Subject: Oh, that Pope
It would seem that the history of rapist priests
goes back a bit further than the 1980s.
Yesterday I bought a bracelet on the boardwalk
in Venice. It's a lot like one I got in Chinatown last year - they
have little pictures of saints on them.
When I was a kid, the nuns would give us holy
cards - pictures of saints, mostly, on one side, with a prayer on the other.
They were beautifully printed, and wonderfully ornate.
We were supposed to treasure them, but I often
ate mine. Guess I was trying to get holy from the inside out, but
I'd nibble on the edges, then tear off little bits, until nothing remained.
Anyway, the bracelets have the same pictures
I remember from childhood.
Except the one from yesterday - it also has JP
II, and one of the newer saints, Padre Pio.
I remember when he was canonized, but didn't
pay much attention.
So, last night I went to wikipedia to read up
Pio of Pietrelcina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
He was known for his stigmata....
Sifting through the horseshit, stumbled on this:
His accusers brought several accusations against
him, including insanity, immoral attitude towards women
- claims that he had intercourse with women
in the confessional; misuse of funds, and deception - claims that
the stigmata were induced with acid in order
to gain fame, and that the reported odor of sanctity around him
being the result of self-administered eau-de-cologne.
The founder of Milan's Catholic University
of the Sacred Heart, friar, physician and psychologist Agostino Gemelli,
concluded Padre Pio was "an ignorant and self-mutilating
psychopath who exploited people's credulity." In short,
he was accused of infractions against all
three of his monastic vows: poverty, chastity and obedience.
In 1923, he was forbidden to teach teenage
boys in the school attached to the monastery
because he was considered "a noxious Socrates,
capable of perverting the fragile lives and souls of boys."
By 1933, the tide began to turn, with Pope
Pius XI ordering the Holy See to reverse its ban on Padre Pio’s public
celebration of Mass. The Pope said, "I have
not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed."
In 1934, he was again allowed to hear confessions.
He was also given honorary permission to preach despite never
having taken the exam for the preaching licence.
Pope Pius XII, who assumed the papacy in 1939, encouraged
devotees to visit Padre Pio. According to
a recent book, Pope John XXIII (1958-1963) apparently did not espouse
the outlook of his predecessors, and wrote
in 1960 of Padre Pio’s “immense deception."  However, it was
John XXIII's successor, Pope Paul VI, who,
in the mid-1960s, firmly dismissed all accusations against Padre Pio.
In 1947, Father Karol Józef Wojty?a,
a young Polish priest who would later go on to become Pope John Paul II,
visited Padre Pio who heard his confession.
Austrian Cardinal Alfons Stickler reported that Wojty?a confided
to him that during this meeting Padre Pio
told him he would one day ascend to "the highest post in the Church."
In other words, John XXIII, the last relatively
sane voice to run the outfit, dismissed him as a charlatan.
The conservatives who took over after John XXIII
'resurrected' Padre Pio, and since they've been running the show since
the 1960s, he's now a saint.
A saint who was compared to Socrates, and kept
away from boys for 10 years.
So, my pretty little bracelet with the pictures
of saints also has an enabler and a perv, making it much more special.
As my Sicilian relatives like to say "it rots
from the head".
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