Catholic congregants suffer forehead burns

Catholic congregants suffer forehead burns

FATHER Eugene Baker, of St Joseph’s Catholic Church in Newtownshandrum, County Cork, made a hash of Ash Wednesday this week, and was forced to abandon a service after people complained of suffering forehead burns.


The priest said he first became aware of the problem when a parishioner told him during Holy Communion they were:

Experiencing a burning sensation.

About 30 parishioners had received ash crosses on their foreheads during the silly ritual.

The priest added:

I stopped the service and alerted people that there was a problem with the ash – they went to wash it off in the sacristy.  Some people did get quite a nasty burn from the ash, whatever’s in it.

Fr Baker said he had taken a sample of the ash to a public health laboratory at a local hospital to find out what had gone wrong.

Something was either in the ash or maybe it was the way it was burned, but we can only speculate. It did burn – you could see afterwards when it was washed off that it had burned into the skin.

He said the ash had come from “blessed” palms that are burned after Palm Sunday during the previous Easter.Proud

I apologised for any hurt caused during the Mass, and rang around later to see how they all were. I didn’t hear of anyone taken to the hospital and as far as I know, they just treated themselves with some cream.

The marking of a cross of ashes on the forehead is a Christian tradition that symbolises humility and mortality, and is a ridiculous hangover from more superstitious times.

In 2011, this was pointed out to readers of Fallible Blogma, which posed the question: “Why do we wear ashes of Ash Wednesday?”

“Lozen” commented:

 This is so ridiculous. This is the 21st century and we still follow this superstitious rigamarole? No wonder Americans are being taken to the cleaners by our gov’t. If we still believe this, we can be convinced of anything!

Matthew Warner, who may be the creator of Fallible Blogma, indignantly responded:

 Lozen, I encourage you to learn a bit more about this topic (as well as to read this post). There is absolutely nothing superstitious about it. In fact, superstition is not compatible with Catholic teaching.

Then ‘Bob” stepped up to the plate:

 Superstition has EVERYTHING to do with religion if it involves the supernatural. Go ahead, Matthew, embrace your superstitious mind! Do not deny it!

Clearly not Bob “Potty” Hutton.

Hat tip: Ivan Bailey


31 responses to “Catholic congregants suffer forehead burns”

  1. Delboy says:

    Stigmata? Lol

  2. Broga says:

    Some RC guidance on the ash daubed on foreheads:

    “When we look in the mirror on Ash Wednesday and see that black smudge on our foreheads, we should be reminded that, no matter what, we are still sinners in need of constant conversion. It is the Church calling us back once again to the graces of our baptism, to do penance, and amend our lives ……….”

    Good RC indoctrination to keep the naïve shackled to their superstitions. Let us think about some of this – the last thing the priests want you to do as they want minds numbed by superstition.

    “no matter what”. Yup, you can do whatever you like, be generous, kind and turn the other cheek but they still want you in their clutches. No escape from the RC monster.

    “we are still sinners”. This is important regardless of how sin free you may be. Sin isn’t defined, of course. I wonder if sin includes sexually abusing children? But being a sinner, and fearful of hell fire, you need to keep coming back for forgiveness from a man who may well be a practising paedophile.

    “need of constant conversion”. Ah yes. Once, twice or a hundred times will never be enough. You need to keep submitting to the hocus pocus.

    Maybe the burning bush – sorry forehead – was a wakeup call from God. Start applying some intelligence to the ridiculous ritual which is happening here.

  3. barriejohn says:


  4. remigius says:

    If the wood is too dry when it is burned it will combust most of the carbon, leaving a residue of potassium hydroxide – which is caustic.


  5. remigius says:

    However, if they mix the potassium hydroxide with animal fat they will make a very effective soap to wash that crap off their faces.

