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Fake Stigmata Controversy
During the 20th century, Padre Pio was one of the most famous and popular Catholic monks. He died in 1968 and was made a saint by Pope John Paul II in 2002. He was recently declared the Patron Saint of New Year Blues.

Pio was particularly famous for the supernatural phenomena associated with him. In particular, stigmata were said to have mysteriously appeared on his hands and feet. But a new book argues that Pio faked his stigmata:
a book called Padre Pio and the Italy of the 19th Century, by historian Sergio Luzzatto says the wounds were self-created using carbolic acid and he claims to have found documentary evidence to prove it in the Vatican's secret archives.

According to Wikipedia, this is hardly the first time charges of fakery have been leveled against Pio:
His accusers included high-ranking archbishops, bishops, theologians and physicians.
They brought several accusations against him, including insanity, immoral attitude towards women - claims that he had intercourse with women in the confessional (However, the same priest who accused Pio of these sexual acts later recanted his story and repented on his death bed.), 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 Rome's Catholic university hospital 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."
Categories: Body ManipulationReligion
Posted by The Curator on Fri Oct 26, 2007
My ex-wife was a believer in the Padre Pio stigmata story. I expressed the belief that it was nonsense. Gee, I can't imagine why that marriage broke up!
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Fri Oct 26, 2007  at  04:13 AM
If someone knows some italian...
http://www.corriere.it/cronache/07_ottobre_24/luzzatto.shtml

anyway Pope Giovanni XXIII was very concerned about Padre Pio (circa 1960) and persuaded that he was faking the stigmata
Posted by Al from Italy  on  Fri Oct 26, 2007  at  05:34 AM
I think the real problem of Padre Pio was that he was rapidly becoming a cult figure in a religion that only allows one cult figure - the Pope. The Catholics don't like anyone to be more popular than the Pope, especially when that person wanders around in monks's robes, living on charity, and seemingly keeping his vows of chasitity, poverty and all the rest of it.

Not that I believe in Padre Pio. I just think it was disgusting the way the Vatican tried to destroy him.
Posted by Nona  in  London  on  Fri Oct 26, 2007  at  08:25 AM
This isn't itself proof that the guy was a fake (though he certainly was), but if the stigmata were meant to be a duplicate of the nail wounds from the crucifixion, they're in the wrong place. If you placed the nails there (basically through the palm of the hand), you couldn't possibly support much of the body weight for any length of time before the nails would tear through the hand in the direction of the finger bones.
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Fri Oct 26, 2007  at  01:03 PM
Here is a quote from the book Padre Pio and America which explains what
the carbolic acid was actually used for in his friary at that time:
"The boys in the Seraphic College could not understand why their
instructor seemed to be hiding his hands under his garments during the
classes that he was teaching. The Father Guardian, Padre Paolino, noticed
that Pio appeared to be covering up red spots on his hands with the
sleeves of his habit. However, he was not too concerned since he and Padre
Pio had recently received burns on their hands from carbolic acid. The
boys had needed injections to fight the Spanish Flu which was raging at
that time. Due to a shortage of doctors, Padres Paolino and Pio
administered the shots, using carbolic acid as a sterilizing agent."
Peace,
Frank Rega, author of Padre Pio and America p. 55, TAN Books 2005.
Posted by Frank Rega  in  Delaware, USA  on  Sat Oct 27, 2007  at  12:22 PM
My father was a GI hurt in WWII and not only met Padre Pio, but stayed there for a long time AND BECAME HIS PERSONAL FRIEND. This included some very special priviledges, not only at the monastery, but with the monks there, Mary Pyle and Padre Pio's real family. These mindless cretins looking to sell books and profit by defaming have NO CLUE what the man was like. NO CLUE. How cowardly and simple it is to take pot shots at a man dead for almost 40 years.

