Every time a religious nitwit says something stupid, you turn around and another one has topped him. The head of the Catholic Church in Australia, Cardinal Pell, endorses cancer quackery.
“Yes obviously (cancer can be cured by prayer),” Cardinal Pell told ABC Television on Monday.
“And there are quite a number of examples in the books.”
Cardinal Pell says that won’t give sick people a false sense of security because they realise cure by prayer is a “very long shot”.
Obviously not. There are no mechanisms, there are no data, only biased anecdotes from pious delusionists. There aren’t any sensible examples on the books. These stories are easy to find, and they always have the same trajectory: person is diagnosed with cancer, they pray and pray and pray while getting the best medical treatment possible, and then if they get better, all the credit goes to the prayers. For example, Angela had throat cancer, and had several rounds of increasingly aggressive chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant, and when the disease goes into remission, who is responsible? A dentist she visited who believed in angels!
I’d really like to know why Pell thinks prayer is a long shot, though. Is god busy? Does he dislike some people? Does it only work for good Catholics? Is there a certain secret magic wiggle you have to do during the prayer for it to be effective? Or is it just that he knows deep down that all these cures are are rare fortunate chance events that the Catholics take advantage of to steal credit?