Catholic Church: turning ignorance into a trophy.

The Catholic Church is getting ready to declare a new saint.  Apparently a child got sick and then got well again.  When doctors admit they couldn’t explain it even with the fullness of modern technology at their side, the Church rushed in to declare they did know how it happened: a woman many decades dead used magic.

In 1998, Luke had just completed one day of preschool when he fell ill with a severe gastrointestinal condition his doctors couldn’t relieve or even diagnose.

He suffered for six months. He experienced violent episodes of diarrhea eight to 10 times a day, Jan Burgie said.

Luke couldn’t go to school. He stopped growing, his mother said. He was wasting away. And his doctors were at a complete loss. They began to suspect a tumor in his colon.

“He was the sickest child or person I’d ever been around,” Burgie said.

But the test was never conducted because the illness vanished suddenly on Feb. 22, 1999, just as two members of Bonzel’s order finished praying a novena. Sister Margaret Mary Preister and the late Sister Evangeline Spenner had just recited a series of prayers over nine straight days asking Mother Bonzel, who died in 1905, to intercede for Luke.

Doctors couldn’t explain Luke’s sudden recovery, and the Vatican machinery for investigating alleged miracles began to churn.

While the rest of humanity is busy carving away at humanity’s ignorance, for underneath it lies advances like medicine, it is quite telling how religions (and particularly the Catholic Church) find their only victories there – not because of what they know, but because of the humility to admit as much from everybody else.

And why does the magic Catholic lady get the credit but the god who conceived of illness gets none of the blame?  Even if god really did cure this one middle class boy (which is silly), praising the same god who made him and billions of others sick for laying off one child out of millions is like canonizing a slave owner in the antebellum South as a saint worthy of our worship/admiration because he stopped beating one of them.

Catholics, if you believe this, you should be ashamed.  And don’t accuse me of disrespecting you: I’m the one insisting that you can do, and should do, better.  The Catholic Church is the one counting on you to be gullible enough to believe that because our understanding of medicine is incomplete that the RCC gets credit without even taking the kid’s temperature.  They’re depending on the existence of lazy thinkers and I just wish more of you would start disappointing them.

This is relevant:

  • Nate Frein

    Of course, it can’t possibly be that that modern medicine kept the boy alive long enough for his body to figure out how to fight the virus.

    Nope. Gotta be magic.

  • Azkyroth

    canonizing a slave owner in the antebellum South as a saint worthy of our worship/admiration because he stopped beating one of them.

    Don’t give the church ideas.

  • Rain

    it is quite telling how religions (and particularly the Catholic Church) find their only victories there – not because of what they know, but because of the humility to admit as much from everybody else.

    Yes that’s right. Admitting a lack of complete knowledge is a sign of weakness for religion to pounce on. It’s a hole for religion to jump into. It’s the “nanner-nanner boo-boo” of religious opportunism. Don’t know why the universe exists? Well nanner-nanner boo-boo! I’m jumping right in that hole! *sticks tongue out at science*

  • Glodson

    Hey, I posted the same song in response!

    Anyways, yea, the “a miracle” happened is weak. Why this one boy? Why this one time? Why not all the other children? What about the kids dying of cancer? What about the millions of other children suffering that could be saved?

    Or, we can just say it was the good god of the Church that saved this one child but ran short of fucks to give about all the other suffering in the world.

    • http://smingleigh.wordpress.com Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant)

      Today’s busy God-on-the-go can’t afford to heal everyone, so He has to prioritize. It’s all about getting tithers’ believers’ asses on pews, so you go for the maximum bang for your buck. Healing some poor sap in Africa is pitifully easy when you’re omnipotent, but the return on even such a negligible investment simply doesn’t work out as optimal in the long run. I mean, why play in the bush leagues when you can win the Super Bowl with a royal flush? Checkmate.

      What you’ve got to do is pick some poor (but photogenic) schmuck in an affluent country with a media obsessed with trivialities, then afflict the schmuck with something incurable. Let him languish for a while in agony for a while as doctors watch helplessly and just try to ease the suffering. Then swoop in and cure it. Tip off the media, and send a word to the Head of PR in Rome to talk it up, get on the late night chat shows, maybe get a book deal. Bada bing, bada boom. Asses on pews go up, revenue goes up, profits go up, and we don’t have to foreclose on this world for another few years.

      Now there’s a cure worth doing.

  • Art Vandelay

    I think the most important thing to recognize is that by virtue of their completely arbitrary method for declaring acts of medicine as miracles, how many completely ignorant and superstitious people are they condemning to suffering and death as they cite these examples to eschew medicine for prayer?

  • Mike

    “the Church rushed in to declare they did know how it happened”

    I’m not sure an investigation lasting 14 years is exactly “rushing in,” but perhaps we’re talking in geological terms.

  • IslandBrewer

    Feb. 22, 1999? That’s when I brewed my first batch of barley wine! I made this kid get better!


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