  6. Ivan says:

    …“blessed” palms…


  7. To elaborate on @remigius:

    The very name “potassium” derives from “potash” which is what you get from burning stuff in pots. “Caustic potash” is indeed the common name (when the stuff was common) for potassium hydroxide, a strongly alkaline substance with a strong chemical affinity to water which reacts with organic substances by extracting the water from them, hence effectively “burning” them.

  8. Paul Cook says:

    Australia has a great many catholics.
    The rc forced the Aboriginals from their way of life, one they had been living for 40,000 years or so. They tried very very hard to re-educate them in christianity.

    One of these practices deemed so abhorrent was for the Black Fellas to paint them selves with soot, ochres, and ash. That all got banned as heathen uncivilised practice – as good honest god fearing rc white men didn’t do that sort of thing.

    I think the aboriginals were correct all along. Yet they knew how not to burn themselves.

    Wouldn’t it be great of all these morons had a large red scar on their foreheads for the rest of their lives, or sued the rc for damages.

  9. remigius says:

    Indeed Paul. If the Black Fellas used both soot and ash it shows a good understanding of organic chemistry. Soot, being acidic would neutralise the base properties of the ash.

    Just goes to show what the church considers a mystery is actually very easily explained with a little knowledge of basic science.

  10. charlie says:

    I love that “superstition has nothing to do with the beliefs of the RCC” (OK, not an exact quote). What a load of BULL. Superstitions is what ALL religions are based on, always were and still are. If it weren’t for the stupid-stitions, there would be nearly zero basis for any religion.
    And to think, this IS 2014.

  11. AgentCormac says:

    You’d think god – being an all-powerful, omnipotent being – might have done something to stop this happening. Unless…. No, what am I thinking? Of course he exists!

  12. The Antipope. says:

    “In fact, superstition is not compatible with Catholic teaching”.
    That sentence is so fatuous it is not even wrong.

    This is the correct sentence.

    In fact, the rcc is totally founded on superstition.

    Catholic teaching = Killing off all traces of critical thinking and rendering the mind to accept primitive superstitious confabulated myths.

    Islam is much worse – it convinces people that it is perfectly normal and acceptable to murder anyone they do not like and that in doing so they will be entitled to divine eternal blissful reward.

  13. Robster says:

    What on earth is a “sacristy”? The post says they washed off the offending ash off in the sacristy without explaining what it actually is for those of us unfamiliar with strange bronze age catholic rituals. Is the sacristy a big bathroom or perhaps a big tank of holy water? Sounds like what you’d say to the Baby jesus if he was being fired from a job.

  14. 1859 says:

    ‘sacristy’ – it’s a ‘holy’ room beside the altar in churches where the priests etc., get all dressed up and put on their bling and chains…

    I wonder if father Baker deliberately put some caustic soda in the ash because the sensation of burning might conceivably produce the outline of a red cross. And then guess what would have been proclaimed? A miracle! On a par with many of the other so-called ‘miracles’ in Ireland – the glowing virgin Marys, the bleeding hands on a crucifix. Not forgetting, of course, the coach loads of pilgrim tourists that would turn up eager to buy samples of the ‘miracle’ ash. I know, I’m far too cynical – a priest would never do something like that, deceive gullible people to make money – never!

  15. Bubblecar says:

    “He said the ash had come from “blessed” palms that are burned after Palm Sunday during the previous Easter”

    More likely from his own blessed ashtray.

  16. barriejohn says:

    Did someone mention Protect the Pope? I see that Dickhead Nick has become the target of satanic forces:

    As Nick’s wife I am writing to thank you for all the kind messages, prayers and gifts that Nick has received. You may have noticed that he has not posted for a while and I did not want you to be worried, as although he is still far from better, this silence has not been caused by his illness. Rather Nick has been asked to observe a period of prayer and reflection.

    Please continue to pray for Nick during this time.

    Fr Alan
    March 7, 2014 at 12:16 pm

    I would be surprised if Deacon Nick doesn’t have sky high blood pressure as he seems to get hugely annoyed at everything and everything. A priest friend recently called him a ‘Catholic Ian Paisley’ which I thought was very apt.

