The Great Courses

Medicine, Miracles And The Mystery Priest

Aug 11, 2013 at 8:39 AM
5 years ago

Everyone keeps asking me to weigh in on the mysterious "priest" story which seems to be on everyone's lips.  The news site KHQA even stated that  "rescue workers want to thank a higher power for coming to the rescue on Sunday morning."

Here's the short version of the story:

19-year-old Katie Lenz was in a terrible head-on collision.  The car was crushed, and emergency crews spent 90 minutes trying to get her out of the wreckage. 

vehicle crash site


An hour into the rescue effort, Katie apparently asked rescue workers to pray out loud on her behalf.  Then (cue harp strum), a mysterious priest appeared out of nowhere, walked up and offered a prayer.  It was a Catholic priest (who even had anointing oil handy!). 

Right after the prayer, the Hannibal Fire Department arrived and finished the extrication.  Katie was whisked into an Air Evac helicopter and carted off to the hospital. 

But when the remaining workers turned to thank the priest, HE HAD VANISHED!  Sites like ABC News immediately posted headlines like, "Mystery Priest Vanishes After Anointing Crash Victim."  

The faithful proclaim it a miracle, and the search continues for the mysterious priest who saved the day.

Except.  The priest didn't save the day.  The priest did nothing but say a few calming words and dab some liquid on the trapped body of an accident victim. 

Where was the priest a few moments before the crash, tapping Katie on the shoulder to warn her that a car would soon cross the center line and smash her body to pulp?  If he was indeed a conduit for God's hand, why did he not simply peel back the crushed car door like tissue?  Why did he disappear afterward instead of remaining to proclaim God's power and message? 

And ultimately, why is the entire nation obsessing over a conjurer of magic and ignoring the other men and women who brought years of training, a host of cutting and extrication tools, life-saving medicine and the almost two hours of efforts to keep the car from becoming her tomb?  Had the rescue workers been removed from the situation, leaving only Father Guido Sarducci and his magic oil, Katie Lenz would still be pinned under the steering wheel of a crushed automobile, and she would be, most certainly, dead.

To the tireless people of the fire, rescue and medical community, I thank you.

Dear Planet USA.  If God exists, he allowed the accident and chose not to prevent Katie's crushed legs, broken wrist, broken ribs, cuts and bruises.  He also ignores the 40,000 others who do not survive crashes like this every year.  And finally, he chooses to play "Where's Waldo" with his miracle, undoubtedly chuckling to himself as the sheeple seek to find a Catholic Priest whose fame didn't come from the abuse of power, the big business of religion or the sexual abuse of young and innocent children.

-Seth Andrews

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