It is the classic story of “too little too late.” Except in this case, “too early” wouldn’t have made a difference either.
A Catholic priest has performed a “spiritual cleansing” on the hotel room at the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino, where Stephen Paddock stood as he rained down bullets killing 58 people and injuring hundreds more.
Chicago Reverend Clete Kiley “felt something push him back” as he stepped into the “eerie hallway” that leads to the infamous room, according to Newsweek.
The Catholic priest had entered the hallway on the 32nd floor last week to reclaim the space from “where evil had been done,” he told Newsweek…
Kiley was praying with a few hundred staff members and consoling them as they cried when the hotel manager approached him. She asked the priest if he would perform a blessing because the FBI had just released Paddock’s room back to the hotel.
I’m sincerely happy that someone was providing comfort to staff members who needed it, and I’m not opposed to using religion as therapy as long as you don’t hurt others (although there are likely secular alternatives), but let’s admit that blessing the room isn’t going to accomplish anything real. If prayer didn’t prevent this tragedy, it’s not going to be helpful now.Kiley said he “really felt like” he was being called upon to be a priest and a “spiritual leader.”
When the priest reached the hallway of the 32nd floor, he noticed a temporary door blocking the hallway. As he opened the door, he said he instantly felt something indescribable.
“I felt like I was being pushed back, like don’t come in here,” he said. “On the inside, I’m going, ‘Oh no, you have to go.’”
Kiley saw bullet holes sprayed across the hall and plaster covering the floor. As he walked toward Paddock’s room, feeling on edge, he began to say the Catholic prayer, “‘St. Michael, the Archangel,’ to defend us in battle.”
This prayer isn’t the end, either. According to Kiley, the hotel may ask more faith leaders to come bless the room. Because that’s what God needs: more people to point out what God should do and which spaces God should “cleanse” of evil.
This stunt may help the hotel put the 32nd floor back into the regular rotation, but it won’t do anything to help the people who suffered during the shooting. And it definitely won’t do anything to prevent future mass killings. For that we need more education, better regulations, and a more comprehensive understanding of the problem.
(Screenshot via YouTube)