Did these same low-lifes mention how his wounds completely healed 50 years to the day he received them without so much as a scar? Did these mental midgets state that it was common and routine for Padre Pio's doctors and investigators to be athiest so as to be completely without conflict of interest? Did these abusers of the truth mention that these professionals were completely baffled my Padre Pio's condition... while he lived and after he died? And there wasn't just "ONE" expert... not two... not 122, but hundreds and hundreds if not thousands!!!

Before you spend a dime to read garbage like Luzzatto's, why not read some of the diaries of the athiest investigators who examined Padre Pio ?
Posted by Thomas Peluso  in  Pennsylvania  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  12:17 PM
So Thomas, can I assume that you're going to be providing proof to back up your claims? Surely we're not expected to accept a miracle just on somebody's say so.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  12:28 PM
If it is proof you want that is man is not a hoax, just read some of the articles at http://www.sanpadrepio.com
Yes, there is a GOD, and his name is Jesus Christ.

Frank
Posted by Frank Rega  in  Delaware, USA  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  12:49 PM
Charybdis in Hell --- what an interesting name you have chosen to use here. It speaks volumes.

It seems as if in your court, the innocence of the accused must be proven... and not his guilt.

Interesting to note that I should provide you documentation to dispute the errant pen of one author hellbent on selling books... and that his malformed suspicion and theory could rebuke 1000s of documented accounts of not only Papal endorsed investigators, but independent atheist ones who had set out to "uncover" the truth of Padre Pio.

If you really are in search of the truth, you have one benefit that will provide you with a tremendous advantage over one trying to unearth similar facts about a long dead saint. You are not researching some monk who died 800 years ago... you are looking for information on a man who lived in your lifetime. And millions of people still exist that can personally attest to whether or not Padre Pio was valid or bogus... like my father who knew him personally.

If on the other hand, you aren't really seeking the truth, but just a way to condemn, without proof, this holy man, then you deal with your own conscious.

Don't take my word for it... take the millions that know. All this information is out there. All you have to do is look. My question to you is, do you really want to see it?
Posted by Thomas Peluso  in  Pennsylvania  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  01:58 PM
A name is just a name, Thomas.

In my court a person claiming extraordinary, nay, miraculous occurences should be expected to prove his claims. By your argument every wild claim ever made must be accepted unless otherwise proven false, and that's just wrong.

You're claiming that Padre Pio truly suffered from stigmata. I see nothing wrong in requiring proof of this before I accept it as a fact. I'm not making a statement for or against your claim, I'm just telling you that anecdotal evidence (your father) isn't enough. Also, stating that 'millions of people still exist that can personally attest..." is misleading, to say the least. It's extremely unlikely, even impossible, that millions of people personally met and investigated Padre Pio. Millions of people could not have known him personally, it's simply physically impossible. Exaggerations like this don't help your case any.

I am not attempting to comdemn him without proof - the burden of proof is on his supporters, not me. If they can't provide that proof then I have no reason to believe the claims. It's as simple as that. You ask me to believe a miracle, I ask you to provide proof of it first. I'd be a fool to do otherwise.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  03:37 PM
Here is an article that summarizes the proof of the stigmata of Padre Pio.
http://www.catholic.net/the_living_church/template_article.phtml?article_id=386&channel_id=5
Posted by Frank Rega  in  Delaware, USA  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  03:52 PM
Um, how do you address the fact that crucifixions are thought to have been above the wrists and not through the palms? Something the Shroud of Turin would support, if you accept it as Christ's burial shroud.

Frank, while I haven't yet had time to read your link in depth a quick skimming seems to indicate it mainly debunks the debunkers, mostly by pointing out their factual errors and citing other sources arguing against the skeptics. It doesn't appear to provide any actual proof of the authenticity of Padre Pio's stigmata.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  04:52 PM
Genuine supernatural stigmata are symbolic of the crucfixion, they are not meant to be exact replicas of Christ's wounds. St. Francis also had the stigmata on his palms.
What you you accept as proof that they are genuine? Medical doctors (many) have said that there is no known medical explanation for Padre Pio's wounds. Ultimately, one has to collect all the facts about the wounds, the person, and his life and level of holiness, his miracles, and then it is really a personal act of faith if you believe or not.
Posted by Frank Rega  in  Delaware, USA  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  05:07 PM
REPLY PART 1 of 2

Frank,

There is no need to post URLs for Charybdis in Hell to view. He's demonstrated clearly that he has no genuine interest in seeking the truth, but only gets some twisted satisfaction from adolescent attempts to debunk Padre Pio in his own mind. Notice how he doesn't comment on your posts.

