Pope canonization setback - Macleans.ca

Pope canonization setback

Nun cured by John Paul II is sick again


The French nun who was supposedly cured of Parkinson’s disease by Pope John Paul II, leading to hopes that the pontiff’s canonization would be fast-tracked, has once again fallen ill. Sister Marie Simon-Pierre prayed to the deceased Pope three years ago while she was in constant pain and unable to move her left side or write legibly. She woke up the next morning without any symptoms, and returned to work, believing the pontiff had cured her from beyond the grave. However, a Polish newspaper has published a report saying that a doctor who examined her case believed Simon-Pierre didn’t have Parkinson’s at all, but a similar disease that could suddenly go into remission, a claim strengthened by the return of her illness. The Vatican has made no comment on the situation, saying it is still looking into John Paul II’s case and that a panel of doctors examining the miracle surrounding the nun aren’t meeting again until April.

The Guardian

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Pope canonization setback

  1. That will be discounted then. Has to be beyond a shadow of a doubt (to the best of our scientific and medical ability to discern) that it's a miracle in order to be counted. The burden of proof rests with God on this sort of thing.

  2. If the Pope could heal anyone in this world he long ago should have gotten to work on the hundred maybe thousand or so Priests out there shattering the lives of children boys that is while the saints of the C churches kept thier mouths shut and hid it…give me strength the Pope healing what a joke ! ! !

  3. Of the ten thousand Saints already up there do any get sent back down when their miracles turn out to be scientifically and medically explainable ?

    • Not being canonized does not mean one is not a saint. The whole point of canonization is for the Church to essentially say "we've been informed that this person is in heaven". That's why the burden of proof rests with God and why the process is so onerous. There are presumably a lot of saints that have never been canonized because no evidence has come to light on their behalf.

      As to saints for whom the grounds for canonization are later called into question, I've never heard of it happening for someone who went through the formal process. But for those who were informally declared saints by acclamation, that status is often revoked later if insufficient evidence is found to back up the claim. For example, Saint Christopher is no longer in the official calendar since there is no documentation of his existence, let alone his sainthood.

  4. Have you seen some of the stuff that David Blaine does? Those are miracles. Make him a saint. Now.

    • Well, the day you see someone instantaneously cured of cancer or leukemia (with full medical documentation) because of David Blaine's prayers, be sure to let the Vatican know.

  5. How can you tell the difference between a miraculous healing and a natural one? The fact that one cannot find an explanation for something doesn't make it a miracle. If experts agreed that a cure was contrary to present scientific understanding they wouldn't be justified in claiming that it was a miracle. Even, for that matter, if miracles actually occurred, we'd still need some way to distinguish between miraculous and natural cures. Belief in God doesn't exempt us from critical thinking.

    • If a cure for some currently incurable illness occurs immediately after someone asks for it, instantaneously, and without any known natural explanation, it seems reasonable to conclude that the cure was a response to the request.

      • The more reasonable conclusion (as proven out in this case) was that the person never had the incurable disease in the first place. This has been the modus operandi of "faith healers" for centuries…"healing" diseases that never existed…either out of deviousness or ignorance.

        Rather interesting that if you look at a list of saints and the dates they lived, the number of declared saints is inversely proportional to scientific and medical progress of the day. Miracles were much easier to come by in the Dark Ages I suppose.

        Just watch "Life of Brian" again…it's all explained there.

        • "Rather interesting that if you look at a list of saints and the dates they lived, the number of declared saints is inversely proportional to scientific and medical progress of the day."

          Actually it's the opposite – more saints were canonized during the last 50 years than all prior centuries combined, and most of these lived during the last 150 years. It is true, however, that the canonization process tends to take at least a century – this is in order to complete a very thorough investigation and get past the initial faddish enthusiasm for popular figures.

          As your first point, that's reasonable in cases where the disease was in dispute (as in this case), but not in cases where the experts in the field unanimously agree on the illness….as in the case I linked. There are many more like that one. Two per recently canonized saint.

          • "- more saints were canonized during the last 50 years than all prior centuries combined"

            Well if that is true, it makes things look even fishier. I looked up a list (admittedly incomplete…since there are something like over 10,000 saints)…and found that the overwhelming majority of them (probably around 80-90%) died before the year 1800.

            Two points…first it indicates to me that most of these saints performed their "miracles" in days when scientific and medical knowledge was rudimentary, crude and just plain wrong. In addition, I think we could characterize the vast majority of civilization as uneducated and illiterate pre-1800.

            Second, if what you say is true and most of these saints have only been deemed as such within the last 50 years, then I would question the validity of any evidence provided of "miracles" that were performed centuries earlier.

            I should mention that I used the term "Dark Ages" in a broad sense, as is most often done these days to note a period of little scientific knowledge or education.

          • Most likely the list you looked up includes everyone called "Saint so-and-so". The Catholic Church doesn't recognize many of these because there is insufficient documentation to support their cause. For example, Saint Christopher, Saint George, etc. These people may not even have existed, and certainly never went through a rigorous canonization process.

            Of the saints that have been officially canonized, more were do canonized during the papacy of JP2 than all prior popes.

  6. Miracles are not supernatural actions but rather events that we cannot explain. It is wise to wait until the healed recipient of a "miracle" is deceased (of natural causes of course) before miraculous claims are made in order to prevent undue embarrassment.