Australian Church Makes Excuses for Priest Who Tried to Exorcise Handicapped Girl

You could say this headline is misleading:

Priest conducts ‘bizarre’ faith healing

This one’s “bizarre,” as opposed to all the others which are…?

Anyway, what makes this one stand out is that the priest tried to heal a girl who was mentally and physically disabled.

He tried to get her to walk.

Even the parishioners knew this was crazytalk:

Catherine Roatch, who saw the faith-healing service, said it appeared to be an attempted exorcism.

“He prayed in some gibberish and then started to demand that this girl speak as well as stand up,” she said.

“The girl would not have even been able to comprehend, let alone follow instructions. It was very undignified for the young lady and she was just crying, howling at the altar.

The Australian church’s excuse?

This particular priest was a foreigner.

Vicar-General of Perth’s Catholic Archdiocese Brian O’Loughlin said while the “bizarre and unusual service” was largely due to the priest’s mental condition, it highlighted that foreign-trained priests had a more spiritual approach.

Monsignor O’Loughlin said Westerners had a more logical outlook and tended to turn to the spiritual when they could not understand concepts in other ways.

No, no, no, no, no.

There’s nothing “logical” about any other faith-healing service either. Or any other ritual they perform. These people think it’s logical to believe Jesus magically inhabits a communion wafer. They don’t have any credibility when it comes to thinking logically.

At least they took this priest to a mental hospital. What are they going to do about the other priests who conduct faith-healing services? Are they off the hook?

Part of me has a feeling that the church leaders are just trying to cover their asses. This was a bad idea to begin with, yet no one stopped him as he was performing the exorcism. Can you believe no one even helped the girl as she wailed for “at least 15 minutes” after he was finished?

The media found out and now the church is trying to save face.

They’re not upset that this priest performed the ritual. They’re upset it didn’t work and that they got caught.

Don’t believe me? What do you think their reaction would’ve been if the girl showed any sign of getting healed?

They would be touting this priest as a saint.

But he failed. As expected. The church is just searching for an excuse now.

Like this one:

Monsignor O’Loughlin said exorcisms were a legitimate part of the Catholic religion but were not allowed in regular services and could only be performed by appointed priests.

Guess what: Even if this was not a regular service, and even if it was an “appointed” priest (who would have no more credibility than the one in question), we would’ve seen the same result.

God doesn’t heal amputees. God can’t cure cancer. God doesn’t fix a disfigured face. This girl’s not going to get better because some priest performed a ceremonial ritual. If anything can help her, it’s going to come from the world of science.

Why doesn’t a priest from that church just apologize for putting this girl through so much trauma?

Why not just admit their methods don’t work?

Why not just say this was all a bad idea and faith-healing should never be done?

Because that would be admitting your beliefs don’t match up with reality. That would be confessing you’ve been wrong this whole time. That’s called being honest with yourself. That would take real courage.

So don’t expect it anytime soon.

(via The Southern Atheist Gentleman)

By the way, while we’re on the subject of exorcisms, reader Stacey brought up the horrific story of 13-month-old Amora Bain Carson.

In 2008, Amora was beaten to death with a hammer. When police found her, she also had bite marks all over her body. The mother, Jessica Carson, stood by and watched while her boyfriend, Blaine Keith Milam, performed an exorcism “to beat the demons out of the child.”

They’re currently facing the death penalty in Texas.

Regardless of the death penalty issue, just think about this: a mother stood by and saw her child beaten to death and she didn’t do anything about it because she thought demons inhabited her child and an exorcism could cure it.

Some churches believe that exorcisms are legitimate. They won’t advocate this sort of violence, of course, but there’s no “standard” for exorcisms. It’s all made up. I’m not saying a particular church is responsible for Amora’s death, but churches are perpetuating these lies. When something bad happens as a result, they blame the person performing it or the method in which it was done, not the ridiculous notion at the heart of the entire thing.

  • Christophe Thill

    “Vicar-General of Perth’s Catholic Archdiocese Brian O’Loughlin said while the “bizarre and unusual service” was largely due to the priest’s mental condition, it highlighted that foreign-trained priests had a more spiritual approach.”

    Is the Vicar-General really equating “spiritual” with “crazy” here ? Never thought I’d read such a thing !

  • http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100426/ap_on_re_as/as_taiwan_earthquake_3 DGKnipfer

    Is the Vicar-General really equating “spiritual” with “crazy” here ? Never thought I’d read such a thing !

    That’s because “spiritual” is those crazy new age people, not properly devout “religiuos” poeple. Had the priest been properly “religious” instead I’m sure the Vicar-General just knows that the ritual would have worked fine.

  • Hermetically Sealed

    Pardon my French, but I’ve only got two words: “Fucked. Up.”

  • http://universalheretic.wordpress.com/ Victor

    In addition to molesting children, psychologically torturing the disabled is just another tick mark against them. In my own life, religion is just an amusing curiosity. But, when I see the abuse they are allowed to enact on others by making promises that would get any secular person arrested on fraud charges … it really gets me angry. I have no sympathy for the priest. He may as well have gone into a care facility and started punching disabled individuals. He’s cruel and should be put away.

  • plutosdad

    Non westerners are more spiritual? I guess he means people who were taught less science in school are willing to accept any explanation an authority gives them.

    As far as no one standing up and helping, I am not surprised. Not because they are christian, but often you hear of bad things happening and people who know better doing nothing to stop it, especially when it’s in a group.

    Experiments like Asch and Stanley Milgram show how hard it is to stand up to a group of people. Even if most people in the group feel the same way and think someone “else” should stand up.