If he wanted to know, he could Google "Padre Pio." That would lead him to countless URLs. He could go to the vatican website and list out their articles on Padre Pio. http://vatican.mondosearch.com/search_en.aspx?query=padre+pio&x=0&y=0
They don't make everyone a saint and when they do, the cases are VASTLY researched and documented --- SOMETIMES FOR CENTURIES! He could go to places like http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,855088,00.html or http://www.rense.com/general26/padrepio.htm or read this story... http://www.holysmoke.org/hs02/stigmata.htm I found them in a moment. Why does he need help? He could go to http://www.padrepio.com/ and read personal accounts of people that knew him. He could read your book with the statements of many who knew him. And he could seek those people out directly!

Does he want to talk to my mom whose house would smell up with roses whenever my father returned from showing Padre Pio pictures and slides to church groups... something he did from the 40s until he died in the 90s? They did not live beside a florist! Does he want to talk to the Calandra family of Norristown, PA whose matron singlehanded ly built a HUGE SHRINE to Padre Pio in Barto, PA and promoted his cause her entire life, like my dad did? I think the Calandra family would want to tell Charybdis in Hell why their mom did this. I wonder if he knows of Mary Pyle... the American rich debutante... the Paris Hilton of her day. Who met Padre Pio, became a Catholic, gave up her fortune to live humbly there instead for the rest of her life (much to the chagrin of her Presbyterian family) and assisted him in building the hospital. Maybe he ought to talk to Fr. Leo Fanning who was moved to become a priest after meeting him... or how about that lady Diane Allen from San Diego who after researching Padre Pio, became a Catholic and now devotes her life to his cause by flying all over the world interviewing people that knew him for her monthly newsletter and website? Does he want to read my father's daily diary which tells all about his life with Padre Pio? Would he try to seek out Pia Pennelli (Padre Pio's aunt) or his remaining family to ask them if he was legit? Would he contact the monks of the very same monastery where Padre Pio lived who maintain a museum, information and visitor's center there? No. I think not.

SEE NEXT MESSAGE
Posted by Thomas Peluso  in  Pennsylvania  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  05:35 PM
PART 2 of 2

Believe me Frank, Jesus Himself could not convince Charybdis in Hell to believe in Padre Pio.

He even claims that he requires proof that Padre Pio ever even had the stigmata. Well, those fingerless gloves he wore came off during Mass and my dad would served many, many of those daily Masses and look straight through those holes in his hands. My dad is not Superman and has no X-ray vision. And we have pictures that dad took while being beside Padre Pio... Oh! Charybdis in Hell will say they've been "Photoshopped!" *sigh* And we possess some of those blood stained gloves and hankies full of blood that he wiped his side with. Dad saw that blood form there... on fresh clean gloves and linen. It not come from a bloody nose.

Our "friend" Charybdis in Hell is not unlike Apostle Thomas albeit, Thomas recanted after placing his hands in the Christ's wounds. Is that what Charybdis in Hell needs to do... place his hands in Padre Pio's wounds? Well, you can't... remember, they healed smooth without so much as a scar when he died. Since we can't exhume him, would the testimony of COUNTLESS DOCTORS suffice? Nah! Charybdis in Hell would simply dismiss them in some mindless manner.

All he has done is say SHOW ME! SHOW ME! SHOW ME! My God! He's got the Internet... the greatest research tool known to mankind. He's standing in the forest and can't see the trees. Yeah! There's a lot of garbage on the net, but millions of testimonies cannot be dismissed especially when they come from people that are still alive and can be directly talked to today.

