Daily Archives: July 16, 2021
I read around that Padre Pio was an example of obedience when he was suspended from saying Mass in public. This would be, I am told, in sharp contrast with the behaviour of Fr Altman; who would be, in this perspective, just another man conquered by pride.
I think a couple of words are in order.
Padre Pio was not forbidden from celebrating mass in public because he was suspected of being Catholic. He was, at various time, suspected of being a charlatan and suspected of having molested a woman. His acceptance of the measures taken against him was the perfect reaction of the Saint in the making. In time, truth came to light and everything was fine.
However, we also know that Padre Pio also threatened to refuse to celebrate the New Mass, no matter the consequences. We will never know whether he would really have done it, of course, because he was – like thousands of old priests who shared Padre Pio’s feelings – exempted from celebrating the New Mass with the usual excuse that he would be too old a dog to learn Protestant tricks.
Still, you can see where I am going with this: Padre Pio was a lamb when what was insulted or slandered was him personally, as a friar and priest, but had a quite different attitude when the offended part was Christ. The easy critics of Father Altman should keep this firmly in mind.
Besides, the argument is self-defeating. Most serious Catholics know the episodes of disobedience of, say, Saint Athanasius, Saint Eusebius and Cardinal Lefebvre. Athanasius was, in fact, excommunicated for refusing to obey an order deeply offensive of Christ. I would, therefore, very much know what the apostles of blind obedience think of the sainted people above.
They will not score many points with those who take Catholicism seriously. Blind obedience whilst forgetting Christ generates monsters like Nazism.
Better not, I say.