Did a ‘Mystery Priest’ Really Save the Life of Katie Lentz?

This is really an incredible story… with two distinct interpretations of what went down.

The first narrative that’s getting passed around is this one: 19-year-old Katie Lentz was driving in her convertible recently when a drunk driver crashed into her. As she got ever-so-close to dying, with the firefighters’ equipment failing, a mysterious man dressed as a Catholic priest randomly appeared, prayed, used some anointing oil, and left before anyone could get his name. (Stranger still was the fact that a perimeter had been created around the crash site to block out random people… which the mystery man got past.)

All of a sudden, new equipment arrived from a nearby fire department and Lentz, still alive, was taken to a local hospital where she’s currently in critical condition.

“I think that this time I’ve actually witnessed a guardian angel at work,” Jeremiah See of the New London Fire Department told ABC News.

“Whether it was just a priest as an angel, or an actual angel coming down,” Lentz’s friend Travis Wiseman said, “he was an angel to everyone and to Katie.”

Amazing, right?

The other narrative is the one the media isn’t sharing because it’s not really a hopeful, inspiring story. It’s the honest version of what happened.

Here’s how Glenn Beck‘s The Blaze reported what happened:

Witnesses say [the mystery man] anointed Lentz and her rescuers with oil, prayed with them, asking them to remain calm and saying that the crew’s equipment would work, KHQA said.

The Hannibal Fire Department pulled up shortly after with fresh equipment and the rescue proceeded easily and the tools worked, as the priest promised. But when nearly a dozen firefighters turned around to thank the priest, he was gone; the road was empty. Since, no one has seen or heard from the man and his identity remains a mystery.

The priest said the crew’s equipment would work… and it didn’t. In fact, another crew showed up and — surprise! — they had working equipment. If the priest hadn’t been there, the second crew would still have showed up. That’s not a miracle, that’s just good timing.

What about the anointing with oil?

Well, there’s no evidence it had any effect on Lentz’s condition. The priest could just as easily have spun around in circles three times and we would’ve seen the same results. But anointing sounds religious, mysterious, and magical, so people are quick to assume it had an effect.

Who’s responsible for Lentz’s survival?

I would start by thanking that second crew of firefighters for bringing the equipment to extricate her from her car. Then let’s thank the doctors who operated on her in her awful condition and appear to have saved her life. And the first responders for all the work they did on Lentz, talking her through the situation and prepping the scene so that the “working” equipment could get her out of her vehicle.

The priest doesn’t belong on that list. If you think he does, he has to come with an asterisk because there’s no way to show that he did anything useful.

I’m glad Lentz is okay. I hope she makes it through. But the priest is nothing more than an oddity in an otherwise horrific situation.

Libby Anne wrote up a list of questions no one else seems to be asking in the wake of this accident:

Why didn’t God stop the wreck before it happened?

Why don’t God send people to comfort every critically injured individual?

Why did the girl’s improvement correlate perfectly with the arrival of a new team with new equipment?

Why couldn’t God just heal her?

Why would God send an angel to help one critically injured woman when millions of people are starving around the world?

Those are tough theoretical questions. I have no idea who this Mystery Priest was (or how he got through the barricade, which is even more concerning…), but needless to say, the people jumping to the conclusion that he’s an angel don’t know any more than we do. The story just conforms to what they want to believe.

It’s the same reason books about going to Heaven are bestsellers. People are so eager to believe something hopeful that they’ll easily throw facts and critical thinking out the window.

About Hemant Mehta

Hemant Mehta is the editor of Friendly Atheist, appears on the Atheist Voice channel on YouTube, and co-hosts the uniquely-named Friendly Atheist Podcast. You can read much more about him here.

  • kanehau

    I would think it would be fairly easy for a priest to get past the barrier. If there was a crowd such that a barrier needed to be put up – I’m pretty certain a priest saying “I’m a priest and can offer her last rite if it is necessary” would probably give him a free pass.

    • viaten

      “offer her last rite[s] if it is necessary”? Who’s going to decide that, and how? If any kind of rescue or life saving attempt is underway, I’d like to think any priest (and family) would be kept away.

      • K

        No, police will pretty routinely wave any sort of priest/pastor through a barricade in that sort of situation.

        • randomfactor

          They don’t call it the “last rites” anymore, by the way. Bad juju.

          • viaten

            What do they call it then?

            • Brian Westley

              It falls under “Anointing of the sick” and isn’t reserved just for people who are dying. Of course, if it actually worked, we wouldn’t have needed to develop modern medicine, so that’s kind of a giveaway.

              • viaten

                I don’t think “Anointing of the Sick” (part of “Last Rites”) is intended to have any medical benefit. It’s a spiritual preparation for death.

              • Emmet

                How’s it meant to work? What do you understand the intended effects of the sacrament to be?

                • Brian Westley

                  Well, it supposedly helps sick people get better, but since more expensive placebos work better, maybe priests should start charging money instead of giving it away.

                • Emmet

                  Is that what it supposedly does?

                  Tell me, is that how the Church understands it or is that your own I-think-this-is-what Catholics-believe-and-it-sounds-stupid-um-so-maybe-it’s-not-actually-what-they-believe-but-hey-it-sounds-right-and-suits-my-argument-so-let’s-just-go-with-it-K internet atheist understanding?

                  http://www.scborromeo.org/ccc/para/1520.htm

                • Brian Westley

                  Yep, it says “This assistance from the Lord by the power of his Spirit is meant to lead the sick person to healing of the soul, but also of the body if such is God’s will.”

                  Yeah, magical healing, that’s the ticket, but (as ever) if it fails, that’s “god’s will”, but never mind, our magic really really works!!!!1!!!

                  BWAHAHAHAHA!

                  Sounds stupid to me.

                • Emmet

                  Sure. I can understand it sounds stupid to you. Fair enough. Perhaps you should do a bit more reading on the topic though, before you carry on laughing about something you don’t really understand.

                • Brian Westley

                  The old “it’s a mystery” copout. Pretend magic by any other name.

                • Emmet

                  What’s your definition of “magic”? Anything you can’t explain?

            • Emmet
              • Kodie

                Behold the power of unction.

                • Emmet

                  Sure. It’s a technical term. I suppose a lot of jargon sounds funny to people who aren’t used to it. But, you know, go ahead and giggle if you like.

          • http://www.acountrypriest.com/ Fr John Corrigan

            There’s Anointing of the Sick, but there’s also Last Rites. Different things, but both exist.

        • viaten

          I don’t doubt such things happen, but I still prefer they didn’t and hope it doesn’t happen often at the possible expense of the victim. It seems the police allow it because if it turns out the victim was catholic and died and they didn’t let a priest through when they could have, it would look callous. You’d think a priest could pray or do whatever from a distance to provide the same “spiritual” benefit. I wonder if there could be a separation of church and state issue if police involved a priest at an accident scene.

          • http://www.acountrypriest.com/ Fr John Corrigan

            In Catholic theology, the spiritual benefit would differ. Sacraments are material, meaning they engage space and time, and they can’t be performed at a distance.

            • viaten

              As I understand catholic theology, most of the sacraments can be received by intention if there is a sincere desire in extreme circumstances to receive the sacrament and access to normally receiving the sacrament isn’t possible. No priest even need be anywhere in the vicinity.
              Exactly what would be the difference in “spiritual” benefit between a priest actually administering Last Rites and whatever a priest could do standing at some distance?
              And along similar lines, do you consider blessings done with sprinkled holy water to have more benefit than blessings at the end of Mass?

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

          Not sure where you live but I’ve never seen it happen on any wreck I’ve ever been involved with and I’ve been on a couple hundred.

        • mac

          On TV yes. In real life? No, that does not happen. They’re in the way. They could get injured and sue. They could prevent help to the victim and the victim could sue.

          Sorry, but you’re wrong.

          • Tom

            Not to mention that without considerably more positive ID than “He looked like a priest” being needed to get through a police cordon, it would only be a matter of time before the first psycho-in-a-priest-outfit showed up and started interfering with crime/accident scenes. Human beings are like that.

            (Now accepting: snarky jokes about telling the difference between a real priest and a psycho dressed up as one :-P)

        • http://www.acountrypriest.com/ Fr John Corrigan

          Yeah. That’s my experience. But I’m Australian, so maybe the protocols are different in America?

      • Horatio Hornblatt

        The girl would have a say in it. Calm down, it happens all the time.

        • viaten

          I doubt it happens all the time. A victim might not always have a say. A victim could be unconscious and a some priests might administer an anointing and blessing anyway.

          • Emmet

            They might? Sure. Might, might not – don’t need specifics when we’re having a go at Catholics, hey? Who needs ‘em.

            Sacraments are reserved for Catholics who ask for them, so unless the priest knew the unconscious person was a Catholic, he wouldn’t administer the sacrament – he’d simply stand to the side and pray.

            • viaten

              You’re right. I didn’t think that through. Although I am critical of religion, I wasn’t “having a go” at Catholics. I’m not sure why I thought priests might give Last Rites to an unconscious person. Perhaps it was “just in case to be safe”. Priests don’t verify people are christian when they receive penance or communion, but then that’s not considered the priests’ problem (as far as I know) so maybe I thought there wouldn’t be an issue with Last Rites. Also, Mormons can “baptize for the dead” (and the dead can accept or reject it I just found out) and maybe that caused me to think priests could give Last Rites to the unconscious. After looking up the matter, it seems the person must be at least be baptized Christian without a minister of their faith otherwise available, and they must ask for Last Rites and believe in the sacrament.

              • Emmet

                Fair enough.

                BTW, we don’t call it “last rites” any more.

                • viaten

                  I learned it as Extreme Unction which I understand is now the Sacrament of the Sick or Anointing of the Sick which seems to be just the anointing with oil part, and Last Rites included Confession and Holy Communion (also called Viaticum), but I assume now “Sacrament (singular) of the Sick” refers to all three sacraments possibly being received. Leave it the the Catholic Church to come up with so many special and sometimes confusing names for things.

            • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

              he’d simply stand to the side and pray

              Right, because the problem here is that it’s a sacrament, not just a prayer.

              #totallymissingthepoint

              • Emmet

                What?

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      I’m a former firefighter and we would never have let any priest past a barrier. If you were not part of the rescue effort you where kept away and even during some of the worst wrecks I’ve run, where death did occur I never witnessed a priest trying to give last rites and we always had large crowds at crash sites.

  • maddogdelta

    The answer is obvious. She was a pretty white girl driving a Mercedes. If she was a dark skinned person from some third world country, then god doesn’t care.

    • Without Malice

      And if it had been a young black man wearing a hoodie they would have had him out of that car and on the ground cuffed and Merandized and arrested for suspected car theft before any priest had a chance to splash around some olive oil.

      • Dave

        Not as silly as it sounds. 15% (roughly) of Young black and white men smoke marijuana. But young black men are arrested at at five times the rate of young white men for possession. So the first thing that would have happened is the police would have thought is possible DUI.

        • Horatio Hornblatt

          But it was a DUI from the other direction [atheist?]
          And your “statistics” are very blurry. Is that deliberate?

  • Katie Webb

    No, no, no, I live in Springfield, MO so this story hit our local papers already. It felt all wrong on more than just a “Jesus on my toast” kind of way so I did a little research. Raymond Reed, the New London fire chief is the only first responder that actually spoke to the media. All of my attempts to contact him or get copies of the 70 photos he took have gone unanswered. I sent the article to an EMT friend and he was horrified by what he saw. In the first picture you see that they have already cut some of the car without any of the foamy stuff (sorry to get all technical) they lay down on the ground to keep stray sparks from igniting flammable liquids that may have leaked from the car. One of the guys is not even dressed in proper protective clothing and has no business being on the scene. And the biggest problem is they fliiped the effing car!! I’m told that in day one of EMT training they are taught that you never, ever, ever flip a car. It can cause pressure changes that can kill the patient.
    Looks to me like the “fire chief” is trying to cover his ass with some distraction to rally support before someone figures out he screwed up big time.

    • Thalfon

      Which leads me to ask what I was thinking of asking anyway, who exactly saw this priest? What sources are we getting this from? If it’s only the fire chief from one interview, then odds that the question of how the mystery priest got through the barricade is irrelevant, because said priest probably doesn’t even exist.

      • Don Gwinn

        “Barricade” on a rural highway 10-50 scene is a very optimistic idea. If he was on foot, for instance if traffic was blocked and he got out of his car, wandering into the scene while everyone’s busy is entirely possible. The world is full of experts in emergency medicine, the law, and rescue techniques, and they tend to congregate thickly at the edges of accident and crime scenes so that they can give advice better. ;)

        • Horatio Hornblatt

          Ambulance Chasers?

      • BamaG

        many people saw the man, including a witness that held Katies hand – and it also includes the responders.

        • UWIR

          How do you know?

        • Carmelita Spats

          The man was not a “disappearing priest”, he was probably a “runaway priest”. There is nothing “mysterious” about these creeps. The Dallas Morning News ran an award winning series titled, “Runaway Priests”, which investigated maladjusted virgins who are shuffled across borders and continue to molest children:

          http://www.dallasnews.com/sharedcontent/dws/spe/2004/runawaypriests/

          I hear that every altar boy in Missouri heaved a sigh of relief when the priest “disappeared”. I hope it stays that way. Altar boys lead dangerous lives.

          • Horatio Hornblatt

            If it’s easier for you to spin a lie than to accept the truth, what does that make you?

    • IDP

      I’m familiar with this part of MO, It’s very rural & very poor. Everybody knows everybody else. It’s also very, very Bible Belt-y, which makes me suspect the priest story even more. One, this was in the middle of nowhere in a corn/bean field by the look of things. Where are these random mysterious strangers coming from? Did Shoeless Joe Jackson materialize out of the corn, too?

      • IDP

        Seriously, I won’t drive in this part of MO in certain winter weather conditions, because I know there’s a good chance I could be stranded miles from any help. If a priest in full regalia showed up, I’d be more convinced it was a ghost than a flesh and blood human. It’s not like this happened in a busy intersection of a large city.

      • Dave

        Shoeless Jackson hahahahaha now that would make me believe.

      • kpax2012

        I know what you mean! I used to live just a couple of hours from there. You are right.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        If you bullshit, they will come.

        • horatio hornblatt

          That goes both ways, doesn’t it?

      • Horatio Hornblatt

        First responders lurk everywhere. And if it’s “very Bible-Belt-y”, and it was Sunday morning, and typically a priest would be preparing to set up for Mass, and there was only one Catholic Church within a great distance, and the priest was not the one (or two) of that Church, how would you put this together?

      • http://www.facebook.com/pacovillablog Paco Villablog

        A Catholic Priest is “Bible Belt-y?” That’s a stretch.

    • Don Gwinn

      That’s entirely possible. From the article itself, it seemed to me (I am only an EMT-B, no training or experience in extrication from vehicles except what I picked up by treating patients before and during extraction procedures) that there was no miracle involved. The extrication was unsuccessful without cutting tools (the “Jaws of Life,” which is basically just a powerful circular saw with a large-diameter blade that allows the chassis to be cut so that patients don’t have to be maneuvered through doors or windows.) Then, a very suspicious amount of time later (an hour and a half? 90 minutes? Seriously? How long between the time when they found out they had a serious collision with a trapped patient and the time when they called the (I assume) nearest mutual aid equipped with standard cutting tools?) Having a fire/rescue company with no cutting tools for this kind of thing is very unusual in itself, so it would be astounding if their first thought upon learning what they were dealing with wasn’t, “Oh, man, and we don’t have jaws.”

      Anyway, the mysterious priest arrives, gives his blessing, nothing changes. But the mutual aid arrives, the cutter is used to cut the car out from around the patient, and she’s extricated.

      But . . . that’s precisely what that tool is used to do. That’s why it’s a standard piece of equipment. That would be like praying to God to help you get the cork out of your wine bottle, and then shouting “Praise Him!” when I showed up with a corkscrew on my pocket knife. It’s not a miracle to cut up a car with a rescue saw, just like it’s not a miracle to uncork a bottle of wine with a corkscrew.

      I’m waiting to see, but I think you have a point, here. Spending 90 minutes on scene dicking around without the proper tools is already putting these people in danger of litigation. If she was injured and a lawyer can make the case that faster treatment would have made a difference, it’s worse. If they actually did flip the car with her in it or otherwise demonstrated extreme stupidity, it gets worse for them.
      But she, the patient, is the only one with standing to sue. If she’s just overjoyed at her shared experience of a miracle with these people, perhaps she’s less likely to sue them. The bad old definition of CYA is alive and well in many places.

    • Katie Webb

      I just watched the ABC news video above. The initial news report that came out locally did not have any corroborating witnesses but the above story does. With the new pictures of the scene from the above ABC story it is even more evident that New London handled the scene horribly. I still think they are in CYA mode.

      • Mario Strada

        That is the best explanation I have read so far. Thanks.

        If the guy had taken so many pictures of the “angel” why aren’t they on his facebook? Heck, mine go to my Google Drive, my Dropbox and another service the moment I take them. I could send them to FB as well, I just don’t use FB.

        Do you want to bet the next miracle will be that the priest is either invisible, transparent or out of focus?

        • J-Rex

          Part of why this is totally an angel is that the priest doesn’t show up in any of the pictures of the crash.

          • Don Gwinn

            Half-serious question: is invisibility to photography actually a power attributed to angels elsewhere, or is that just being assumed here? Anybody know?

            • Kodie

              Having recently seen Oh, God!, the character God appeared to people (just one guy at first, but eventually a courtroom full of them) but was unable to be recorded by them – this apparently convinced them moreso than if a man said he was god, and then they could examine the pictures, voice recordings, and even stenography! He was god because everyone saw him but no record remained. But ghosts appear on film, just look it up on the internet. Angels are neither god nor a ghost, so I don’t know. The bible, the only true source of angel rules predates photography.

              Maybe not everyone on scene would corroborate that a priest was there, but they have more reason to believe their associates are in no way lying about that than they have reason to doubt it. Maybe they didn’t stop what they were doing to pose for the emergency scene photographer with the priest. The most amazing thing for me is if someone didn’t want to be photographed managed to not be in any of the photographs. You know how hard that is to do?

            • Meg Sampson

              Perhaps he was a vampire priest?

              Where did I put my sarcasm sign…?

      • Eric Carson

        You all really think that the best an EMT (a professional who lives daily with other’s life in his/her hands and whose mental state thus must be unquestionably stable) could come up with to cover his hide and save his job is to go on TV and claim an angel or ghost appeared magically from the corn field, saved the day, then magically disappeared? That sounds like the story of someone BEGGING to be fired. Kind of like airline pilots who are afraid to report UFOs.

        Come on. Not sure WHAT it is but it’s NOT a CYA situation. Or if it is, wow, I’d hate to see their I.Q.. scores.

        • YahwehMyth

          I’m an EMT, and let me tell you, mental stability is not one of the traits I’ve witnessed in my fellow employees/ other EMTs. You HAVE to be a bit crazy to even consider being one!

    • BamaG

      I have seen many photos and saw plenty of foam. In fact, the decision to move the vehicle – a well built Mercedes no less – from the drivers side to upright was not taken lightly, and wrote about several times. THAT is why Katie asked to pray.. she was told of the potential consequences of the vehicle being moved, her health condition was failing fast and where she was pinned, they could NOT reach her, as they needed the drivers side to attempt to get her out with their lesser tools – and why they went for it. Katie was made very aware, as was the mother who said that many first responders said that Katie should not have lived through this.

      • mac

        And you know any of this information…how?

