St. Pio and the Smell Test

Today is the feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina.  “Padre Pio”.  A prayer HERE

What do you suppose Padre Pio would have thought about the notion that the divorced and civilly remarried should be readmitted to Holy Communion without a discernible amendment of life?

What would Padre Pio say?

“Surrrrrre!  G’ahead! No prob.”

Does that pass the smell test?

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. iPadre says:

    I was thinking the same thing this morning. Heads would roll! His solution – repentance. Today, he would be removed from ministry and sent away for counseling.

    [‘Fraid so.]

  2. Magash says:

    You mean like he he was? (Removed for ministry, at least.)

  3. JesusFreak84 says:

    He’d’ve blown a gasket that this was even up for discussion >.>

  4. frival says:

    I was once informed in an online discussion that since I referenced his quote that “the world could sooner survive without the sun than without the Eucharist” I was clearly a rad-trad and couldn’t be reasoned with. Looking back on that today just makes me smile. Saints are often persecuted in their time and not proven until history has had its say – it makes all the insanity going around feel just a little bit better.

  5. Maxiemom says:

    I watched my aunt suffer many years as a divorced, remarried Catholic who was not able to fully participate in the mass. What most people didn’t know was that she was the victim of horrible physical abuse at the hands of her first husband and also suffered from severe depression and became an alcoholic because of it. And she could not get an annulment because at that time, she could not afford the fees associated with the annulment. But she never lost her faith and continued to attend mass and support her parish. She even had a priest from her parish refuse to visit her during a nervous breakdown because she was divorced. Yet, no one ever refused her donation to the parish. Eventually her first husband passed away, she and her second husband had their marriage blessed.

    So I always feel like this topic needs to be revisited. There are many people who have circumstances that were not present when they married that lead to divorce. And not every one should be punished. And not every one can get an annulment.

  6. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Re: current canon law as mercy, a lot of canon law was developed under the most stressful conditions: the King of the Franks, Lothar II, attempting to divorce his totally blameless queen, Theutberga, so that he could marry his concubine. Lothar II tried every possible grounds for divorce, including a lot of making stuff up and torturing Theutberga into confessing impossibilities. The Church, led by gutsy bishops like Hincmar of Rheims, had to figure out exactly how to deal with this nasty litigious king.

    But a lot of the recent history books actually blame the Church’s introduction of monogamy! (Never mind that most poor Franks were monogamous; and that the sex ratios of women surviving were so far off that many men never could find a wife at all; and lords were giving women on their estates all kinds of incentives to marry, including freewomen being given money and free status for their kids if they would marry an unfree man)

  7. Suburbanbanshee says:

    Whoops. Lothar II was the king of Lotharingia, but never became king of the Franks.

    A rather bland account of a much more complicated story with much wilder details.

  8. RichR says:

    I seem to recall that a required quality of saints is heroic virtue, not notable laxity. If there’s nothing worth standing up for in this fallen world, then sainthood is either a given or an illusion.

  9. Supertradmum says:

    Contrary to the lib-Catholic-spinners, all saints by definition are uber-orthodox.

  10. Mojoron says:

    St. PP of P is my all time favorite saint, next the Fr. Vianney.

  11. Salvelinus says:

    Bilocation, stigmata, and reading the souls of penetants during confession (ie, no absolution since you are leaving out X on purpose and your not 100% contrite.about.Y)… how cool it must have been having Saint Pio as a confessor!

  12. What a powerhouse saint this holy soul is. Glad he’s on our team.

  13. The Masked Chicken says:

    “So I always feel like this topic needs to be revisited. There are many people who have circumstances that were not present when they married that lead to divorce. And not every one should be punished. And not every one can get an annulment.”

    The problem was not the divorce. It was the re-marriage. The Church recognizes that, sadly, some marriages fail through no fault of one or both (more rarely) of the parties (although too many marriages are abandoned, rather than failing, these days). No one can be denied the sacraments of mercy by virtue of divorce (Penance, Eucharist, Baptism), but no one may, rightly, receive these sacraments if one persists in grave sin, which is what unlawful re-marriage is. Crosses are hard, but all things considered, it is better to be alone with God than to be re-married in sin.

    As for the cost of an annulment, in modern times, at least, the Church can waive the fees for a sufficient reason. From the website of a large U. S. diocese:

    “It is not our intent to impose any financial hardship on anyone. If you cannot pay the full amount, please let us know. There is a procedure form in the packet explaining what do to in cases of hardship. No case will be turned down due to a person’s inability to pay the fee! Your case will be heard just like any other, and in the same amount of time. Money will never influence the work of justice.”

    The Chicken

  14. JesusFreak84 says:

    If reception of the Eucharist is required to “fully participate” in Mass, (as per Maxiemom above,) then our Eastern brethren are missing something, I suppose. It’s not uncommon at all in the East to only receive at major feasts, at Easter, whatnot.