    It’s how not only religions but governments can get away with small oppressions, which only opens the door to bigger ones.

  • http://www.squidoo.com/why_homeless_people_avoid_shelters Kylyssa Shay

    Thousands of children in Africa experience exorcisms far more like the second horrifying case.

    This is why we can’t just shut up about other people’s beliefs.

  • http://primesequence.blogspot.com/ PrimeNumbers

    It is the “harmless” beliefs of those with moderate religion that the crazies look to and see as legitimizing their crazy beliefs. They see vast amounts of moderate believers and those vast numbers lead to legitimize their beliefs also.

    It’s disgusting what people do in the name of religious belief – utterly disgusting.

  • pandora’s box

    Where was the mother? Or the father? Un-fuggen believable. Were they too busy hoping the ‘exorcism’ of their mentally and physically disabled child would work? Who’s the priest or the church supposed to apologize to? The parents deserve no apology, the congregation deserves little.

    Fugged up people living in fugged up environments produce more fugged up people. When will religion apologize to humanity?

  • Staceyjw

    The poor little girl also had 14 breaks to her ribs, a fractured skull, both arms and legs were twisted until broken and she was viciously sexually asaulted with some type of large implement.

    It was the worst child death anyone involved had ever seen, and they believe she lived through all of it.

    Exocrsism is dangerous, people die from this every year- and the only “demons” involved are HUMAN.Most church goers will say the couple was “mentally ill”, and not following “god”, but I think this is the wrong way to view these killings. They could be mentally ill- or just cruel- but religion had EVERYTHING to do with the outcome.

    Very sick and very sad.I think the death penalty is made for people like this, though I hope they get “prison justice” before the excecution.

    Thanks for mentioning it- I know its unpleasant reading, but necessary to see the dangers in this type of belief.

  • Epistaxis

    What do you think their reaction would’ve been if the girl showed any sign of getting healed?

    They would be touting this priest as a saint.

    I’m not so sure. In the industrialized world, the Catholic Church tends to veer away from spirituality and supernaturalism because they know it looks silly (of course there’s nothing silly about meaningless ritual and telling people how to behave in private), so I think they’d actually be horrified if one of their little magic tricks actually worked.

  • L.Long

    Jessica Carson is the poster girl for forced sterilization!!!!
    Its too bad we cant trust the govmint or legal system with that power!!!
    She looked on while her baby was murdered!!! She certifiable-batshit crazy.

  • Sarah

    Here is a quote from a crazy christian that commented on that article…

    “I believe that the baby’s spirit left her body before she was murdered. I think God protects us this way and, at our death, our spirit (separates from our body) and, if we have any pain, it is minimal. If we don’t die, we have to suffer pain until we get well because we are still in (attached to) our body. There’s mercy here somewhere, even if we don’t understand it.”

    I feel ill.

  • Linda

    I am sick to my stomach reading Amora’s story. What did a 13 month old do to possess a full grown man (and woman – she sickens me just as much) to do such a thing? That baffles me as much as the act itself.

    On another note, what kind of mother would put her baby in harm’s way? According to the first story linked in the article, the boyfriend “had been convicted of aggravated sexual assault of a child and is a registered sex offender.” You’d think that would’ve been the first clue not to allow him near her child.

    Both stories are a heart wrenching reminder of the psychological torture those overly involved endure. Unfortunately when these stories come to light, more times than not they involve children who aren’t able to fend for themselves. It sickens me that people believe in these types of rituals.

    —————————————

    Staceyjw: I agree. Somehow, I have a feeling they’ll be locked up in segregation for 23 hours a day due to the number of hits put on them. Prisoners don’t put up with people who have committed crimes against children. (My knowledge from watching Lockup on MSNBC and fascination in the correctional system is finally becoming useful. haha) I think they deserve every last bit of crap that happens to them.

  • fastthumbs

    “Amora was beaten to death with a hammer. When police found her, she also had bite marks all over her body. The mother, Jessica Carson, stood by and watched while her boyfriend, Blaine Keith Milam, performed an exorcism “to beat the demons out of the child.””

    What would be a fitting punishment is to put these two in public stocks (with gags) a couple of hours every day for the REST of their misrerable lives (perferably in front of thier church) with that phrase on a plaque for ALL to see. There’s something to be said for social humiliation. Perhaps the other crazies (and not so crazies) would be less inclined to do such stupidity if such an example was made…

  • Ian Read

    I have to say that I am more concerned by the inaction of the congregation in the first story. That the couple in the second story are murderous idiots I wouldn’t contest but the world is full of murderous idiots.
    That a congregation stood by and watched a vulnerable mentally and physically handicapped child be humiliated and assaulted to the point of bawling fills me with a deep and abiding contempt for them.
    These people claim to be morally superior to me and those like me (atheists) at every opportunity and yet when presented with a clear case of a priest overstepping the bounds of propriety, they do nothing.

    Shame on them.

  • muggle

    Just one what the hell are you doing? One. In that whole congregation, it’s chilling.

    Words fail for that second couple’s vicious attack on a little baby. It probably cried because, hello, it’s a baby and it’s their only way of communicating they need something. Instead of tending to said needs, they hear demons and torture the poor thing??? No punishment would be too cruel for them. They have no heart.

    And the mother standing by and watching is every bit as guilty. I bet it’s a matter of time before the defense and women’s groups come out with the bullshit that she was too scared of him. And I do call bullshit on that as a mother. For a man to do that to my baby, they’d have to go through the mother first. And I’d fight to the death protecting the child. Hell, I even feel that strongly about my grandson. Where the fuck was her maternal instinct?

    What the hell is wrong with people?


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