        You say that you
        saw many pictures, which tells us you weren’t there. Then you proceed
        to give what sounds like a first-person account of events. So which is
        it. You were there and simply neglected that piece of information, or
        you’re parroting what you’ve heard others say (with some embellishment of
        your own), or simply out-and-out lying for your god.

        Hmm?

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Well, he’s one of those people who quotes Zimmerman’s testimony as if it were indisputable fact and not what one guy says. He just KNOWS, ‘k?

          • mac

            mmm k.
            I certainly hope he’s doing something to benefit all of mankind with that vast intellect of his.

    • Horatio Hornblatt

      You’re correct in a “Rescue 101″ sort of way. While they righted the car to make extrication possible, (a judgment they had to call) and not all were dressed properly (due to the urgency of the situation) you lack the standing to condemn the responder(s). This will come out in a hearing.

  • TheG

    “Fuck me, Sam!
    But what are the odds?
    That in society’s endless
    Parade of gods
    The one you just happen
    To be taught to believe in
    Is the actual god
    And he digs on healin’?
    But not the AIDS ridden African nations?
    Nor the victims of plague?
    Nor the flood-addled Asians?”
    -Tim Minchin

  • f_galton
    • berberine

      Those are both creepy photos. I need to go look at some internet kittens now.

  • Without Malice

    And just where the hell was this young ladies guardian angel before the wreck. Coming around after the wreck to splash a little olive oil around sounds kind of like a second rate miracle to me. Maybe this angel hasn’t got his wings yet and can only do mini miracles. It would be right in line for a priest though, to say a few nice words and then step back to let others do the real work.

    • L.Long

      No! No! No!
      You don’t understand, gawd must put these people thru the horrible accident then send the incompetent angle so you know it is a miracle.
      If he interfered such that there was no accident then you would not know to be thankful to gawd for saving you.
      These terrible things must happen and when the little puppy is saved and 25 people killed you will know there was a miracle.
      So the miracles are not 2nd rate! It’s the gawd that’s 2nd rate!

    • trj

      It’s one thing that her guardian angel was obviously incompetent at preventing the accident, but couldn’t he at least have extracted her from the car after the accident? Or was he the kind of guardian angel who’s not allowed to interfere and is therefore utterly useless?

      In fact, isn’t that the problem with guardian angels in general? If everything that happens is part of God’s plan, what possible role do guardian angels play when it’s inconceivable they are allowed to change what will happen?

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        but couldn’t he at least have extracted her from the car after the accident?

        Hell, couldn’t he have taken the groceries out of the trunk and gotten them home before the frozen foods spoiled? Or maybe dropped by her place and fed the dog? If a guardian angel can’t do as much as your neighbor’s lazy kid…

        In fact, isn’t that the problem with guardian angels in general? If everything that happens is part of God’s plan, what possible role do guardian angels play when it’s inconceivable they are allowed to change what will happen?

        To add to that, people don’t grasp that if miracles aren’t bestowed upon everyone and consistently, then they are vile things. Imagine giving one of your kids a car for Christmas, and then kicking the other one in the head repeatedly.

        • trj

          I’m sure there are fully satisfactory, sophisticated theological answers to all of this. It’s just that – as any apologist worth his salt will tell you – our puny human minds are unable to understand the answers. Oh well.

  • viaten

    “Those are tough theoretical questions.” “Tough theological questions” says it better. Maybe that’s what you meant.

  • viaten

    “Mystery” priest says it all. God’s mysterious ways. The “priest” could have been standing outside the perimeter, oddly dressed, raising his hands. If it’s “mysterious” enough and somebody notices, and things “could have been worse”, it was God’s doing.

  • Ton_Chrysoprase

    Oh noes, if that’s true it means that I’ll spend eternity in hell with Glenn Beck for not belonging to unam sanctam catholicam.

    Other than that I defer as usual to Tim Minchin’s Thank You God.

  • ctcss

    Hemant, why didn’t you cite the article that Libby cited in her blog? That article seemed much more informative than the ones you have cited. The main source is still the fire chief, but the article seemed much more clearly written.

    http://www.ksdk.com/news/article/391819/3/Mystery-priest-appears-at-Missouri-accident-scene?sf15920014=1

    And no one could have necessarily predicted the outcome. You talk as though the second emergency squad would have shown up in time without fail. I worked at a very large government installation that should have been well known to everyone in the area. (huge acreage, huge signs, entrances on all the major roads, large employment base, had been there for decades) and yet, when we had an electrical fire in one of our buildings and the FD was called, we stood outside in the cold for 30 minutes before they showed up at the main gate of the installation. (The other gates were employees only entrances, and would have been known as such to anyone in the area, thus the main gate was the only choice to make.) Why were they so late? Because they couldn’t figure out where the installation was!

    There are no guarantees. What happened in this traffic accident happened, and the outcome was eventually a good one. Beyond that, we don’t really know. Hindsight of an outcome is always 20/20.

    • rovinrockhound

      He’s not saying that the second emergency squad would have shown up in time without fail, meaning that a second squad magically appears out of thin air every single time. He’s saying that the second squad would have shown up with working equipment regardless of the “apparition” of the priest – he didn’t *do* anything to bring them there. This supposedly magical being had nothing to do with the woman’s rescue.

      • ctcss

        1 – I am not regarding the person as magical in any way. I can speculate as to who or what he was, but that would just be me guessing, as it would be for anyone else.

        2 – As my story shows, the second squad would not have shown up regardless. They could have gone in the wrong direction or had a breakdown or have been in an accident themselves. All we know is that they did show up. (20/20 hindsight.)

        3 – Did you read the story that Libby cited? You can ignore people’s speculations in the story about who and what the mystery person was, but he certainly seemed to have a role in the positive outcome, even if it was just to reassure the victim that she wasn’t bereft of the help she was requesting which, in that case, was for someone to pray with her.

        4 – Everything came together harmoniously after that particular point when it wasn’t looking good beforehand. Once again, we could not have necessarily predicted any of this, it’s just what happened.

        Basically, we don’t know. We just know that something good happened that day and that we should be grateful. For those who are not religious, they can be grateful for good circumstances and helpful equipment and personnel. For those who are religious, they can do the same. In addition, they can use this event to spark further inquiry into their religious beliefs and do their best to actually live up to the highest principles they feel led to follow. Everyone can use this to bring about better outcomes in the future by working to improve the current situation, either in themselves or by helping others.

        There’s no need to slam others for expressing gratitude in their own way.

        • Kodie

          I bet he was there because he caused the accident.

          No, seriously, when you call for help and help arrives, that is the expected outcome. Why are you going on about wrong turns and stuff that could have happened to the rescue crew that would cause them to be delayed or not show up at all? Because it happened to you once?

        • rustygh

          So according to you if I’m at this type of scene and lift my right arm at the right time where everything starts to go correctly it was my right arm lifting that saved the girl? You’re nuts!

          People should be thanking the emergency responders rather then playing games about a random occurrence or fictional god.

        • Mario Strada

          For that matter, the Hubble telescope could have malfunctioned a bit ahead of the accident and start a slow drop from orbit.

          Consequently, it could have re-entered earth in such a way as not to burn completely and finally it could have fallen on the second rescue team and wipe them all out (after all Hubble is the size of a school bus).

          That was a close one, wasn’t it?

    • Don Gwinn

      It’s not that they had to show up. It’s that they did, and someone decided that God Did It instead. By that logic, the dumpster in my driveway is a miracle, because after all, no one can say that it was inevitable that the sanitation company would show up with the right equipment to place one there.
      Except, of course, that the whole reason I called the sanitation company instead of a fast-food restaurant was that it’s their job to do that, and they’re good at it. The intervention of the almighty creator of the universe is one explanation, but it’s unnecessary. You can explain it a lot more simply by saying that mutual aid arrived with proper extrication tools because that’s generally what happens when you call your mutual aid departments and ask them to bring proper extrication tools.

      • Mario Strada

        You too have a dumpster in your driveway?
        So do I! The mysteries keep accumulating….

        • Whirlwitch

          I don’t have a dumpster. I must not be favoured by God. :(

        • Don Gwinn

          I don’t claim to know what would cause two people commenting on the same blog to be using dumpsters at the same time, but one thing is for sure: there’s no way you could ever dismiss that as some kind of “coincidence.”
          What are the odds? I feel a designer’s hand behind this.

          • Kodie

            I don’t have a dumpster in my driveway but I have a relative with the same name as the accident victim.

    • Nox

      But now that it has happened we do have access to that hindsight.

      The second crew showed up. Thus suggesting that the second crew would have showed up.

    • Mario Strada

      But it has happened and it would have happened regardless of if the entire Vatican showed up at the scene.

  • QuestioningKat

    I saw this on Yahoo and was shocked at the number of people that blindly accepted the story. I should check my post to see how many thumbs down I have – or whether it is now hidden.

  • Intelligent Donkey

    Dressed in black?

    Batman.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      The GODDAMN Batman.

  • C Peterson

    If the woman doesn’t survive, are we going to see a new round of stories about the “failed miracle”? I’m guessing not…

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

      Of course no. God had special plans for her.

  • WallofSleep

    This was on the local news yesterday, and some of the emergency responders on scene claim to have taken photos of the scene, and said that the priest mysteriously disappeared from the developed photos he should have been in.

    Of course, all of this was breathlessly reported without a single hint of doubt or skepticism. Ugh, this little bit of Cali I live in.

    • Machintelligence

      Great. Now lack of proof is the proof. I guess digital cameras in every cell phone are not the panacea we were led to expect.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Before long the other magical thinkers will catch on, and we’ll be regaled with news articles like “Invisible Bigfoot Spotted!”

        • Whirlwitch

          Excuse me, I’m just going to pop out and make a lot of money before somebody else leverages this info. Would there be more interest in fairies or unicorns, do you think?

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            Naw, the paradigm has changed. Fairies became UFOs and unicorns became other cryptids. Invisible aliens, invisible spy planes, invisible socialists, these will soon become the boogeymen du jour.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Spotted? How can you tell, he’s invisible!!!