Best to leave him be and when he is where his name states he is, he might have a little sadness for having 20-20 hindsight.
Posted by Thomas  in  Pennsylvania  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  05:36 PM
CORRECTION... my fault... Pia Pennelli was Padre Pio's NEICE... not aunt. and my father attended her wedding to Mario in 1944. Guess who the priest was that married them?
Posted by Thomas  in  PA  on  Tue Nov 20, 2007  at  05:42 PM
There is no need to post URLs for Charybdis in Hell to view. He's demonstrated clearly that he has no genuine interest in seeking the truth, but only gets some twisted satisfaction from adolescent attempts to debunk Padre Pio in his own mind. Notice how he doesn't comment on your posts.


I'm sorry, I wasn't aware that asking for facts to back up your assertions indicated that I was adolescent.

If he wanted to know, he could Google "Padre Pio." That would lead him to countless URLs. He could go to the vatican website and list out their articles on Padre Pio.


The same can be said for alien encounters, the Loch Ness monster, the New World Order, and 9/11 conspiracies. The number of pages referencing something in no way supports its authenticity.

I asked you to provide some proof, or even evidence, of this 'miracle'. You're the one who wants me to believe, so convince me. I have no vested interest for or against Padre Pio, so I don't particularly feel inclined to wade through the mountains information out there. Don't blame me for your unwillingness to support your claims. And I'm sorry, but anecdotal evidence supports nothings. Facts do. For instance, I don't know that your mother's house filled with the scent of roses whenever your father returned, but if it did that doesn't mean it was a miracle. Perhaps he always passed by a flower shop on the way home. Besides, how do you link roses and stigmata? One thing occurs so it must be because of another, completely unrelated thing?

Genuine supernatural stigmata are symbolic of the crucfixion, they are not meant to be exact replicas of Christ's wounds. St. Francis also had the stigmata on his palms.


Frank, the problem with this is that so far I haven't been convinced that there is such as thing as genuine supernatural stigmata. If the wounds aren't meant to be exact replicas, then couldn't any bleeding wound be called stigmata? What if he was bleeding from the elbows, would that count? Or his hips? You would think a genuine miracle would be a bit less vague.

The simple fact of the matter is that Padre Pio could have been causing these wounds himself. That doesn't mean he did, but it's certainly a possibility that would explain everything. Plenty of people cut or otherwise injure themselves every day, and there's no reason to believe that Pio would have somehow been 'above' this compulsion. Devoutly, and especially fanatically, religious people have done many otherwise incomprehensible things in the name of their faith. Self-flagellation is a fairly common, and somewhat similar, act.

I suppose that bringing this up as a possibility will get even more abuse hurled my way. Not much I can do about that.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Wed Nov 21, 2007  at  11:10 AM
Wow! All it takes is a story like this to drive the little anti-catholic creatures out of their holes.

But that's not why I'm writing. I want to set the record straight:

In his 2005 [yes, two years ago!] book Padre Pio and America, author Frank Rega reveals what carbolic acid was used for in St. Pio's friary:

"The boys in the Seraphic College could not understand why their instructor seemed to be hiding his hands under his garments during the classes that he was teaching. The Father Guardian, Padre Paolino, noticed that Pio appeared to be covering up red spots on his hands with the sleeves of his habit. However, he was not too concerned since he and Padre
Pio had recently received burns on their hands from carbolic acid. The boys had needed injections to fight the Spanish Flu which was raging at that time. Due to a shortage of doctors, Padres Paolino and Pio administered the shots, using carbolic acid as a sterilizing agent."
Posted by Rob  on  Sun Nov 25, 2007  at  12:37 AM
HERE IS AN INTERESTING SCRIPT --- Read this:
http://www.museumofhoaxes.com/hoax/weblog/comments/4197/P80/

And scroll down... it seems like our "friend" aka Charybdis in Hell is suspected of multiple personalities in these "conspiracy forums." Let me quote one post about him:
------------------
Also Charybdis

I have gone through the site reading many of your posts. I have seen you have attacked religion in particular. Christianity, The Roman Catholic Church, and others of some faith. And you judge me stating that I am sinning because I use $1,000,000 tracts. What moral law do you live by Charybdis, where you can judge what sin is and not? You have made very nasty, immoral comments on God, Jesus Christ, Christians and the Bible.
Posted by Guy in South Louisiana on Wed Aug 02, 2006 at 04:53 PM
-------------------------

And so... Frank and Rob do not waste your time on a person who has a track record of attacking religion and the religious. He is not a seeker of truth but an insignificant fart... one never heard or even smelt. Replying to his ridiculous posts will only be met with more esoteric hypocracy.

