A brave woman from Virginia says she was sexually assaulted by a Catholic priest who was carrying out an “exorcism” on her. But despite the tough time she must have had, she is getting even with the Catholic church.
Jane Doe (her identity is being protected) is rightly suing
the Catholic Diocese of Arlington, its bishop Paul Loverde who I should mention isn't the roving handed priest, and pro-life group Human Life International which hired the offender.
Allegedly, Jane Doe asked Rev. Thomas Euteneuer, to perform an exorcism on her. Over two years, she allowed him to clear her of “unclean spirits.”
The exorcisms allegedly led to disgusting behaviour on the priests part according to reports in the media:
'He kissed the corners of her mouth; stroked her legs, breasts and thighs; caressed her face; laid his body on top of hers; and frequently explained full, passionate kisses as ‘blowing the Holy Spirit into her.’
Jane Doe came to realize that the conduct was inappropriate and so she complained to the diocese, and Euteneuer resigned from his post at HLI and was recalled to the Diocese of Palm Beach.
This move to Palm Beach was done without shame. Simply put, the church found out about the allegations and instead of investigating it they chucked him far to one side in another state entirely. Disgusting behaviour. Let's hope that a full investigation is served for Jane.
Basically, and I shouldn't be surprised, prayer has found many homes on the big old web. Prayabout.com and ipraytoday.com have joined toll-free telephone services that give believers an opportunity to ask others to pray for them.
These sites vary by religion and share a notion that if more people pray for a cause, it has a better chance of actually happening. This I find a little confusing, does it mean that one person praying is not as important to god?
Having found reports of these websites in the New York Times who wrote that one of the religious users had said "Please pray for me for my financial accounting 2 exam. This is my 3rd attempt on this paper and I pray that the Lord will grant me wisdom and a clear mind.”
Norman Vincent Peale, the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking,” has influenced one such website but that site does not display responses to prayer requests, but users can contact each other directly.
Having others pray for you is known in these online communities as intercessionary prayer. It isn't new however.
Back in 1890, the Unity Church, a Christian church, began offering a 'prayer-by-mail service' whereby anyone could write asking for church members to pray for them. Later in 1907, the same church began to branch out and started offering the prayer service by phone. As recently as 1998, Unity began its Web site.
When people phone Unity Church, a 'prayer associate' takes their first name and what the person would like to pray for. After a brief shared moment of silence, the prayer associate says the prayer aloud.
In an amazing piece of arrogance, the Vice President of the church told media four ago in an interview the following; “We answer the call and God answers the prayers,”
“We want to remind those who contact us that God is the answer, and that answer is within them, that divine presence is within them.”
Unity takes in a staggering two million prayer requests a year of which 1.3 million come along by telephone, 500,000 by mail and 200,000 through the Internet.
But, Atheists have, according to the owners of these websites, have attacked the system. Many within these organisations claim that atheists are exploiting the websites to force the atheist message that God doesn't exist. As an Atheist myself, I wouldn't go with the description of attacked, rather dismissed such practices.
The Web site Godisimaginary.com urges atheists to spread the word by posting links to Godisimaginary on forums, blogs and news groups and these links have been found on the prayer websites from time to time.
Scientists have also commented on the websites. Wendy Cadge, a sociologist at Brandeis, wrote a forthcoming article for the Journal of Religion surveying 18 clinical studies, some dating back to 1965, on the power of intercessionary prayer to heal people.
“Most of the larger, more scientifically designed studies have found that intercessionary prayer, prayer by strangers at a distance, does not make people better faster,” she said.
But we don't need science to tell us that.