Padre Pio, SSPX, Novus Ordo, “Aggiornamento”
From the Canadian Site of the SSPX ( I wonder how long until they will be outlawed in Canada, for “hate crime”).
Padre Pio and the Novus Ordo Missae
He was a model of respect and submission towards his religious and ecclesiastical superiors, especially during the time when he was persecuted. Nonetheless, he could not remain silent over a deviation that was baneful to the Church. Even before the end of the Council, in February 1965, someone announced to him that soon he would have to celebrate the Mass according to a new rite, ad experimentum, in the vernacular, which had been devised by a conciliar liturgical commission in order to respond to the aspirations of modern man. Immediately, even before seeing the text, he wrote to Paul VI to ask him to be dispensed from the liturgical experiment, and to be able to continue to celebrate the Mass of Saint Pius V. When Cardinal Bacci came to see him in order to bring the authorization, Padre Pio let a complaint escape in the presence of the Pope’s messenger: “For pity sake, end the Council quickly.”
The same year, during the conciliar euphoria that was promising a new springtime to the Church, he confided to one of his spiritual sons: “In this time of darkness, let us pray. Let us do penance for the elect”; and especially for the one who has to be their shepherd here below: All his life, he immolated himself for the reigning pope, whose photograph was among the rare images that decorated his cell.
Renewal of Religious Life?
There are other scenes from his life that are full of meaning, for example, his reactions to theaggiornamento of the religious orders concocted in the wake of Vatican II. (The citations here are taken from a book bearing an imprimatur):
In 1966, the Father General [of the Franciscans] came to Rome prior to the special Chapter on the Constitutions in order to ask Padre Pio for his prayers and benedictions. He met Padre Pio in the cloister. “Padre, I came to recommend to your prayers the special chapter for the new Constitutions…” He had scarcely gotten the words “special Chapter”…”new Constitutions” out of his mouth when Padre Pio made a violent gesture and cried out: “That is all nothing but destructive nonsense.” “But Padre, after all, there is the younger generation to take into account…the youth evolve after their own fashion… there are new demands…” “The only thing missing is mind and heart, that’s all, understanding and love.” Then he proceeded to his cell, did a half-turn, and pointed his finger, saying: “We must not denature ourselves, we must not denature ourselves! At the Lord’s judgment, Saint Francis will not recognize us as his sons!”
A year later, the same scene was repeated for the aggiornamento of the Capuchins:
One day, some confreres were discussing with the Father Definiteur General [The counselor or adviser to the general or provincial of a religious order –Ed.] the problems in the Order, when Padre Pio, taking a shocked attitude, cried out, with a distant look in his eye: “What in the world are you up to in Rome? What are you scheming? You even want to change the Rule of Saint Francis!”The Definiteur replied: “Padre, changes are being proposed because the youth don’t want to have anything to do with the tonsure, the habit, bare feet….”
“Chase them out! Chase them out! What can you be saying? Is it they who are doing Saint Francis a favor by taking the habit and following his way of life, or rather, isn’t it Saint Francis who is offering them a great gift?”
If we consider that Padre Pio was a veritable alter Christus, that his entire person, body and soul, was as perfectly conformed as possible to that of Jesus Christ, his stark refusal to accept the Novus Ordo and the aggiornamento should be for us a lesson to learn. It is also noteworthy that the good Lord desired to recall His faithful servant just before they were implacably imposed on the Church and the Capuchin Order. Noteworthy, too, is the fact that Katarina Tangari, one of Padre Pio’s most privileged spiritual daughters, so admirably supported the priests [of the Society of Saint Pius X] of Ecône until her death, one year after the episcopal consecrations of 1988.
Those who have read other books about this greatest of saints will recognise without difficulties the traits who make Padre Pio not only so saintly, but so lovable: the emotional outbursts, the extremely strong language, the hate for every compromise with what “people want” rather than what they ought to do. “Chase them out! Chase them out!”.
If you have ever seen an Italian accalorarsi about a controversial issue, you will have a picture in front of you as true as life.
I remember reading that he prayed the Lord – and said so openly – to be allowed to die before he had to celebrate the new Mass. The exemption, by the way, was not conceded so automatically as the text might imply, but was given to him as to all the old priests who asked to be exempted because too old to learn the new, complex missal. Padre Pio was also exempted and the Lord allowed him, after a life of suffering, to be spared this last crushing sacrifice. But he died a very worried man, greatly fearing the damage the new madness would inflict to the Church and to countless souls.
In these dark days, it should be a consolation for us to reflect that such a great saint shared our suffering – nay, he certainly felt it much more keenly – and, for those of Italian inclinations among you, our anger.
San Padre Pio, pray for us!