If nobody believed in superstition it would be unable to hurt anyone
THE ROMAN CATHOLIC LABEL AND MIRACLES
A miracle is an event that is not naturally possible. That does not mean it is necessarily impossible. There could be a power greater than nature such as a god that can do it. A miracle is supernatural. They are exceptions to the way nature usually seems to work. For example, we take it for granted that dead people stay dead but the Church says that God miraculously raised Jesus when he was dead three days back to life. Why would God do that? The answer is said to be that he wishes to give us signs so that we can find what truths he has revealed and know what religion he has given to us.
Miracles happening in the Roman Catholic Church are said to show that the Roman Catholic faith is true and really from God as it claims.
The thought that when miracles happen among Catholics, that the wonders verify the Catholic faith because of the Catholic association is pure absurdity. Carrying the Catholic label does not make one a Catholic. Most Catholics are really ideological Protestants just like some Protestants are ideological Catholics. As the popes teach, Catholic faith comes from God and to doubt or disbelieve any part of it is to reject the whole thing because it is questioning the authority that tells us what is to be believed. A person who believes that 1 is not equal to 1 cannot seriously believe that 1 + 1 = 2. Most Catholics despite all the praying and all they do are not true Catholics. Intending to be a Catholic is not enough but if you believe the Virgin Mary was a sinner you are not a Catholic whether you know it is Catholic teaching or not. The pope proclaimed an excommunication (expulsion from the Christian community) and a curse anathema against anybody who said she was in the nineteenth century.
We see the phenomenon of Catholics following apparitions threatening hellfire and everlasting damnation to those who do not believe in the apparitions. This is unCatholic for the Church does not compel anybody to believe in the apparitions but only in the official declarations of the Church and the Bible. The Catholics still follow the apparitions despite seeing the unCatholic element in them though it is the ultimate sin to go against the faith or belief. To do that makes everything else fall apart. Religion brings out the bizarre element in human nature, it produces many eccentrics and crazy people. You cannot tell a true Catholic when you see one. The power of self-deception must never be underestimated.
Many Catholics are in a state of serious sin or mortal sin or sin that deserves Hell. The Church says such sin chooses the eternal torment and separation from God in Hell so if you die you will get what you choose. The Church says the Church exists on earth, in Heaven and in Purgatory but not in Hell though there are baptised people in Hell. This is the doctrine of the communion of saints in the Apostles Creed. So it follows that whoever is estranged from God by sin is not a Catholic.
Nearly all Catholics must have doubts so it is impossible to consider them true Catholics.
There are countless Catholics with excommunications for voting for abortion and so on that haven’t made an effort to get them lifted. You can be automatically excommunicated. If you learn that Catholic doctrine is that Jesus is God and you think that it is rubbish then such excommunication takes place. It is that easy.
Considering that it is only a guess that a group of Catholics are really Catholics, a miracle among them attracts them emotionally to Catholic practice but not to Catholic faith. They usually deceive themselves that because they feel the faith is true they believe in it which is stupid. Feeling is not believing. The miracles do not then support Catholicism. Is it going to far to say that they bless doubt and disbelief and religious feeling and oppose proper faith?
To believe in the miracles as signs of the faith one would need to hold that those who witness them are true believers. You would start by examining the holiness of the witnesses and their orthodoxy and check them out for no excommunications. That would be done before you would even examine the miracle. If miracles prove Catholicism, then clearly there is no point in examining any further if the witnesses have doubtful orthodoxy or contrived and delusional devotion to the Church. If they are not true Catholics then the miracle is necessarily false. The miracle is encouraging their religious feelings but not their genuine devotion. It is not encouraging Catholicism.
Having seen the link between miracles and the witnesses being orthodox and holy, to say a miracle happened is to boast and be arrogant. It is to boast of one’s orthodox righteousness as did the Pharisee Jesus condemned in the Parable of the Publican and the Pharisee. This would point to miracles being tricks of Satan. And it would be more than just smug self-righteousness to say they happened and are evidence for religion being true. It would be pure vindictive when the content of that religion is the doctrine that people who die in serious sin even if they are only seven years old can go to Hell to suffer forever. The Church teaches that children are to be given confession and communion around the age of seven or eight for then they have the use of reason and can reject God by mortal sin or sin that takes you to Hell forever should you die. Strange that children can make the ultra-mammoth decision, the most serious decision of all namely where to spend eternity, and cannot marry or consent to sex. It is no wonder with absurd and vicious doctrines like this that paedophile priests do not think they took advantage of the children they had sex with.
All miracles, assuming they happen at all, are malevolent, even if they seem to do good. They would not be happening unless we were wrong to reduce right and wrong to the essentials so they imply that we should be enslaved. A good God would not let them happen meaning they have to be hoaxes or the Devil’s work to destroy his reputation. They even imply that believing in the essentials and God and not in Jesus or anything more is evil! Religion says that God guides all people who are open to that guidance so he could keep us on the right path without popes and dogmas and Bibles and Churches.
Further Reading ~
A Christian Faith for Today, W Montgomery Watt, Routledge, London, 2002
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 Demon-Haunted World, Carl Sagan, Headline, London, 1997
The Book of Miracles, Stuart Gordon, Headline, London, 1996
The Case for Faith, Lee Strobel, Zondervan, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 2000
The Encyclopaedia of Unbelief Volume 1, Gordon Stein, Editor, Prometheus Books, New York, 1985
The Hidden Power, Brian Inglis, Jonathan Cape, London, 1986
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