          • C.L. Honeycutt

            More evidence for his existence, silly felid! Otherwise, how would we know he is a stealthy cryptid?

      • mac

        Now??
        Dude, that’s what religious faith is. It’s not believing in something *in spite* of there being no evidence. They believe in it more *because* there’s no evidence. Zero evidence only strengthens their faith.

        • Monte

          Hey Mac, inexplicable events such as this one apparently affirm your atheism. Tell us how that works.

          • mac

            No, it actually doesn’t affirm atheism. BTW, I don’t believe it is inexplicable, it’s just not yet currently explained. It may never be (ie, we may never get the truth out of the folks who ‘saw’ this priest), but that certainly doesn’t point to a god of any kind. It doesn’t ‘not’ point to one either. It’s neutral.

            I am atheist for many reasons, but the simplest explanation to put here is that there is no actual evidence for any kind of a god.

      • EvolutionKills

        This is right up there with ‘contradictions and falsehoods in the Bible are proof of it’s authenticity!’…

  • Jason Hinchliffe

    Post crock, ergo propter crock.

    • mac

      LOL. I almost offered a correction.
      Well done.

  • Burpy

    So George Zimmerman is disguising himself as a Catholic priest now?

  • Trickster Goddess

    I think maybe the fire chief needs to be drug tested.

  • tyler

    idek if i’d say the priest is entirely without credit, though certainly not as much as the firefighters and doctors. if you’ve ever seen or been in a situation like that you know that calming down the crowd and the victims especially is majorly helpful–just another way that perfectly mortal humans can work miracles. of course, he could have just been a hallucination or some other quirk of the mind, who knows. i’m not sure i want to believe he was a real person because even though it all worked out cutting into an accident scene like that is horrifically irresponsible and could have gone badly (imagine if he’d got in the way of the firefighters or become injured himself!)

    • Monte

      “he could have just been a hallucination or some other quirk of the mind…i’m not sure i want to believe he was a real person”

      Yes, more than one person saw and heard the priest and the priest talked to the victim herself, so it stands to reason he must have just been a hallucination of some sort. It is clear a desire for peculiarly fruitless beliefs is at work here.

      • Peter

        Multiple people had the same hallucination? How often does that happen?

        • Monte

          “Multiple people had the same hallucination? How often does that happen?”

          Not sure. But anyone who claims to have witnessed a benevolent act which cannot be explained just has to be hallucinating or covering up something terrible because those are the only explanations that seem feasible. By the way, this supposed priest probably arrived on the scene looking for somebody to molest, and finding none, decided to pour some oil on a victim who needed a lot more than oil. Then he vanished. Couldn’t this dimwit see she needed a lot more than oil? If we’re of sound mind, we should be expressing outrage that the priest didn’t stay around to help with the power saw.

      • tyler

        i know it’s often used in dramas and thrillers for convoluted plot twists but group hallucinations are an actual thing. well, less the hallucination part and more the group dynamics forcing conformity thing. eye witness testimony is considered to be unreliable precisely because of the brain’s tendency to revise its own memories according to later information–it’s not even lying, really. this is testable of course, by just asking witnesses separately about the details–what color was his hair, did he wear glasses, etc–but frankly it’s not important enough for me or anyone else to really care about enough to find out.

        it strikes me though that it’s not mentioned on this page that apparently the priest didn’t show up on any of the photographs taken of the scene, which may be the reason for your overtly sarcastic tone–that is, the fact that we’re working with different information (this story’s shown up on at least four different blogs i read now, so you see how this all melds together). idek if it’s actually true or not but that’s what the rumor is. if he really doesn’t show up on film i’m pegging him for a figment of the imagination and filing it away under “nothing i particularly care about.” otherwise, average joe on the street that wanted to help fits just as well.

  • Reed Smith

    This story is getting traction with believers and non-believers alike, searching out of hope (and a little fear) for something, anything, that will affirm, or refute any “divine intervention”. I personally find this story intriguing, since I appreciate any sense of “wonder” that can come from the mundane. Regardless of belief, or not, you have to begin here, or anything that is seemingly out of the ordinary,with “Occam’s Razor”, or the most plausible explanation being the likeliest. But once that is exhausted, then “wonder” has its due.

    • Kodie

      I don’t think there was anything out of the ordinary. Something can be kind of amazing because it has a low chance of occurring, but pretty much everything that happens to you is a miracle then. It might be that you stubbed your toe. Lots of people stub their toe, but you were there when it happened to you. You might be allergic to bees. I’m not allergic to bees. I don’t really have a sense of wonder when someone has the less common condition of being allergic to bees. Coincidences are all inside the realm of possible. The chances of hitting at least one red light on the way to my job is common, and the chances of hitting them all green in one trip is probably narrow, but it could still happen. It’d be great, but it’s nothing to wonder about. In my head, I count 9 traffic lights. Probably to find them all green when I approach the intersection would take driving at a different pace at a different time of day. Plausible explanations are very difficult to exhaust, leaving little due to “wonder”. If you still don’t know another plausible explanation, and you immediately leap to supernatural causes, that is leaping to the implausiblest explanation prematurely.

      • Reed Smith

        I am not leaping to anything, and believe there are natural explanations for the “priest from nowhere”. I’m taking the story as it has been reported; I suspect more will come out on this, but if it stays consistent, and no one steps forward to say “I am that guy” then I will continue to question and wonder…as in, “who is this guy”, and “how DID he appear and leave without anyone noticing”. Both have 1000 and one possible explanations, but only a few are likely, and if those are exhausted, what then? Until they are answered, I will remain intrigued. This whole episode may be exposed for the mundane that it may be…but until then I will continue to wonder at the other possibilities, however unlikely. I haven’t given up the child in me…not yet.

        • Kodie

          I don’t really need to know the exact answer, who he was, where he came from, why he showed up quickly. I am satisfied that the answer is plausible and not that interesting. Even entertaining a “mystery” about it is not that interesting to me. It just doesn’t hold any intrigue unless you want to believe there could be something mysterious and supernatural about it. The only reason you heard about it is because it was reported on the news with invented amounts of intrigue, because he was dressed as a priest (may be a real priest) and, because he saw there was an accident, thought he might be able to help. That is something priests think they can do. He said some assuring words, and then nobody noticed (because they were busy saving the woman’s life) that he freakin’ left.

  • Guest

    Next time we should ask this priest which God he is representing so we know which correct religion to assign (1) point.

    • kpax2012

      Whoops. Didn’t mean to post this one as guest.

  • kpax2012

    Next time we should ask this priest which God he is representing so we know which correct religion to assign (1) point.

    • Emmet

      Catholic priests normally “represent” God – the God of the Bible and of Christianity. So you can go ahead with your giving out of points.

  • kpax2012

    String of coincidental events = GOD MUSTA DONE IT!. Now I get it. It’s not like the priest zapped the car open with his laser eyes while tiny angels sang praises to Jesus Christ.

    • Valcari

      Perspective. Get off your horse and gain some of it. Bigot! Realize that far more intelligent people than you have come to the conclusion that God is real. How about, instead of blindly believing what you’re taught in school you actually like those who you accuse who believe it to be a miracle and read a book. If you don’t come to a different conclusion, fine, at least you have an ounce of critical thinking in you. Stop Hating.

      • kpax2012

        “…How about, instead of blindly believing what you’re taught in school you actually like those who you accuse who believe it to be a miracle and read a book. If you don’t come to a different conclusion, fine…”

        Actually, I’ve done everything you’ve listed here and did not come to your conclusion. Sorry. And by the way, this is the “Friendly Atheist” section, not “Let’s Watch What We Say In Case A Believer Gets Mad That His Sky Daddy Might Not Be Real And We Want To Express That” section. Have a nice day.

      • Kodie

        Most people survive car accidents. Critical thinking means doing some research instead of jumping to conclusions that a bad car wreck necessarily results in death, therefore anyone who survives must have been the outcome of a miracle. I also dislike the scenarios where god could have done this or that, like swerve the other vehicle out of the way and avoiding the accident altogether. Near misses are also ridiculously common and not miracles or indicative of intervention of a deity. There is no reason to reach a conclusion that god had anything to do with this or any other sequence of events in your life or anyone else’s. If you want to criticize people for learning things at school and reprimanding them to read a book, you might have missed out on statistics courses and how to do basic research. Your gut feelings are not important and your conclusion that there is a god is not well-founded or logical. You missed the part where you thought things through and spent a moment looking it up to see if there might be a rational explanation before jumping to the conclusion that god performed a miracle.

      • C.L. Honeycutt

        Not believing in magic is bigotry now? Jesus must be so proud of you for libeling people on his behalf.

        The rest is plain gibberish. And you were raging so hard that you didn’t even manage to include enough punctuation to construct all your sentences halfway legibly.

      • EvolutionKills

        “Realize that far more intelligent people than you have come to the conclusion that God is real.”

        Call to authority? Really? How about you go to a community college Logic 101 course and come back when you’re done with that.

        I don’t care that intelligent and noteworthy individuals like Francis Crick believe in god, his belief is not enough. I find his work in genetics and the Human Genome Project compelling because it is supported by evidence and has withstood the rigors of scientific peer review (i.e. the scientific community trying it’s hardest to prove his work wrong, and failing to do so).

        Where is Crick’s work on the existence of god? One book he wrote himself where his ‘proof’ amounts to finding 3 frozen waterfalls while hiking. That’s it. No objectively verifiable evidence, no tests, no data, no research paper, no peer review, nothing. Simply put, he is not applying the same level of scientific rigor to his faith as he is to his scientific work. This is why he has received a Noble Prize for his work in genetics, and why nobody has received it for proving the existence of any god.

        Also accusing others of bigotry, while engaging in a bigoted rant yourself, is a great way to never be taken seriously.

        • dirtygreek

          Plenty of people smarter than us also once thought Jews should be exterminated.

          Poe… out!

  • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

    Of all the problems with this story, I’ve been thinking most about the unidentified priest. If he isn’t supernatural, he knows it. He knows how he came and went that day, what he did, and why. I understand why he might have initially preferred anonymity. Maybe he wanted merely to help, with no attention to himself. But then the story became something else.

    It’s not a certainty that he would know about the story, and what has been created of it. But if he does, he must surely comprehend the consequences of his ongoing silence. As a priest and, presumably, an advocate of theistic and religious supernaturalism, we might expect him to perpetuate the mystery and subsequent praise of angels and the like. A divinely intervening angel makes a more compelling case for religion than anything a human priest could ever say or do.

    Regardless of the existence of such things as deities and angels, if he isn’t actually an example of them, he shouldn’t allow others to use him as such. It’s unethical to encourage such false belief. Is his desire to remain anonymous more valuable than correcting a public led astray by a comforting fantasy?

    But maybe those people — so hasty to connect unrelated dots; so eager to see a completed image — bear the responsibility of their own poor reasoning. If the entire mystery is solved, and the priest’s illegitimate wings are clipped, the believers will make some other miracle of him. He’ll be blessed or holy or saintly or part of the hand of God. They will make something unreal of him.

    • Nox

      Isn’t leading the public astray with comforting fantasies the exact job of a priest?

      • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

        That’s a matter of perspective. What some see as direction, others see as misdirection. I doubt anyone sympathetic to the church would characterize the role of a priest that way.

        • Machintelligence
          • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

            Incredible. It’s okay for the church to “validate” a miracle, but don’t anyone else dare give a good explanation!

            Thanks for sharing that link

        • Nox

          Everything is a matter of perspective. That said, some perspectives are wrong. If the direction is objectively false, then it is misdirection, even if those being misdirected don’t feel deceived.

          As you said earlier, if this priest isn’t an angel, he presumably knows he is not an angel. If he does know that he is being called an angel it would bring up a certain ethical question. Something along the lines of “Is it right to encourage or allow people to believe something which gives them hope or makes god look better if I personally know for a fact it is not true?”.

          So how should this priest respond if he does know he is incorrectly being called an angel? If you accept the perspective that it is better for people to know an accurate record of events, there’s a predetermined answer to this question. If you accept the perspective that it is better for people to know god, there’s a slightly different predetermined answer.

          This is not the first time this kind of question has come up. The church has an answer already. His employers have consistently instructed him and his associates that it is right to lie (or lie by omission) when it serves their overall narrative. Lying to the public to support the belief in supernatural entities from catholic mythology (for those sympathetic to the church you can read this as ‘saying whatever is necessary to support these beliefs which are themselves considered a greater good’) is not outside the job of a priest. It is the first job of a priest.

          • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw m6wg4bxw

            I’m in agreement with you. The only minor objection I had was to the wording, “exact job.” Whatever the intended purpose of the role of priest (leading religious ceremonies, providing theological guidance?), it no doubt appears to be as you said.

      • Emmet

        Some atheists would say that the exact job of a priest is telling people they’re going to hell, so your snark fails here, I think. You can’t have it both ways.

        • Len

          Most atheists would probably say that the exact job of a priest is to continue the deception and keep the money rolling in.

          • Emmet

            What money? You don’t know much about the Church if you think money is “rolling in”.

  • Peter

    http://now.msn.com/mysterious-priest-performs-miracle-to-help-katie-lentz-from-car-crash

    I read through these comments and contrast them to those at the link above. Are you threatened? Cannot say, “I don’t know.”

    Whatever floats your boat.

    I read this book on my kindle and it presented many things that can make a normal person wonder; it is called Fringe-ology: How I Tried to Explain Away the Unexplainable-And Couldn’t

    http://www.amazon.com/Fringe-ology-Tried-Explain-Unexplainable-And-Couldnt/dp/0061857726/ref=cm_cr_pr_product_top

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      It’s very sad that you’re so insecure that you feel the need to search out strangers and project onto them to briefly alleviate your ongoing existential crisis. But whatever floats your boat.

      • Peter

        No crisis here.

        http://now.msn.com/mysterious-priest-performs-miracle-to-help-katie-lentz-from-car-crash

        Ok, at this other website people are posting miracle stories, like this one below. What would you friendly atheists say to this woman? Maybe her mind was playing tricks on her. Maybe she is making the story up.

        Why should you care what the firefighters believed? What will you say about this woman Katie’s testimony when she heals up?

        “Years ago,my van broke down and a man in a pick up truck pushed me into a huge parking lot and got out of his truck and opened my passenger door. When he saw I was pregnant, he said “Oh, I didn’t know you were like that!” He then proceeded to look under hood and tell me it was the such and such and it couldn’t be fixed there-I would have to go with him to get assistance. At that moment, this other man appeared and asked if he too could help. The first man quickly said “oh, let me go then ” and jumped in his truck and drove away. I turned to the second man and he said “there is no such part as he told you in an engine. I looked away to watch the truck leave and when I looked back at the second man, there was no one there…I swear to God…I stood outside my van and looked around the entire huge parking lot and there was no one there. My van easily started and I went home. Hours later, I realized what had happened and how lucky I had been. A few months later, a man fitting the description of the first guy was in the paper-he was found to be raping and killing women under the guise of fixing their cars when they wouldn’t start. That was when I realized how generous God had been – to let me go home to my 2 small children and carry my 3rd. You can all be skeptical but I know what I experienced.”

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Your post says otherwise. You came in claiming that others are insecure, but you are displaying that quality. Might want to work on it.

          The rest is irrelevant. But hey, weird how she can’t name the VERY IMPORTANT PART, how she let him in the passenger door (which makes no sense on several levels), how she couldn’t name the rapist she saw in the paper, how she never reported him to the police even after knowing who he was.

          Funny how God didn’t protect the rapist-murderer’s victims, huh? Guess they just weren’t special enough.

          • 67panda

            You need to re-read the post. It doesn’t say “she let him in the passenger door” just that he opened her passenger door. Maybe she didn’t think to lock it.Also it never says anywhere that he told her his name and if he was a rapist I doubt he did. She did however know that he fit the description and it also doesn’t say if the paper told who it was just that it gave his description. Possibly so that women could be on the look-out for him. Last how do you know she didn’t report it. She very well could have but just didn’t say so. As for God not helping his other victims, no God doesn’t save every victim of crime and we can’t answer why except that death was brought on mankind as a curse because of sin. God didn’t intend for man to die or for there to be cruelty in the world but he gave man freewill and when man sinned that is when death was brought into the world. Why God chooses to intervene at times and not others may be hard for us to understand but doesn’t make Him any less real.

          • Peter

            My post says otherwise? You can read me from just what little I wrote? As far as the insecurity of people go, a lot of religious people are insecure, yes, but now there is this story where many people thought they witnessed something, and they are simply reporting what they thought they experienced. They are not defending a religion. The case is unique in that there are several people saying this, so unless there is some conspiracy which I doubt then normal people would not rule out the possibility of something supernatural having happened, but here, insecure atheists, have a lot to say to discredit normal people who simply are reporting something they cannot explain.

            Now as far as my coming to this website write things counter to the general consensus, this is what we see all the time on other sites where people witness, atheists coming in, calling everybody ignorant, they will always be around like stink on @#$%, guaranteed. So why object when someone comes on one of your websites saying something contrary to what you believe?

            • Kodie

              A rapist picks his next victim and decides to pass because she is visibly pregnant.

              Not a miracle!

  • Aindependant

    you only question this because you fear it may be true

    • Mario Strada

      True there was a priest or true he was an angel? For starters, many first responders these days have cameras on their trucks. Where is the video of this “angel”?

      Second, let’s assume it was a priest, they do exist after all and we have proof of that, he could have just been one of the motorists driving by. Why no one noticed him? Well, because a priest at an accident could be very well ignored in the confusion, or if someone saw him, they might have thought he belonged there.

      Where did he go? Home probably, if he ever was there.
      Why isn’t he talking now? Maybe because he doesn’t have a TV or internet or maybe because this angel story makes a nicer headline than “local priest given last rites to girl”.

      While the possibility that angels exist and that this was an angel, like many other claims, cannot be completely disproven, it also cannot be proven unless the angel books an interview with the news and then flies away on giant white wings. The odds that angels exist, even if I want to be generous and put it at non-zero, are so remote as to be inconsequential. So something else happened.

      But rest assured: no one is afraid it may be true aside from yourself.

    • Pattrsn

      You don’t think it might be the shear idiocy of the story? Mystery man shows up does nothing then leaves. Must be an angel.

      • Aindependant

        What ever may have happened helped a panicked girl in need relax in a very stressful, scary situation. Therein lies the miracle.

        • Pattrsn

          Not much of a miracle, I’ve done the same myself. It’s not really that big a deal or even a skill that’s that hard to learn.

          • Aindependant

            You were hit front on in a car crash, were stuck for over an hour in pain with several broken bones, not knowing if you had any other injuries or would survive and just played it cool.

            • Pattrsn

              No you idiot, I was the one doing the angel priest thing at the scene of a horrific accident.
              Like I said its not a big deal, as an RN I calm down panicky pt’s and their families all the time at work.
              As far as miracles go this is up there with Jesus toast.

              • Aindependant

                So now you are a self proclaimed priest and angel. Sounds a bit narcissistic.

                • Pattrsn

                  So now your suddenly incapable of following the disagreement we were having. Sounds a bit moronic.

                  Anyway, goodnight idiot.

                • Aindependant

                  Once you stooped to petty name calling, the conversation had already ended. At least it only took you a few posts to get this.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  Sorry, dear Liar, but you WALKED IN insulting people. Go back and look at your first post, and then go ask Jesus why you lie about things to feel superior.

              • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/friendlyatheist/ Kevin_Of_Bangor

                Tweety Bird says:

        • Kodie

          This low standard for what comprises a miracle is not a point in your favor as to the veracity of “miracles”.

