Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Miracle? What Miracle?

Not sure what to make of this. The AP reports that the International Medical Committee of Lourdes, the doctors' panel set up by the Catholic Church expressly to judge the veracity of miraculous cures coming from the Shrine of the Virgin Mary at Lourdes, has decided they will no longer do this.
But last weekend, the panel, known by its French initials CMIL, decided from now on it will only rule on whether healing cases were "remarkable," leaving it to the church to decide whether they are miracles, panel secretary Dr. Patrick Theillier said.
On the one hand, this sounds very reasonable: doctors do doctor stuff, the Church does miraculous stuff. The article goes on to say that the panel at the shrine is independent of the CDF which does miracle investigation for the Vatican; the CDF sort of looks down its nose at the operation at CMIL. CMIL complains that they "all but decide" what is a miracle; the Church merely has to give its assent to the doctor's findings of "miracle cure".

On the other hand, the panel was set up for this purpose by the Church; is it really in the purview of the doctors as a panel to change their charter? Of the 7000 reported "miracle cures" at Lourdes in the last 150 years, only 67 have been officially deemed miracles by the Church. That's less than 1%. This does not seem like a particularly onerous task for the doctors. Averaged over the last 150 years, that's one certified miracle every 2.2 years.

One can't help but think that this latest rebellion (their word) is just a symptom of the increasingly aggressive secularism that plagues France and the rest of Europe.

News flash: French doctors wouldn't know a miracle if it bit them in the rear end.

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