3.11.2006

Pimple? Hangnail? Hangover? Virgin Mother?!?
'I've Sorta Been Healed a Bit! I Think! Maybe!'

It's a Miracle Minicle!

Catholics Want To Authenticate Less-Than-Miraculous Lourdes Healings

from Reuters

The Maybicle?Roman Catholic pilgrimage shrine at Lourdes may introduce a kind of "miracle light" category for sudden, unexplained recoveries, because modern medicine increasingly refuses to declare any disease incurable.

Every year, dozens of seriously ill people leave the site in southwestern France convinced they have been cured, but the church does not rate their cases as miracles because its rules say doctors must attest that their ailments could not be remedied.

Bishop Jacques Perrier said the Vatican need not change the rules for declaring miracles but could create a new category of "authentic healings" so those who recover can share their experiences with others.

The Catholic Church teaches that God sometimes performs miracles, including cures that doctors can't explain. Skeptics reject this as unscientific and explain sudden recoveries as psychological phenomena or the delayed result of earlier treatment.

Unlike Miraclette?in the past, Perrier said, doctors are reluctant to say a disease is incurable - one of the strict requirements laid down in the 1700s for recognizing miracles.

"Doctors today speak in statistical terms, saying, for example, that the chances of recovery are very slim," he said. "They have a very hard time saying a disease is completely incurable."

"Most healings may fail to meet this or that criterion for a miracle," he added. "We want to get recognition for a category of authentic healings linked to Lourdes."

Perrier said he was working on a proposal to submit to the Vatican for approval.

The bishop insisted that Catholicism's leading miracle shrine was not considering the proposal as a way to boost pilgrimages to the grotto where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to a peasant girl in 1858.

Six million people flock annually to the town in the Pyrenees Mountains. About 7,000 have claimed to have been cured since the shrine's medical bureau began keeping records in 1883, but only 66 have been declared miraculously healed.

Perrier Minorcle?says the shrine's International Medical Committee examines possible miracle cases and rejects most of them. The last official miracle, a man said to be cured of multiple sclerosis, was declared in 1999 after 12 years of inquiries.

Sometimes the doctors - a 20-member group including Catholics and nonbelievers - see that an ill person has been healed inexplicably but do not draw conclusions, he said.

2 Comments:

Blogger gnome said...

Amazing! You've got to give it to them...

March 12, 2006 7:55 AM  
Blogger Darren said...

A swift kick in the ass? Great idea! Consider it done.

March 12, 2006 9:58 PM  

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