          ———————–

          The door of the car flew off! And then her open wounds closed and her broken limbs fused perfectly straight and she walked out of the car on her own!

          A person came along and talked to her and took her mind off her immediate panic and fear, and then when she had calmed down, he left.

          ———————–

          One of these is amazing and reality-defying, and the other is ordinary and happens all the time.

          • Aindependant

            She’s alive isn’t she?

            • Kodie

              That’s not a miracle either. Not everyone in a severe accident dies from their injuries. Some people die and some people don’t. Some people suffer different injuries than others, and some are more life-threatening than others. You seem to think but for the priest coming by, she certainly would have taken a turn for the worse… why does a priest need to come by for her to live? Why does that rate as a miracle? Again, like I said already, low bar! This is why people don’t take the religious seriously. Elevating statistically possible and somewhat ordinary circumstances to the status of “miracle,” i.e. “otherwise impossible,” it just makes you look really foolish and wishful. Tens of thousands of people are killed in motor vehicle accidents per year, while millions survive with injuries.

              http://www-nrd.nhtsa.dot.gov/Pubs/811552.pdf

              The miracle would have been if she died! (Based on the religious view that “lower chances=miracles”)

              • Aindependant

                If prayer is what it took to get that girl out of a horrible situation then so be it. You don’t have to believe in what the witnesses said. But, to tell them they are frauds or that they did not witness what they say they witnessed is just mean spirited. There is no proof either way. You can choose to believe or not. The best part of it is no one is forcing you to believe one way or another. It’s a great freedom we have in this country.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  You’re pretty determined to make people believe it. Thank God we have freedom from people like you.

                  You’re making up things in your third sentence by the way. Might wanna work on that.

                • Kodie

                  I’m not talking to them, I’m discussing this incident on a blog. It’s not mean-spirited to discuss the incident on a blog. It’s also not mean-spirited to point out that the low bar for what passes as a “miracle” to some people is ridiculous. It’s a great freedom we have in this country to talk about stuff on a blog and freely ridicule people who mistake an ordinary probable occurrence for an amazing example of intervention by a supernatural force. Ok, it’s a little mean-spirited to ridicule people with an unfathomable stupidity to mistake ordinary probable occurrences for the intervention of a supernatural force. You know what? I am sick of being criticized for being an atheist “with no morals” who believes in “nothing” and not having an “open mind” to believe this horseshit. It deserves to be criticized. I am a little disturbed at the news, ABC, Diane Sawyer, and Lara Spencer, and whoever else, for throwing reality out the window to portray this story as something that might actually be a fucking miracle. Come on with this shit, I mean, come the fuck on. Hard-hitting journalism promotes this shit and contributes to the problem of gullible people setting the bar so fucking low that a miracle occurs because a man talked to a woman awaiting rescue from her vehicle, and everyone saw him and he was a priest, and he carried his bottle of oil with him (like a priest fucking would if he was going to the scene of an accident), the magical fucking superstitious snake oil, and as if that had anything to do with fuck-all, put this on national news for the consumption of people who are tuning in to find out about reality.

                  People survive car accidents all the time. If she was conscious and talking while they waited for the second rescue team to arrive, I think she wasn’t in too bad of a shape. It could have taken a turn for the worse, sure, but that’s not what happened. She was scared, I believe that. She was injured, I believe that. She was eventually freed from the vehicle and didn’t die, I believe that. People who choose to believe have set the bar so low that a miracle occurred because a priest was at the scene and then he left, and she didn’t die, because she was actually rescued and brought to receive medical attention at a hospital.

                  Where is the miracle here? Why should I tiptoe around these overly sensitive people?

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Funny how quickly you changed your approach. You must be questioning yourself because you fear it may be true.

          • Aindependant

            I do believe in miracles. My response was only to get others to open their minds or at a minimum stop attacking those who do. Your words can’t shake my faith.

            • Kodie

              So you support people to leave their senses and believe that god intervenes in mundane probable events?

              You can just believe in miracles like the dope you are. Set the bar really low and believe that anything that goes right immediately after it goes so wrong is a “miracle” instead of statistically probable! That’s perfectly fine! You just want others to join you, that’s not fine. I have survived 5 car accidents (in addition to other near misses) without god or a ghost or angel or priest on scene. Your faith is based on the idea that people cannot be decent without god, you are a sick fuck.

              • Monte

                “Your faith is based on the idea that people cannot be decent without god, you are a sick fuck.”

                We are left to discern from your post whether you’ve managed to become decent without God.

                • Kodie

                  Everyone who is decent has done so without god, regardless of what they believe.

                • Monte

                  “Everyone who is decent has done so without god, regardless of what they believe.”

                  Wow, everyone? Really? And here I thought you were a careful skeptic who only accepted what is verifiable or provable. Why the double standard? Is the skepticism mainly a pose for you, then?

              • Aindependant

                It sounds like you would benefit from anger management classes. While your at it, some drivers ed might be helpful.

                • Kodie

                  You automatically assume my fault for 5 accidents? I wasn’t even the driver in 3 of them.

                  You are still a superstitious dope and now you’re guilty of thinking the worst of people.

                • Aindependant

                  So let me get this straight; you’ve cursed me out for having an opinion, you’ve called the people involved in the incident liars and i’m the one who thinks the worst of people. At least your providing me some entertainment.

                • Aindependant

                  So let me get this straight; you’ve cursed me out, called me an idiot for having an opinion, you’ve called everyone in the incident liars and yet i’m the the one who thinks the worst of people. Your negative attitude is why i made the assumption. Your writing spews it.

    • MsFreeThinker

      You don’t question it because you fear it isn’t true.

    • RobMcCune

      Gullibility makes you brave? ROFL!

    • Matt D

      That’s a laugh. I doubt outsiders will intrepret *your* visit to an Atheist website as a sign *we* are “scared”.

      • Aindependant

        You can blame CNN for the invitation to the site. Maybe not scared but definitely mean spirited people.

  • Aundrea

    A mystery man dressed as a priest just after 9am on a SUNDAY? *Gasp!* Also, one of the family members said she called the one catholic church in the area and it wasn’t their priest, but a quick Google search confirms there are at least 6 catholic churches within a reasonable distance of New London.

  • Chuck

    I’ve done this shit forever (I’m a 30 year veteran of one of the largest fire departments in the nation). This was a routine motor vehicle accident that was answered by a small town crew that lacked adequate training, lacked the proper equipment, or failed to maintain their equipment. No offense to the responders is meant because it’s probably not their fault they don’t have adequate training and/or equipment, but the fact is that they failed to do their job of victim extrication and resorted to superstitious nonsense until the professionals from Hannibal, 20 miles away showed up with the proper training and equipment to extricate the victim from the wreckage. I would love to hear what the firefighters from Hannibal have to say about this incident. Why hasn’t the media interviewed them? The Center “fire chief” (and I use that term very loosely) who allowed a priest into the working area should be offered training in the basics of Incident Command and Scene Control, as well as Vehicle and Machinery Extrication. The citizens of Center should be thankful that the professionals at the Hannibal Fire Department are willing to come assist them when there is a real emergency.

    • wombat

      My first thought in all this was ‘how the hell did some random, unknown, untrained dude get in there, and why wasn’t he chucked out?’. I’m no emergency worker, but even this layperson thought it was rather odd.

      • Kodie

        If they thought they couldn’t do anything and that she seemed like she would probably die, why wouldn’t they let a priest onto the scene? It seems like they botched things up to that point, and I can totally see people thinking what could be the harm in it. Religion gets a pass. A man in a collar wants to help, like, if he was a doctor instead, they would have let him in, wouldn’t they? It’s the superstition and the notion that religion always helps.

        • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

          Seeing how a doctor has actual, like, medical training, it makes sense to let the doctor through. The priest, unless he’s an EMT on the side, is only going to get in the way.

          • Kodie

            I’m not saying it’s the best, most practical idea, or protocol or anything. I just don’t find it implausible that they would wave him through. It makes sense to you and me to let a doctor through to help, while it seems to make equal or greater sense to a lot of freaking people to let a priest through. I am only saying I don’t find it unbelievable that they would have let a priest on the scene.

          • Monte

            “The priest, unless he’s an EMT on the side, is only going to get in the way.”

            The woman in the crash asked for everyone to pray aloud, so it is especially difficult to understand how the priest could only got in the way.

            Lots of peculiar logic in this blog: A priest ministers at the request of an ailing accident victim, and because he’s anonymous, he’s probably a child molester on-the-run and also probably a fabrication of the struggling workers. Because the priest declared the tools would work after the annointing, he is uncredible because the tools that worked were in a set that immediately arrived next on the scene. Sure glad there are people of sound mind on this board who can cast proper light on a lovely mystery.

          • Meg Sampson

            Or, perhaps an EMT crewman, hearing a woman who is possibly dying asking for prayers, allowed himself to be mistaken for a priest. Now we have how he got to the scene, through the barrier, and disappeared all in one theory.

        • wombat

          It’s a risk management thing (something I’m far too well acquainted with), or at least I would have assumed so. Having someone with no safety training in such a dangerous area is a hell of a risk. If he gets injured in any way, you’re opening yourself real wide for a lawsuit. If he does something that hinders the rescue attempts, like snagging an oxygen line or moving a vital piece of equipment, the you’re opening up to lawsuits from the victim and the victim’s family. And on top of that, he has the potential to just be in the way.

          I’ve never worked an emergency scene, but I would assume that it would be more unsafe than the supermarket departments that I’ve run health and safety for, and I sure as hell wouldn’t let some priest wander round my bakeries or butcheries.

          • Kodie

            I understand the protocol and the reasoning behind the protocol. I am saying something different. I just find it easy to believe that people in other places have different allowances for breaking that protocol. We’ve heard from several people with first-hand experience attending to accidents and accident victims as legitimate personnel of some rescue effort, be it fire or EMT or whatever, and I believe their accounts for what is proper procedure that they were taught and for what they follow as far as who can and cannot enter a scene.

