A Catholic priest forgot how to count. Now the Church is celebrating a "Eucharistic miracle."
Inanimate wafers do not reproduce on their own. Try telling that to the Catholic Church.
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A miracle supposedly occurred a few months ago at St. Thomas Church in Thomaston, Connecticut.
You might have missed it. That’s because there’s no video of the supposed incident… or any proof that it happened. But something definitely happened and we know because Rev. Joseph Crowley said as much during the March 5 service:
“We had something happen,” he told the congregation.
That “something” is that a bowl of communion wafers—which Catholics believe are literally the body of Christ after being consecrated—never ran low even though members of the congregation were receiving their portions.
That’s it. It’s the equivalent of thinking you have an actual bottomless bowl of tortilla chips during a Super Bowl party… but less tasty.
And it’s now being investigated as a legitimate “Eucharistic miracle”:
The possibility that the receptacle may have refilled itself during a March 5 service has kindled fascination among the faithful. It has also inspired the Archdiocese of Hartford to launch an investigation, which has since been sent to the highest echelons of the church hierarchy for review. If the Vatican finds that the reported increase in Communion hosts defies rational or scientific explanation, the conclusion could bolster Catholics’ belief in the teaching that the sacramental wafers literally become Jesus.
In a video from the March 5, 2023 service, you can even see Father Crowley reacting to the surprise:
… Very powerful. Very awesome. Very real. Very shocking. But also, it happens. It happens. And today, it happened. Where they were running out of hosts and, all of a sudden, more hosts just were there.
So today, not only do we have the miracle of the Eucharist, we actually had a bigger miracle. It's pretty cool.
He also said it was on tape, though good luck finding that video anywhere.
The following week, he delivered a follow-up sermon with more background on what happened… but never once did he suggest the possibility of a natural explanation.
The Archdiocese later offered even more details:
The minister continued to distribute the hosts to some “100, 150 people in the congregation,” after which “there was the same amount, if not more hosts” in the ciborium, said Father Crowley, who had celebrated the March 5 liturgy. “What happened is Our Lord multiplied Himself. … I have no doubt. I know what I gave the person. I know what (was) returned (to the tabernacle). It was just very obvious and plain to me as to what happened.”
If he has “no doubt,” it’s only due to a lack of imagination.
It never seems to occur to any of these people that the bowl of wafers might have just been… refilled when no one was paying attention. That’s both the simplest explanation and the most logical. After all, why would anyone be paying attention to a bowl of wafers? Every magician knows that the way to pull off a trick is through misdirection. Even if this particular “trick” wasn’t done on purpose, it’s easy to understand how someone could have topped off the bowl without attracting any notice. Or maybe Crowley just miscounted at the beginning.
Instead of accepting the logical explanations, however, everyone at this church is jumping to the most extreme possibility: God refilled the bowl just as Jesus multiplied loaves of bread and fishes to feed the masses.
The Archdiocese of Hartford was the first to investigate the potential miracle; whether it drew a conclusion is unclear. [Associate director of communications for the Archdiocese of Hartford David] Elliott told the Catholic publication OSV News that the probe was led by the archdiocesan judicial vicar, who is tasked with judging spiritual matters. Dioceses will draw from their communities if they need people with specific expertise to help with an investigation, [author Michael] O’Neill said.
The Vatican’s department for doctrine and matters of belief, the Dicastery for the Doctrine of the Faith, is reviewing the Hartford archdiocese’s investigation. The review will involve theologians and canon lawyers — people with expertise in internal church law — in discussing the archdiocese’s reports and mulling whether rational explanations have been thoroughly considered, [incoming director of the Center for Ignatian Spirituality at Loyola Marymount University Rev. Dorian] Llywelyn said.
And we all know how rigorous the Catholic Church is when it comes to investigating miracles…
The investigation will likely revolve around the “testimony and credibility of witnesses,” and Church officials say they will make sure “any witnesses are of sound mind and not seeking publicity.”
But none of those things would override the obvious explanation. The witnesses may very well believe a miracle took place because they don’t know any better. Hell, they attend Mass. They think miracles are real. Their delusion should not count as an affirmation.
Don’t worry, though, there will be other checks too!
Church officials may also review any available video and test the remaining wafers for differences in composition between them and other Communion hosts, O’Neill said.
Well, if they came from the same bag, much like the bottomless bowl of tortilla chips, they probably all have the same composition. That’s not proof of a miracle; that’s just more reason to believe they all came from the same source.
The only evidence they should be looking for here is a video camera locked in on the wafer bowl. If the contents magically grow without anyone touching it, then let’s talk. Without that footage, what the hell are they even doing.
Remember that Catholics looooooove to pretend miracles are occurring in their midst. In the past, they’ve claimed a consecrated communion wafer that creates a red stain and a Virgin Mary statue that appears to be shedding tears are signs from God even though there are natural explanations for all those seemingly supernatural phenomena. The same thing occurred weeks ago when they dug up the corpse of a dead nun and concluded that her body hadn’t decomposed enough, therefore the body was “incorrupt.” There’s a natural explanation for that, too.
Let’s suppose, however, that all of this is real. That the wafers really did multiply.
If that happened… it would almost be an even bigger mark against the faith. Because of all the miracles God could have performed, this is what He chose to do?
Kids are dying from gun violence. Cancer wards still exist. Democracies are facing existential crises around the world. But God made His presence known by fixing a wafer shortage that wasn’t even a shortage?! Why would anyone ever want to worship a God who has the power to perform miracles yet only chooses the least consequential options?
The idea that anyone is spending any time investigating this non-event is damning indictment of the Catholic Church’s priorities.
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