Pharyngula

Apparitions and distractions

Lawrence Murphy was an evil man. He was a Wisconsin priest who molested over 200 boys, and just to make the story particularly deplorable, they were deaf children. Preying on the weakest and most vulnerable was apparently his life’s mission. Furthermore, this was the scandalous case that was reported directly to then Cardinal Ratzinger in his role as the Vatican enforcer; his enforcement involved shuffling the guilty around to hide their crimes and give them fresh opportunities in new hunting grounds.

Well, the Vatican has finally found it in its black (but gold-plated!) and shriveled husk of a heart to do something for Wisconsin: they’ve blessed a ghost sighting as genuine. Woo hoo! That’ll fix everything right up!

The church has declared that a sighting in 1859 of a blond Mary hovering between two trees was real and worthy, and the local Catholic church is now busily expanding their parking lot to cope with the expected influx of gullible suckers pilgrims who will flock to the site to imagine a floating cheerleader for Jesus.

i-036d050127aeff19c8e8ed51b91bd1d5-blondmary.jpeg

It’s a funny story, too. A Belgian immigrant, Adele, claimed to see this:

As they approached the hallowed spot, Adele could see the beautiful lady, clothed in dazzling white, with a yellow sash around her waist. Her dress fell to her feet in graceful folds. She had a crown of stars around her head, and her long, golden, wavy hair fell loosely around her shoulders. Such a heavenly light shone around her that Adele could hardly look back at her sweet face.

You know what really made it miraculous? Adele was accompanied by two other women, who couldn’t see or hear the floating lady.

” ‘Adele, who is it?” said one of the women. ‘O why can’t we see her as you do?’ said another weeping.

” ‘Kneel,’ said Adele, ‘the Lady says she is the Queen of Heaven.’ Our Blessed Lady turned, looked kindly at them, and said, ‘Blessed are they that believe without seeing. What are you doing here in idleness…while your companions are working in the vineyard of my Son?’”

That settles it. It must have been a magical manifestation if it was invisible. Invisible and blond, just like I always imagined a Middle Eastern Semitic peasant woman. And the statement that you’re blessed if you believe without seeing is pitch-perfect Catholicism.

Another funny thing is that the priests are obviously uncomfortably aware that this all sounds like rather convenient timing.

Catholic leaders described the decree in Wisconsin as a bolt of joy at a trying time for the Catholic church, which is troubled by revelations of sex abuse.

“This is a gift to the believers,” said the Rev. Johann Roten, director of the International Marian Research Institute at the University of Dayton.

“It would be devious to say that this was somehow pulled out of the attic to exorcise the problems of the church today,” Father Roten said in a telephone interview. “But hopefully this will have a beneficial impact on the people, showing them that there are ways of living with faith that are very pure.”

Yeah, how?

Never mind that! We’ve got child-raping priests! This calls for an immediate distraction in the form of invisible blond women, bugger the blatant nature of the ploy, and pass out the platitudes!