            Seeing as how religion gets a pass in society, and some locales figure heavily in its trust, it doesn’t seem implausible to me that a priest, because he was a priest, was let through the barrier taping off an incident somewhere, even though it’s not officially allowed, and this case in particular. I find it easier to believe a priest was allowed where he shouldn’t have been than a conspiracy of firefighters and EMTs decided to make it up that they saw him. I am a little iffy on why not one person who says they saw him tried to get him to get back behind the tape if it’s universal protocol to keep everyone except Emergency Responders out. So he got past someone, the next few people should have enforced the rule, right?

            But if people say they saw him, they all agreed they saw him. Would they get in trouble because he was let in? There must have been dozens of people on the scene and I can less believe that they all agreed to go with a fictional account of someone being there when he wasn’t there at all. Maybe we aren’t hearing about the follow-up because this story is too feel-good, but possibly there are other responders who know it was made up and are saying so.

            This is a toss-up between supernatural and conspiracy – to me, the easiest answer is someone decided to let a priest in the barrier even though they weren’t supposed to.

            • Katie Webb

              I never would have believed it either until I moved to rural MO. lol It’s a different world out here.

        • Monte

          “It’s the superstition and the notion that religion always helps.”

          The woman asked for prayer, did she not? Really curious why you attribute superstition to what any of them, including the victim, were doing.

          • Kodie

            I attribute superstition to the account that there was a priest allowed on the scene despite the apparent rule that emergency responders are to keep everyone who is not one outside the barrier. Someone made an exception for lucky charms.

            • Emmet

              Yours is an interesting take on it. Seems to me that someone recognised that the priest offered something important and humane that the medical professionals couldn’t offer; that he was a “professional” in the sense that he could be trusted to be calm and collected; and let him through.

              Comments like yours are what get atheists given appellations such as “human toothache”. As Mark Shea would say, “unclench your sphincter”.

            • Horatio Hornblatt

              The accident victim did. She has rights you haven’t yet discovered.

  • LesterBallard

    People with a certain mindset want this kind of thing to be true, so it is true, and no amount of logic or facts or reason will ever change that. Those who try will be called bitter and angry, among other things. So . . .

  • http://itsmyworldcanthasnotyours.blogspot.com/ wmdkitty

    I haz a skeptical.

    It certainly wasn’t an angel.

    There is a possibility that, yes, a random priest did lend a hand, however there are also problems with that scenario, the most glaring issue being, “Really? Letting non-medical personnel on to the scene of an accident? That’s not standard, even if it’s a priest…”

  • Sandy Pit

    The priest doesn’t show up in the photos because he’s really a Vampire… Pretending to be a priest;)

    • trj

      Makes sense. He was probably attracted to the blood.

  • Paul (not the apostle)

    30 years ago I lived in a very rural area one mile down a logging road. My neighbors lived right by the highway. My neighbors wife called and said it looked like someone had ran out of gas by their house and she was frightened and wanted me to come down. I was dressed in a red and white nightshirt. I grabbed by rubber boots and a gas can. i drove part way down the road and then walked the rest of the way in the dark. The guy was standing by the car when I appeared out of the dark and asked. Do you need gas? Why yes he said. I poured 2 gallons of gas in his tank and he looked at me in amazement and said, “are you an angel” I said you will always wonder that and stepped off into the dark. I am sure he tells people that an angel in a red and white stripped nightshirt and rubbers boots saved him but the explanation is simple and clear once you know the facts just as I’m sure it is here

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      This? This I love.

      • EvolutionKills

        Miracles and the supernatural are just place holders for our ignorance.

  • Joe Welte

    I live near the area this occurred and have been following it through the local media and all I can say is I’m deeply concerned for the mental health of my community.

    Most perturbing thing for me was seeing people trying to determine which Saint or soon-to-be Saint was the ‘priest’!!!

  • UWIR
  • Mike Gannome

    The media needs to do more work on this story. Seems only a few people have been interviewed and they don’t seem too intelligent and they are too easily saying it’s a miracle. They need to interview the officials who were at the barricades to see if anyone there saw the priest. They need to interview the photographer to see if they remember taking pictures while the priest was there. The reports have been that the barricades were one quarter mile away and others have said three miles. Which is it? One quarter mile is not far to walk.
    Also, what was the point of the priest “miraculously” appearing? He didn’t do anything significant but say a prayer and offer words of encouragement. He didn’t change the outcome at all. He was also wrong about saying their equipment would work. It didn’t. It would be very possible for the responders not to notice him coming and going because they would be intensely focused on the girl and the car.

  • CRAPPY CHANGE

    It’d have been more believable to more people if it was The Chosen One, Obama himself, who appeared from nowhere and acted as the guardian angel.

  • ragarth

    Even if they do start claiming that the magic man in the robes with the mystic oil is a real angel that doesn’t appear in the photos, they can still show a picture of someone chatting to thin air. :-p

  • Miguel De Zayas

    The priest or the “angel” was there no matter what any skeptical analyst could argue. It’s true there are an abundance of unfairness in this world but it is also truth there is also a lack of faith too. Sometimes a single act of compasion or a mysterious “miracle” could have more effects than a million goodwill acts on the human heart. Jesus was the biggest evidence of my point.

    • ragarth

      We’re talking about an omnipotent, omniscient being, are you seriously claiming that Jesus is only capable of a finite number of good acts and therefore has to pick and choose his battles?

      Why would an omnipotent, omniscient entity have to choose the single act over the million good will acts? Why not a million and one?

    • Kodie

      People don’t really change long-term. I don’t see this event as changing the people it affected emotionally once they go back to their regular lives and stop talking about it. They’re going to continue attending accidents and doing what they’re supposed to do to try to save people’s lives, without depending on an angel or whoever to show up and “help”. Seems to me they were already religious, and religious people aren’t really better people. Religious people are shitty, judgmental, impatient people like the rest of us, and kind and loving and generous when they want to be like the rest of us.

      This isn’t a miracle. It’s actually kind of a shitty commentary on humanity that one person came forward to offer emotional assistance (if it was even true) in someone’s time of need than the millions and millions who let people go by without acknowledging them with even a smile. That’s a “miracle” to you because it almost never happens, and there, one time, it did (allegedly). You would rather see this once than millions and millions of times, and that is beautiful evidence of Jesus to you? What a shitty lord you have.

      • Monte

        “This isn’t a miracle. It’s actually kind of a shitty commentary on
        humanity that one person came forward to offer emotional assistance (if
        it was even true) in someone’s time of need than the millions and
        millions who let people go by without acknowledging them with even a
        smile.”

        Now I am really confused. Should I write this thus far mysterious event as (a) a mundane act of banal accidental benevolence made into something supernatural (and it may not have happened despite multiple eyewitness reports including, apparently, that of the victim), or (b) just one more illustration of how evil these single acts of kindness, which may not even happen, make kodie and the rest of humanity out to be? kodie seems interested in clarifying this incident, so will he please clarify his explanation?

        • Kodie

          Miguel seems to think one single act of kindness is better than millions of them, and is evidence of Jesus. His is the shitty commentary on humanity and his beliefs. We’re supposed to be reverent to scraps.

  • HeywoodJaBlowme27

    Atheists are such fucking creeps

    • Carmelita Spats

      …and Christians are intellectually inferior beings and Jews have big noses and Mexicans are wetbacks and Muslims are terrorists and Obama is a secret Muslim, and, and, and….Listen, Boy, you ain’t right and with the way you think, I’m fixin’ to guess that a buzzard shit you on a log and the sun hatched ya. Blow you? You ain’t worth the powder and fuse it would take to blow you up but I’m bettin’ yer so overstuffed you have to shit in the creek to keep from settin’ the woods on fire. Praise!

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      Poor insecure angrums. Go back to chanting your magic spells and it’ll be okay.

  • Miguel De Zayas

    I’m really sorry about the negative impact of this unexplained miracle ‘act of faith’ is already having on must atheist bloggers here… I really do. They would have felt more safe and secure without the priest factor. As long as its identity remains unknown the threat to the non-believers stays alive. God bless the man that never exists anymore…

    • 3lemenope

      I’m really sorry about the negative impact of this mundane non-event “act of faith” is having on you and other theist commenters here…I really am. You would have felt more safe and secure knowing that nobody would point out that a priest walking up to an injured person and comforting them is about as much of a miracle as water continuing to be wet is a miracle. As long as his identity remains unknown, it will be as remarkable as if we knew his name, and the threat to believers remains what it always has been, that magic is not necessary to explain “miracles” and other theist failures of understanding the really-real world. FSM bless the commenter who projects his doubt and discontent onto his adversaries…

    • Carmelita Spats

      Threat from an ordained ghost? Just keep friendly Father Fucker away from children, run him through a sex offender database, check his ID with Interpol, ask his bishop for a background check and I’m cool with his crazy-ass “apparitions”…As long as his identity remains unknown, he remains a rapid fire threat to altar boys all over the world. Altar boys feel more safe and secure away from thin-lipped priests with jumper cables. Altar boys lead dangerous lives since castration is not a prerequisite to ordination…Following in the footsteps of Origen…

      http://www.bishop-accountability.org/

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      It’s very sad that you’re so insecure about your beliefs that you feel the need to seek out people who don’t believe in magic on whom to project said insecurity.

  • Miguel De Zayas

    Oh just one last thing! The so-called priest (angel, emissary) only appeared AFTER the girl involved in the car crash ASKED for someone to pray for her… what a happy coincidence! How many injured victimes in the middle of a rescue operation ask for someone to pray with? :-D

    • 3lemenope

      How many injured victimes in the middle of a rescue operation ask for someone to pray with?

      Given the number of theists? I’m gonna go with quite a few. The fact that none of them got answers means either:

      1. your god is a fickle bastard, or
      2. it was entirely random chance that this person got the benefit of comfort while so many others have not

    • http://confessionsfromthepeanutgallery.blogspot.com/ YankeeCynic

      I’m curious, how many accidents are there where this DOESN’T happen? Where somebody trapped in the wreckage, in pain and afraid for their life, ends up without somebody coming to their aid.

