"Padre Pio, already over 80 and with failing eyesight, exercised the faculty Pope Paul VI gave to all elderly priests, to continue celebrating according to the Roman Missal of 1962." --Colin Donovan (emphasis mine)
Elderly priests were routinely given this faculty to continue saying the 1962 Mass.
Then why do some bloggers claim that St. Padre Pio wrote to ask for
There is this letter, addressing Pope Paul VI, which the same bloggers would hold to be of dubious origin:
San Giovanni Rotondo
September 12, 1968
I unite myself with my brothers and present at your feet my affectionate respect, all my devotion to your august person in an act of faith, love and obedience to the dignity of him whom you are representing on this earth. The Capuchin Order has always been in the first line in love, fidelity, obedience and devotion to the Holy See; I pray to God that it may remain thus and continue in its tradition of religious seriousness and austerity, evangelical poverty and faithful observance of the Rule and Constitution, certainly renewing itself in the vitality and in the inner spirit, according to the guides of the Second Vatican Council, in order to be always ready to attend to the necessities of Mother Church under the rule of your Holiness.
I know that your heart is suffering much these days in the interest of the Church, for the peace of the world, for the innumerable necessities of the people of the world, but above all, for the lack of obedience of some, even Catholics, to the high teaching that you, assisted by the Holy Spirit and in the name of God, are giving us. I offer you my prayers and daily sufferings as a small but sincere contribution on the part of the least of your sons in order that God may give you comfort with his Grace to follow the straight and painful way in the defense of eternal truth, which never changes with the passing of the years. Also, in the name of my spiritual children and the Prayer Groups, I thank you for your clear and decisive words that you especially pronounced in the last encyclical "Humanae Vitae"; and I reaffirm my faith, my unconditional obedience to your illuminated directions.
May God grant victory to the truth, peace to his Church, tranquility to the world, health and prosperity to your Holiness so that, once these fleeting doubts are dissipated, the Kingdom of God may triumph in all hearts, guided by your apostolic work as Supreme Pastor of all Christianity.
Prostrate at your feet, I beg you to bless me in the company of my brothers in religion, my spiritual children, the Prayer Groups, my sick ones and also to bless all our good endeavours which we are trying to fulfill under your protection in the name of Jesus.
P. Pio, Capuchin
As to its authenticity, I do not know. There are two versions of the letter, one that doesn't say "the Second Vatican Council". It's featured on Catholic World Report and EWTN, and other places.
But the supposed letter in which St. Padre Pio supposedly asks special permission to be dispensed from saying the New Mass (when in fact this dispensation was, as mentioned, being regularly granted to elderly priests)? The evidence?
See, that's the point I'm making about people who hypocritically tell you to always do your homework but absolve themselves from such a task: Padre Pio may or may not have written a letter asking special permission. What is certain is that elderly priests were given the faculty by Pope Paul VI, and the giving of this faculty to elderly priests was regular, not something specially given, and that certain bloggers find this oh so convenient not to mention in the case of St. Padre Pio. They will cite hearsay, rumours regarding Padre Pio; things that have as much, or less, indication of authenticity as the letter I cited above - that is, if it works for their particular ideology. If it does not work for their ideology - as with the letter I cited above - they will say it is of dubious origins.
The faculty was given regularly to elderly priests, but certain bloggers believe...what exactly? That the Holy See decided to give Padre Pio a special permission to say the Old Mass because he was adamant that the reforms were a break from tradition? LOL! Oh, you know, it's Padre Pio, the one we banned earlier on from saying Mass and hearing confessions. He doesn't like the Second Vatican Council. He has stigmata, so let's give him special permission to say the Old Mass. ROFL! I suppose that's the reasoning behind those who have been studying the church for years and years on how it is must have worked. Talk about cheap boilerplate ecclesial tourism. LOL!
Padre Pio was an elderly priest when the Council was taking place. He was given the faculty that was given to any elderly priest to continue saying the Old Mass. That is what we know for sure (in addition to the fact that he was a living example of obedience to Holy Mother Church and we have the chops from earlier in his life to back that up), but certain bloggers run with this and do the filling-in according to their own lights. Padre Pio had to have hated the reforms and refused them (though he died before the Novus Ordo took place) because, you know, I took the red pill, and I just know.
Always do your homework.
