Terminal illness such as cancer can be cured by prayer, the head of the Catholic Church in Australia says.
But Catholic Archbishop of Sydney Cardinal George Pell admits such cures, like the miracle attributed to Mary MacKillop, is obviously rare.
“Yes obviously (cancer can be cured by prayer),” Cardinal Pell told ABC Television on Monday.
“And there are quite a number of examples in the books.”
Cardinal Pell says that won’t give sick people a false sense of security because they realise cure by prayer is a “very long shot”.
The Vatican has recognised Mother Mary’s role in the healing a woman with inoperable cancer during the mid 1990s after she prayed to Mother Mary.
It is the second miracle attributed to Mary MacKillop, who is set to become the nation’s first Saint, 100 years after her death.
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Oh really? Prayer? This is big news indeed… but wait. Who is this woman whose throat cancer was cured by prayer? Her name is Angela Szczepanski, and she writes,
My chemotherapy treatments started July 13, l995. Within one week of my first treatment, I could talk, eat, work and smile. I knew everything would be fine.
Maybe it’s just me not being properly awe struck by a catholic archbishop’s assertion as if it must therefore be fact, but doesn’t this quote by Angela sound suspiciously like a medical intervention? Might it, rather than prayer, be the actual cure? Apparently not, because the cancer returned in spite of Angela’s certainty that she was cured.
The chemotherapy didn’t seem to do much good so, along with radiotherapy, the doctors recommended a bone marrow transplant.
Again, this sounds to me – dullard that I am in the face of claims of supernatural miracles – like another medical intervention. And this time, it seems to have worked, although Angela attributes her survival to the faith exhibited by a devout dentist.
What appears miraculous to me is the gullibility of people who want to attribute effect to a preferred cause, especially a supernatural cause. Although that cause may indeed be true, it seems to me to be more prudent, more HONEST, to first attribute the probable effect to medical procedures that have been shown to have efficacy rather than be so willing to dismiss what is for what might be.
Would Angela have survived her cancer if all she did was pray? There is an awful lot of evidence to suggest that prayer alone does not cure medical conditions (although it may drive away certain mythical demonic possessions according to very biased sources like the catholic church who graduates several hundred ‘highly trained’ exorcists a year). Angela’s story in no way, shape, or form, offers any counter evidence whatsoever to the fact that prayer alone heals nothing.
What bothers me the most about this story is how quickly the archbishop – supposedly an educated person with critical if somewhat rusty faculties at his disposal – is so quick to state with false certainty that prayer heals cancer. That’s a bald-faced lie and he knows it, but hey, what’s another theft of truth in service of his god?