If he wants to know about Padre Pio, it is all there for him to find, but he doesn't... never did... never will.

What would he have for his "facts." As you can see, us posting him URLs for testimonies to read mean nothing to him. If Jesus Christ Himself came down and told him about Padre Pio, he would not change his twisted mind.

What strikes me most peculiar is that this impersonation of a human being could actually tender credence to the supposition that a man would bore wounds in his hands, feet, head and side and aggravate those same wounds FOR FIFTY YEARS for fame and to perpetrate a hoax upon the world. I have a small paper cut on my left palm right now and it hurts like Hell itself. To think that a person would have holes COMPLETELY THROUGH THEIR HANDS and aggravate them with acid is preposterous. Charybdis in Hell must be pretty dumb.

And what of the COUNTLESS testimonies of the NON RELIGIOUS doctors who treated those wounds over those 50 years? And of those that examined him in death where the hands had healed WITHOUT SCARS? Hey Charybdis in Hell... let's not let any truth get in the way, eh?

All you people that can sit back and bash a holy man without any investigation... just based on the errant pen of one man with an agenda need to focus on yourself. If anyone is not being honest, it is YOU. And you don't have to believe me... You just have to live your sick, little, insignificant lives. And in time, you will have, albeit the too late, 20-20 hindsight.
Posted by Thomas  in  Pennsylvania  on  Sun Nov 25, 2007  at  12:42 PM
Oh... darn. Let me retype that last paragraph. I made a TYPO...

All you people that can sit back and bash a holy man without any investigation... just based on the errant pen of one man with an agenda need to focus on yourself. If anyone is not being DIShonest, it is YOU. And you don't have to believe me... You just have to live your sick, little, insignificant lives. And in time, you will have, albeit the too late, 20-20 hindsight.
Posted by Thomas  in  Pennsylvania  on  Sun Nov 25, 2007  at  12:46 PM
I really need to read my posts before I launch them... Seems like I screwed up my correction.

Needless to say, I'm sure you all know what I meant. The original post can stand on its own.
Posted by Thomas  in  Pennsylvania  on  Sun Nov 25, 2007  at  12:54 PM
Darn! I REALLY need to read my posts before I send them. It seems like my original post was okay. I think you all know what I meant. Anyway, here is the correct version of that last paragraph:

All you people that can sit back and bash a holy man without any investigation... just based on the errant pen of one man with an agenda, need to focus on yourself. If anyone is not being honest, it is YOU. And you don't have to believe me. You just have to live your sick, little, insignificant lives. And in time, you will have, albeit then too late, 20-20 hindsight.
Posted by Thomas  in  Pennsylvania  on  Sun Nov 25, 2007  at  01:12 PM
And so... Frank and Rob do not waste your time on a person who has a track record of attacking religion and the religious. He is not a seeker of truth but an insignificant fart... one never heard or even smelt. Replying to his ridiculous posts will only be met with more esoteric hypocracy.


So the only truth you consider valid is your own truth? How very egotistical of you.

I have not attacked you. I have not ridiculed you. You have been the one attacking rather than actually responding to my completely valid questions. At some point are you going to discuss this like a mature adult, or will you continue to attack me instead of my argument?

The fact of the matter is that you have spent more time and effort attacking me as a person than you have in supporting your beliefs. What conclusion should we draw from this?

I could make a comment about casting stones, but I'm sure that would only incite you to further embarrassing displays.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 26, 2007  at  01:22 PM
All you people that can sit back and bash a holy man without any investigation...


