A few weeks ago on Sixty Minutes, Bob Simon did a piece on the canonization of Mother Teresa and the subject of Padre Pio came up in his disscussion with Father Richard McBrien. Father Richard McBrien's Catholicism was a book that many lay ministers in the Church use to carry around as though it were a Bible. Bishops in the U.S. have called the accuracy of the book into question, but it is still used by many. What is telling in this interview with Bob Simon isn't so much McBrien's disbelief in the miracles of Padre Pio but his equating Jesus with a simple message minus miracles. It shows what kind of Chritianity we are left with once Jesus has been stripped of the miraculous--a powerless Christianity, which is not the Christianity of the Jesus of the Gospels...who tells His Apostles and disciples "You shall receive power!" What kind of power, to heal the sick, to raise the dead and I would guess the power to "love" the unlovable. No wonder the church is in such a mess in this country!
From CBS' Sixty Minutes:
SIMON: (Voiceover) But behind every bevy of true
believers, there is bound to be a skeptic. Father
McBrien says he'd like to do away with the miracle
requirement for sainthood, and he thinks that Pope
John Paul II made a mistake when he declared Padre Pio
Fr. McBRIEN: I would not have canonized him, either.
SIMON: Just in terms of the miracles which he is said
to be involved with--he naturally emitted the scent of
flowers, it is said. He appeared to many people...
Fr. McBRIEN: I don't believe--I don't...
SIMON: ...in many places at the same time.
Fr. McBRIEN:: I don't--I don't believe any of that.
SIMON: He levitated above his hometown.
Fr. McBRIEN: I don't--I don't believe any of that.
See, that makes religion into a kind of act, a show,
a--a kind of theatrical operation. I mean, Jesus'
message was pretty straightforward and universal: you
know, 'love your neighbor as you love yourself.'
I might add that Jesus' message is also stripped of "Loving God above all things"