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Church doctors bail out of miracle business at Lourdes? Not so fastů [Catholic Caucus]
CNS ^ | December 4, 2008 | Regina Linskey

Posted on 12/04/2008 1:10:45 PM PST by NYer

A pilgrim prays at the foot of a statue of Mary at the sanctuary in Lourdes, France, Feb. 10, the eve of the 150th anniversary of Mary's first appearance to St. Bernadette. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

A pilgrim prays at the foot of a statue of Mary at the sanctuary in Lourdes Feb. 10, the eve of the 150th anniversary of Mary's first appearance to St. Bernadette. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

A lede like the one The Associated Press published yesterday — “An international doctors’ panel appointed by the Roman Catholic Church says it’s getting out of the ‘miracles’ business at Lourdes” — might raise some eyebrows.  But relax, oh faithful believers in the miraculous healing powers of the spring waters of Lourdes. The doctors never really dubbed a cure a miracle. They are the first step in a long process.

Last February while in Lourdes, I met Dr. Marco Tampellini, an Italian oncologist who collaborates with the Lourdes Medical Bureau, which reviews medical documentation for cases of potentially miraculous cures resulting from a visit to Lourdes. Tampellini helps gather medical information on cases for the bureau’s French doctor, who is appointed by the bishop of Tarbes and Lourdes.

Dr. Marco Tampellini, an Italian oncologist, is among the professionals who review medical documentation for cases of cures resulting from a person's visit to the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Dr. Marco Tampellini, an Italian oncologist, is among the professionals who review medical documentation for cases of cures resulting from a person's visit to the Sanctuaries of Our Lady of Lourdes. (CNS/Nancy Wiechec)

Since 1883, the bureau has examined the records of more than 7,000 people claiming they were cured after visiting the sanctuaries, Tampellini said. Only 67 such cures have been considered miracles.

It is “not so simple to say a cure is a miracle,” and the medically based evaluation process is difficult, he said.

Strict criteria govern the evaluation process. People must prove the illness, which cannot be psychological in nature. They must voluntarily notify the medical bureau of the cure, which must be sudden, complete and durable for more than five years, without medical intervention.

The case is reviewed by the bureau and its collaborators and sent to the International Medical Committee of Lourdes. This committee of 20 doctors, experts in their fields from around the world, decides if the cure is extraordinary.

All the clinical records are then passed to the bishop of the person making the claim, and that bishop decides if the cure is a miracle.

According to AP’s report, the International Medical Committee of Lourdes decided that it will only rule on whether a case is “remarkable” or not.

Remarkable or extraordinary, it still seems the church docs must check out claims of a cure carefully these days.

Tampellini said that today, because medication almost always is administered to treat an illness, it is becoming difficult to pass the no-medical-intervention rule. However, Vatican officials have been discussing how to address this issue.



TOPICS: Catholic; History; Religion & Science
KEYWORDS: lourdes; miracles

1 posted on 12/04/2008 1:10:45 PM PST by NYer
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To: Salvation; narses; SMEDLEYBUTLER; redhead; Notwithstanding; nickcarraway; Romulus; ...

Another example of the media ‘twist’ on facts.


2 posted on 12/04/2008 1:11:23 PM PST by NYer ("Run from places of sin as from a plague." - St. John Climacus)
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To: NYer

Those of us who’ve made the pilgrimage to Lourdes know how utterly superficial this whole “medical miracle” issue is. The true miracle of Lourdes is not the occasional remission of some incurable cancer, but the thousands who finish their visit with the exhilarating feeling of a soul washed clean and a new appreciation for the love of God and His holy mother. After all, no matter how often one’s body is fixed, and however miraculously, the eventual end is the same - it’s just being put off. But when one’s soul is cured ...


3 posted on 12/04/2008 1:34:16 PM PST by troglodyte (troglodyte)
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To: NYer

There has always been a high threshold on proving cures from Lourdes.

It’s a bit academic; there are probably at least 3 if not 20 or so Miraculous Cures at Lourdes for every one cure. That sounds a bit of an exaggeration, however, this book http://www.amazon.com/Our-Lady-Lourdes-Henry-Lasserre/dp/1428603522 written during Bernadette’s life and immediately after the apparitions (translated into English in 1877) tells you there were a ton of cures back then of which were not listed in the “official cures.”

You know what I wonder about which is a similar conundrum?

If we pray to say, Mother Teresa or say John Paul II for a cure and we are cured, how do we know it was because she or he interceded in prayer on our behalf because most of us will always be praying to the Triune God as well.


4 posted on 12/04/2008 1:43:17 PM PST by RGPII
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To: NYer

I wrote:

“It’s a bit academic; there are probably at least 3 if not 20 or so Miraculous Cures at Lourdes for every one cure <—— that is approved by the Church.”


