If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
MIRACLES: RULES OF BENEDICT XIV
In his directive De Canonizatione, Prosper Lambertini who was crowned Benedict XIV spelled out the rules for working out if a healing was really a miracle from Heaven.
Lambertini’s rules, which are now the official rules of the Church, were as follows.
1. The illness or injury has to be a serious one.
2. It has to be incurable and the patient must not have been recovering at the time of the cure.
3. The patient should not be getting medical treatment around the time of the cure.
4. The healing should be instant and not gradual.
5. The healing must remove all traces of the disorder.
6. The cure must not come at a time when some natural cause could make the patient think he is cured or which simulates a cure.
7. The cure must be permanent. There must be no relapses.
Lourdes in France has seen some healings that the Church claims were miraculously worked through the Virgin Mary who allegedly appeared there in 1858. The rules of the Lourdes Medical Bureau holds that the cure has to be instant, unforeseen. It will only be accepted as genuine after a waiting period of four or five years to determine that the cure is permanent. The illness has to be life-threatening and the diagnosis has to be certain. The possibility that treatment removed the illness has to be thoroughly checked out (page 73, Lourdes).
The fact that the Church would not recognise gangrene vanishing instantly as a miracle if it appears again next week shows that there is no logic in the Church at all. Rather than being concerned about showing that God has done something miraculous, the Church is not going to consider any anomalies that don’t fit its view of God and religion. It says that miracles are evidence for God and then it filters and twists the evidence to make it suit itself and then it suppresses and ignores any contrary miracles or evidences.
The truth is that despite all the grand words, the Church does and has recognised miracles of healing that fail to meet the rules. The very fact that it has recognised apparitions that could have been explained as fraud or a temporary and partial psychosis proves that the rules are only for constructing a contrived professional facade. The rules make sense and the fact that Bernadette of Lourdes saw a lady who did not make sure that psychosis or imagination could be ruled out in Bernadette’s case shows that the lady doing the cures does not like the rules!
Interestingly, the seven points show that exorcism should not be considered to be a true miracle! Jesus himself said that demons can be put out and return. And we see point 7 says relapses prove there was no miracle. The rules show that Catholic exorcisms are really just abuse of the patient.
Further Reading ~
Answers to Tough Questions, Josh McDowell and Don Stewart, Scripture Press, Bucks, 1980
Apparitions, Healings and Weeping Madonnas, Lisa J Schwebel, Paulist Press, New York, 2004
A Summary of Christian Doctrine, Louis Berkhof, The Banner of Truth Trust, London, 1971
Catechism of the Catholic Church, Veritas, Dublin, 1995
Catholicism and Fundamentalism, Karl Keating, Ignatius Press, San Francisco, 1988
Enchiridion Symbolorum Et Definitionum, Heinrich Joseph Denzinger, Edited by A Schonmetzer, Barcelona, 1963
Looking for a Miracle, Joe Nickell, Prometheus Books, New York, 1993
Miracles, Rev Ronald A Knox, Catholic Truth Society, London, 1937
Miracles in Dispute, Ernst and Marie-Luise Keller, SCM Press Ltd, London, 1969
Lourdes, Antonio Bernardo, A. Doucet Publications, Lourdes, 1987
Medjugorje, David Baldwin, Catholic Truth Society, London, 2002
Miraculous Divine Healing, Connie W Adams, Guardian of Truth Publications, KY, undated
New Catholic Encyclopaedia, The Catholic University of America and the McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc, Washington, District of Columbia, 1967
Raised From the Dead, Father Albert J Hebert SM, TAN, Illinois 1986
Science and the Paranormal, Edited by George O Abell and Barry Singer, Junction Books, London, 1981
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, Headline, London, 1997
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
The Hidden Power, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
The Jesus Relics, From the Holy Grail to the Turin Shroud, Joe Nickell, The History Press, Gloucestershire, 2008
The Sceptical Occultist, Terry White, Century, London, 1994
The Stigmata and Modern Science, Rev Charles Carty, TAN, Illinois, 1974
Twenty Questions About Medjugorje, Kevin Orlin Johnson, Ph.D. Pangaeus Press, Dallas, 1999
Why People Believe Weird Things, Michael Shermer, Freeman, New York, 1997
The Problem of Competing Claims by Richard Carrier