    March 7, 2014 at 7:35 pm

    Fr Alan – with friends like you, who needs enemies?

    I’ve sent hima Get Worse card on behalf of all of us.

  17. barriejohn says:

    Many want to know the truth:

  18. It’s bizarre how the Catholic Church can claim to oppose superstition. Supernatural beliefs are magical beliefs. Miracle and magic mean the same thing.

  19. WTF says:

    Gormless twats! Maybe when they look themselves in the mirror, they’ll realise what prize nob-heads they are…

  20. agentCormac says:

    @ barriejohn

    Nick has been asked to observe a period of prayer and reflection.

    Unbelievable! The idiot has been stood down and told to shut up by his own church. What a laugh! Probably because he is such a right-wing zealot who regularly harangues anybody within his own cult who dares deviate from the most orthodox views. Or perhaps the fascist bastard has been removed for extracurricular activities?

    Excellent spot, BTW! I can’t stand the pious, patronising, loathsome little shit.

  21. AgentCormac says:

    I love the title of the follow-up article, ‘Can we know the full truth please?’.

    Well, of course you’ can’t – it’s the catholic effing church!!!!!! And they really, really don’t deal in truth. And sure enough, no answers!

    I especially like this piece of advice form someone called Chrysostom (which sounds like some kind of fungal infection):

    It looks as though Deacon Nick is being put under pressure; I have known similar cases. You will know best what to do, but one tip that might be useful: when dealing with those in authority in the Catholic Church in England ALWAYS ask for all commands, orders and ALL THAT IS SAID to be put in writing. NEVER promise to keep anything said to you secret: once you do that, they have you. But let not your hearts be troubled. If people are indeed putting pressure on you not to reveal the truth then they will have to answer for it on the day of judgement. God bless you both and may Our Blessed Lady, who has conquered all heresies, protect you – and the Pope.

    I’d love to know what he or she means by ‘reveal the truth’!

  22. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: He’s the archetypal Nazi, and religion is full of them. I came across many like him in the Brethren, and the guy who likens him to Paisley is spot on. As I said here only recently, everyone has to agree with them even in the minutiae of belief or else be denounced as heretics, and, should they change their mind, everyone else has to do an about turn as well. Thinking is not allowed. Someone is now quoting Frankie on that thread, and he is worth looking at more closely if you want to know how the religious mind really works:

    “This is what holiness is,” Pope Francis said. “It is what God asked of Abraham: walk in my presence and be blameless in my sight”. It is a matter of “coming under the influence and movement of God’s Spirit and of this wisdom. And we can say that the man and woman who journey thus are wise, for they move docilely under the motion of the patience of God”.

    The Holy Father added, however, that in the day’s Gospel passage from St Luke (17:20-25) “we find ourselves confronted by another spirit, which is opposed to the spirit of God: the spirit of curiosity. It leads us to want to become masters of God’s plans, of the future, of things, to know everything, to seize hold of everything”. He noted that in the Gospel passage, the Pharisees ask Jesus: ‘When will the kingdom of God come?’ “They were curious! They wanted to know the date, the day…”.

    The spirit of curiosity draws us away from the spirit of wisdom,” he explained, since it urges us to look only for the “details, the news, the little stories of the day”. The Pope added: “the spirit of curiosity is not a good spirit; it is the spirit of dissipation, of drawing away from God, of talking too much”.

  23. remigius says:

    barriejohn, my source inside the Vatican informs me that Pope Frank himself asked Deacon Dick to STFU. Seems his fascist rhetoric is at odds with the RCC’s new cuddly, fluffy, and with an almost lemony freshness, re-brand.

    Either that, or… um, little boys!

  24. AndyB says:

    I’m sure I’ve seen this kind of thing in movies.
    It’s quite simple, those people suffering burns were simply demons, masquerading in human form…..
    (the report probably left out the bit where they then spontaneously combusted..)

