PADRE PIO, A CASE OF DELUDED PIETY ON STEROIDS

Stigmata is the phenomenon which makes some people seemingly unaccountably carry wounds similar to the crucifixion wounds of Jesus Christ. Given that in recent times brilliant magicians and conjurers have fooled scientists into believing in their miracles and then revealed that they were hoaxing that explains a lot of the allegations of past experts that they had seen inexplicable stigmata. The Church has never officially accepted the vast majority of the stigmatics as real victims of a particularly barbaric miracle. Like all Catholic miracles, the stigmata imply that God uses evil to do good which is a heinous insult for he does not need to.
 
The case of the fasting girl Molly Fancher, the Boston Enigma shows that some people have unexplained abilities. These abilities have not been explained but we know they are natural. That is all we need to know. Molly Fancher never made any supernatural claims. We must take her word for it.

A stigmatic miracle-working monk who died in 1968 and who was canonised by Pope John Paul II has got fame all over the globe.  Padre Pio.

Pio claimed that Jesus gave him a copy of the five wounds of the crucifixion. In 1923, Rome declared that nothing supernatural had been proven about the marks. This is very important for less was known then about magic tricks and chemicals that keep wounds open and the power of the mind than is known now. The wounds then could have seemed supernatural indeed - more than they would nowadays - for the same reason that the cures for smallpox would have seemed miraculous to many. This shows that the Church did find indications of possible fakery.
 
In the pro-Pio book, Padre Pio Under Investigation, Francesco Castelli states that a Monsignor Rossi (in 1921) examined Pio's stigmata and found no wounds in the palms even though there was a scab of blood in each palm. He found two white button like marks on the feet but no blood or wounds there. Rossi described the marks not as wounds but as the effusion of blood - like blood getting out through skin. This book admits that Pio was ordering carbolic acid but says without proof that he needed it to sterilise needles.
 
The book says that Rossi found no lesions but yet Pio told him that his hands were very sore. Why would they be sore when there were no wounds but only scabs?
 
This book says that in order the doctors who examined the alleged wounds were
 
Doctor Romanelli in 1919. Asserted there was a side wound "lacerated" and "linear". Stated that he thought the wounds in the hands went right through.
 
Professor Bignami in 1919. Asserted there was no side wound. Denied there were any deep fissures.
 
Doctor Festa in 1919. He contradicted Romanelli who said the wounds in the hands went right through. Asserted there was no side wound. Denied there were any deep fissures.
 
Doctor Festa conducted a second examination in 1920.
 
Doctor Festa conducted a third examination in 1925.

Festa regarded the marks as supernatural. He reached this opinion merely from the fact that they were perfumed. He obviously just took Pio's word for it that no cologne had been applied!

Its uncertain that Pio ever really had remarkable wounds.

Nobody ever said he could press on each side of the hand "wound" and get his fingers to touch one another through the alleged wound. Doctor Romanelli said he had the impression that the hand wounds were through the hands but he admitted it was only an impression. He tried but assumed that his fingers would meet if he tried harder. But he was afraid to for it gave Pio great pain (page 14, The Stigmata and Modern Science). The priest was crying and struggling and wincing with the alleged pain enough as it was so would the examination have been done right?  Romanelli is the weak leg that the pro-Pio devotees have to stand on.

How convenient that Pio was not put under anaesthesia for examination of the wounds. That shows that neither Pio or those who organised the tests were very particular though they did a bit to look particular. Pio was not seriously interested in having the wounds cured for as far as he was concerned he knew how to handle them. Pio wanted the appearance of being verified as a true stigmatist. And Pio was able to undergo two operations without anaesthetic which is a phenomenon known as auto-anaesthesia (page 89, The Bleeding Mind)– many people with trained minds are - which makes his behaviour very suspicious. It looks as if he wanted to use the pain as an excuse for getting the tests rushed and to prevent anything suspicious being found. It paid off.
  
Pio’s Provincial said he would testify on oath that he could see through Pio’s hand wounds (page 68, The Bleeding Mind). But no doctor ever could so that is worthless. A piece of a mirror in the middle of the encrusted blood could be used to give the impression that the hand could be seen through just like a magician could do it.

Reason bids us believe the doctors who said the wounds were superficial for that would explain why they were not septic – as can carbolic acid which some thought Pio was using on the wounds. Superficial wounds would explain why there was not a mark on Pio when he died. When there is conflict of testimony the testimony that is closest to a rational or simplest interpretation has to be preferred. And in this case we have disposed of Romanelli’s reliability – remember when we refute his testimony that is all we need to do for he was the only one that was nearly any good - so we can be confident that Pio’s wounds were superficial and that naturally he exaggerated the pain from them to avoid detection and so he was consciously deceiving.

It is absurd to think that the wounds would change so much as from superficial to complete perforations if they were miraculous. They might change if they were natur
Pio was certainly dodgy and has recently been exposed for surreptitiously sending for chemicals amid great secrecy as if he needed them to make his wounds.  Pio himself claimed that he only insisted on secrecy so that those delivering the chemicals to him would not know they were carrying such dangerous materials! What kind of excuse was that?

If Pio's stigmata was dubious, how can we be confident in the other miracles ascribed to him?

Pio was famous for the miracle of perfume which surrounded him. 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.

Pio drew attention for his alleged (and unsubstantiated for he was alone when they happened) nocturnal battles with demons who used to hit him. Demons would not have drawn attention to him unless they had some secret pact with him for if God was with him they could not hope to win. They would have been promoting him.