SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
SCEPTIC.INFO Free your mind - question!
PADRE PIO STEALS HIS IDEAS FROM A SAINT
St Padre Pio was an Italian Franciscan who said he got the visible stigmata in 1918 after having pains in his hands and feet and side on and off since 1915. Jesus was supposedly nailed hands and feet to a cross and got stabbed in the side. The huge popularity he won was down to his letting outrageous miracle stories surround him. His wonders are not like those of Jesus but seem to be about self-glory. Instead of curing lepers all the time he liked appearing to people even when he was alive! Jesus seems to have talked to Pio a lot if Pio is to be believed!
A man surrounded by so much contact with Jesus shouldn't have needed to steal religious material from others but he did.
Pio Stole St Gemma's work
Padre Pio, Miracles and Politics in a Secular Age, pages 20, 21 says that Pio didn't tell that his accounts of mystical experience were really St Gemma's. More than that, "he sought to make them believe that he did not even possess Gemma's book" (page 20). He wrote to Father Benedetto on May 2 1912. He wanted his help to get him some books that "I would very much like to read". The books were called Letters and Ecstasies of God's Servant, Gemma Galgani and her own The Holy Hour. Yet he had been using these works and copying from them long before that letter (page 20). The Catholic excuse is that he may have clairvoyantly read the books before receiving them or that he just wanted his own copies and the copies he used before that letter were just on loan. This excuse does not fit the fact that the letter says he wanted to read them. Another excuse is that mystics often report similar experiences and so their descriptions of what has happened can be identical.
Padre Pio wrote very spiritual letters to those in charge of his spiritual formation to give the impression of being a very holy mystic. However, it has been found that many sections of his letters were plagiarised from the published works of the mystic St Gemma Galgani. Pio never attributed the plagiarised sections to their true author but presented them as his own. Some sections had slight differences from her work and others were exactly what she wrote. Pio wrote to Fr Agostino on March 21 1912 following mass. This priest was one of his spiritual directors. "My mouth savoured all the sweetness of the immaculate flesh of the son of God. But I became confused and I am unable to do anything but weep and say, 'Jesus my nutrition!'. What afflicts me most is that so much love from Jesus is met with so much ingratitude from me. I would like were it within my power to wash with my own blood those places where I have committed so many sins and where I gave scandal to so many souls. Thursday evening until Saturday and then again Tuesday have been a painful drama for me. My heart, my hands and feet seem to have been pierced with a sword and the suffering is so great. And meanwhile the devil never ceases to appear before me in his horrible guises and to brutally assault me in his terrible and frightening way". The Catholics excuse this by saying Pio didn't copy Galgani as such. He just went through the exact same experiences as her. The Church came up with this incredible excuse when Pio's stealing of Galgani's work came out. The excuse appears in the May 2003 journal of the Jesuits, La Civiltà Cattolica. They said that Pio wanted to emulate the holiness of Galgani and he was only human so he copied her work for it was as true of him as it was of her. So by only human they are implying he copied out of human weakness not out of any sinfulness or dishonesty. Very plausible! Pio was courting fame and lying that he went through what Galgani experienced.
The Church wants you to imagine that plagiarism isn’t plagiarism when a saint does it. That reasoning is totally dangerous and unfair. It advocates a holiness that borders on expediency not on morality. When you write something yourself it is your work. If you copy someone else’s work nobody can be sure if you described your thoughts or not. Pio in sending such letters to his spiritual directors was definitely trying to fool them. He was presenting the spirituality in the letters as his own when it was Gemma’s. Some say there was no harm in Pio using sections from Gemma’s books if he had attributed them to her which he didn’t do. But the fact remains, he infringed the rights of the people who published these books and copyrighted them. Anybody could be a saint if excuses are made for their sins. It is Church politics that makes saints not holiness.
Pio wrote a whopping 12 letters to his spiritual directors between September 1911 and May 1913 that stole Galgani's work. He even had the nerve to write on May 2 1912, "I would very much like to read the book titled Letters and Ecstasies of God's Servant, Gemma Galgani ... along with another work by that same servant of God, The Holy Hour. Confident you will find this desire worthy and procure me these books". He was pretending he didn't have those works when he plagiarised from them.
To steal her writing is one thing. But he is stealing her experience too. He is passing off her spiritual life as his own.
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