A Catholic priest from Massachusetts was officially dead for more than 48 minutes before medics were able to miraculously re-start his heart. During that time, Father John Micheal O’neal claims he went to heaven and met God, which he describes as a warm and comforting motherly figure.
The 71-year old cleric was rushed to the hospital on January 29 after a major heart attack, but was declared clinically dead soon after his arrival. With the aid of a high-tech machine called LUCAS 2, that kept the blood flowing to his brain, doctors at Massachusetts General Hospital managed to unblock vital arteries and return his heart to a normal rhythm.
The doctors were afraid he would have suffered some brain damage from the incident, but he woke up less than 48 hours later and seems to have perfectly recovered.
The elderly man claims that he has clear and vivid memories of what happened to him while he was dead. He describes a strange out-of-body experience, experiencing an intense feeling of unconditional love and acceptance, as well as being surrounded by an overwhelming light.
He claims that at that point in his experience, he went to heaven and encountered God, which he describes as a feminine, mother-like “Being of Light”.
“Her presence was both overwhelming and comforting” states the Catholic priest. “She had a soft and soothing voice and her presence was as reassuring as a mother’s embrace. The fact that God is a Holy Mother instead of a Holy Father doesn’t disturb me, she is everything I hoped she would be and even more!”
The declarations of the cleric caused quite a stir in the catholic clergy of the archdiocese over the last few days, causing the Archbishop to summon a press conference to try and calm the rumors.
Despite the disapproval of his superiors, Father O’neal says that he will continue dedicating his life to God and spread the word of the “Holy Mother”.
“I wish to continue preaching” says the elderly cleric. “I would like to share my new knowledge of the Mother, the Son and the Holy Ghost with all catholics and even all Christians. God is great and almighty despite being a woman…”
The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Boston has not confirmed however, if they will allow Father O’neal to resume his preaching in his former parish in South Boston.
The Archbishop of Boston, Cardinal Sean P. O’Malley, made a public statement this morning stating that Father O’neal suffered hallucinations linked to a near-death experience and that God clearly isn’t a female.
UPDATE: Terrence Donilon, a spokesman for the Archbishop of Boston, who was contacted to confirm the report has dismissed the report as a ‘hoax’. He said: ‘We do not have a priest of this name. I believe this could be a hoax story’.