Another ‘Miracle’ Debunked

I’m sure you’ve heard or seen over the last week as huge numbers of people waxed eloquent about a priest who stopped to pray at the scene of an accident in Missouri and how this was a “miracle” and even speculated that, since the person “disappeared” from the scene, it must have been an angel (cue the heavenly choirs). Turns out…not so much.

Posting on an article written in the National Catholic Register about the incident and the search for the mystery hero, the priest detailed what unfolded. He wrote that on his way home from a Mass — one during which he was filling in for a sick priest — he arrived at the crash scene. With authorities re-routing traffic (TheBlaze previously reported that the scene was shut down for a one-fourth of a mile radius), he waited until it was possible to get closer.

“I parked behind a large vehicle about 150 yards from the scene. I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident,” Dowling said. “I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside to where some rescue personnel and the pilot were waiting, and prayed the rosary silently.”

Then, he left the scene just as the helicopter was about to leave. Interestingly, he notes that he gave his name to one of the emergency personnel, but somehow it was seemingly not passed on. Rather than taking all the glory, the priest went on to thank all of these workers, noting that they deserve accolades.

So rather than an “angel” who showed up and “mysteriously disappeared” we have a perfectly human priest driving up to the scene, doing what little he could do, and then drive away in his car. Miracles just ain’t what they used to be. Some people need to watch a lot more Scooby Doo.

POPULAR AT PATHEOS Nonreligious
What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    Well, at least this one doesn’t involve aphid piss.

  • http://motherwell.livejournal.com/ Raging Bee

    So even when a priest gives credit where it’s really due (to the emergency responders!), his totally useless act of prayer is STILL the “miracle” that gets all the fawning attention and halelujahs. And I’m willing to bet that if anyone piped up to ask for a little more respect for the paramedics, he/she would be shouted down by idiots demanding that we always glorify God, and never glorify people, ’cause that’s vanity or something.

    If any of those paramedics ask themselves why they even bother, I wouldn’t blame them at all.

  • daved

    And we’d have gotten away with it, if it weren’t for that meddling priest!

  • Reginald Selkirk

    He needed time to construct an alibi, it would have been embarrassing to reveal that he got through the cordon because he had just come out of the bordello next door.

  • http://www.thelosersleague.com theschwa

    Priest appears. Priest disappears.

    You can’t explain that.

  • Randomfactor

    Priest appears. Priest disappears.

    You can’t explain that.

    Never a Mass communication.

  • http://en.uncyclopedia.co/wiki/User:Modusoperandi Modusoperandi

    He absolves and anoints, and it’s angels. I strip and streak, and it’s a misdemeanor. Where’s the justice?

  • DaveL

    It’s almost as if priests were actual human beings capable of autonomous locomotion.

  • http://www.gregory-gadow.net Gregory in Seattle

    @Raging Bee #2 – While I wouldn’t have asked for prayer, the crash victim did. If the priest’s words did nothing but activate a placebo effect, then his being there made a positive difference. Don’t underestimate the value of a comforting presence when in extremis.

    I’ve heard too many stories of Christian clergy who would interfere with emergency medical responders because their faith orders them to pray until broken bones mend, or something. I will give him credit for offering what comfort he could then getting the Hell out of the way.

  • Abby Normal

    That’s the old Scooby Doo. When the modern Scooby investigates ghosts and monsters they usually turn out to really be ghosts or monsters.

    That sound you hear is a little bit of my childhood dying.

  • rdmcpeek43

    @ #5

    Now you leave poor Bill O’Reilly alone or he’ll slap you with a loofah or a falafel or, well, something.

  • senor

    It seems that a more effective miracle would have been preventing the accident from occuring in the first place.

  • Tsu Dho Nimh

    I asked the Sheriff’s permission and approached the scene of the accident,” Dowling said. “I absolved and anointed Katie, and, at her request, prayed that her leg would not hurt. Then I stepped aside

    That’s how it should be done.

    If his actions made “Katie” feel better or calmer, that’s wonderful. Pain control is hard at a an accident, and every bit of placebo effect, calming down and blatant hypnotic suggestion you gan find you can use.

  • blf

    That’s the old Scooby Doo. When the modern Scooby investigates ghosts and monsters they usually turn out to really be ghosts or monsters.

    That sound you hear is a little bit of my childhood dying.

    Arrrggggggghhhhhhhhhh! Scooby Doo, what have They done to you?

  • grumpyoldfart

    Don’t forget that the “perfectly human priest” is still a confidence trickster. Next Sunday he will be standing at the altar, begging for money, and telling the flock that angels really do exist – it says so in the bible!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003657987619 Barefoot Bree

    The real miracle here is the last line:

    Rather than taking all the glory, the priest went on to thank all of these workers, noting that they deserve accolades.

    A clergyman not just sharing the glory, but deflecting it onto where it truly belongs? Now THAT’S a freaking miracle!