18 July 2014

A new Capuchin stigmatic?

Two brothers have brought to my attention that a website operating in the United States claims to be raising money for "Fr. David", who, according to the site, is a Capuchin with the stigmata. According to the account on the website, when he was an infant "Fr. David" was cured by Padre Pio. He later entered the Capuchin Order and now runs two orphanages in Italy.

I have researched the matter thoroughly and can say with moral certainty that there is no such friar in the Capuchin Order. Here are the facts:

  • A check of the Order's database shows that none of the Italian provinces have anyone named David or Davide of an age consistent with the story presented on the website. 
  • The postulation for the cause of Pio of Pietralcina claims to know nothing of this miraculous cure, nor of anyone bearing the stigmata. 
  • To my knowledge, no Capuchin province runs an orphanage in Italy. 
  • Both the current and former general ministers of the Order have denied knowledge of any living stigmatic in the Order.
Perhaps most telling is the fact that while there are many photographs of "Fr. David's" stigmata, there is never a clear photograph of his face. As a wise, holy friar told me, "i santi mostrano il loro volto luminoso e nascondono i doni mistici, come le stimmate. Questo fa il contrario" ("a saint will show the radiance of his face and hide mystical gifts, such as the stigmata. This person does the opposite").  

Given the fact that Padre Pio's name is being used to solicit donations, it would be prudent to warn the Padre Pio prayer groups of your area against falling for the story of this modern-day stigmatic.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thank you for clarifying this information. It amazes me how often the "trusting old church ladies" seem to be prey to these frauds. They believe and send money without investigating.

Cellogal said...

I just posted this on the Mary's Way Worldwide Apostalate. It is a bit harsh, but I am furious with this man who is ripping gullible people off, including a good friend of mine,who is a devout Catholic convert. We both love St Pio very much....

Francis Slinksy is a fraud and a con-artist of the highest order. There is no such "stigmatic Capuchin priest" by the name of Father David. I know this for a fact, as a close friend has emailed the Capuchin Superior General in Italy regarding this matter, and had received his emailed reply, in Italian, stating that no such priest exists.
This whole story fed to the public by a supposedly good Catholic man, is a complete fallacy. Another friend has paid hundreds of dollars for pious goods which he received, including a picture of Our Lady, which he never received. People, DO NOT BE DECEIVED!! There is NO Father David. Why do we never see photographs of his face?? The Capuchins have no records of him. There are no orphanages in Italy!!

Francis Slinksy, perhaps you are a Catholic, and IF you are, you need to repent, because you have defrauded who knows how many people with this fairy tale. Imagine how Jesus, the Holy Mother and St Pio must feel about what you are doing. This is an insult to Padre Pio, Mary and the Holy Trinity. It's obvious that your greed and lies know no bounds. Perhaps you are working for the enemy and these goods are cursed. I for one, will not be buying them. Every Catholic should know that authentic relics are never to be sold. It is forbidden by the Church.
Please do the decent thing by the public that you have duped, and admit your lies and refund them their money!
about an hour ago · 1 Review

Richard Chonak said...

Thank you for raising the alert, Br. Mark!

The Bishop of Trenton's statement is on the net now at
http://www.dioceseoftrenton.org/diocese-of-trenton-does-not-approve-recognize-marys-way-worldwide-apostolate/

and other bloggers have joined in cautioning the faithful about the claims of "Mary's Way":

Kathy Schiffer (Patheos):
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/kathyschiffer/2015/06/do-not-support-marys-way-worldwide-apostolate/

Terry Nelson (Abbey Roads):
http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/2015/06/fr-david-and-marys-way-worldwide.html

JAB said...

Thanks for the comments. They have had an effect -- the "Mary's Way" website has changed its claims. It now states that "Fr. David Roberto" used to be a Capuchin, but then left to found a new Order, the "Missionaries of Charity of Padre Pio". There are discrepancies in the account of his time with the Capuchins that make it almost certain that he never was a part of the Order. As for the "Missionaries of Charity of Padre Pio", they are not listed in the Annuario Pontificio, the Vatican's official guide to all the approved organizations in the Catholic Church. The "MCPP" might be a diocesan-right congregation, but it is not listed in the Official Catholic Directory of the United States. I cannot say for certain that it does not exist, but given all the other untruths on the website, I won't believe it until I see proof.

Anonymous said...

The Diocese of Los Angeles has also commented on this situation. A list of so-called "priests" has been published. These "priests" have no faculties to minister. There is an entire list of them. Please review.

Jessica Barrios-Arguello said...

Brother Mark. I was invited by my neighbor for a healing rosary session with "Father David", the stigmatic Capuchin priest conducting the healing session. I personally met Father David, and he had a very cautious demeanor about him. I wanted to take a picture of him while he was talking to one of the people in attendance, and he was quick react reprimanding me from taking his picture. I was perplexed and had my doubts about him ever since.

Anonymous said...

