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Unhinged TX priest potentially exposes children to HIV in bizarre Mass incident

Sunday, September 18, 2005


Strange things were going on at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Corn Hill, TX.

We've got a psycho priest on the loose in Texas, who thinks it's fine to poke children with an unsterilized needle during Mass. (Austin-American Statesman):
Words were not enough for the Rev. Arthur Michalka to impress upon his parishioners the pain Jesus suffered during crucifixion. So on Wednesday, during evening Mass at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Corn Hill, he called about 15 children to come forward so he could prick their palms with an unsterilized pin.

"What I was trying to teach them is that suffering is a part of life," said Michalka, 78, on Friday.

But the Catholic Diocese of Austin and the parents of one child who was pricked did not think it a prudent lesson. The diocese is conducting an investigation into the incident, though doctors say the risk of exposure to disease is probably low.

"What were you thinking?" said Debbie Sybert, a Jarrell resident whose 11-year-old daughter, Amanda, was pricked during Mass. "Apparently our father has lost his mind."

...Helen Osman, communications director for the Austin diocese, said workers at the Williamson County and Cities Health District will conduct confidential interviews with the Mass attendees to find out whether they have any communicable diseases and whether skin was broken. Then, officials will determine whether the children might be at risk for exposure to diseases such as HIV or hepatitis and whether a blood test is needed."