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article imageOp-Ed: Hoax – Priest who never existed claims he died, saw female God

By Megan Hamilton     Feb 23, 2015 in World
Boston - So lately, tongues have been wagging due to a recent story of an elderly priest who died and had a conversation with God, and a female God at that.
The story has been dancing around on Facebook, Twitter, and Reddit.
It's also sallied across the seas and made it into the African media and the Indian media.
The story even made it's way to that holy land of obnoxious religious redneckery known as Texas.
The story goes something like this:
An old fart, er, I mean Catholic priest, in Massachusetts was officially dead for over 48 minutes before medical staff "miraculously" re-started his heart, World News Daily Report says. All the while, Father John Micheal O'Neal says he went to heaven and met God, who was all motherly and feminine and just happened to be a woman.
Father O'Neal, 71, was rushed to the hospital in late January after being hit with a major heart attack, but was declared dead shortly after his arrival. He was brought back to life via some sort of newfangled mechanical gadgetry and doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital, used more newfangled mechanical gadgetry to unclog vital arteries to his brain. Soon they returned his heart to a normal rhythm. Father O'Neal woke up less than 48 hours later and recovered perfectly, World News Daily Report says.
Well, of course. I mean, after all, if you're going to have a story about some elderly dude talking to God, you can't really have him die, can you? That wouldn't come out in the wash.
There was much wringing of hands, and Catholic Blogger Bridget Mary Meehan wrote:
"The declarations of the cleric caused quite a stir in the catholic clergy of the archdiocese over the last few days, causing the Archbishop to summon a press conference to try and calm the rumors. Despite the disapproval of his superiors, Father O'Neal says that he will continue dedicating his life to God and spread the word of the 'Holy Mother.'"
Then she wonders:
"Why is Cardinal O'Malley and the Boston Archdiocese so upset? You would think he'd be inspired. Perhaps, he is afraid that if God is a woman, then, that could put a big crack in the church's stained glass ceiling and open the door to women priests!"
Sure, why not employ more delusional people? They're certainly entertaining.
But why is the good Archbishop bothered?
Perhaps because Father John Micheal O'Neal doesn't exist. You see, he's really a nice old man on Shutterstock, who probably wishes he were somewhere else other than the hospital.
Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for Archbishop Sean P. O'Malley says the story is a hoax.
"We do not have a priest of this name," he told Metro.co.uk. "I believe this could be a hoax story."
And despite whatever Meehan thinks, it's never been verified that O'Malley ever issued a public disavowal of the priest's alleged statements. It's just not in the public records, About.com reports.
Perhaps, as this story runs its course, the media will realize it was asleep when it should have been awake.
You see, World News Daily, makes no bones about the fact that it's a satire site. Here's the site's disclaimer:
"WNDR assumes however all responsibility for the satirical nature of its articles and for the fictional nature of their content. All characters appearing in the articles in this website – even those based on real people – are entirely fictional and any resemblance between them and any persons, living, dead, or undead is purely a miracle."
When Meehan was apprised of the fact that the story was a hoax, she offered up this fantasyland reply:
"According to a recent media update, this story is false, but I believe if it hasn't yet happened, it truly will! Someone once said: 'All stories are true some actually happened.'"
I'm not making this up.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
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