Media Release – Atheist Foundation of Australia:
Atheist Foundation of Australia President David Nicholls today called for reason to prevail in the frenzy leading up to the canonisation of Mary MacKillop and asks that governments and individuals re-direct the money being spent on trips to Rome towards cancer research and financial support for cancer sufferers.
“The amount of money that is being spent by individuals and governments on a ceremony to acknowledge a person who had been dead for 50 years before she supposedly ‘cured’ someone of cancer, is staggering and completely inappropriate,” he said.
Pope Benedict XVI recently announced that Melbourne-born nun Mary MacKillop would be canonised on October 17 after the Vatican agreed that she had been the cause of two miracles—allegedly curing a woman of Leukaemia in 1961 and NSW grandmother Kathleen Evans of lung and brain cancer in 1993.
“It must be an embarrassment to many members of the Catholic Church that this kind of mumbo jumbo is accepted as reasonable in an age where people are cured of cancer every day, and many cancers go into remission for no discernable reason. This does not mean there is no reason, only that the reason is unknown. What will the RC Church say when science discovers the reason?” said David Nicholls.
“It is important to remember that the rules and processes for identifying a saint are not based in science. Science does not state that because we do not know, a god did it.”
“The fact that this is taken seriously by anyone is a big concern for modern society. It is not only holding up myth and fairytale over commonsense and science, but it is showing such a misguided prioritisation of taxpayer’s money and time.”
“One has to wonder at the selection process for curing very ill patients. Why are two people saved and thousands not. Do they have less valuable lives in the eyes of a heartless god?”
“Of course it is wonderful that these people experienced a reprieve from a terrible disease, but just because their recovery seemed unlikely, does not make it the work of a long dead nun and an omniscient being.”
“I call on everyone touched by these people’s stories to focus their attention on helping other victims of cancer and their families, not on witnessing an event that is based on a fairytale concocted by the Catholic Church,” he said.