Beware of Strange “Healers”

AE writes about a “chiropractor” that she and her father have been seeing in California, a suspected illegal immigrant using the name Javier Lozano. They know little about the man except that he is married, goes to Mass weekly, works  as a plumber during the day, and will accept only donations for his services. I will let AE describe what this “healer” does when she visits him.

“I told him my problem (my tail bone was hurting so much I was unable to sit down). So I explained him my problem and he asked me to lay down on a blanket on the floor. Before that, I saw in his room  about a dozen wallet size pictures of different Saints such as Saint Judas Tadeo, our Holy Virgin of Guadalupe, and more Saints on one the walls and a lighted candle.

“Then he rubbed his hands with a balm and asked me to lay down. I did. I felt a warm sensation over my tail bone, then he pushed my tail bone and the adjacent bones in certain way that I started screaming. At the same time, he was praying in a whisper and I could not hear what he was saying. Several times he asked me to relax. Then he bent my legs toward my gluteus (I was on my stomach). It was very painful.

“After that, he collected my donation and asked me to come back one more time in a week or so. I thanked the healer and we left.

“When I sat down in the car I noticed the difference right away. I was sore but my tail bone did not hurt any more. Two months latter my tail bone was hurting again, so I went to see the healer again. He told me that he asked me to come back again after a week but I didn’t do it. He said the problem would have been solved if I had seen him when he asked me.

“So he went through the same manipulation process and he fixed the problem. Since then I have been okay. Other times we have visited this healer because of my knee or my shoulder problem and he fixed the problem (about 5-6 visits within two years). . .

“My question is, should I continue visiting this man every time I get back or knee or shoulder pain? Is he a gifted man? Should I trust him? We are active Catholics and are involved in our community and work. We always pray to God, our Holy Virgin Mother and our angels for our protection, especially when we go to visit this healer.”

Because this “healer” is an illegal immigrant who is using a fictitious name, it was impossible for me to find any information on him. However, AE’s letter provided enough clues to explain why I would never visit such a “healer” for any reason.

First of all, just because he has Catholic pictures on the wall and says he practices Catholicism doesn’t mean his healing practice is associated with his Catholicism. Nor does it mean that his faith life excludes the many occult arts associated with his native culture. For example, many poor Mexican Catholics routinely turn to Santa Muerte (Saint Death) when they need a miracle or to bring death upon their enemies even though the Church has condemned the practice as being a devil-worshiping cult.

It should also be pointed out that the devil is a deceiver who is more than capable of convincing someone that they have been healed. In fact, Jesus warns us in Scripture that the anti-Christ, the devil, will be clever enough that “Even the very elect may be deceived.”  [Mt.24:24]

The Church also wisely instructs us to use only ordinary means to save a life or treat a malady. Whenever we are confronted with an illness that can be treated by ordinary means, we are required to do so.

Putting our faith in untested methods, which the Church refers to as “superstitious medicine,” is irrational and dangerous.  Not only does a person jeopardize their own health by seeking out these pseudo-scientific methods, they also expose themselves and their loved ones to financial catastrophe in the case of injury and subsequent medical costs. In AE’s case, it will be impossible to sue an illegal immigrant for damages she may incur that are not covered by her medical insurance.

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