Tuesday, February 14, 2006
The Exorcist finds vague solace in the occasional media piece that casts the Catholic priest in a favorable light.
Two such articles caught my attention over the past few days.
1. The story of Father Andrea Santoro, a 60 year old priest of the Diocese of Rome serving as a missionary in Turkey. He had recently been transferred from the town of Urfa, on the border with Syria, where there is no Christian population, to Trabzon on the Black Sea where he ministered to a Catholic community of 15 people.
Kneeling in prayer in St. Mary's church, the Capuchin parish that was entrusted to his care, he was shot twice in the back at point blank range by a 16 year old Muslim youth apparently distraught over the Mohammad cartoon controversy.
Many testimonies have surfaced, by Christians and Muslims alike, recognizing the stature and healing presence of Fr. Santoro. This is the type of man on whom the salvation of humanity ultimately depends.
2. The same day that Fr. Santoro was murdered, the Boston Globe ran a story about a local miracle worker, Father Patrick J. Power. An orphan at four years of age, he was sent to Massachusetts from Ireland to live with an older brother. He entered the seminary at Laval University in Quebec and was ordained a priest in Boston in 1867. At his first parish assignment, in Chicopee, Fr. Power contracted pneumonia and died, a little over a year after his ordination.
He is buried at Holy Cross Cemetery in Malden. By 1929 over one million pilgrims and miracle seekers had visited his grave. To this day there is an endless stream of visitors who leave letters of thanks, petitions, photos and other symbols of their personal world on the site of the good Father's resting place. He was young, joyful, caring and holy and people still flock to him.
See that? All the complaints about the media bias against Catholic priests is pure nonsense.
If you're a good priest, you can still make the papers.
As long as you're dead.
The Exorcist has found something to look forward to.