a Modernist and a fake) that it is very confusing to know what to believe. Padre Pio, born Francesco Forgione on May 25, 1897, was a Capuchian priest ordained in 1910. It is claimed he had received numerous spiritual gifts, including bi-location and the visible wounds of Christ in his hands (called the "stigmata"). He died September 23, 1968--about four years into the creation of the Vatican II sect, which took off when "Pope" Paul VI signed the heretical document Lumen Gentium. Wotyla (John Paul the Great Apostate) "beatified" Padre Pio in 1999, and "canonized" him in 2002.
I asked my spiritual father, the great Fr. Gommar DePauw (who founded the Traditionalist movement to preserve the True Faith in 1964), what he thought of Padre Pio. His reply was most interesting. Father's older brother, Fr. Adhemar DePauw, OFM, had been commissioned by Pope Pius XII in the 1950s to investigate the Capuchin in Italy. Fr. Adhemar was sworn to secrecy, and never revealed what he discovered to anyone but the pope. Fr. DePauw said that his brother never wanted to speak of him, even in those things which were of common knowledge and not related to his investigation and vow. This led Father to conclude his brother did not think highly of him. He went on to tell me that he had heard from high ranking sources at the Vatican (back in 1962, when he was a theological expert, or peritus, at Vatican II) all kinds of conflicting reports and testimonies, and he honestly did not know whom (or even what) to believe about Padre Pio. He concluded by saying, "He will never be one of my favorite so-called saints."
So why a post now? I've always had misgivings about Padre Pio. I never give any credence to anti-Catholic sources, however Archbishop Pasquale Gagliardi (1859-1941), claimed that Padre Pio faked his stigmata using carbolic acid which he had purchased. The Modernist Vatican dismissed the claim, stating that the acid was used to sterilize needles that Padre used for injections against the Spanish Flu, which was raging at the time and there was a shortage of doctors. Also, there are allegations that Abp. Gagliardi was quite immoral and persecuted Padre Pio (See http://www.spirit-digest.com/Prayers/gagliardi.htm). Once again, conflicting accounts. There are two opposite and believable stories about a photo where Padre is kissing Archbishop Lefebvre's ring. According to one source, he predicted the Archbishop "would divide the Church." According to other eyewitnesses, nothing of the kind was said. Pope Pius XII allowed people to visit Padre, but it was Montini the false pope ("Pope" Paul VI) who dismissed all charges against him. I have come across some information, which if true, would expose him as a non-Catholic.
A reader of my blog, Mr. Frank Rega (a good and sincere man) has written a book on Padre Pio, and has great devotion to him. However, what Mr. Rega wrote on his own blog, "The Shield of Faith," would make Padre an ecumenist heretic. Since it was written by a great devotee of Padre Pio, I can't dismiss it as biased against him. What follows is the post he wrote entitled, "Padre Pio was not a rigid Traditionalist." (See http://divinefiat.blogspot.com).
The title alone gave me pause. A Traditionalist is simply a true Catholic in this age of the Great Apostasy. We recognize the state of sedevacante, and reject the Vatican II Robber Council, as well as the man-made sect it spawned. Mr. Rega rejects sedevacantism, and is a "conservative" member of the Vatican II sect. Even the conservatives are infected with the heresy that you can be "Catholic in degrees." This is an outgrowth of Vatican II's heretical ecclesiology. Let's examine what was written.
Evidence of Ecumenism
From "The Shield of Faith:"
The following documented cases are presented as evidence that Padre Pio believed that non-Catholics could be saved and even receive the sacraments.
Adelaide McAlpin Pyle, a Baptized Protestant
“She will be saved because she has faith.”
Most of the information for this first account comes from the English version of the book Mary Pyle, by Bonaventura MassaThis work was diligently compiled from written documents and taped oral testimonies, kept on file in the archives of Padre Pio’s friary in anticipation of the process for Miss Pyle’s Cause for Beatification.
The wealthy Presbyterian, Adelaide McAlpin Pyle, was the mother of Mary Pyle, a well-known convert to Catholicism who renounced her family fortune in order to spend her life near Padre Pio. The Pyle family was related by marriage to the Rockefellers, and made their fortune in the soap and hotel business. After Adelaide found out that her daughter Mary had chosen to move to southern Italy to learn about God from a saint, curiosity impelled her to travel from her plush New York townhouse to medieval San Giovanni Rotondo, in order to meet this holy man.
In spite of an unpleasant initial encounter, Adelaide eventually became quite friendly with Padre Pio. She made numerous journeys from America, beginning in the mid-1920s, to visit her daughter Mary, and to meet with the Padre. Mary often tried to convince her mother to convert to Catholicism as she herself had done, but Adelaide reportedly said in Padre Pio’s presence, “I would rather allow myself to be burned alive for my religion!” Padre Pio advised Mary not to push her mother to convert: “Let her be! Don’t upset her peace.” However, Mary continued to worry because her mother was not a Catholic, and Padre Pio counseled, “Let’s not confuse her. She will be saved because she has faith.”