5 posted on 12/04/2008 1:47:08 PM PST by RGPII
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To: NYer
There was a wonderful book from the public library of all places where the Lourdes medical board had documented many cures; they are scrupulous. There are probably more actual cures than those they put their stamp of approval on. Wish I could remember the title, must be an older book because this would have been in the early 90's but not the one mentioned by the previous poster. The cases set forth in the book were very detailed and fascinating.

I was looking for a common thread for the cures, there were some similarities in sensations of cold (apart from the water which is cold), only one IIRC of electrical-like flowing, wish I'd made notes. It's been so long since I read it, but some seemed to be thrown into various positions by force as part of the cure.

In particular, I noticed that there was not one from the US. They were all from either England or France, maybe one from Italy. In the case of the latter, it was a person who was led to a better doctor subsequent to her pilgrimage and was cured medically.

Obviously the healing of the soul is the most important, just thought I'd share my impressions having never been there.

No lost limbs restored, but a withered arm like Jesus did was healed. I used to hope that maybe the best would be saved for last as in when times get really bad, but it will remain a mystery. As it is written, "nothing is impossible with God."

6 posted on 12/04/2008 3:32:28 PM PST by Aliska
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To: Aliska; NYer

List of Lourdes Cures from the source: http://www.lourdes-france.org/upload/pdf/gb_guerisons.pdf

Another article: http://olrl.org/stories/lourdes.shtml


7 posted on 12/04/2008 3:42:00 PM PST by RGPII
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To: RGPII
Thank you for the links. The .pdf file did show some of the cured came from Germany, Switzerland, Italy and one from Algiers. The rest were from France.

The second link I hadn't heard of the first cure but am sure the Traynor cure, one of the most spectacular ones, was in the book I read. It's quite a thing to close a hole in the cranium and what became of the silver plate?

One sad case I read in the library at church was of a little boy who wasn't cured; he felt it was God's will, had heard a voice from the grotto, still it made me very sad.

I think it was a good thing that people didn't have to be perfect afterwards, and some of their whims were indulged. One cure had dreamed of wearing a pair of red boots and was able to. Funny the things that stick out in your mind.

Of the ones who aren't physically cured who by far are in the majority (although some receive their cures on the way home or after), I think there is sometimes some improvement.

A local family took their cerebral palsied son to Lourdes years ago now, like 20 or more, at great trouble and expense. He received no cure, but the family felt it had been worth it anyway. I saw him before, he was then a pretty young child, definitely severely handicapped, then last heard of him a couple years ago where some nice people pushed his wheel chair in a local race. He grew to full manhood and became much harder to care for.

8 posted on 12/04/2008 5:08:27 PM PST by Aliska
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To: Aliska
Troglodyte said it better than what I could above

Those of us who’ve made the pilgrimage to Lourdes know how utterly superficial this whole “medical miracle” issue is. The true miracle of Lourdes is not the occasional remission of some incurable cancer, but the thousands who finish their visit with the exhilarating feeling of a soul washed clean and a new appreciation for the love of God and His holy mother. After all, no matter how often one’s body is fixed, and however miraculously, the eventual end is the same - it’s just being put off. But when one’s soul is cured ...

All I know is I keep up the Lourdes site every day http://www.lourdes-france.org/index.php?goto_centre=ru&contexte=en&id=507&id_rubrique=507# . About six months ago, they changed it so the Grotto webcam wasn't a big one like the others. I wonder why? Maybe because it's like one person told me, it was like being there. Now it is on the webpage I posted but that's about 3 times smaller.

9 posted on 12/04/2008 7:13:21 PM PST by RGPII
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To: RGPII

I’ll check that out when I’m not so tired. I will FReepmail you the rest, you will think I am crazy. Maybe I am.


10 posted on 12/04/2008 7:32:54 PM PST by Aliska
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To: RGPII

““It’s a bit academic; there are probably at least 3 if not 20 or so Miraculous Cures at Lourdes for every one cure <—— that is approved by the Church.””

That’s okay, it was clear what you meant.

I only wonder how one could estimate the number of cures. Say, for instance, a wife took her mentally ill husband to Lourdes, and he got a lot better. That would go uncounted, wouldn’t it?


11 posted on 12/05/2008 8:34:30 AM PST by dsc (A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.)
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To: RGPII

On my screen the picture is so dark I can hardly see anything. Is that just my computer?


12 posted on 12/05/2008 9:14:19 AM PST by dsc (A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.)
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To: troglodyte

Exactly.


13 posted on 12/05/2008 9:18:15 AM PST by tiki (True Christians will not deliberately slander or misrepresent others or their beliefs)
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To: troglodyte

I am friends with a couple whose youngest son was cured at Lourdes many years ago. There story is amazing! I can’t wait to visit there - someday.


14 posted on 12/05/2008 5:18:19 PM PST by PatriotGirl827 (Pray for the United States of America!)
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