Catholics here warned against itinerant healer

The Catholic community here has been warned not to support or participate in the "charismatic healing ministry" activities of an unauthorised itinerant healer.

In a notice on the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore's website on Monday, the Church's chancellor, Father John-Paul Tan, said the healer, Indian national Francis George Thomas, has also been collecting donations and selling his own religious-themed books and music CDs to Catholics here. He was here last month, one of about a dozen visits to Singapore so far.

The chancery told The Straits Times that he goes around Singapore to pray for people, with some claiming that they have seen him healing individuals of ailments.

Mr Thomas has a following here but it is unclear how big the group is, said the chancery, which helps the archdiocese in administration and governance.

Fr Tan said Mr Thomas does not have the approval of the Singapore archdiocese or the diocese of Quilon in Kerala, India, where he originates. He also does not appear to have permission to address a Catholic assembly or "had approval for preaching from any ecclesiastical authority", he added.

Mr Thomas was asked to comply with the chancery's request to get permission from the appropriate statutory and archdiocesan authorities for his activities here. The chancery met him on June 14 to warn him that approvals were needed. But he refused to comply.

Fr Tan said: "Mr Thomas claims to travel frequently to the Persian Gulf to perform his 'ministry', where he is also believed to have collected money...

"We would like to advise that sponsorship or aid of his activities will be a cause for investigation by the authorities. Should he reappear here, anyone who is aware of his activities is asked to report them to the chancery."

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 27, 2016, with the headline 'Catholics here warned against itinerant healer'. Print Edition | Subscribe