  15. techno_aesthete says:

    What would Padre Pio say? “Surrrrrre! G’ahead! No prob.”
    “Certo! Avanti! Non c’e problemo.” Ne dubito proprio.

  16. Johnno says:

    Supertradmum says: “Contrary to the lib-Catholic-spinners, all saints by definition are uber-orthodox.”

    I dunno… they might be confused after the recent canonizations, where we are told that only the ‘personal holiness’ counted… and not any other troublesome things like ones outward actions and knowledge of orthodoxy…

    Accurately speaking, anybody in heaven would first be required to be purged by fire of all unorthodox and sinful things.

  17. Landless Laborer says:

    And if one is divorced and remarried, what about abstaining from sex? Why is this never an option? If 21st century man doesn’t have the will-power gene, consider this. The Army now gives a shot to each recruit just before basic training, that renders him incapable of sex, for the duration of training (I have this on very good authority). So, we have the 21st century technology. This is the sort of modern world solution that should be discussed at the synod.

  18. Oh, Landless Laborer.

    Hon, if it were that easy to acquire virtue, we’d all have gone the way of Origen, long ago.

    No, I’m afraid that if you want to live the virtue of chastity, you just have to plain ol’ resist temptation, if and when it arrives.

    If it doesn’t, you’re lucky.

    If it does, you’re also lucky, because you gain merit by resisting it.

  19. StWinefride says:

    Landless Laborer says: If 21st century man doesn’t have the will-power gene, consider this…

    But… we have prayer!

    Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak”. (Mt 26:41)

    “Be you humbled therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in the time of visitation: Casting all your care upon him, for he hath care of you. Be sober and watch: because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, goeth about seeking whom he may devour. Whom resist ye, strong in faith: knowing that the same affliction befalls your brethren who are in the world. But the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory in Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a little, will himself perfect you, and confirm you, and establish you”. (1 Peter 5:8-9)

    “Jesus, Mary, Joseph, save me lest I perish”

    “Lord, save me, or I perish. Keep me close to Thee by Thy grace, or I shall sin and fall away from Thee. Lord, I am very weak; give me grace and make my will strong, that I may not sin. Jesus, help me; Mary, help me; my holy Angel, watch over me.

  20. StWinefride says:

    What would Padre Pio say?

    “My son, to rouse certain souls you need cannonballs. Treating them with gentleness is a waste of time. They need to feel God’s anger when the strength of His Mercy is not enough.”

    (The Padre, his mission to save souls – Testimonies – page 30. Edizioni Padre Pio da Pietrelcina).

    San Pio, prega per noi!

  21. jflare says:

    OK, I’ll bite. Where on earth did you hear this?
    I can’t imagine any kind of shot that would render a person incapable of sex that wouldn’t also render him incapable of doing..anything else.

  22. JesusFreak84 says:

    I wouldn’t trust such a shot anyway…too easy to use it for eugenics purposes if it DID work.

  23. Landless Laborer says:

    Haha, lame idea. But didn’t Our Lord say: “If thine eye offends thee, pluck it out…” ??
    I think He meant that, a person should do whatever he has to do to avoid sin. If willpower isn’t working, do something radical. The state uses ankle bracelets to detect alcohol for chronic wife beaters. Blow tubes to start the cars of drunk drivers. Some people turn themselves in to the penal system, to protect society from themselves. Let’s be honest here, communion isn’t the real issue. Hell is the issue.

  24. pmullane says:

    But Father!

    St Pio obviously wasnt very pastoral then was he. He probably sat alone and undisturbed in the confessional for an hour every week and nobody would have ever wanted to see him or talk to him or travel thousands of miles just to be in his presence.

    The very Pastoral Fr (call me) Steve, on the other hand, who will never talk to you about horrible things like death, judgement, or hell and wants to make sure everyone knows that ‘all are welcome around this table of fellowship’ and the rest, has so many people wanting to confes to them that they have to give out tickets days in advance, that they crowd round rooms and corridors just to see him pass by, that they write him letters by the thousand and pack out churches when he says Mass, even when it is at 6 o’clock in the morning.

  25. JesusFreak84 says:

    I’ll bet The Very Pastoral Father (call me) Steve also canonizes every parishioner upon their death >.>

  26. Landless Laborer says:

    Jflare, it was my future son-in-law, who just completed basic training about a month ago, for the Army. Yeah, he was shocked, and I was shocked when he told me about it. They called it the peanut butter shot, and a few other names I won’t mention. They were told it was to prevent sexual arousal. (I didn’t want anymore information at that point.)
    I don’t know. I was surprised to learn about the alcohol detecting ankle bracelet too.

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