      How wonderful god got off his assertion to have somebody do some hand-holding this time.

  • Monte

    “there’s no way to show that he [the priest] did anything useful…
    I have no idea who this Mystery Priest was (or how he got through the barricade, which is even more concerning…), but needless to say, the people jumping to the conclusion that he’s an angel don’t know any more than we do. The story just
    conforms to what they want to believe.”

    Talk about jumping to conclusions and getting facts to conform to what you want to believe. The woman asked for onlookers to pray aloud, and the priest appeared and prayed with her, as requested. Although she requested a variety of assistance for which a priest is especially consigned, you conclude there is no evidence the priest was useful to the woman. Apparently, however, you are thankful the priest didn’t try to do anything truly useful because you find it “concerning” he managed to get through the road barricade at all. Speaking of not jumping to conclusions, upon what evidence do you conclude the priest maneuvered through the barricade?

  • Miss_Beara

    I was in a single vehicle car accident when I was a kid on the highway. My grandma dropped something, instinctively started to pick it up and in doing so moved the steering wheel and drifted into the wall of the overpass. I couldn’t respond in time but my mom did and my grandma swerved to the left before it hit straight on. It hit the right side of the car instead and took the side mirror off. Even though it was a highway, there were no cars around when it happened but they were a few car lengths behind. Some people might say “God was watching out for you that day!” while the real reason was that we were incredibly lucky. There are too many awful things in the world to credit God for surviving a car accident that could have been worse. People are uncomfortable to think about how much luck comes into play in life.

    • Monte

      “There are too many awful things in the world to credit God for surviving a car accident that could have been worse.”

      Sorry to hear about your near-miss automobile incident and agree we attribute God to events for which we are granted free will and luckily survive despite our horrific errors in judgement. Are you arguing that because God doesn’t appear to intervene in all unjust car wrecks, it follows He must not have intervened, through this priest, in this victim’s call for help?

      Thus far, the priest’s presence at the woman’s wrecked car and his spiritual effect on her and the workers are inexplicable, which makes some people uncomfortable enough that they prefer to write the incident off and forget about it.

  • Jack Bilbee

    yeah, I guess all those rescuers were a bunch of idiotic Jesus freaks and were probably hallucinating including the dying girl, Katie Lentz, herself. No one there has discredited what has been reported yet I’m supposed to believe some unknown guy who happens to have a blog and wasn’t even there to begin with. Whoever wrote this silly garbage is really grasping at straws to discredit what happened and also conveniently forgets to mention all the pix that were taken and showed no priest in any of them? Wouldn’t be surprised if this “patheos” writer guy probably has some swampland in Florida to sell ya’ll also.

  • Robster

    Don’t angels (supposedly) have feathery wings? That would have been a giveaway.

  • horatio hornblatt

    To begin with Mr. Mehta,

    If you were looking at any of the photographs, she wasn’t “driving around in her convertible. It was a four door sedan. You’re not particularly observant.

    Next, the equipment wore out in trying to cut through the impacted metal. It was stated as such by rescue crew members. You don’t read with much comprehension.

    Receiving a sacrament from God can be salvific. This has been fortified with centuries and in fact millennia of evidence in various cases.

    The priest and the victim conversed and agreed that prayer is the answer to this horrific situation. Your only solution to disproving what happened is to find the priest and get the facts from him. Otherwise, you’ve got nothing.

  • horatio hornblatt

    Mr. Mehta drags an “expert” into the critique”

    “Libby Anne wrote up a list of questions no one else seems to be asking in the wake of this accident:

    1.) “Why didn’t God stop the wreck before it happened?”

    God has His own reasons for letting some things play through. It isn’t over yet is it? Perhaps God is giving you more time for analysis. Are you demanding instant satisfaction? This isn’t your world.

    2.) “Why don’t God send people to comfort every critically injured individual?” You mean like He did this one? Well, not all would be receptive, would they?

    3.) “Why did the girl’s improvement correlate perfectly with the arrival of a new team with new equipment?” It didn’t and does not. The girl is still improving.

    4.) “Why couldn’t God just heal her?”

    Are you suggesting He won’t? Why would you do such a thing?

    5.)”Why would God send an angel to help one critically injured woman when millions of people are starving around the world?”

    The real question here is “Why does God allow suffering?” It’s an intregral part of the human condition. While on Earth, Jesus Himself suffered. Likewise, when we want to accomplish something, we must work for it. We must go, sometimes through a learning experience, or a consequence of an error, or a period of trial and error sufferings. We live in an imperfect world with imperfect knowledge, like yours for example.

  • horatio hornblatt
  • Sal

    Why wreck a story that gives hope to others? The world is full of sad people just waiting to sneer at everything. Can’t you just wish Katie, her recovery and her experience well?

  • EvolutionKills

    Skeptical Cat is skeptical…

  • Major Nav

    Unfortunately, due to the advances in science, alloys used to make cars are becoming stronger. This is a good thing because more people are surviving accidents unharmed. But on occasion this metal gets crushed in such a way that you have to be cut out. In response to this rare occurrence, cities and counties have to buy heavier duty equipment that is very expensive. So expensive that they can’t be placed on every response vehicle. So it is not unusual to have to wait for equipment to arrive.
    If, while waiting, a good samaritan happens to arrive that just may calm the trapped, all the better. No need to scream “miracle” for an everyday occurence.
    Any good magician or anyone who has taken Psychology 101 can tell you why no one was focused on the mystery visitor. By the way, have you ever seen a priest denied entrance to an accident scene to administer last rights. Again, no mystery how he got past the barrier.
    Occam was a frigging genius.

  • Matt

    Dear author, I will help you answer all of your questions:
    Why didn’t God stop the wreck before it happened?
    A: Maybe he has some purpose that is beyond your scope of understanding. Stopping a wreck before it happens doesn’t really do much to send a message to a fallen world full of people who use their free-will to sit around and lie, cheat, steal and look at internet porn now does it?

    Why don’t God send people to comfort every critically injured individual?
    A: Maybe God is not an egalitarian like you are. Maybe this is the great grand mother of the next Oscar Schindler or Mother Theresa; and He thought it worth while to intervene in a super-natural way in this particular instance.

    Why did the girl’s improvement correlate perfectly with the arrival of a new team with new equipment?
    A: I’m not sure how this relates to anything? You think the arival of a new team and a new Jaws of Life would make her vital signs impove? Maybe I dont’ understand this question clearly (sorry).

    Why couldn’t God just heal her?
    A:If he “just healed her”, then you would have claimed there were no injuries that were actually present at the time. Sort of like skeptics do anytime anyone ever claims they were healed. You’d merely call her a liar; or claim she was just emotionally distressed and that the trauma caused her to think she was in critical condition, but she probably really wasn’t.

    Why would God send an angel to help one critically injured woman when millions of people are starving around the world?
    A: Really just a re-woreded question of the second above. You’re just replacing “critically injured” with “starving”

  • Brandi Mastain

    What amazes me is, that people must think that the fire department has NOTHING better to do then to make up a story about a priest. Are your for real? This happened to them, and they said….if you are the priest that stopped by, please contact us so we can thank you.
    They were mystified by the details, and yet, you all think they sat and concocted a story…just to make the news. Come on.

    Why do I believe this happened? I find it hard that firefighters want to put their reputation on the line, to gain some attention. Yep they have nothing else to do with their time.

  • Luke

    I fail to see why this has got your knickers in a twist, the girl was obviously a believer, the priest simply comforted her more emotional side, easing her fear in a rather traumatic situation. I’m not a believer, but if I was in a crash and a sophist like character turned up to calm me down, I’d see him/her worthy of some credit.

  • Horatio Hornblatt

    I answered all of Libby Anne’s questions and posted them, but they have been deleted from the board [presumably by the author.]

    Also, Mr. Mehta, the girl wasn’t “driving around in her convertible” as you state. Anyone can see in the pictures it was a 4 door sedan and she was headed to Church. How many other facts did you trifle with? It seems plenty.

    • http://squeakysoapbox.com/ Rich Wilson

      pinning the 19-year-old in the front seat of her convertible

      http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/headlines/2013/08/mystery-priest-vanishes-after-anointing-crash-victim/

      I did look at the pictures. I see no sign of a roof on that car. At least one of the videos in the playlist says the same thing.

      As for where she was going, I don’t know or know that it matters.

      The priest doesn’t belong on that list. If you think he does, he has to come with an asterisk because there’s no way to show that he did anything useful.

      I will disagree with Hemant here. The video says she asked for prayer, and I think it’s safe to say it probably reduced her stress, which can’t hurt.

      My objection is that knowing how many Christians act like they know what’s good for everyone else, had they not been able to determine that she wanted someone to “anoint and absolve her” they may very well have gone ahead anyway. If they had, that would be objectionable.

  • Tselin Nyai

    If God stopped all bad things, you and I would be immortal. Study this well, it’s a clue.

  • Tselin Nyai

    It is now known who the priest is.
    Due to the religion of Atheism rising out of the modernist – industrial use of the Protestant Ethic, just move along sinner, nothing to see here.

  • Horatio Hornblatt
  • Hope for you all

    I just pray for you. It must be very hard to look for the “bad” and not the good all of the time.

  • Christian A believer in Jesus

    Well, it seems that I should try to say something here. If there was a miracle, it was Jesus who brought it about, not a Roman Catholic Priest. Katie had asked for people to pray out loud for her, and it seems that none of the rescue workers or anyone else were able to pray out loud. A Priest said he wanted to pray out loud with her. Katie is not a Roman Catholic. Her church in Quincy, IL reads to be part of the Pentecostal Church. This type of church prays out loud and speaks in tongues. The miracles of Jesus is free to anyone who asks and believes. Prayers for healing whenever people are ready.


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