Rumor: Healing at Church?

The religious community stirs with rumor as word spreads of controversial healing ceremonies performed by the Church of St. Gregory. The leading clergymen are said to perform cleansing and purifying rituals, to rid their followers of sin. Incredible tales about these ceremonies have started circulating among the flock, mentioning miraculous results of the proceedings. The San Francisco Times reached out to the Church, and Roy Dobbs – media spokesperson for the congregation – made himself available to answer our questions once again.

Dobbs received our reporter in the New Church of St. Gregory’s, where the organization performs most of its services.

[SFT] “Thank you for taking the time to speak to us, Mr. Dobbs – with the growing number of San Franciscans flocking to your sermons, your time must be precious these days.”

[Dobbs] *laugh* “Why thank you. Indeed, we’re thrilled to seeing more and more San Franciscans see the light though the way of St. Gregory. In fact, we’re still a bit overwhelmed – but when I look out over the flock during our sermons, and see the joy we’re bringing into people’s lives, it just brings a smile to my face. “

[SFT] “Understandable, Mr. Dobbs – you’re really hitting a nerve with the community. Do you think the ‘healing’ services St. Gregory’s has started to perform have been a factor in the continued growth of your members?”

[Dobbs] “ ‘Healing’? Oh I’m afraid you’re misinformed – we don’t perform healing in the literal sense of the word. We believe that every man has his cross to bear, and that it is up to him to indeed bear it. What we do perform, is absolving of sin and purification. We are catholic at heart, as you’ll recall. But yes, I do believe that in this sinful time we find ourselves in, many are looking for salvation and looking to be made clean. “

[SFT] “Rumors of fantastical healing and miraculous recoveries have started circulating among San Franciscan churchgoers. Do you believe these rumors are related to rituals performed by the Church of St. Gregory?”

[Dobbs] “Well, I’m afraid that I can’t comment on that out of personal experience. While we try to provide spiritual support and purification for our flock, I have not seen true miracles being performed in our San Franciscan branch. Of course, miracles are part of our Faith, and I do not deny the possibility of miracles occurring either brought about by our Lord working through our ministers or directly by His Hand, we do not promise or advertise as such among our followers.”

[SFT] “Then where do you think these rumors are coming from?”

[Dobbs] “I really couldn’t say. It’s not uncommon for people to feel so elated by the Faith that they feel a big weight has been lifted from them, that small pains and discomforts have vanished or that old ailments have suddenly rescinded. Again, I do not discount the possibility of miraculous occurrences, but in general I believe these to be the effect of having found spiritual peace.”

[SFT] “Are there perhaps certain ceremonies or parish activities that have drawn a larger crowd, lately? “

[Dobbs] “The Church holds mass following the time table published on our website. These are open to all members of our Church – we’ve had to start registering and listing the members of our flock due to the sheer number of people seeking to attend. But those are our main public sessions. Father Bascoli works hard to touch upon all aspects of the spiritual needs of the San Franciscans, and present a daily varying sermon.”

[SFT] “Does the Church of St. Gregory’s perform ‘private’ sessions and sermons, as far as you know? “

[Dobbs] “I can’t comment on that. What I will say, however, is that we go to great lengths to ensure the spiritual wellbeing of our parishioners.”

[SFT] “So you are not denying that non-mass sermons, or even private healing rites are being carried out by the Church of St. Gregory – rites which might be the source of the ever growing stream of rumors?”

[Dobbs] “Now I feel you’re trying to put words in my mouth, madam. I’ve told you what I can … what I know on this matter.”

[SFT] “Would it be possible to speak with Father Bascoli himself about these rumors, then?”

[Dobbs] “Now, madam, I feel you really are overstepping the bounds of decency. I am the Church’s media spokesperson, which means you’ll have to make do with the answers I give you. Beyond that, I cannot help you.”

[SFT] “My apologies, Mr. Dobbs. Can you at least tell us how Father Bascoli is handling the increased attention and popularity of his Church in San Francisco?”

[Dobbs] *laughs* Apology accepted! I assure you, Father Bascoli is fine – he’s overjoyed with the response he sees to our Message. It’s a lot of hard work, as you might imagine, but I’ve rarely seen him without a smile on his face.”

[SFT] “One of the rumors also states that Father Bascoli is no longer performing the bulk of the masses performed by the Church, yielding the spotlight to some his colleagues in training. Can you comment on this?”

[Dobbs] “I’m sorry, the clerical roster is not something I concern myself with – nor should anyone else. Our Message is what is resonating with the San Franciscans, and it is that Message that is at the core of all our activities.”

[SFT] “Thank you for your time, Mr. Dobbs. “

[Dobbs] “You’re most welcome – any time.”