Dear Brother Mark,

I can understand the concerns of the respondent of November 22nd and others. This Fr. David is not an RC priest, rather he is allegedly a priest of the Old Catholic Church. The Old Catholic Church was founded in the 1500's and is NOT in communion with Rome. He is not and never was a Capuchin and his creating of a "new" order of priests is purely unofficial. In addition, there is a photo of so-called Father David as a young boy with Padre Pio allegedly taken in Italy. According to the a contact at the Padre Pio shrine in Pennsylvania, this is NOT Father David as a child and in fact, the child in the photo is now a grown man still alive in Italy. This same man visited the Pennsylvania shrine and was appalled to learn that the image was hijacked and fraudulently used. This alleged Father David was NOT born in Italy and is not of Italian descent rather he is of Hispanic descent. A very sad and disheartening situation indeed.

polack said...

I am 68 years old and fell for the line Francis Slinsky gave me about Fr David and his orphanage in Mexico. I guess I am too trusting of anything that has to do with the Catholic Church, the Blessed Mother and St Padre Pio. I could not fathom that this was a scam, because of the background information.\, and pictures, on the website. The only reason I found the site was because I wanted to offer Gregorian masses offered in the Tridentine Rite, for our deceased relatives. I spent $565 because I was told that Gregorian Masses would be said by Holy monks at Cathedrals in the Holyland. I was also told that Fr David would offer 730 Masses for my intentions. I made the mistake of not researching the complaints, first! Who would of thought anyone would perpetrate such a scam, in the first place!

Cellogal said...

Hi Polack,
I am sorry to read about your experience with this fraudster. I alerted the Bishop of Trenton from here in Australia, after what happened to my friend and his family, and they released a statement on the diocesan website. I would recommend your alert the Diocese of Trenton so they can notify the appropriate authorities. This sham needs to be shut down ASAP.
Kind regards,
Cellogal.

Anonymous said...

The bishop of the Diocese of Trenton posted a discrediting article in the diocesan newspaper in March, 2015 and again in June. Litigation was threatened via the local county prosecutor's office but to date nothing has happened. I would guess it's just a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

A lady-acquaintance from my parish was promoting devotion to the icon offered by this apostolate ("MWA"). She spent a large amount of money buying multiple copies of a book issued by the MWA, which she lent out to several parishioners, including myself. I started reading the book but returned it to the woman before I was even halfway through it. I told her I was wary of the MWA and she should be too... but she was very defensive and kept urging me to buy an icon, which I'm not interested in (although it is, admittedly, a beautiful representation of the Blessed Virgin).

My personal impression of the book was that it was more a form of advertisement for the MWA and for various devotional items sold by them, versus being a book with a genuine spiritual message for the good of souls. Over and over, it seemed to emphasize the "miraculous" nature of the MWA's "sacred" icon and how countless blessings have been granted through it.

I later did additional research on the net about the MWA and discovered the organization also offered questionable sacramentals such as supposed Padre Pio relics and miraculous oil for donations costing hundreds of dollars - major warning signs! And these were connected to the mysterious and elusive "Fr. David". Again, I was wary... and it all just didn't feel right - whatever is going on with this alleged stigmatic.

When I learned the Capuchins disavowed any knowledge of Fr. David, I wasn't surprised. I hope people will wise up and use their common sense... and not easily fall for these alleged miraculous sacramentals or any other being offered by any ministry for a hefty price. Some of the costs for the MWA items are over-priced in my opinion, which I can't understand if their true intent is to spread devotion to Our Lady.

Be cautious, people.

Anonymous said...

So I am confused as the Trent Diocese Refutation is not on their site, or the link on this blog, I very nearly sent for the scapular as it does seem very nice, however researched first and saw you blog, now he has a Youtube channel with videos, about this miraculous icon that is blessed 1000 times and by the Pope, he has videos showing these claims, can anyone clarify if the Icon is a blessed one? I would log onto youtube to make comments and link to refutations however I am always anomynous online, he has the photos to show that it seems with this Image of the most blessed imaculate conception, it seems all true yet not so to, any more information on any of this? Thank you and God Bless.

Anonymous said...

https://www.youtube.com/user/MarysWayApostolate/videos

He is selling the images of Padre Pios statues being 3rd class relics on Ebay and many have bought them, I will report this to ebay if you can provide more info on him or this image of Mary or the statue etc..

https://www.ebay.co.uk/usr/maryswayworldwideapostolate

to add on his Youtube channel he says this
"Mary's Way Worldwide Apostolate's YouTube Channel! Mary's Way Worldwide Apostolate is fully operational and offering the highest quality brown scapulars, Our Lady Mediatrix Icons and prayer cards, St. Benedict Medals, and much much more. Watch our informational youtube videos and visit us online at www.marysway.net. The Founder of Mary’s Way Apostolate, Francis Slinsky presented Saint Pope John Paul II Special Blessed with the original Miraculous Icon® Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces®, commonly known as The Miraculous Icon®. Saint Pope John Paul II Special Blessed the original Miraculous Icon® Our Lady Mediatrix of All Graces®. This very blessed occasion took place at the invitation of Pope John Paul II. His Holiness invited Francis Slinsky, the founder and director of Mary’s Way Worldwide Apostolate, to bring the Icon into his Private Office and Personal Library on May 14, 1999 in the Vatican!"

and there is a picture of him with the Pope and his image of the Most Blessed Virgin Mary with many priests and such like, so what is really going on here?

God Bless you all