Saint Pio (Pius) of Pietrelcina, O.F.M. Cap. (May 25, 1887 – September 23, 1968) was a Capuchin Catholic priest from Italy who is venerated as a saint in the Catholic Church.
It is claimed that no more than Anecdotal evidence supports Pio’s alleged mystical abilities. Some of his bilocations are consistent with hallucinations and the supposed odor of sanctity was purported to be Eau de Cologne. He was never watched continually to ensure that chemicals like carbolic acid or iodine were not used to prevent wounds from healing, as has been claimed. Pio over many years wore fingerless gloves which concealed his wounds or prevented him having to tend to the wounds. Near his death Pio avoided covering his hands and there was no sign of injury.
The founder of Milan's Catholic University of the Sacred Heart, friar, physician and psychologist Agostino Gemelli, who met Padre Pio once, for a few minutes, but was unable to examine his stigmata, concluded Padre Pio was "an ignorant and self-mutilating psychopath who exploited people's credulity." In short, he was accused of infractions against all three of his monastic vows: poverty, chastity and obedience.Agostino Gemelli also speculated that Padre Pio kept his wounds open with carbolic acid. As a result of the Gemelli assessment, the wounds were wrapped in cloth. According to believers, the bleeding continued for some 50 years until they closed within hours of his death.
On 29 July 1960, an Italian monsignore, Carlo Maccari, who later became the archbishop of Ancona, began yet another investigation on behalf of Pope John XXIII and the Holy Office. The 200-page report he compiled, though never published in full, is said to be devastatingly critical. Vatican gossip long had it that the “Maccari dossier” was an insuperable obstacle to Padre Pio’s sainthood. According to official Capuchin literature, however, Maccari later recanted and prayed to Padre Pio on his deathbed.
In 1940, Padre Pio began plans to open a hospital in San Giovanni Rotondo, to be named the Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza or "Home to Relieve Suffering". The hospital opened in 1956. Barbara Ward, a British humanitarian and journalist on assignment in Italy, played a major role in obtaining for this project a grant of $325,000 from the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration (UNRRA). In order that Padre Pio might directly supervise this project, Pope Pius XII, in 1957 granted him dispensation from his vow of poverty. Padre Pio's detractors used this project as another weapon to attack him, charging him with misappropriation of funds.
Padre Pio was subject to numerous investigations. Fearing local riots, a plan to transfer Padre Pio to another friary was dropped and a second plan was aborted when a riot almost happened. In the period from 1924 to 1931 the Holy See made various statements denying that the happenings in the life of Padre Pio were due to any divine cause. At one point, he was prevented from publicly performing his priestly duties, such as hearing confessions and saying Mass.
By 1933, the tide began to turn, with Pope Pius XI ordering the Holy See to reverse its ban on Padre Pio’s public celebration of Mass. The Pope said, "I have not been badly disposed toward Padre Pio, but I have been badly informed."In 1934, he was again allowed to hear confessions. He was also given honorary permission to preach despite never having taken the exam for the preaching licence. Pope Pius XII, who assumed the papacy in 1939, encouraged devotees to visit Padre Pio. According to a recent book, Pope John XXIII (1958–1963) apparently did not espouse the outlook of his predecessors, and wrote in 1960 of Padre Pio’s “immense deception." However, it was John XXIII's successor, Pope Paul VI, who, in the mid-1960s, firmly dismissed all accusations against Padre Pio.
My question is: Can anyone explain Pope Paul VI's arguments in favor of Padre Pio?