I had intended to visit the Holy Office and the Congregation for the Causes of Saints this morning, but that turned out to be unnecessary.
Just as early Mass was finishing, one of the higher-ups in the Italian Bishops Conference (CEI) just happened to stop by the Monastery. Coincidence, of course (though not really). We had breakfast together. He told me absolutely everything I needed to know about the priest whose cause for sainthood I was interested in promoting this morning.
Wow. The drama. The intrigue. The betrayal. The obvious hand of Satan throwing a wrench in the works. But also, wow… The drama. The astuteness. The humility and submission. The obvious hand of God making saints of those whom He has allowed to be persecuted by His very own. Padre Pio spoke highly of this fellow on various occasions.
And yet, he was severely condemned by the Holy Office as a heretic. He was suspended all told for some 16 years. The problem is that the condemnation doesn’t match what he wrote. This is a terrible embarrassment for the Holy Office and for the Pontifical Biblical Institute. They really need to get over it. After some 75 years they are still offended by the faithfulness of this priest. The truth will win out.
The problem is that the Cardinal Archbishop of Naples won’t begin the process because of the condemnation by the Holy Office. The problem is that the Franciscans of the Immaculate live where this priest used to live and are using Padre Maffei as a Postulator for this priest’s cause even though otherwise they have nothing to do one with the other and have zero competence to judge what this priest wrote, particularly regarding the 48 page document for which he was so severely condemned by the Holy Office. That’s just sad altogether. The FFI drama just continues to grow by the day.
Anyway, I think it is a legitimate preoccupation of a Missionary of Mercy to point out abuse of office also against priests. So this will be a project for this year. Unless someone in the Pontifical Family or in the Holy Office or Congregation for Bishops has been looking at this, I’m guessing that I’m about the only person in the world with access to this document. That can’t just be another of 10,000 coincidences.
To those who say, no we can’t help priests, as we’ve always done it this way, kicking priests so that we can be thought of as heroes, to them I say, that is not the way of Pope Francis. This is the Year of Mercy.