by Arturo Vasquez
On a Catholic radio show, many people, including the host, chimed in on how they were unnerved by news of the exhumation of Padre Pio on the fortieth anniversary of his death. While they understood it on the intellectual level, they still found the idea unsavory.
Attitudes like that make me all the more pessimistic about the fate of the Church in this country. People can hoot all they want about how great it is to be Catholic and be triumphalistic about doctrine and apologetics. But when the rubber hits the road, and you have to whip out all of the blood and guts of the real Catholic Faith, people hesitate and are almost horrified by the ancient traditions of the Church.
One would wonder what the first inclinations of American Catholics would be when witnessing a martyrdom. I remember the case of Blessed Miguel Pro who was executed by the Masonic government in Mexico. I think his own family whipped out handkerchiefs to soak up the blood. “First class relics,” they thought.
Only proves one thing: Catholicism in this country doesn’t come instinctively for most. Hence, I suppose, my sometimes profound distaste for it.
I can tell you what many might do in the presence of a martyrdom. While the family of Blessed Miguel Pro would take up hankerchiefs to soak up the great martyr’s blood, many American churchmen would be content to let the city sanitation department deal with the “handling” of the “remains.” Of course, we will need face masks (Lord only knows what germs and bacteria would be flying all over the place at such an unsanitary and unsavory site) and latex gloves if, and only IF, we need to handle “the remains” at all.
So much for the Incarnation of the Son of Man, who by His blood raised us from death to life, conquering death by death!