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Discernment of Private Revelation

Claims of Miraculous Healing: True or False?
An evaluation of the claims about John of God,
a medium from Brazil, who presents himself as if he were Catholic.

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UPDATE: 3/15/2019 -- Brazilian prosecutors charge healer 'John of God' with rape, sexual assault

This article is about John of God from Abadiania, Goias, Brazil, a claimed medium and healer.

A man who calls himself 'John of God' or 'Joćo de Deus', claims to be a healer. His real name is Joćo Teixeira de Faria. He claims to be a medium and a healer; he claims to perform 'invisible operations,' which mimic a surgical operation with the movements of just the bare hands over the body. His claims of healing are accompanied by a religious belief system that merges New Age spirituality (mediums, entities, healing crystals, etc.) with elements from Catholicism.

His use of the name 'John of God' is arrogant self-exaltation.

His claims to heal by invisible operations are contrary to reason. His claims concerning religion are contrary to Catholic teaching. Some quotes from his website (, with my commentary, follow:

"internationally known as John of God or Joćo de Deus, is arguably the most powerful unconscious medium alive today and possibly the best-known healer of the past 2000 years."

This idea of a 'powerful unconscious medium' is incompatible with Catholic Christian teaching. Also, the claim that he is 'the most powerful' healer today and the 'best-known' in 2000 years is arrogant, self-exaltating, and patently false. The public ministry of Jesus Christ occurred less than 2000 years ago, and during that ministry He miraculously healed many persons.

"God heals, and in his infinite goodness permits the Entities to heal and console my brothers"

This talk of Entities making use of a 'medium' in some unconscious manner resembles New Age foolishness, and suggests to me that perhaps fallen angels are involved. For neither God nor any holy angel would cooperate with someone who was inventing a new religion that combines New Age errors on spirituality with elements from Catholicism. And although this man begins by saying that God is doing the healing, by the end of the same sentence he has changed his story to say that 'the Entities' are actually doing the healing.

"It is estimated that he has treated, either directly or indirectly, up to 15 million people during the past 40 years."

This is an odd-type of self-exaltation. He says that he has 'treated' up to 15 million persons in 40 years. But if 15 million had been healed, he would be much more well-known. So his lack of notoriety suggests that he is not an effective healer, and that he did not heal or successfully treat 15 million persons.

Amusingly, he only holds healing sessions three days a week: "Wednesday, Thursday and Friday morning and afternoon," just like some physicians in the U.S. who are healers in some sense, but don't spend much time at the task. So he supposedly treated 15 million people, but he only works three days a week.

Also humorous is the claim on his website that he heals people from "left-brained materialism".

"The clinic is set in a beautiful garden. Here you can rest and shelter from the hot sun, chat with clinic mediums and fellow pilgrims and have a quiet meditation."

The website says that there are other so-called mediums at the clinic. This claim of mediums channeling entities or spirits is not compatible with Catholic teaching. And the claim to heal by mediums and entities stands in stark contrast to the tradition that some holy Saints could heal by holy prayers to God.

"Inside the clinic are a series of rooms where different healing procedures occur. The DVD takes you through these rooms so you can familiarise yourself with the process before you travel to the clinic. Afterwards, the DVD can be played over and over again, particularly at the times of clinic activity, so you can be linked to its healing powers."

Supposedly, buying the DVD and playing it in your home links you to the clinic's healing powers. Again, this is absurd, but probably sells the DVD to desperate persons.

Visitors to the clinic are told to "allow the powers of the various rooms to do their magic."

So now not only the mediums and the 'entities' are claimed to perform healing, but also the DVD and the rooms themselves. This absurd set of claims should not be able to fool anyone who has a sound life of prayer to the one true God and faith in the teachings of the one true Church.

"At one end of the hall is a stage where John of God talks and conducts visible operations."

These so-called operations are like a stage play that mimics an operation. There is no actual surgery or cutting. This man ('John of God') pretends as if he is operating, moving his bare hands over the person, and supposedly the person is treated or cured from their ailment. This claim is contrary to reason. None of the true Saints of the Church have healed in this manner; they healed by prayer to God.

"Next, the line goes through the Cleansing room where you can sit and meditate while a clinic medium reads scripture and prays."

The idea of a medium is contrary to Catholic teaching. This so-called clinic of John of God combines elements of Catholicism with elements from New Age spirituality. The result is a place which offers claimed healing for various ailments in exchange for the sin of replacing one's faith in the Catholic Church with adherence to a false religion. They use Scripture, prayer, the name of St Ignatius of Loyola, and other elements from Catholicism, along with false promises of healing, in order to draw the faithful into a false religion based on mediums and 'entities'. In my opinion, these entities must be fallen angels, who assist them in order to do harm to the true Catholic faith.

"Next is the Current room. It gets its name from the palpable healing current that's generated by John of God himself, sometimes hundreds of meditators and the unseen throng of spirits that work in the room and its associated energetic hospital. This healing current augments the powers of John of God. At one end of the room in a chair surrounded by flowers, John of God sits and treats each person as they present in the queue. He will assess your state of health and then recommend one or more of a series of options - sit in current, come back when a more appropriate entity is present, take herbs or have a series of crystal light bed treatments."

The idea that a 'current' emanates from John of God is incompatible with Catholic teaching. It is an idea from New Age spirituality, as is the use of mediums and crystals for healing. The throng of spirits and entities who assist John must be fallen angels (devils), since no holy angel would have anything to do with such a perversion of the Catholic Faith.

However, it is claimed that some of these entities are deceased persons. This claim is also contrary to Catholic teaching, since the Catholic Church teaches that everyone who dies is immediately judged by God and then sent to either Heaven, or Purgatory, or Hell. So there are not deceased souls roaming the earth and doing either good or evil.

There is a page on the website for 'John of God' with recommended reading. Books are recommended such as one which "collates the evidence collected by the Society for Psychical Research", another which claims that "in order to not destroy Earth's ability to sustain life, we must change our definition of time and adopt a natural harmonic calendar based on the Mayan 13-moon 28-day cycle," and a third which "documents the early experiments in extra-sensory perception". These book recommendations have nothing to do with Catholicism or any true religion, and instead lead people astray into New Age spirituality and related nonsense.

Most disturbing is the claims made by 'John of God' about our beloved Saint, Ignatius of Loyola, represented in pictorial form by a painting at the clinic.

"Inside the clinic hangs the picture 'John of God Channeling Saint Ignatius De Loyola' below. It explains the forces of love guiding the healing work of John of God. In the centre of the picture is John of God his hands resting on a reclining patient. To his right is a group of meditating mediums. Above this group is Jesus Christ with his arm extended. On Jesus' arm are 2 entities that help with the healing work in the clinic. And at John of God's side, guiding his hands, is Saint Ignatius de Loyola receiving energy from Jesus Christ."

Here we see the unmistakable attempt to create a new religion based on a merging of Catholicism with New Age spirituality.

Whoever believes in the claims of 'John of God' about mediums, entities, healing crystals, 'invisible operations', and the like, has entirely departed from the true Catholic Faith by committing the mortal sin of apostasy in order to join a new false religion invented by this man and his followers.

By the way, there is a different man with a similar name, Saint John of God, who is a canonized Saint in the one true holy Catholic Church. His story is here:
Though the two men go by the same name, they are nothing alike.

Ronald L. Conte Jr.
Roman Catholic theologian
29 November 2010

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