Hospital Chaplain was out of line
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31-05-2016, 08:28 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
(31-05-2016 04:12 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  I had some sad news over the weekend. An aunt of mine has been hospitalised for the past few weeks following a stroke but last week had a further massive stroke and is not expected to live much longer.

She can no longer open her eyes or speak but is evidently able to hear. My mother and my cousin (my aunt's daughter) visited her on Sunday and my aunt was able to squeeze her hand to indicate that she could hear them talking to her.

Some years ago my aunt apparently told her daughter that she didn't want any ministers of religion anywhere near her if she was dying. She made it plain that she did not believe in any god or afterlife and that she wanted no prayers or any other incantations.

So while my mum and cousin are sitting at her bedside in walks this hospital chaplain. A few pleasantries are exchanged and he asks about my aunt's condition, then without a by-your-leave, he moves towards my aunt, places his hand on her forehead and recites a prayer. My cousin - already in an emotional state, looked on with disbelief. My mum who was unaware if my aunt's wishes, wondered why my cousin was becoming so upset at this man and asked him to leave. It was only afterwards that she found out why my cousin was so upset.

Why do some christians - and christian clergymen in particular - have this sense of entitlement? I live in the UK, a largely secular country where christians are probably now a minority along with all the other religions. And yet we still see this arrogant and upsetting behaviour.

I was appalled at the actions of this man.

Probably because most individuals the chaplain deals with take no issue with it, and perhaps welcome it, that your cousins reactions might have appeared out of the ordinary. It's perhaps been a customary thing he has routinely done, over and over again, without much protests by others.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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31-05-2016, 08:32 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
(31-05-2016 08:28 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(31-05-2016 04:12 AM)Silly Deity Wrote:  I had some sad news over the weekend. An aunt of mine has been hospitalised for the past few weeks following a stroke but last week had a further massive stroke and is not expected to live much longer.

She can no longer open her eyes or speak but is evidently able to hear. My mother and my cousin (my aunt's daughter) visited her on Sunday and my aunt was able to squeeze her hand to indicate that she could hear them talking to her.

Some years ago my aunt apparently told her daughter that she didn't want any ministers of religion anywhere near her if she was dying. She made it plain that she did not believe in any god or afterlife and that she wanted no prayers or any other incantations.

So while my mum and cousin are sitting at her bedside in walks this hospital chaplain. A few pleasantries are exchanged and he asks about my aunt's condition, then without a by-your-leave, he moves towards my aunt, places his hand on her forehead and recites a prayer. My cousin - already in an emotional state, looked on with disbelief. My mum who was unaware if my aunt's wishes, wondered why my cousin was becoming so upset at this man and asked him to leave. It was only afterwards that she found out why my cousin was so upset.

Why do some christians - and christian clergymen in particular - have this sense of entitlement? I live in the UK, a largely secular country where christians are probably now a minority along with all the other religions. And yet we still see this arrogant and upsetting behaviour.

I was appalled at the actions of this man.

Probably because most individuals the chaplain deals with take no issue with it, and perhaps welcome it, that your cousins reactions might have appeared out of the ordinary. It's perhaps been a customary thing he has routinely done, over and over again, without much protests by others.

Isn't that the definition of presumption?
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31-05-2016, 08:37 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
That was out of line I agree. I've not seen this kind of behavior thankfully here, although It is rare that somebody in our family dies at the hospital. All of my encounters with hospital chaplains have been very respectful and deferential. They seemed keen to want to know what WE needed.
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31-05-2016, 08:38 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
(31-05-2016 08:32 AM)pablo Wrote:  Isn't that the definition of presumption?

Judging that there was a chaplain at the hospital, making rounds, it does appear to be a Catholic/Christian Hospital. Someone startled that a chaplain came by to pray for the patient, shouldn't have been surprised.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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31-05-2016, 08:41 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
IF you read the thread you would note that it was indeed a secular hospital. Chaplains are there too, to offer comfort to those who want it.
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31-05-2016, 08:41 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
(31-05-2016 08:38 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  
(31-05-2016 08:32 AM)pablo Wrote:  Isn't that the definition of presumption?

Judging that there was a chaplain at the hospital, making rounds, it does appear to be a Catholic/Christian Hospital. Someone startled that a chaplain came by to pray for the patient, shouldn't have been surprised.


The OP said "This was a secular hospital in the UK...".

Still a master of reading comprehension, I see. Dodgy

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31-05-2016, 08:49 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
(31-05-2016 08:41 AM)Chas Wrote:  
(31-05-2016 08:38 AM)Tomasia Wrote:  Judging that there was a chaplain at the hospital, making rounds, it does appear to be a Catholic/Christian Hospital. Someone startled that a chaplain came by to pray for the patient, shouldn't have been surprised.


The OP said "This was a secular hospital in the UK...".

Still a master of reading comprehension, I see. Dodgy

Yes, I just noted that in one of his subsequent posts, so i stand corrected. I guess it works differently in the US and UK, when it comes to chaplains making rounds.

"Tell me, muse, of the storyteller who has been thrust to the edge of the world, both an infant and an ancient, and through him reveal everyman." ---Homer the aged poet.

"In Him was life, and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it."
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31-05-2016, 09:01 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
Sorry to hear about your aunt. I have never had to deal with anything like that, but it is probably just as common as the "I'll pray for you" response christians always give. A human need to feel like they are doing something meaningful and helpful that requires no actual effort on their part. I think that is the way I see the religious entitlement in this scenario, they clearly believe that they have access to special powers and that it is their prayer that will do the trick, because they are "special" and their god will listen to them. I'm glad your cousin said something, hopefully it will at least make him realize that his actions could be deemed offensive in the future. That has probably never happened to him before.

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31-05-2016, 09:05 AM
RE: Hospital Chaplain was out of line
(31-05-2016 09:01 AM)TheBeardedDude Wrote:  Sorry to hear about your aunt. I have never had to deal with anything like that, but it is probably just as common as the "I'll pray for you" response christians always give. A human need to feel like they are doing something meaningful and helpful that requires no actual effort on their part. I think that is the way I see the religious entitlement in this scenario, they clearly believe that they have access to special powers and that it is their prayer that will do the trick, because they are "special" and their god will listen to them. I'm glad your cousin said something, hopefully it will at least make him realize that his actions could be deemed offensive in the future. That has probably never happened to him before.
That's one take on the "I'll pray" concept. Another is, some have never really examined the emotions and the needs of people in grief, and really have no clue what to say. It is the easy dodge when confronted with real things.
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