  25. barriejohn says:

    Remigius: I’m sure that you are correct. He’s still twittering, though:

    Not saying much, but we can all draw our own conclusions.

  26. barriejohn says:

    More about him here, but nothing up-to-date:

  27. AgentCormac says:

    @ barriejohn

    The people who populate that revolting blog are truly insane. One recent comment states that: ‘The huge “Risen Christ” statue in Medjugorje continues to weep, now in three places. It is so, so urgent that we stop those tears!’ WTF?

    This has, apparently, got something to do with Gruppenführer Nick’s demise at the hands of his own beloved church. Although I’m at a loss to understand how. Perhaps said statue is weeping in a third place (wherever that may be) because it is so upset that the rcc has dared to take down such a god-fearing zealot?

    But allow me to shed further light on the mind of this particular contributor: Firstly I must declare that whilst I am a Roman Catholic and now a devotee of Pope Francis I – PF1, as I now call him in beloved memory of Pope John Paul II – PJ2, I am an ardent follower of both Medjugorje and the books, “Poem of the Man-God”(“The Gospel as Revealed to Me” as they have been renamed). Yes, neither of these have been officially approved, although the former is at the final stage of being on PF1?s desk as I write, but, as Our Lady is saying through the visionaries at Medjugorje, time is short and mankind must turn to Jesus through the Sacraments and prayer.

    Yep, a complete retard fuckwit, just like the rest of them. And my, how I keep chortling, not only at the lunacy of the comments, but also at how Gruppenführer Nick’s little empire has been pulled so publicly from under his feet!

  28. barriejohn says:

    AgentCormac: Yes, they are hopelessy divided, just like most religious groups, and their hatred for mankind is only surpassed by their hatred for one another – I’m very pleased to report. Isn’t life grandy-dandy?

    However, the likes of you and me – vile sinners that we are – cannot possibly imagine the sorrow and distress that we cause the Blessed “Virgin” Mary by our stubborn determination to continue in the path of disobedience and disbelief, despite God’s gracious overtures and efforts to turn us from our wicked ways.

  29. barriejohn says:

    Comment (from a devout Catholic):

    Thank you for these words, and to both of you for your apostolate. It looks as though Deacon Nick is being put under pressure; I have known similar cases. You will know best what to do, but one tip that might be useful: when dealing with those in authority in the Catholic Church in England ALWAYS ask for all commands, orders and ALL THAT IS SAID to be put in writing. NEVER promise to keep anything said to you secret: once you do that, they have you. But let not your hearts be troubled. If people are indeed putting pressure on you not to reveal the truth then they will have to answer for it on the day of judgement. God bless you both and may Our Blessed Lady, who has conquered all heresies, protect you – and the Pope.

    See how they trust one another!

  30. AgentCormac says:


    Amongst all the waling and gnashing of teeth over at Protect the Dope, one voice of reason has somehow slipped through the Gestapo-esque censorship:

    I can’t pretend I am sorry that such a vehicle of hate, spite and ignorance has been silenced for a while. The man seems to delight in spreading discord, ill-feeling, half-truth, innuendo and misinformation. He appears a volcano of hate – and usually when such souls hate, make use of scape-goats and blame politics it is something very wrong at the centre of their own being they are attacking. Let us hope with some prayer and reflection he can see where the problem lies (which is probably a little nearer home than he would like to admit – how easy it is to point the bony finger of accusation at others and how difficult to turn a mirror on our own wounded souls!). But I do hope he is prevented from engaging in a pastoral role for the foreseeable future. Deacon Nick is clearly a very dangerous individual who should not be placed in a position of power in a congregation – he could do a great deal of damage (which given the fact he has been silenced, suggests he’s probably already done this!). As Jesus said: ‘You will know them by their fruit…’

    I just love that fact that Nick the Dick has been slapped down by his own church. It just shows how tyrannical it is. Who’s going to shut this blog down? Nobody. There’s a reason it’s called The ‘Free’thinker.