In 1936, Adelaide, who had grown older and was nearing death, made one last trip to San Giovanni Rotondo. As she said good-bye to Padre Pio at the end of this visit, the saintly priest pointed heavenward, saying to the Protestant Adelaide, “I hope we will see each other again soon, but if we don’t see each other here, we will see each other up there.” She passed away in the fall of 1937 at the age of seventy-seven. Her daughter Mary then became pre-occupied about her mother’s salvation. After dreaming that her mother was in Rome standing in front of the Vatican, she poured out her anxiety to Padre Pio. He replied, "And who told you that your mother could not be saved?” (Emphasis mine)
Did Padre Pio receive a revelation that Adelaide Pyle had secretly ‘in pectore” converted to the Catholic Faith? If that were true, he most certainly would have told this to her daughter Mary, who was obviously distraught from worrying over her mother’s salvation. Further, it seems likely that if Adelaide had converted, she would have shared this good news with her convert daughter. It is reasonable to conclude then that Padre Pio believed that this particular person who died outside the Church could be saved. In addition, there is evidence that Padre Pio would have been willing to hear Adelaide’s confession, and grant her sacramental absolution. On one occasion, she had confided to her daughter her great desire to kneel before Padre Pio in his confessional, but she lamented that her inability to speak Italian made this impossible. When Padre Pio heard of this, (apparently it was after her death), he bemoaned, “Oh! If she had only done it! As for the language, I would have taken care of that!” (Emphasis mine)
This is sheer heresy, for no one outside the One True Church can be saved, nor can non-Catholics be given the sacraments. There are two more scenarios given: Padre Pio asks people to pray for a soul about to appear before God. That soul turns out to be the Anglican King George. He does not pray for his conversion. According to "The Shield of Faith," However, it is not recorded or implied that he asked his confreres to pray for the deathbed conversion of the king – an important intention that Padre Pio in all likelihood would have explicitly stated, if such were his purpose. Although he mentioned the king to his priest colleague, he did not tell the friends in his room that they were praying for a non-Catholic until they had finished their prayers. One cannot therefore say that it is to be assumed that as Catholics they were praying for the king’s conversion...Of course this scenario would not be acceptable to one who holds that Padre Pio subscribed to a literal extra ecclesiam nulla salus position. Those who hold that position are left with the unlikely alternative that they were praying for a Catholic, and that Padre Pio had requested the prayers because he was given a private revelation that King George V of England was secretly a Roman Catholic, loyal to the Pope!
Finally, there is this scenario about a Jew, Julius Fine, whom Padre Pio claimed was saved, but Padre never mentioned Baptism of Desire, or that Mr. Fine had converted to to the Faith. Mr. Rega concludes, His ingenuous openness to the plenitude of God’s mercy anticipated the explicit declarations of the Church during and after the Second Vatican Council on the possibility that non-Catholic churches can be a "means of salvation," and on the reception by non-Catholics of the sacraments in certain cases. Padre Pio actually believed that the gospel of Jesus Christ was Good News! Heresy is never "good news."
What the True Church Teaches about Salvation and Sacraments for Non-Catholics
1) No one who dies outside the One True Church can be saved. (De Fide)
According to theologian Tanquerey, "Outside the Church there is no salvation...Whoever culpably remains outside the Church to the end of life cannot be saved; he is culpable who does not seek the truth when he is in serious doubt, and, a fortiori, he is culpable who knowingly and willingly does not enter the Church when he recognizes it as true...Whoever inculpably remains outside the Church can be saved provided he belong to the Church through faith and charity, or perfect contrition " (Dogmatic Theology 1:138-139; Emphasis mine).
"There is one universal Church of the faithful, outside of which no one at all can be saved." Pope Innocent III, ex cathedra, (Fourth Lateran Council, 1215).
2) The Sacraments may not be given to non-Catholics.
(See Pope Benedict XV, Code of Canon Law , Canon 731, section 2)
"In the case of those [non-Catholics] who are in good health, the prohibition [to receive the sacraments] is absolute; no dispute on this point is possible in view of the repeated explicit declarations of the Holy Office." [e.g. decree of Aug. 28, 1669].
(See canonist Woywod, A Practical Commentary on the Code of Canon Law, rev. by Rev. Callistus Smith, Vol. I [New York, NY: Joseph F. Wagner, 1952], n. 625; Emphasis mine)
"In danger of death a heretic or schismatic may be absolved conditionally if he is in good faith and cannot be convinced of his error. As far as possible scandal most always be avoided." (See theologian Jone, Moral Theology, , pg. 394; Emphasis in original)
Padre Pio remains an enigma. Is it possible that Mr. Rega simply interpreted the actions of Padre incorrectly, or that the sources are flawed? Perhaps. If what he states about Padre Pio is true, then he was not a Catholic, but a heretic. If he thought there is salvation apart from the Church so that non-Catholics--as non-Catholics---can be saved, that is heretical and false. If he intended to give the sacrament of Confession to a non-Catholic who simply wished to confess without rejecting her errors, that is a grave sacrilege; and if he believed there was nothing wrong with this, he is heretical.
I always felt something remiss about Padre Pio. He accepted the wicked Montini as "pope" yet allegedly had such great spiritual gifts of discernment. What makes me most skeptical is his adulation by the Vatican II sect and his "canonization" by the wicked Wotyla. Mr. Rega's explanation of these words and actions by Padre Pio would go a long way in making sense of it. He would be an ecumenist just like them. I hope Mr. Rega, a good man, will now see the errors of the Vatican II sect and convert. Yes, I will pray for his conversion, because to be "partially Catholic" means to be totally lost.