Anyways, then there is this, from a former aide to Padre Pio (emphasis mine):
An Italian priest who served as a liaison between the famed Capuchin St. Padre Pio and English-speaking followers says that the saint had incorporated elements of the new or "Novus Ordo" Mass into his own celebrations of the liturgy before his death in 1968 despite rumors to the contrary.
The assisting priest, Padre Ermelindo Di Capua -- currently stationed in San Giovanno, Italy, where St. Pio spent nearly his entire ministry -- says the saint strictly adhered to dictates from Rome and sought information on precisely what he needed to do in order to conform with new strictures as the liturgy was changed from the Latin Rite after Vatican II.
The remarks are significant at a time when controversy has arisen over both the legitimacy of the Novus Ordo and the reaction to it by Pio -- considered a paragon of discernment.
It also comes at a time of enhanced interest (including here) of reintroducing elements of the Latin Rite into the modern Mass to bring back its mystical aspects. "It's not just old-timers wanting to cling to pre-Vatican II ways who are coming to the liturgies," notes one newspaper recently. "People in their twenties and thirties are filling many of the pews, finding serenity and a sense of awe in the solemn rituals." Additional interest has been sparked by director Mel Gibson, who recently made headlines with his movie about the Passion and who reportedly adheres only to the Latin Rite.
While there is no indication that Pio embraced all the reforms of Vatican II -- and indeed are even reports that he was distressed by certain Church trends -- Padre Ermelindo told Spirit Daily there was no indication that the saint opposed the new way of saying Mass, which has the priest facing the congregation and speaking in the national vernacular, which many believe detracts from reverence.
Ermelindo notes that the Novus Ordo is the only rite used at San Giovanni today and that visiting priests who request to use the Latin Rite are denied in conformance with the national bishops.
"He used to say Mass according to the new order," asserts the Franciscan, who lived in the same monastery as Pio and answered his English-speaking correspondence. "By 1968 [when Pio died] the new order was not yet complete, but had changed some things from Latin into the Italian language. He attempted to say Mass according to the new disposition of the Church. He tried to learn and adapt himself to the new rules of the Mass. There was still some Latin. It wasn't yet completely changed. The canon I don't remember exactly."
"Latin proponents have asserted that in fact Pio never did recite the new rite. "When the Mass of 1965 was introduced, bearing the first changes that were the precursors to the Novus Ordo, Padre Pio, without even reading the text, publicly took the position that he did not want to celebrate it," claimed one such correspondent. "He died before the full-blown Novus Ordo was issued in 1969 (and then recalled for doctrinal flaws)."
Padre Ermelindo -- who left San Giovanni Rotundo in 1970 and returned four years ago -- contradicts that, saying that he never heard Padre Pio criticize the new rules and that Pio always referred to Rome as "our mother." Ermelindo adds that the sainthood of Pio would have been impossible without strict obedience and that the greatest miracles around the saint were conversions. During his last Mass Padre Pio, who was too ailing to stand, sat on a chair in front of the people, says the assistant.
Dubious? The priest is lying? Hijacking Padre Pio for his own ends?
But why then should one believe the claim that Padre Pio asked special permission to be dispensed from saying the New Mass along with believing every other anti-Vatican II claim that the SSPX and Red-Pill Catholic bloggers love to put into the mouth of St. Padre Pio (who was canonized by Saint Pope John Paul the Great)?
There was an interim version of the Mass before the Novus Ordo was fully implemented. Did Padre Pio seek to learn that form? Would he have sought to learn that form, as his aide said he did? What does his former aide have to gain from this? Is he a blogger with an ideology?
Seems that St. Padre Pio was against the trends (the Council of the Media) that were happening at the time, but not the Council, and that any insistence on saying the 1962 Mass would have been owing to physical impairments severely limiting any capacity to learn the New Mass, even though his aide says Pio was diligent to learn the new forms for the interim Mass, and were those impairments not there...the question is, would St. Padre Pio have refused to learn and say the Novus Ordo?
Always do your homework? What?
"The difference between the liturgy according to the new books, how it is actually practiced and celebrated in different places, is often greater than the difference between an old Mass and a new Mass, when both these are celebrated according to the prescribed liturgical books." Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, Ten Years of the Motu Proprio "Ecclesia Dei" (Oct. 24, 1998)