Thursday, July 24, 2008
Uh, Fr. Pio, uh, yeah ... sure... who knew you had xray vision?
I read his herman-
euticalness's funny posting regards Saggy Trousers/Baggy Pants, and MaggieClitheroe mentioned in the combox that St. Padre Pio (1887 - 1968) apparently had it in for women going to him to confession with skirts/dresses shorter than 8 inches BELOW the knee. I wondered if it was a misquote -- but no, another website dedicated to the good man lent support, it quoted from a book by Dorothy Gaudiosi called Prophet of the People:
“Padre Pio wouldn't tolerate low-necked dresses or short, tight skirts, and he forbade his spiritual daughters to wear transparent stockings. Each year his severity increased. He stubbornly dismissed them from his confession, even before they set foot inside, if he judged them to be improperly dressed. On some mornings he drove away one after another, until he ended up hearing very few confessions. His brothers observed these drastic purges with a certain uneasiness and decided to fasten a sign on the church door”
Well, I guess for sure that would have left Jackie Kennedy out, plus most women (99 percent of them, most likely) not dressed all in black a la Sicilian Widow or Burqua queen style. Apparently women had also been changing dresses in church too...otherwise they wouldn't have forbidden it.
My question ... okay, I've been going to confession since I was 7. Behind a grill. When Padre Pio lived 99% of the time he'd have had confession with a grill too. Did he use X-Ray vision to know the women weren't properly dressed? Did he quiz them? How did this drill work?
Female Penitent: "Bless me father, for I have..."
Padre Pio: "Hold it right there, WHAT are you wearing?"
FP: "CHE COSA?"
Padre Pio: "I said what are you wearing? I want to make sure you're appropriately dressed."
FP: "Isn't that a little weird, you can't see me....I'm outta here."
Next female Penitent same stuff -- but this time she says:
FP: "A dress."
PP: "You're not some hot to trot vixen in capri pants with bare arms? Are you sure?"
FP: "NO, of course not. [beginning to think he's a bit nuts]
PP: "Does your dress go past your knees?"
PP: "HOW FAR?"
FP: "*sigh* well, if you MUST know, I DON'T know."
PP: "Here, take this ruler. You measure and tell me."
FP: "Two inches below the bottom of my knees, I'm a respectable matron."
PP: "The HELL you are, OUT, OUT, OUT, I tell you....." [Now why Padre Pio, an Eye-Talian, would be measuring in inches, when he'd more likely be measuring in froggy style metric, I dunno.]
And what prompted the scandalous indignant outrage regards a skirt 8 inches below the knee as opposed to a skirt 7 inches below the knee? Did he have a dream one night where in he was chased round his cell by some hoyden with skirts that length? Did his momma wear her skirts exactly 8 inches below and because it was his momma he figured that was "pure as the driven snow" but anything above that was scandal, pure scandal I tell ya.
Well, I took costume history....it's a good thing Mary didn't sin, because as far as I know, she didn't wear a bra because those things weren't invented until the 20th century.
And God help him had a man wearing a kilt entered the box.
PP: Get out of here you brazen plaid covered strumpet!!!
Male Penitent: Uh-HUM...I'm like, you know, a dude, Father....
PP: [eyes start to bleed too] WHAT ARE YOU DOING WEARING WOMEN'S CLOTHING?
MP: "I'm not wearing women's clothing. I'm a Scotsman. It's a kilt."
PP: "Oh. Well, tell me you're not going commando. Are you going commando?"
MP: Sure am, and I have a purse and a dagger too.
PP: OUT, geeeeeddddouttahere.....before I sic my donkey on you.
The whole thing gives me pause to wonder if perhaps another monk with different standards would have posted the following:
I always had reservations about the Franciscans...this just sort of adds to it. And you may have guessed I was never crazy about St. Paul. But then that tent maker probably wouldn't have liked me much either, so we're even.
Yes, yes, Fr. Groeschel not withstanding.... Modesty is one thing, but one has to wonder if perhaps Padre Pio's elevator wasn't getting to the top floor or if the jacks and sixes weren't missing out of the deck. My sixth and seventh grade nuns were MERCILESS with a ruler if they thought anyone was overdoing it. But in the mid 60s, when Padre Pio had this thing posted, even THEY gave us two inches ABOVE the mid knee. They did eventually want us to get asked out the senior prom so most of us would eventually raise good Catholic families and all that jazz, and even THEY knew that most boys are not exactly going to ask the girl with the burqua to homecoming. I'd have loved to have seen the exchange between our nuns and Padre Pio.
PP: Okay, I can barely see your face and hands but WHY do you let your girls go about like trollops?!
No wonder his confession line was short.