At no point have I bashed Padre Pio. Please show me where you see this.

I have asked for proof before accepting a miracle. I have offered a possible non-supernatural explanation for his condition. And in return I am attacked for not joining the other sheep.
Posted by Charybdis  in  Hell  on  Mon Nov 26, 2007  at  01:26 PM
Charybdis:

Let me reply to a few things you have posted here:

YOU: "The simple fact of the matter is that Padre Pio could have been causing these wounds himself. That doesn't mean he did, but it's certainly a possibility that would explain everything. Plenty of people cut or otherwise injure themselves every day, and there's no reason to believe that Pio would have somehow been 'above' this compulsion."

ANSWER: Wrong. There IS reason to believe he would have been 'above' this compulsion. From the onset of his stigmata in 1918 until his death in 1968, Pio was observed by countless people and was never seen to be dishonest or to exhibit signs of mental illness. It would be hard to find another person who was under such intense public scrutiny for so long.

YOU: "Devoutly, and especially fanatically, religious people have done many otherwise incomprehensible things in the name of their faith.

ANSWER: For someone who demands the facts, you sure can come up with broad generalizations and
Posted by Rob  on  Mon Nov 26, 2007  at  05:39 PM
I have no real interest in Padre Pio nor any preformed beliefs either way about him or his following, I merely stumbled upon this site by chance. Having read through the thread, though, the difference in tenor between the posts of the skeptics, esp. Charbydis in Hell, and those of the believers is very striking. Where the former is sober, rational and exceedingly polite, the latter come across largely as angry, irrational and abusive, hurling insults and resorting to juvenile name-calling. It's rather odd, though certainly not without experiential precedence, that the very people who so proudly proclaim their Christianity seem to be so markedly lacking in traditional Christian virtues.
Posted by Brett  on  Thu Apr 24, 2008  at  10:45 PM
Was it P.T. Barnum that said: "There's an ass for every seat?"

If the shoe fits!
Posted by Thomas  on  Fri Apr 25, 2008  at  12:03 AM
hello all, I must tell you that in 1980 odd while in Australia, I was biffed on the mouth by a druggie and his gal (request for a cigarette but really to rob my bag) coming home after the moomba (carnival) had my lip lodged on my tooth and bleeding down the front of my face.job Due to start work the following day and prayed lustily to heal my face and save my pride, to padre pio. Following morning, absolutely no signs of swellings, protusions, contusions and what have you. Got only a strange tingling feeling, and a vague scent of violets. I do believe that though he may have created his stigmata, my belief in him cured me. No.. So there! Thanks
Posted by andrea brito babapulle  in  sri lanka  on  Wed Jul 30, 2008  at  12:25 PM
You can tell the stigmatas are a hoax right out of the bat, why? The location where they are. In 33AD people were cruxified through the wrists and through the middle of ankle since by the laws of physics the wrists nor feet would have supported the body weight. This has been confirmed with enbalmed body reminders that have been found from that epoch. It was also the custom practice in ancient times. So why would the marks appear in the incorrect place? Because the person inflicting the marks was being guided by the Roman Catholic Church images.
Posted by Elenaq  in  USA  on  Mon Aug 03, 2009  at  09:24 PM
Dear Elenaq,

That really does not prove anything. At the time the marks appeared on Padre Pio in 1918 no one knew of the information that you mention - it was discovered later. Thus, if God had placed the marks on Padre Pio's wrists, Pio would have been considered a fake! God placed the marks in the place where people of the time thought they should appear.

Let me put it another way: the Gospels mention lepers, donkeys, harvests. Things that people of the day could relate to. If they mentioned vehicles that flew in the sky and boxes that added numbers they would have been laughed at. God teachs people using examples they can understand. In the case of Padre Pio people thought that the palms were pierced when criminals were nailed to their crosses. So that is the way God made Pio's wounds.
Posted by Rob  on  Mon Aug 03, 2009  at  10:55 PM
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